Chronic Disease, Your Healthy Spouse, and Sex

Marriage is hard for everyone, but it can be even harder when one person has a chronic condition. Disease, illness, and disability can make a partner seem like a different person. That’s no one’s fault, says Laurel Wittman, board president of the Well Spouse Association (WSA), which provides online resources and a network of peer support groups.

“This is an area that people really struggle with,” she says. While some partners come together to find ways to sustain physical intimacy, for others the situation takes a huge toll on the relationship.

Buehler explains that the end of a happy sex life due to chronic health problems “creates grief and loss.” She knows firsthand. Her husband had a prostatectomy to remove prostate cancer in February 2021. “He went from somebody who was very interested in sex to someone who lost interest,” she says. The situation is more common than we realize, Buehler believes, since health care providers often don’t ask about sexual issues, and patients are afraid to raise them.

Cathie says that many healthy spouses fear that their life is over when their spouse is diagnosed with a chronic condition. But it doesn’t have to be that way. “If they figure out what they want and ask for what they want, they actually can have a good life,” she believes.

Read more in Health Central.

Written by External Article
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