Relationships are difficult and adding a chronic illness into the mix makes them more difficult. Relationships are all different. We have relationships with our parents, siblings, family, spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, friends, coworkers, and other people in our lives. It can be a task to balance all of these types of relationships along with making our health a priority.
Chronic illness makes dating hard. We have to figure out when it's okay for us to disclose our illness, symptoms, etc. that we are going through. We don't want to scare off the person we are dating, but we also don't want to leave them in the dark. Their support could be beneficial depending on how they handle finding out about our illness.
We need people in our lives that aren't going to judge us for our health issues; who are going to be okay when we have to cancel plans because we aren't feeling well; who aren't going to push us away because we have to put our health first; who aren't going to tell us that we are too much to deal with because of what we are going through with our physical, mental, and emotional health.
Here are some things that I've learned and feel called to share regarding relationships that I've had/have now in hopes that it will help you navigate your relationships:
I hope you find this information helpful.
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Samantha Bowick, MPH is the author of "Living with Endometriosis: The Complete Guide to Risk Factors, Symptoms, and Treatment Options" and "Living with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency" as well as a fellow sufferer of multiple chronic illnesses and patient advocate.