4 Things I’ve Learnt From My Partner’s Chronic Illness: Boyfriend Tells All

This week we have a very special just writer – my boyfriend Chris. I wanted to get his perspective on what he has learnt from being in a relationship with someone who has a chronic illness (aka me). But before we jump into his post, make sure that you subscribed to my blog to get email updates every time I post, and follow me on Instagram @GutsyFeeling to get more updates from me on my day to day life.


Being in a relationship is not easy. There is constant compromise, teamwork, and occasional arguments that can make life tough. But often we can move past them and continue on in a loving relationship. When you date someone with a chronic illness, it does not get easier. Being in a relationship with someone with Crohn’s Disease for approaching 3 years now has taught me a lot. I will give some insight into this and some advice in this article.
Lesson #1: Expect the Unexpected
This is a phrase used quite often. But its very true when you are in a relationship with someone with a chronic illness. You can never really predict your activities next week, let alone tomorrow. But, you have to learn to accept this, and to, for a lack of better term, expect it. You may have plans to see a movie with friends, but your significant others stomach just isn’t feeling up to it, and you have to cancel last minute. That’s life! And when times like this happen, just make the best of it! Stay in, relax, have some sort of snack, and watch Netflix and look forward to the next opportunity!
Lesson #2: Don’t Take It Personal
When dealing with your significant other’s chronic illness, when they aren’t feeling well, you may be lashed out at on occasion. When you date someone, you are closer to that person than anyone else, and this can result in being a target of frustration. If you take it personal every single time, then you won’t get very far. You need to keep in mind that your significant other deals with more than most other people do. So being understanding and helpful is key. BUT, don’t let it get too much. Be comfortable telling your partner to remember that you are there for them, and to make sure they aren’t too hard on you. Because if it gets to be too much, it can damage your relationship.
Lesson #3: Be Accepting
This ties into both of the above. When situations don’t play out the way you expected, or when things get heated between the two of you due to some pain/discomfort, learn to let it go. Yeah it sucks you aren’t able to go out for dinner tonight for the food you wanted. But guess what? Its worse for the other person. Not only are they likely uncomfortable, but also feel bad for “ruining the night”. So just remember that although you think you have it bad, its probably 100x worse for them!
Lesson #4: Do The “Little Things”
This encompasses a number of things. Doing the little things can include getting them a hot cup of tea when they say they don’t want it, filling up their water bottle, heating their heat pack, grabbing them a blanket, or giving them a massage. It can also include buying little treats here or there like chocolate. One thing I’ve learned is that when they are having a really bad day, my girlfriend loves a bouquet of flowers. Another thing that falls into the little things category is simply being there for them. This can range from a phone call, to going over for a few minutes to see them (if possible), to staying in with them for the night when they don’t feel like going out. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but to your partner, it means the world
Its not easy being in a relationship with someone who has a chronic illness like Crohn’s Disease. But, this doesn’t mean you can’t have still have an amazing relationship! It just takes a bit more effort and learning. But once you learn to do these things, you’ll end up in a relationship that is as loving and caring as anyone else’s!


Thank you so much for reading, and a big shout out to Chris for writing this post for us! So, if you enjoyed this post and want to see more from me and future guest writers, make sure that you subscribed to my blog to get email updates every time I post, and follow me on Instagram @GutsyFeeling to get more updates from me on my day to day life. 


Your Trusty Gutsy Gal + Chris

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Nathalie is a Canadian entrepreneur, blogger, architectural designer, and Crohn’s warrior. Nathalie graduated from her final university degree in Spring 2020 with a Master’s of Architecture. Nathalie decided to start this blog to share her journey and experiences. She shares daily advice on all things health, lifestyle, self love, motivation and environmentalism on the blog and over on Facebook and Instagram.

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