Even the strongest relationship can face undue strain when osteoarthritis comes into play. Activities and traditions that once were a part of everyday life suddenly become a distant memory — sometimes causing resentment or sadness.

The good news is that there are precautions both partners can take to help ensure that your osteoarthritis does not come between the two of you. It just requires a bit of teamwork and planning.

Be Open With Information
Those with osteoarthritis need to be open and honest and keep their partner informed about accurate information. It is good practice to find support groups to attend together, and gain the help and friendships of others who understand and are compassionate.

Be Helpful, But Not Overbearing
It’s important to be sympathetic without leaving your partner feeling incapable. Offer assistance, but allow them to still do what they can. This will avoid leaving the ill spouse feeling demeaned or powerless.

Prioritise Intimacy
Plan dates for sex so that the person with arthritis can prepare by taking pain medication in advance. It’s important to make sex a priority and to talk about it openly. Consider also utilising therapeutic lotions that can help to reduce joint pain.

Mutually Care For Each Other
It is not just the osteoarthritis sufferer that needs caring for. Avoid resentment by remembering to mutually care for each other — after all, you’re in this for the long haul.

Take Breaks
Taking care of someone with osteoarthritis can be a big ask. It’s important to schedule in breaks for yourself and ask others for help. You’d be surprised how many loved ones will rise to the occasion when you need it most.