The effect of Chronic illness on Marriage

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If you were sick previously you come across your spouse, it’s probable that your relationship took an extreme change when you developed the sickness. Possibly you went out frequently and did plenty of things together, you voyaged, and you appreciated life. I know exactly how it was for us. Then I got sick, and we learned chronic disease can have an influence on marriage.

Ever since then we’ve had ups and downs. We’ve had periods where I felt good enough that our lives apparently reverted to usual. We laid my disease out of our thoughts and relished life once more. And then at other moment, boom, there it was. To some degree something would happen that would jog our memory us that it wasn’t finished, that I am really chronically ill and that this disease is going to be a portion of our lives forever.

In the previous two years I’ve been typically well and healthy. Thanks a lot to key diet and lifestyle modifications, I was feeling good. The pain was negligible, if at all, and energy levels resumed to standard. At least for a little while. Then there was the abdominal and pelvic pain that ruined the enjoyment of happy and blessed life. Two surgical treatment later and I was performing healthy once more, and once again things seemed regular for a while. And then, boom, there it was again. The shoulder issue right on top of that was all fun life was dead.

Reject it as much as we might like, but I believe sex is a main part of a marriage, that it’s a need that should be satisfied. When needs aren’t being encountered, we struggle, stress and fight. And that goes for any necessity within a relationship. There are two sides of this coin and neither of them are very attractive.

On one side you have the spouse with chronic illness. They have needs, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Unluckily, the chronic pain that comes with problems like fibromyalgia get in the way of satisfying physical needs overall. Even a hug is often painful, so we might be left feeling physically detached from those we love. That physical suspension can lead to a suspension mentally and emotionally, also, when our loved ones misread our absence of physical contact. That is the other side of the coin.

The other side is the fit partner who, while seeing their companion is hurting, doesn’t always separate their partner’s pain from their own. Instead of stopping to consider about how much their partner is missing out on because of the pain they’re in, they as an alternative emphasize on what their partner is not giving them. This can root them to pull out. The withdrawal by the healthy partner often leads to a nasty circle where the unhealthy person extracts to protect themselves, and this can result in resentment on both sides.

So, what can you do to decrease the influence of chronic illness on marriage? It’s easier said than done. However, I’d recommend two things.

  1. Every couple who finds they’re facing chronic illness should look for a marriage therapist or counselor to support them work through and express the feelings that come up relative to these concerns. It can be tough to talk in front of someone who is basically a foreigner, but it may be essential to get a third person involved for both partners to be straightforward.
  2. Find a good support group for each partner. Not only should the partner with chronic illness be involved in a decent support group of others who share the illness and can relate to what they are going through, but the healthy partner should be keenly involved in a caregiver support group with other partners who can recognize the struggles he (or she) is going through also.

It’s vital that each spouse or companion attempt to comprehend their partner’s opinion. The healthy spouse needs to take time to understand that the ill partner is missing everything they are missing, too. Sure, sometimes we might be so ill that we don’t think about all we are missing, but more frequently, we recognize what we are missing and it can be sad, miserable, unhappy and depressing. On the other hand, those of us who are sick must take some time out of our schedule to consider about what it must be like for our partner or spouse, also. We also have to remind ourselves that they evidently love and care for us. Though we don’t have the choice to walk away from our chronic illness, they do have a choice to walk away from us. The fact that they stay speaks volumes about them, and about how considerably they actually do love us.

Fibromyalgia, intimacy and sex

How fibro affects your sex life?

If you are reading as a fibro sufferer, you may have a look of disbelief on your face right now. Since fibromyalgia causes widespread physical pain, of course it will affect your sex life! But pain is not the only thing that prevents you from wanting to have.

Sleep disturbances are one of the most common problems that plague fibro patients. When you don’t get a good night’s rest, you probably value sleep more than sex by the time night rolls around. There are possible factors to consider as well, like headaches (not just have an excuse when you have fibro!), irritable bowel syndrome and fatigue.

Medication side effects can also put a damper on your sex life. Anti depressants such as Prozac can lower your interest in sex and make it difficult enough to reach orgasm that you might decide it’s not worth it to bother. Muscles relaxers can also be so sedating that you just want to sleep. And some people experience nausea from drugs like Lyrica.

Overlapping conditions that often occur with fibromyalgia can also complicate the issue. Many women with fibro also suffer from intense pain during intercourse called vulvodynia or inflammation called interstitial cystitis, which feels similar to an untreated urinary tract infection.

Fibromyalgia affects every aspect of your life. When you’re in chronic pain every day, it can be difficult to get to work, go shopping and spend time with friends. So it’s no surprise that fibro takes a toll on your sex life too.

Here’s why it’s worth it

If you’re in committed relationship, it’s worth to maintain an intimate life. Even if you’re not physically able to have sex as often as your partner might like, you can still find ways to stay connected.

Ask your doctor if there’s anything you can do to make sexual contact less painful and more pleasurable. You could switch medication or change your dosage if the meds are interfering with your sexual function. You may need to consult with more than one doctor to get a useful answer: try your gynecologist, a urologist or rheumatologist. Don’t give up if you see one doctor who is unhelpful.

Talk to your partner and express that you still care for him or her, despite the amount of pain that you are experiencing. Let them know that your reluctance to have sex is about your pain and not about how you feel about them. When you do attempt to be sexually intimate, use lube and go slow. Find other ways to be intimate with each other. Touch is an important part of relationship. Even if your fibro makes you less comfortable with being touched, your partner still needs it. Take time to cuddle and be romantic.

How can I have sex if I hurt all over from fibromyalgia?

Some fibromyalgia patients give up romantic aspirations for fear of further injury and pain. Yet being intimate with your partner is still possible. With fibromyalgia pain and tender points, you need to work with your partner to find the most comfortable position during sexual intercourse. For example, if you have fibromyalgia with low back pain, you may find that having your partner on top or lying on his or her side is most comfortable for you. Or if you’re a woman who has fibromyalgia and hip pain, you might use a pillow to stabilize your body during sexual intercourse.

Just because you’ve “always had sex this way” doesn’t means that is the only way. You need to be patient, and find the best sexual positions that allow you to be intimate without causing further pain. Keep in mind, there is not just one right way to be intimate with your partner.

Is stress linked to sexual problems and fibromyalgia?

Stress may trigger fibromyalgia symptoms. Yet managing stress may help you control your symptoms and balance your daily life, which can boost your libido. Stress management may include a combination of exercises, relaxation techniques, a good sleep routine and proper nutrition.

Exercises release endorphins, which are the body’s natural stress—fighting hormones, so any type of physical exercise is a good stress-control measure. Relaxation therapies such as deep abdominal breathing, visualization or guided imagery and meditation are also helpful in managing stress.

What else may help my sex life with fibromyalgia?

If you have fibromyalgia, talk to your doctor and see if medication can boost libido and sexual performance. Improving your overall health by treating any other medical problems may also help.

Read More here: How to Work Around Low Libido and Fibromyalgia Pain

For support and Discussion join the group “Living with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Illness”

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