Married with diabetes

A supportive spouse can ease feelings of fear and frustration caused by the diabetes.

Having a chronic disease like diabetes is hard. You have to make many life changes including watching what you eat, your weight, monitoring your blood sugar, taking medications and visiting your health care provider regularly. On top of these changes you often experience worry over the complications that may occur if you do not make these changes, which can lead to feelings of depression or anxiety. Michigan State University Extension Educators say that having the support of your spouse can often ease these feelings of fear or frustration.

Research shows that people that have this type of support often feel better in dealing with their diabetes. Unfortunately a spouse can also be a great source of stress if your partner is not supportive. A diagnosis of a chronic disease can strain a relationship. Both partners often fear what the future may bring. There may be concern about responsibilities, medical bills, and complications of the disease. Diabetes does put a unique strain on the relationship, but it can also bring couples closer together if they learn to work as a team.

What are some ways to do this? The first way is to become educated on diabetes. Attend any medical appointments or classes together so you both have the information. Encourage your partner to ask questions and seek answers together. Communicate your needs to each other. Talk about what is working and what is not. Try to avoid being critical and keep the lines of communication open. Make sure you listen. Sometimes both of you may need to vent your frustration, without judgment. Work on goals together, not only about diabetes management, but about communication as well. Investigate other options for support. This not only lessens the stress on your partner but may give you other ideas for dealing with your diabetes. Finally remember to commit to strengthening your relationship outside of diabetes. Making sure to value your partner is a sure fire way to build stronger bonds which will enable you to break through the roadblocks that you will encounter through the years.

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