Ostomy surgery can have an impact on your closest relationships, adding unwanted stress and anxiety. Take a constructive approach to relationship stress and try a helpful exercise.
Relationships are complex, even during times of good health. After a major procedure like stoma surgery, relationships can get even more complicated. Even temporary situations, like a loss of income or a partner’s caregiver role during recovery, can result in considerable strain.
Be constructive about stress
Stress, worry, anger, anxiety, and fear are not good for you or your relationship with your partner. It’s important to learn some constructive ways to deal with stress in your relationship after stoma surgery.
First, try to determine the causes of the stress. Once the causes are understood, you and your partner can work through this together, recognising that neither of you can fix a relationship under strain all by yourself.
A post-surgery relationship exercise
Below is an exercise you can do together after your stoma surgery. It can help you address your relationship issues head-on, which can help you both reduce stress and bring you closer together. Before beginning, remind yourselves that this exercise is not about criticism. Try and stay focused on the main goal: improving your relationship after stoma surgery.
This exercise may help you acknowledge the stress that each of you are under, and the effect that it is having on your relationship. Don’t forget to express gratitude for each other’s support too. Once you have a plan, you can work on it together to reduce stress in your relationship and move forward.
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