Managing diabetes: Supporting your partner
Diabetes can have a big impact on the partners of those living with diabetes. Luckily, there is help and advice available to help you understand how to support your partner. Some people living with diabetes feel perfectly capable of being able to manage without additional help, while others would appreciate more support. Research actually suggests that people who have social support tend to manage their diabetes better. If you’re wondering how to help your partner, here are a few tips:
Learn more about diabetes
To help your partner, try to understand what they’re facing by learning more about diabetes. Your partner might actually appreciate you taking an interest and will feel comforted knowing that they have your support.
Understand the highs and lows of diabetes
High and low blood sugar levels could cause your partner to become irritable and lead to feelings such as confusion and anger. Understanding this could help you be more sympathetic toward your partner’s feelings around these times. Try to be empathetic when they experience mood swings but also encourage them to seek out help if their mood becomes increasingly aggressive.
It can be very concerning if you think your partner is not taking care of their health the way they should. However, it’s important for yourself and your partner that you try to be as motivating as possible. Remaining positive and encouraging would probably persuade your partner to change their lifestyle more than pressuring them to would. If your partner is struggling to make big lifestyle changes, help them in making smaller changes.
Help make exercise enjoyable
Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle for diabetics. However, exercise can feel like a chore when it is rigid and unenjoyable. Instead of nagging your partner to go to the gym or get a personal trainer, try to incorporate what they enjoy doing into your regular physical activity. If they like golf or bowling, suggest these as regular activities you can do together. You can also suggest going for walks together regularly (or think of ways you can walk instead of using the car or the bus). Any bit of physical activity helps and it’s even better if everyone gets involved.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Managing diabetes can be hard for the person living with it and those closest to them. This is why you shouldn’t feel bad about admitting that you need help.
If you feel like you can’t get through to your partner about changing their lifestyle, ask a professional for help. You could also ask those close to you and your partner to weigh in when it comes to offering support. The support of family and friends plays an important role in helping someone make healthier decisions.