Communicating With your Partner about Cancer

Updated at: May 06, 2013
Communicating With your Partner about Cancer

Communicating with your Partner about Cancer helps in preventing your relationship from becoming a strain and coping with cancer treatment and its side-effects better.

Gunjan Rastogi
CancerWritten by: Gunjan RastogiPublished at: May 06, 2013

Communicating With your Partner about Cancer

A spouse or partner is the primary source of strength and support to a cancer sufferer or survivor, however, lifestyle modifications and the vortex of emotions through which a person goes through after cancer diagnosis leave a little space for communication between the partners. Discussing about cancer and its harrowing experience can be emotionally taxing for the couple. Cancer and its treatment not only generate physical troubles, but also impact a couple’s sex life, thus resulting in a strained relationship. If you are going through a similar phase, take steps to talk to your partner about cancer.


How Cancer can affect Communication in a Relationship

The physical and emotional turmoil followed by cancer diagnosis and its treatment is stressful for the sufferer as well as his dear ones, especially the spouse or partner. The challenging journey of cancer is distressful for both the partners due to the decline in physical and emotional proximity caused by cancer. The hampered proximity induces communication breakdown between both the partners. Besides, the newly developed communication gap proves exerting for the relationship.

Issues related to Cancer that Partners Need to Discuss

•    The additional responsibilities of the supporting partner.
•    Physical and financial absence of the suffering partner.
•    The choice of health care facilities and the expenditure related to it.
•    The concerns related to sex life.[Read:Is Sexual Activity Okay during Chemotherapy?]
•    Adjustments required for cancer treatment.
•    Ways to sail together through this time of turmoil.

Importance of Communicating Well With your Partner about Cancer

•    Suffering from cancer may strengthen the bond between the partners and enrich the experience of being together in the thick and thin of life.
•    A spouse or partner is the supporting force, who can aid the sufferer in passing through the dreadful experience easily and reshape his emotional self.  
•    Good communication between the partners eases the process of decision-making about crucial matters.
•    Encourages the suffering partner to withstand deplorable cancer treatment and its side-effects.
•    Aids in discovering and learning news ways to handful stressful situations.
•    Does not let misunderstandings develop in the relationship.
•    Helps to plan post treatment time.
•    Will encourage both the partners to go smoothly through this upsetting time.

Tips for Good Communication

•    It’s not necessary to talk about cancer and its effects. Discuss the range of topics, but start with normal things.
•    Schedule a time in the day to talk to your partner. Ensure that you are free from distractions during that period.
•    Use ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ or ‘you’. This helps in making people feel closer. [Read: Communication Skills for Lifelong Relationships]
•    Be honest with your feelings and emotions. Let your partner know what you are going through physically and emotionally.


Read more articles on Cancer.




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