A Couple's Guide to Fibromyalgia
While it isn’t as well-known throughout the medical community, healthcare professionals are continually finding better ways to treat those with fibromyalgia at any degree of severity. Couples, however, may face even more issues after going through conversations about how this disease has affected them, but talking about the relationship and its issues is critical. It may require therapy or other healthcare options, but finding ways to get more sleep could solve a number of problems, although serious issues should always be addressed by a medical professional. If only one partner suffers from fibromyalgia, getting the other to understand could be an obstacle that grows worse over time. Although treatment has certainly improved over the past few years, it is still important to obtain enough factual information yourself. There are certainly many doctors who do not understand the key differences and points of fibromyalgia, so finding one who does know is an important first step.
When one partner is suffering from fibromyalgia, it can be difficult to make the other understand what is happening and how severe the condition is. The first step is finding a doctor who can understand the issue. Other helpful actions include:
- Getting an adequate amount of sleep: Fibromyalgia patients may need a different bed or pillow. Set a proper bedtime routine. Give them a light snack that promotes better sleep, such as foods rich in omega-3 and calcium. Moody mornings and hurt feelings can be avoided by knowing your partner’s sleep schedule. Some have found that sleeping in separate rooms can create issues, although for some it can promote better sleep. It is a good idea to discuss these options with your partner.
- Knowing what to expect: Adequate knowledge about fibromyalgia is essential, although each individual case is different. People with chronic pain should be aware that some days will be bad, so keep up to date on your partner’s health and consider joining a support group. Important factors to think about are communication and knowing what issues to expect in regards to intimacy.
- Communication: It is critical to tell your partner how fibromyalgia pain affects your overall health and well-being. Numerous studies have shown the condition can cause depression and anxiety, which impacts a couple’s relationship. Feelings of sadness are often reported by spouses and those in a relationship when the side effects of fibromyalgia become manifest. One’s partner should be understanding and have patience. Intimacy issues and personal communication qualms are bound to arise under these trying circumstances, but being open about realistic expectations can make a huge difference. Studies have shown that sharing your health issues with your partner can promote a better lifestyle and thus a more positive quality of life.
- Honesty and understanding: Both the sufferer and their partner may experience various levels of pain. However, they can reduce their stress by educating themselves and thus start the healing process. You should read up on what to expect from your partner and how to accept their disease. The key here is open honesty, as well as understanding. The afflicted partner may need some time alone; they don’t always need someone’s company, so give them space when they require it.
- Alone time: Although it is helpful to keep someone with fibromyalgia company, you should also respect their alone time. When addressing intimate issues, do so in a sensitive manner. If your partner is not feeling well, do not attempt to coerce them into intimacy. It is critical to find ways to express intimate feelings and emotions. This can improve the overall health of the relationship. With this in mind, it is a good idea to consider counseling; resentment may develop if you let emotions that are upsetting you build up within yourself, so it is important to know when to talk about certain issues.
- Activities: Engaging in creative activities together can be beneficial. This can include both hobbies and intimacy, and as such can help avoid any complications in the relationship. A proper discussion can offer insight as to how a partner might feel. Keep things open and honest even though feelings may be hurt. A happier relationship is possible if you regularly see your healthcare provider, keep up to date on appointments, and follow treatments.
- Knowing limits: Every fibromyalgia patient should know when to set limits with their partners and those around them. If intimacy is an issue, talk to your partner about the pain and your own feelings. The body of research concerning this disease is still growing. Talk to your doctor about making changes in your diet or lifestyle to benefit your relationship with your partner and others.