In my previous article, I offered relationship advice on talking about your health condition with a new partner. But for those of you who are already in a relationship, talking about your ankylosing spondylitis can still be an issue. Too much and it can cause a strain on the relationship. Too little and it opens the door for miscommunication and misunderstanding.
I have two simple rules for talking to your partner about your health:
1. Don't splurge
Your partner doesn’t need to hear every detail about your day, all the medications you took and the status of all your aches and pains. Do this with your caregiver, doctor or other medical practitioner – not your partner.
Unless something really significant has changed when your other half asks how you’re feeling, you can simply respond by saying “the usual.” They will pretty much know what that means – and if they don’t, they’ll catch on quickly. On a bad day, you can simply tell them that it’s been “a bad day.” If it was a good day, tell them it was “a good day.”
2. Tell them the headline news
Do tell your partner about the following noteworthy events:
- What happened at a doctor’s appointment
- A new medication you’ve been prescribed
- A new diagnosis you’ve received
- Significant changes in symptoms or medical events/crises
Share the big stuff, but keep the day-to-day to a minimum. By doing this, you create a balance between the relationship and your condition so that your relationship doesn’t always revolve around your health issues.
You are not your illness or pain. There is so much more to you, so focus on what you bring to the relationship, and on loving your partner in the best way you can.
This article was written by Kira Lynne, a regular contributor at ThisASLife.com. A social site helping the whole AS community to: Learn. Share. Inspire. Discuss.