Midlife Relationships: Falling In Love With Someone Whose Chronically Ill

When Angie met Paul it made her appreciate a new kind of relationship …

You meet someone, are instantly attracted to them and to look at that person you’d think they are well and healthy (and totally gorgeous). That’s what happened in February when I met Paul. 

After talking and getting to know each other better, Paul told me he had hidden health issues, namely Crohn’s Disease and Auto Immune Hepatitis. I’d heard of Crohn’s but not this specific type of Hepatitis. I had no idea how these two chronic illnesses can affect someone’s life until then.

Paul and I have been together since that day and have a very strong and loving relationship. I can see how Paul struggles on a daily basis with his conditions and admire how positive he is, taking excellent care of himself despite the pain, with daily yoga practice, mindfulness, a vegan diet and tee total lifestyle. This has been an inspiration to me and has led me unwittingly to make changes to my own health and wellbeing. Whilst I was already physically active, it has made me reflect on my need for self-care. I have built mindfulness into my daily life and embraced the sober lifestyle, this has made me more aware and grateful for the little moments that are often missed or forgotten in a hungover haze. Having a partner that has the same outlook on life brings further value to these shared moments.

Relationships in Midlife

Meeting at this stage in our lives with life experiences and a deeper understanding of ourselves, has made us more appreciative of a good relationship, with honest communication and mutual support. Because of this, I see Paul for the person that he is first and not the illness. At times when Paul’s chronic fatigue hits and he needs to rest, I rest with him. Whatever we do together, whether its nana naps, gigs or walks in the Surrey Hills, I appreciate it all.

Sometimes I feel that his illnesses could be quite isolating for him, with people not understanding his condition or the struggles that go with it. Reading other people’s stories and researching the illnesses has really helped him – and helps me too – to understand what he’s dealing with.

Paul has wanted to do fund raising for some time, but struggles a lot with chronic fatigue. This got me thinking, is there something I can do? I know I can run, I love to run. Having previously run the Virgin London Marathon, I decided to enter the Surrey Half Marathon to raise money to support Paul and help a very worthy cause. 

Speaking to Paul, he felt that Crohn’s charities seemed to get a lot of support and fund raising already, which is great news. He has found the help from the British Liver Trust to be invaluable, but felt they didn’t seem to get as much support. We decided together that this would be a great cause to run for.

So now I have my place on the run, my training schedule at the ready, a number of fundraising ideas bubbling away and have set up a Virgin money fund raising link. 

First training run this Sunday in the wet Welsh weather! If anyone would like to help to support this fantastic cause, then please click on the link, any amount will make a big difference.

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