3 Unique Ways My Partner Supports Me
There were times in the past when I wondered if having psoriatic arthritis would make it harder to find someone, to find a partner. And, if I did meet someone, whether it would make our relationship more difficult. But low and behold, my boyfriend of a few years proposed, and now he and I are busy making wedding plans.
While it can be difficult, I'm the proof it's not only possible to find a significant other while living with a chronic illness - it's possible to find a supportive one too.
Find unique ways to support eachother
With a lot of work, communication, and empathy, we found ways to cultivate a loving relationship. Our situation is unique, and as such, we had to find unique ways to support each other. While we both do a lot for each other, here are three of the most unexpected but helpful ways my fiancé supports me.
Occasionally, we sleep apart
There are times that the tossing and turning from painsomnia can disturb him and keep us both awake. And sometimes, his movements or snoring bother me, which is problematic because when I'm a light sleeper from the pain.
So, every so often, one of us high-tails it to the futon in the other room. It's not a punishment for either one of us, it's something we do out of courtesy for each other.
We contribute equally in the long run
There are some tasks that I struggle with, like carrying laundry up the stairs or taking out the trash, so I rely on him to do these chores. As a trade-off, I take care of some other items like making sure our bills are paid, budgeting, reordering household supplies, and making appointments, so he doesn't have to worry about those things.
When I'm in rough shape, he takes on a bit more than usual. But I also do my best to contribute in the ways I can when I can. For example, there are times that he shoulders a good amount of the cooking because I'm having a terrible week. But it balances out because we also have weeks where we split it evenly or I cook extra.
But this system only works if you're not keeping count. Life isn't perfect, and there are times your dynamics might change long term.
He reminds me to slow down.
And last but not least, the most significant support my fiancé has given me is reminding me to ask for help or slow down. Sometimes, I put a lot of pressure on myself to keep up with the pace. Or I may even want help but don't ask for it. Having someone there to let me know it's okay to take things easy has been extremely helpful.
His reminders to slow down have helped me learn to ask for help. Sometimes, I feel a lot of pressure to carry on no matter what. It helps to hear "you need to slow down" in a world that tells you "just push past the pain." Knowing he cares and understands makes me feel truly loved and supported.
What are ways your partner supports you?
Were you ever misdiagnosed before being diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis (PsA)?