How to Build Relationships with Chronic Migraine

Most people I know have lived their lives without ever having a migraine attack, much less living with chronic migraine. As somebody who has been living with chronic migraine since 2009, I have learned there are some key steps to take to build a relationship with a great foundation.

What should your partner know about migraine?

When you have a chronic health condition, like chronic migraine, and your partner does not, it is even more vital to educate them. It can be hard for a normal/healthy individual to understand what it means to live with a chronic condition.

The best thing to do is to explain how chronic migraine affects you. What are your triggers? What symptoms do you normally face? Do you have aura? If so, explain what an aura is to your partner and how it affects you. Do you have a migraine toolkit? If so, where is it located? What does it look like? These are all very significant facts for your partner to know.

How honest should you be?

Being honest is probably one of the hardest parts of dating with a chronic health condition for me. I can educate people all day long, but admitting when I need help or that I feel too bad to do something is another story. Despite my challenges, it is such an important component of being in a healthy relationship.

Is it appropriate to ask for help?

It is so important for us to admit to our partners when we need a little extra help from them. Rather, it is help cooking dinner or managing the kids so we can go to bed. By asking for this help, we prevent feeling like we must do everything ourselves. This is important because feeling this way can cause resentment to build within the relationship.

Should you share when you can't do things?

Another area we must be honest with our significant others about is when we feel too bad to do things. It does not matter what these things are, rather it is going somewhere, having intimate time, or even coming out of our dark cave. When we push ourselves too much, the migraine attack can worsen, and we can be down for longer than we would have been otherwise.

How should you spend your good days?

While it can easily feel like chronic migraine can take over your life, it is vital to enjoy time with your partner on either pain-free or limited-pain days. We all know that eventually we will have to miss a plan or two before long, so make the most of it when you can.

There are times that we go out for a quick bite to eat. Other times we go out with friends for a longer time out of the house. But most of the time, we enjoy one another’s company at home. Even if it is simply watching a show or snuggling while doing separate things. The main thing is that we enjoy each other’s company.

Do you have any tips or tricks for making a relationship work while living with chronic migraine?

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