Help Your Spouse Cope with Diabetes
Diabetes presents many challenges to those who suffer from
the disease, but their spouses may also struggle with
worry, resentment, and fear as they share the diabetic
In addition, the spouse must deal with mood swings,
agitation, and fatigue. Just like the mortgage, raising
children, and career issues, diabetes in the household is
best handled through joint effort. If you are the spouse
of an individual dealing with diabetes, there are things
you can do to ensure good quality of life for the both of
Learning to take a non-critical supportive approach is
crucial for spouses. The diabetic will not likely
appreciate having a watchdog taking note of every misstep
in the diet.
Being told what to do and what to eat can lead to conflict,
stubbornness, and feelings that the disease is a greater
burden than it really is.
Leading by example is a more effective approach. Bring only
nutritious food into the house and plan a family menu that
meets diabetic standards, because it will be healthy for
the both of you. And develop an exercise routine that you
can do together.
Partners also need to realize that diabetes cannot be
ignored. The non-diabetic spouse should be present at most
of the doctor appointments and nutritional guidance
meetings. Visit a dietician together and plan your
lifestyle according to the advice you receive.
The spouse of a diabetic can relieve any resentment felt by
remembering that at any time, any of us can develop a
condition or have an accident that would change the way we
live. What if you were paralyzed tomorrow? What if you
had a heart attack, a stroke, or needed a leg amputated?
You would hope your partner would stand by you, that he or
she would understand your inability to control certain
things and love you unconditionally. Like you, a diabetic
needs to feel loved and supported as their daily battle
Encouraging dialog about the disease is a must. To ease
both of your minds, discuss problems before they get out of
hand. If your spouse is in a bad mood, he or she should
feel free to tell you. Then, you should act appropriately.
If you know ahead of time what your spouse would like you
to do when a foul mood strikes, getting through it will be
easier for both of you. Is silent support best, or would an
activity such as a walk together help? A clear plan will
prevent feelings of isolation and resentment.
Finally, learn as much about diabetes as you possibly can.
With adequate knowledge, open communication and a
commitment to a healthy lifestyle, you will be well
prepared to help your spouse deal with diabetes.
Author Doreen Lynnkom edits the ezine Diabetes Notes. Visit
http://www.diabeteswize.com to sign up for her ezine and search the diabetes resources.