More Magazine recently published an article entitled “Married, with Illness“. It is full of examples of how husband and wives cope when one, or both, have a severe chronic illness. Not surprisingly, this takes a tremendous toll on a marriage. According to the article, 75% of such marriages end in divorce. This is especially tragic when we think about the fact that most of us recover better with the help and support of a spouse.
The article is well worth reading in its entirety, but a main point that it makes is that couples must learn to talk about the effects of the illness on their relationship. Roles change, many fears are triggered, opportunities are gained and lost — so much changes when chronic or severe illness enters the picture.
Medical professionals often don’t recognize the stress the marriage may be facing, and certainly don’t have the time or training to treat it. Yet studies do show that best-case outcome of recovery from disease does depend at least in part on the quality of the relationship, which impacts recovery time, number of symptoms experienced, and number of treatment side effects noted.
The article pulls together a number of places to visit on the internet for support. Here are some of them:
- InSicknessInHealth.blogspot.com , a blog for couples.
- cicoach.com , a blog about career and chronic illness
- OwnYourHealth.wordpress.com , about health news
- PainAction.com for help in dealing with chronic pain
- WellSpouse.org , an online support group with links to local support groups. For spousal caregivers.
- The Wellness Community is very well known, and has a local support group in Westlake Village, Calif. They help patients and caregivers who are living with cancer.
If you know of other sites or groups that are helpful, please let us know.