“He/she just doesn’t get what I’m dealing with.”
I hear this a lot from my clients, and members often express the same frustration here. Their partners seem not to care how much they are suffering. Their partners may have made it clear they don’t want to hear about how they are feeling: “stop complaining.” They may listen, at least temporarily, and then change the subject: “yeah, yeah, now what about…” Even worse, tell them it is “all in their head.” Or accuse them of faking how they feel to get attention: “stop being dramatic.” Their partners are impatient and unhelpful when what they need is their understanding.
I am often reminded of how lonely the road can be for those who are living with chronic conditions. And what it means to “get” what someone else is going through, to understand someone else’s suffering, to walk the road with them.
Some of my clients are fortunate enough to have partners who try to understand how they are thinking and feeling, who are able to listen, to offer comfort, and even to anticipate what they need. In a word, empathy.
The harsh reality is that others need some extra help. Or just don’t have what it takes. Or won’t try.
Sad and unfair as it is, people who are loving and caring in so many ways often seem to shut down when their loved needs to talk about their chronic condition, or when they need emotional support. While they may pick up the slack in household chores, or offer other assistance, the support may begin and end there. Or they may not be so helpful there, either.
What’s going on at your house?
Here’s an article in Living with Diabetes that might help you get the conversation going at your house.
Any experiences or ideas to share?
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