10 Coping Tips for Couples Dealing with Illness
By Brenda Blanchard
- Educate yourself about the illness/disease. Keep up with advances in health care. “Ignorance is not bliss” when it comes to your health.
- Talk openly about your feelings in regards to the illness or disease. Share concerns, fears and hopes. Make a plan on how to confront the illness; recall daily that “For with God, nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37 KJV)
- Be good listeners as listening promotes understanding. Encourage one another, giving affirmations when true listening occurs.
- Laugh often. Laughter heals.
- Avoid isolating yourself from your spouse. Ask for help when needed. Sometimes, outside help is necessary. Don’t let pride stand in the way of giving another an opportunity to be a blessing.
- Set realistic limits for both people in the relationship. Be positive. Live each day to each person’s potential.
- Learn to do things in moderation. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Rest in between activities.
- Reinforce what the mate with the illness can do, not what he/she can’t do.
- Check facilities for outings planned in advance. What about steps? Entrances/Exits for limited mobility, wheelchairs? This information can be found by making a few phone calls or by visiting a web site or even by going in person to the location. Information gathering exercises eliminate frustrations and make the event much more enjoyable to attend.
- Foster friendship in all marriage relationships. Find a hobby or activity to share like going for Sunday drives, playing board games or antique hunting via actual estate sales or through the Internet.