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Supporting Our Supports: Supporting a Partner While Having AxSpA

I have a very supportive partner who tries his very best to understand my condition, and has been so selfless in making sure that my needs and my children’s need are met when I’m going through a lengthy flare.

But as each flare concludes, and I return being able to use my brain power to think about more than just what level of pain I am in, I think about my husband and all the extra duties he picks up in times of flare, and the guilt starts to creep in.

My tips for supporting your partner

I’m here with tips on how we can support our partners who are supporting us and redirect the guilt!

Check in!

It’s such a simple idea we often forget we can just ask our partners what they might need from us when we are able to take the reigns again! Communication is so important in any relationship but especially for us spoonies. For me this can look like asking my husband “You seem a bit tired this week are you struggling do you need me to do XYNZ for you?”

This has been a really great way for me to start my guilt and have a confirmation that my husband either needs support or he’s doing okay. I know it can be difficult to ask a spoonie who is struggling for extra help or support around the house so when we take the initiative to say can I take out the garbage tonight it really avoids guilt on both sides.

Show gratitude

Of course we love our partners, but often, even at the best of times, it can be easy to forget to show our appreciation. For me, that looks like taking out the recycling for my husband (his “duty") or taking the kids on a drive to give him an hour of peace! It can be really difficult for a spoonie need to watch their partner take on so much responsibility it’s really lovely when we can give back even if that’s in a small way.

Remember that all pain is valid

Lastly, remember that our partners can also have bad days, and although (for me anyways) it can be easy to dismiss what feel to be small or silly aches and pains, it’s important to remember that their pain is just as valid as ours is!

It can be really hard to hold space for others when we experience pain. How do you hold space for your partner or family member?

How do you support the caregivers and loved ones in your life?

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