Supporting Your Partner
Diabetes can be a significant load to bear on a daily basis but it can also impact upon the partner of someone with diabetes.
We look at some of the issues from the perspective of the partner of someone with diabetes.
Positive actions to help your partner
If your partner has diabetes, the following positive actions can be helpful:
- Take an interest in your partner’s diabetes - but let him/her be in control
- Suggest ideas
- Allow your partner time for managing diabetes
- Be prepared for mood changes
- Discuss any problems with your sex life
- Discuss your feelings
Take an interest in your partner's diabetes
Your partner will likely appreciate you taking an interest in their diabetes. It can be comforting for them to feel like that they are not going through it alone.
Make sure that your partner feels in control of their diabetes, but remind them that you are there to help in any way you can.
Suggest ideas to help manage diabetes
We can all benefit from a different viewpoint at times to help us make decisions.
If your partner is finding certain aspects of their diabetes management hard, you could suggest some tips to make life easier for them. Take some time to speak to your partner to see what works best for them.
Allow you partner time to manage their diabetes
Make sure your partner is not rushed or pressured when managing their diabetes. If they are testing their blood sugar, injecting or reviewing test results, it is important they are totally focused.
Also, try to ensure your partner has the time to exercise during the week.
High and low sugar levels may at times lead to irritability, confusion, silliness and sometimes anger. Try to allow some extra leeway with your partner’s moods if they are experiencing fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
However, if your partner’s mood swings become violent or frequently difficult to manage, they may benefit from speaking to a counsellor.
Discussing sexual problems
If diabetes affects your partner’s ability to have or enjoy sex, it can be difficult for them to confront the problem. If you’ve noticed that your partner has withdrawn from having sex, it could be related to their diabetes.
Both men and women can be treated for sexual dysfunction and there are alternative ways in which intimacy can be achieved aside from conventional sexual intercourse.
Discussing your feelings
It is common to have anxiety about your partner’s health, especially if you experienced their diagnosis and any health scares as they got to grips with managing their diabetes.
Additionally, there are several ways in which your partner’s diabetes can affect you, including dietary changes, daily routines and being a continued source of support.
It’s worth sharing your own feelings with your partner from time to time so they can see how you share in their diabetes. Sometimes people with diabetes may not realise how much of an impact their diabetes has on others.