“If I lay here, if I just lay here,
would you lie with me and just forget the world?”
— Chasing Cars, Snow Patrol
Love can be complicated under the easiest circumstances — let alone when chronic illness comes into play.
When “in sickness and in health” becomes your daily reality instead of a promise you once made, it can put a serious strain on your relationship. And if you’re single, dating and finding a loving partner might feel totally undoable if you’re dealing with debilitating symptoms, unpredictable flare-ups and an uncertain future.
This article from The Atlantic eloquently describes the kind of dilemmas and obstacles chronically ill people face in their love life. Because, how do you even meet a potential partner when you’re housebound and struggling to do the simplest things? When do you tell your date about your health issues, fearing you might scare them off? How do you adjust to a new way of life when you or your spouse become severely ill with little chance of a full recovery?
Love in times of chronic illness requires open communication, understanding and a willingness to make it work from both parties. And even then it can be challenging. But with the right partner, love can also carry you through the toughest times.
So how can you keep love alive in the midst of hospital visits, a rollercoaster of emotions and all kinds of practical problems? I don’t have all the answers, but this is what I know: