Nearly half of all Americans live their day-to-day lives with at least one chronic illness as a companion. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, Crohn’s disease, asthma, arthritis, lupus, sickle cell anemia and a host of other conditions pillage millions of personal lives and marriages each year. Statistics show that over 75 percent of marriages plagued by chronic illness end in divorce.
Nothing quite assists a spouse in understanding his or her role of helpmate like a chronic illness. For married couples, a diagnosis means twice the heartache, discomfort and worry.
If you have a chronic illness, how do you juggle your needs with the needs of your spouse? How can you fight feelings of inadequacy and guilt? If your spouse has a chronic illness, how do you “keep it together” for him or her? What if you become burned out? What do you do when you find yourself thinking, “This is more than I bargained for?”