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You and your partner

Most couples have a lot on their plate. Whether it's paying the bills or juggling work and family, it can be hard to find time for each other. But when disability or illness happens to one of you then things can get a whole lot harder.

Suddenly there are a million more things to do – organising care, sharing your home with careworkers, dealing with an army of medical professionals. It's important to acknowledge that caring for the person you love can put strain on your relationships.

There is another side though. Many couples who have faced long term illness or disability will tell you how it has brought them closer and deepened their love in ways they never thought possible. But everyone is different and much might depend on the nature illness or disability you are dealing with.


Changing roles

"I miss my partner even though he's still here. I love him to bits and I feel guilty even thinking it, but I do miss how it was. That closeness we had before. We're still close but it's different somehow. He used to protect me and I leaned on him but now I'm the one who has to be strong and protect him. It's not easy to change."

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Feeling lonely

"I'm the one keeping it all together but no one looks out for me. Even allowing myself to think like that feels like I'm betraying her, like I'm being selfish. On my darkest days I even think about having an affair. I'd never actually do anything but I still feel this terrible guilt."

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Becoming isolated

"Since Geoff had his stroke we barely see our friends anymore. Everyone was really keen in the first few weeks but it's dropped off since. We don't get invited out anymore and a lot of the time I'm too tired anyway. Geoff's routine is important so we don't like to break it. The end result is we're often stuck in this house for weeks on end and barely see another person."

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