How are your husbands/SO's dealing with your diabetes?
My husband and I have been together about 10 years, and recently he started sharing with me that he has been feeling some stress about my diabetes. He is a good listener when I share issues I’m dealing with. I sometimes share with him how my BG’s are going that day, whether good or bad, or news or interesting things I have read about. But I admit I have a pretty fiercely independent, survivor-type attitude when it comes to dealing with Type 1, and I think this is frustrating for him as a man sometimes. I know it is natural for a man to want to protect his woman and even be able to rescue her if needed, but with diabetes it is so much about self-management.
I’m grateful that I’ve never been so low as to need glucagon, but he feels he is ready to do it if needed. I think he is also concerned about complications, as I’ve had it for 32 years now and am seeing some kidney damage at this point, but everything else is thankfully good. Just wondering what kinds of conversations you have with your fellas about it, and ideas for ways I can help him feel like he is part of that without overwhelming him with too much information or stress.
I’d like to suggest two things you could do. First, ask him pointedly what his concerns are about your disease. Knowing what he’s specifically concerned with will allow him to express his fears and frustrations. Second, find a diabetes education program that you can both attend. You are fortunate to have been diagnosed after the amazing protocols and treatments became widespread and standard, but a refresher course is always a good idea. For him, learning from professional clinicians and trainers will reinforce that you are treating yourself well, and also give him his own set of tools for living with a T1.
To answer your question, tho, I’ve always be frank with my partners about my diabetes. I told them up front about the signs to watch for (hypos and hypers), my dietary concerns, and allayed their fear that I wanted/needed a care giver. My most recent partner (now my ex-husband) had a laundry list of health issues, too, so adding mine to the mix was a no-brainer. I recall my first bf (in high school) liked to joke with me by using my insulin bottles as bug eyes, but he also administered my shots periodically.
Bottom line, don’t assume anything about his feelings for your diabetes – ask. It shows you are as concerned about him as you feel he is for you. Ask open-ended questions to get him to open up about his concerns, and answer as concisely as you can, but let him know there is a lot more information behind your answer if he wants to know more.
Good luck and best wishes for a long and happy life together.
Thanks for your input, I will continue to talk with him to encourage him to share more specifics and see how I can help.
I think most of us with Type 1 are pretty fiercely independent and even defensive when our diabetes isn’t perfect.
In a relationship you want to be vulnerable. But you also want to reassure your spouse you will be okay even though you cannot guarantee complications won’t happen.
I’ve invited my husband to my doctor’s appointments so he can hear from someone else (not just me) that I’m doing fine. And as much as people wish it could be, no one, whether they have diabetes or not, can escape health issues for their whole lives. Getting older, dealing with infirmity is a part of every marriage. The Bible says, “Love is patient, love is kind…” and I read a great teaching that explained kindness is using your strength and resources to help someone who cannot help themselves. Having a weakness can allow a deeper kind of love and trust in your relationship.
Hi – Nannimae responded wonderfully. I have had Type 1 for 44 years now. I have always been straight-forward about T1D with anyone close to me. My husband deals well with my diabetes, he knows what to do when I have a low and is comfortable with any instruction I give him. He does get mad at me when I have a low because he says I should know how to not let this happen; most times he is right, thankfully I don’t have lows too often. I agree with Nannimae, sounds like her suggestions would work well for you and your Loving husband. Best Wishes 🙂
I was diagnosed after my husband and I started dating, so our relationship kind of grew with my diabetes. However, I am on the Dexcom G5 and it reads to my husband’s phone so he is able to check on me if I am low for too long. I find this to be very helpful and it also lets me and him know that he has a part in helping to take care of me. I also try to confirm my carb counts with him, and let him know when I think I might have overtreated or undertreated. This way he is prepared for me to possibly go low or high, and wake me up if it is at night.
My husband and I have been together for 22 years (married for 19) and he is very supportive. I was diagnosed T1 on 11 March 2016 at age 50. Before diagnosis, I was completely ignorant about the diabetes and the amount of daily care it requires. I have been trying to learn as much as possible and talk about it all the time. When my husband comes home from work, his greeting is a summary of by testing results for the day, hypos, how much insulin, what I read etc 🙁 Diabetes is on my mind everyday and I am concerned about wearing him out talking about it all the time. I don’t want diabetes to be the focus of daily discussion and am struggly with not doing that. Even though he does express it and is long suffering with my non stop talking, he deserves my attention too, so I need to work on not just talking about my needs.