Impact on Relationships

This a very emotive subject and one that many people find difficult to discuss and share with others. This relates to both emotional and physical relationships.

For the woman being given the cancer diagnosis it can affect all kinds of relationships. This includes not only partners but also parents, siblings, children, friends and colleagues.

Even the strongest of bonds can be put under enormous pressure and it’s important that everyone is aware of this.

During this traumatic time, communicating feelings and thoughts are so important yet this can be so difficult. Everyone is worried about upsetting each other by talking about what’s going on, so often will say nothing.

What can sometimes happen

  • Partners feel useless as they can’t make everything ok.
  • Parents are anxious for their daughter (whatever her age) and can become over protective.
  • Friends and colleagues don’t know what to say so don’t say anything.
  • The woman feels isolated.
  • Children can withdraw as don’t know what’s happening and especially if mum looks different.
  • Physical contact may be painful so cuddles etc. so may be out of the question.
  • Partners become isolated with their own fears.
  • The woman may withdraw as she has just about enough strength to deal with her diagnosis and treatments and is not able to support other family members as she once would have done.
  • Partners can feel pushed away and physical relationships can suffer.

What can be done

Acknowledge these things can happen and it’s quite normal.

Talking is the key but sometimes you may need help with this.

There are many sources of information e.g.

http://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/coping/your-emotions

http://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/coping/relationships/you-and-your-partner

You can also talk to your medical team to find out local areas for support. Many cancer support centres offer groups, alternative therapies, meditation classes and counselling for carers too. If you would like join our forum or speak to someone from the team please contact us (link).

Forums like ours offer an outlet to talk about things with others experiencing similar difficulties. We have different forums depending on whether you are the one with the cancer diagnosis, a partner or friends and family.

If you wish to be added to our private Facebook forums please let us know and we can add you to the correct forum.

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