This is a topic that comes up so frequently. It is a subject that is so very important and can make a major difference and how everything is handled.
Lets start with the basics.
- You have so many fears regarding your condition and what treatments are necessary
- If I do need surgery, what does that all mean?
- Will I be able to return to my former life?
- Will I be able to work? If so, what restrictions will be placed on me
- If I cant return to work, what are the financial implications?
- How will my loved ones deal with my medical limitations?
- Will I be able to continue my intimate role as a partner?
- Will the pain disappear after time?
- How long will I need narcotic medications?
- Will I just become a burden?
- What impacts will this be on our social lives?
- How much stress and tension will this place on my other?
- Feeling like a failure, having your partner do so much of the work you used to do.
- Feeling alone, because no one else understands you.
- Will she/he live me because of my problems and that I cant provide or do.
- and so on and so on.....
The Spouse or other Significant
- What does all this medical condition really mean?
- Will he/she ever be able to return to their formal self?
- Will they be able to work? If NOT, how will we make it financially
- Will they be able to help me with the day to day chores
- I dont understand his/her pain
- They (his/her) always complain and are irritable
- What are the long term concerns? Will he/she ever be better?
- Is this a dead-end? Is there really no hope?
- Should I give up on him/her and find someone new?
- and so on and so on......
There really isnt any complete list of the questions/concerns that relationships will go through. Just as there isn't any
rule book or Spiney-Relationships for Dummies books! You can read all about it in books, articles, web sites (like this), etc
But how does it apply to My situation ?
There have been scores of relationships that have been destroyed, ended because of one part of the party having spinal conditions. But there has also been thousands of relationships that have made it also.
I think the most important thing to consider is Communication and trust. There is a lot of fear involved with all of this.
So, you both need the ability to discuss any situation without fear of being chastised.. There is already so much fear going on . You dont know what your spouse feels about all of this, what their take is it. And your spouse doesnt know about your fears. The result??? Many times, its just keeping it in, not being opened about all of it. Keeping quiet or silent about the situation wont work.
Open and effective Two-way communication Communications to be effective has to be open and two way. I have seen way to many couples talking to each other, but not really hearing what the other is saying. Could it be a matter of not wanting to hear what is being said? Is it fear of what could be said?
Patience This applies to both parties. For the patient, its a lot about the pain and suffering they they are going through. When someone is in pain, the tendency is for a lack of patience. For the other, its not knowing what is really going on. That can put anyone on edge. You dont know what to say or do, or what not to say or do
I could continue writing about this, but honestly there really isnt any end to it. Its a complicated subject that has destroyed many relationships. So often, its beyond what the two of you can handle. We all know that going to a doctor for our medical condition is a no-brainer. So what not also think the same to go to a counselor or some other medical professional that can help with the non-medical aspects?
The ending? Same is it is for any relationship. Trust , Respect and Confidence in each other
Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences