Avoid stress when caring for a sick spouse or significant other

(BPT) - When saying “I do,” the classic marriage vows, “In good times and in bad, in sickness and in health” spring to mind. However, when sickness strikes, many are not prepared for the strain it can have on the relationship. While we may think we know our spouses well, nearly half of Americans never experienced their spouse’s “sick persona” until after they were married, according to a survey commissioned by Advil Sinus Congestion & Pain.

A cold or the flu can bring added stress to a relationship and it’s not always well-received. In fact, 20 percent of people admit they’d rather be sick themselves than deal with a sick spouse, which is likely because almost a quarter reported

To help you become a better caregiver for a spouse during cough, cold and flu season, Rachel Sussman, therapist and relationship expert, recommends the following tips:

1. Bring on the food for the soul

No cold or flu remedy is complete without a warm bowl of chicken soup. Whether homemade or store-bought, you partner will appreciate the loving gesture. If your partner has a larger appetite, prepare their favorite foods and serve them in bed.

2. Stock the medicine cabinet

One of the most important aspects of being a good caregiver is preparation. Be sure to keep the medicine cabinet stocked with products to combat tough cold and sinus symptoms, like Advil Sinus Congestion & Pain.

3. Provide entertainment

Sickness can take its toll on not only physical health, but also emotional well-being. Help your partner get through a long, dull day by having entertaining books, movies and magazines at the ready. For the music lover, create a personalized playlist that shows them just how much you care.

4. Keep them warm

A warm, soft blanket and comfy clothes can make a big difference when feeling under the weather. Ask your spouse what their favorite comfy pajamas, cozy sweatpants or fuzzy slippers are and be sure they have them for the duration of their sickness.  

5. Help with chores

When someone is sick, chores and errands tend to fall by the wayside. Offer to help your partner with the small tasks, like laundry, paying bills or urgent phone calls. Has your partner been to the doctor? Almost eight in 10 married individuals report their spouse doesn’t seek professional help as soon as possible to get better. Offer to set up a doctor’s appointment to ensure your partner is on the road to recovery as fast as possible.

6. Show patience and understanding

Above all, remain patient, be a good listener and show you can handle the extra stress. Listening to your partner attentively offers them a chance to unburden and vent, leading to a greater sense of calm and understanding. Couples who engage in this behavior are presented with an opportunity to achieve greater intimacy and deepen their relationship connection as a result.

For more information, please visit advil.com.

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