Self Improvement

Self Improvement

Family Health Matters

As one might expect, a common stress for healthy spouses is fear and uncertainty about their partner’s future health condition and the implications for their marriage. “A great deal of coping with arthritis is facing uncertainty about the future,” says Andrea Watson. “People with arthritis wonder how much worse their condition will get, and whether they will end up in a wheelchair. Spouses mentioned the same kinds of worries.” Source:
Watson is quick to point out that despite the anxieties mentioned by healthy spouses, she has not found abnormal levels of depression or stress among the group she has studied.
Making the Marriage Work, Arthritis and All: See here:

With all the challenges of chronic illness, it may seem a wonder that couples living with the “arthritis demon” can survive with their marriage intact. How do they do it? Most admit it is hard work, with new challenges all the time. “My husband is incredibly supportive, but he is by no means a saint,” says Mona Lewis, who has had rheumatoid arthritis for 15 years. “And in the beginning he was not supportive. It is something he has grown into. I’ve also grown into it, especially learning how to ask for help.”
Mona and others offer the following suggestions to help spouses remain supportive of each other while maintaining their own sanity:
Keep Talking. “I have often referred to providing support as a sort of dance,” says Watson. “Couples with arthritis have to learn how to tango. Both spouses need to be able to communicate – to know when to ask for help and when to pull back. There needs to be open communication about what kinds of instrumental help like shopping and taking care of the kids is needed, but also communication about what activities the person with arthritis is able to do.”
Beyond discussing logistical issues, couples need to learn how to figuratively pat each other on the back. “Support is not simply saying ‘I’m going to help you with the dishes’ or even ‘I love you very much,’” says Watson. “It is also increasing esteem. It is critical to let the person with arthritis know that they are still a worthwhile and valued person despite the physical disability. They need to know that the coping choices they are making are good choices.
“In the same way, well spouses need to receive feedback when they are being helpful and handling the situation. I think that when spouses do provide the right kind of support at the right time, it is important to say, ‘That really helped when you did that.’ On the other hand, if you don’t need their help, tell them, ‘Please let me do this myself; it is important to me.’”

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Posted by admin – December 4, 2012 at 2:52 am

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