Now that I’ve given a personal perspective on what it can be like to be married with thyroid disease here, I’d like to shed light on what can be done to help foster support and understanding.
Include your spouse/partner in your treatment. That includes taking him/her to ALL appointments – doctor appointments, lab work, and follow up appointments. When you bring your spouse/partner, it makes your thyroid issue more tangible. They can SEE blood work results and ask questions. I can try to explain things about hypothyroidism all day to my husband, but being answered by a doctor seems to make it more real and not just me nagging.
Communication really is key. Tell your spouse how you feel. Tell him/her how you feel emotionally and physically. Odds are he/she really does want to help, but doesn’t know how. For me, it’s just to be heard and understood. If I’m having a bad day, I want him to know how I feel so he knows I might need a nap or just some space. It really isn’t personal, it’s just what I may need on any given day.
Acknowledge your spouse. Just as important as it is for them to know where you are emotionally and physically, they need the same amount of support and care. Show your spouse you appreciate the effort they put in to understanding something that is very misunderstood.
It’s very easy to get caught up in life and start to disconnect emotionally. You both have different needs. Maybe you’re having a flare-up and he/she’s burnt out and neither of you have the headspace to to acknowledge each other’s needs. You could start to just exist together, rather than live together. This can turn into resentment and a toxic situation. Always take the time to check up on each other. Even if you can’t help with a certain issue, just acknowledging your spouse shows you care.