A breast cancer diagnosis is terrifying and life-changing, and it can have a significant impact on your spouse and your marriage. The chances are that, just like you, your spouse is experiencing a range of emotions along with their fear for your health and well-being. As you are fighting breast cancer, it’s important to take steps to maintain a strong, healthy marriage so you can face this obstacle together and work as a team. Here are a few things that can help you maintain a strong marriage during breast cancer.
10. Make a Game Plan
As soon as you get over the initial stages of diagnosis and treatment, it’s time to make a plan. Sit down with your spouse and have an honest discussion about the roadblocks and struggles that you’re likely to face. Then, try to make a plan for how you want to handle each issue. If you’re having trouble, consider working with a doctor or a therapist to help you map out a course of action. When you anticipate problems early on, it’s easier to recognize and deal with them in the moment.
9. Communicate Openly
Cancer treatment is stressful for both people in a marriage. Avoid resentment, unmet needs, and bottled-up feelings by doing your best to communicate openly with each other. Learn to explain what you need, and encourage your spouse to do the same. Talk about your feelings, even if you’re embarrassed or fearful about the reaction.
8. Learn to be Patient
Patience is a vital factor of any healthy marriage, let alone when breast cancer rears its ugly head into the picture. Breast cancer often puts your normal life on hold, and your spouse must be patient and understanding as your life takes on a new normal. Your spouse must be patient during those hours of waiting at the hospital and at the doctor’s office. Likewise, you may need to be patient with your spouse’s emotional reactions to the sudden shifts in your routine and relationship.
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