Marriage Counseling for Couples After a Diagnosis

Marriage Counseling

Image: Nellis Air Force Base

There’s no question that fibromyalgia is a devastating disease. Not only does it take a serious toll on your body, but it can disrupt every aspect of your life. In fact, one of the things that people with fibromyalgia find themselves struggling with the most is the toll it can take on their relationships. It’s hard to be the same sort of vibrant, friendly person you truly are when you’re in constant pain. And the reality of living with fibromyalgia is that even getting out of bed can be a struggle. That means that when you suffer from the disease you can’t take on life the way they used to.

All too often, the people you thought would always be there for you gradually drift away when you don’t have the energy to maintain those relationships. Ask anyone with fibromyalgia and you’ll hear stories of lost friendships and the emotional toll that can take. But it’s not just friends. Fibromyalgia can put a serious strain on a marriage as well. It takes a lot of energy to maintain a marriage when you have fibromyalgia, and energy is something most people with fibromyalgia have in short supply. That’s why seeking a professional counselor can be a good idea.

What Is Marriage Counseling?

Many people are reluctant to bring up marriage counseling with their spouse. It can seem like an admission that something isn’t working in a marriage or even an accusation that your partner is to blame. But the truth is that any marriage can benefit from a professional counselor. That’s because the process isn’t about assigning blame or deciding who is right and wrong.

Marriage counseling is simply a way to help you develop tools to communicate more effectively with your spouse. Every marriage has underlying issues that place a strain on the relationship. Marriage counseling involves seeing a trained therapist who can help you communicate and resolve those issues in a constructive way.

Often couples who struggle with issues in their relationship hesitate to express them to their spouse because they are worried that it will lead to an argument. And as anyone who has been married knows, that’s because it often does. But those arguments aren’t an effective way to resolve those issues. Both sides just end up more entrenched in their position and with hurt feelings that can grow over time into resentment.

When you see a marriage counselor, they can help you work through your issues without arguments. The result is often that both partners begin to see the other’s point of view and can begin strengthening their relationship based on that understanding.

How Can It Help When You Have Fibromyalgia?

There are two reasons why marriage counseling can be especially beneficial for people with fibromyalgia. First, the difficulties someone with fibromyalgia faces can strain a marriage significantly. Obviously, it’s no one’s fault if they are experiencing a flare up and have to spend the day in bed. But this does put a strain on their spouse, who has to assume the responsibilities of caring for children or keeping up the house by themselves. And the fact that you simply can’t be as active as you used to can leave a spouse feeling like their relationship with you has changed. You simply can’t make the kind of time for romantic dates or activities they used to be able to make when you have fibromyalgia.

Secondly, it can be hard for someone to bring up these concerns when their spouse has fibromyalgia. They already see how much their spouse is suffering and don’t want to make things harder for them. So, it’s easy to see how they could end up letting something that’s bothering them grow into resentment. In addition, people with fibromyalgia have a tendency to not complain when something is bothering them. Their disease is so hard to live with that they have to try to stay positive. They feel like they can’t burden their spouse with their suffering, even when it’s something unrelated to their condition. But you’ll notice that in both of these scenarios, neither spouse is communicating with the other.

That’s why counseling can be such an important tool for maintaining a marriage when you have fibromyalgia. By getting help, spouses can learn to communicate more effectively and address problems before they destroy a relationship. So, if you’re struggling with fibromyalgia, and it’s taking a toll on your marriage, counseling may be just what you need.

Let us know, have you pursued marriage counseling to help with fibromyalgia-related issues? Would you recommend it to others? Tell us in the comments.