Are you the "Other" Person Involved In The CFS Relationship?


You are involved in a serious alliance with your special someone and your relationship is a positive, nurturing one where both of you are loving and growing closer together. The caring love you have for each other is a driving force in your moving forward as a couple. Then, the unpredictable and unspeakable happens-he is diagnosed with having a disease called chronic fatigue syndrome. It seems as if the brakes have been applied to your forward motion in life and you get to observe your loved one suffering each and every day. The simplest activity now becomes a chore for him. The fatigue is overwhelming for your mate. Your frustration in not being able to help find a cure for this person is already surfacing. Where will life go from here? The first step is to make the decision to stay or not to stay with this person and battle this illness. Your proposal must be approached with sincerity and total honesty. You need to ask yourself if you have what it takes from within to make this type of a long term commitment to aiding your sick loved one. You will reevaluate your love for her and question yourself as to if you have enough love to get through this combat. Will it be worth while for you to stay by your special someone's side that you love and care about? Can you overcome your own desires of self-preservation within the relationship and put her needs above your own? You have to reconsider your own thoughts and feelings about yourself and where you propose that your life, as well as your mate's life, is headed now that chronic disease has become eminent. You should conceive yourself to be an asset to your ill loved one and must not be a hindrance in his life. There are enough encumbrances for him to contend with having this affliction. The conclusion you come to will not only affect you and your significant other but will alter your inclusive world as well. Be sure to ponder the long term pledge you will make with considering all of the responsibilities you will have to incur. If there is a serious hesitation or question of uncertainty on your part, vocalize it and try to find an understanding and well informed physician or counselor to discuss your apprehensions with immediately. Hopefully, you will be able to make a choice based on your fondness and love for your companion. If you decide to withdraw from your relationship with this person, please do it as tactfully and honestly as possible. Don't delay and divulge your private thoughts and feelings as soon as you have made your decision. It is not fair or just to torture your companion by leaving her in limbo wondering if you are staying or leaving for any length of time. You should understand and empathize with your special other that he or she may react in an emotional manner and has every right to. She is living through an intense, unpredictable life style on a daily basis. Your confession that you are not ready to deal with CFS and the influence it will have in your lives will be devastating for your mate.

A single person, as compared to an entrusted adult, has no legal or moral commitment to his or her special someone and an even tougher determination to make. This person has to decide if he has the depth of caring and sensitivity to endure the chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome battle over a long space of time without the security of a definite commitment. He is having to be more durable in nature than a married or engaged person. The long term efforts he may make in the relationship may or may not result in any kind of serious development. It is a risk in that he decides to allocate a major portion of his energies into helping with no guarantee of any earnestness from the sick associate. If you did indeed conclude that you wish to stay with her for the long haul in this disorder's journey, congratulations! It took a lot of courage and strength to make this choice no matter how much you care or love this person. Dealing with the syndrome as a couple will enhance your abilities to overcome the drawbacks associated with CFIDS and it is always easier to deal with any of life's obstacles having someone who cares about you with you and not being alone. The positive effect that you will have on your ill partner's life can and will provide some of the necessary reserve of strength to help her fight this syndrome. But, you must be made aware of some of the realities of what you are confronting now you have made the difficult decision to combat chronic fatigue syndrome as an equal empathetic partner. All aspects of your impending conflict with your illness affected life style will not be easy to contend with but you will definitely grow and learn to appreciate the specialness and closeness that you have in your commitment with your spouse. You are obviously a very strong and hearty individual to elect the confrontation of enduring some hard life "tests", but in just making the selection to support your colleague shows your inner fortitude and determination to overcome the disease. CFS will challenge and affront every fiber of your being as a person.

As an individual existing within a relationship with someone afflicted with chronic fatigue syndrome, you will experience miscellaneous alterations in your life style. It is not a negative or bad thing to change and adapt. You will wish that you would not have to because you were comfortable with the way everything was. It is permissible to not want or desire change in your life but the harsh fact is that change has already occurred once this disease entered into your world. The initial feeling of acknowledgment of chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome will be one of life seeming to cease for you. Any previously planned goals or dreams will no longer exist because there is no stability in your lives any longer. Nothing will be for certain any more. There can be no designs for the partnership and its definite unfolding because this illness is limitless within its own time frame. You will discover that if you were used to having a lot of time to do solitary tasks, hobbies, or to pursue personal interests, this era has now ended as well. You may discover that your life will become almost a mirror image of your mate's life-what affects you is reflected in him or her and vice versa. You will be determined not to omit him or her from your social life but this visualization will be a difficult task to uphold. You will learn the hard lessons of self- sacrifice on behalf of the love that you have for your significant other. You may have wonderful, positive affirmations in your mind about how to tackle CFIDS. There may even be some slight illusionary hopes on wishing that this illness won't devastate your lives too much. The reality of this syndrome is that the caregiver-you-will discover many conflicting emotions and thoughts that will exist within you about your special loved one. . . both negative and positive.

Originally, the part of your life that was and is the "separate" you in your relationship is encroached. The security in having some private intimate moments for yourself are being imposed on and you will begin to sense precious time that you used to have to do what you wanted is being slowly eliminated in favor of time to spend on or with your comrade. Anger and frustration will surface over having no time. "Why can't I have a few minutes to myself?" "Why can't I be alone for a while?" "I need to have some solitary time before I go crazy!" "I am too tired to cope with all of this stuff right now." "I need a vacation from this craziness in our lives!" "I've had such a long day at work and the last thing I need right now is you complaining to me about how you feel!" You may even find yourself mumbling out of frustration that if you would have known it was going to be like this a year ago you would have never decided to extend yourself in the relationship. The sacrifice of the majority of your independent time in the relationship is necessary for the successful management of equality within this environment. It may appear to sound cruel and mean but it is an important factor. Your special person is going to require more effort and attention from you than she may ever have demanded. Consider the actuality that she may have doted more attention on you in the past than you may have rightly deserved many times over and this bout with chronic fatigue syndrome is a prime opportunity for you to return some love and affection to her. You will be required to discover where this time is going to come from to accomplish providing for him. Time won't appear out of nowhere. It must be found within your daily schedule. The new requirements of every day life will have to be adapted and shifted to subsist within the parameters that already erode your time-work, the children, family, paying bills, etc. Time management should be one of your most immediate issues to address in readjusting to your new life style. The sooner you can learn to get the most out of the time you have available every day and night, the more that you will be able to get accomplished on a daily basis. Organization of all areas in your life will increase in value the experiences and value of your rare quality time. You are going to be responsible for bringing some normalcy into the aberrant life style that the two of you now share.  

The first truism you will ascertain is that you must actually believe that your companion is really ill. Other people, either in the medical field, neighbors, family, friends, or coworkers may attempt to undermine your belief in your comrade by planting the seeds of doubt in your mind in believing in your loved one's malady. The many different doctors he or she have been examined by may feel that the illness is really depression or psychosomatic. Your immediate family sees the "disease" as an imagined confrontation that he or she is using to get some undeserved attention. "Maybe he is just imagining the CFS infection is more than it is because you have to remember, he had an active imagination as a child and demanded a lot of attention!" His coworkers think he is just being lazy and wanted some time off of working for a while. Your close friends perceive the bout with this sickness as "sounding a little crazy". No matter what any other person thinks or feels about this sickness, you must be confident believing in the actuality that he is actually infected. What do you do if you find that you have a quavering doubt or two yourself about his "supposed" strife? You may have to confront your own doubts with a clean heart and clear head. You have the opportunity to observe your significant other up close. Does he seem to be faking or creating symptoms for sympathy or extra attention? Would he make up physical, mental, or emotional symptoms to justify any dysfunction? Is there any indication that he would deceive you or your love for him? Usually the answers to these types of questions is a resounding "No!". The conclusion of your search for the truth should be that he is not pretending. Your unclouded viewpoint now ought to be one of belief and encouragement. You must express your reassurance to your mate by asserting that you do believe and validate his bout with this illusive disease. The inspiration will serve as definite signs of encouragement, comfort, and optimism for him.

In all honesty, there will be many times where you may reconsider your stance of if she is really ill with chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome. It may seem improbable and impossible that any human being could be in so much physical, mental, and emotional discomfort. You may think that she is acting these signs out so she won't have to do household chores. You will feel that she is conveniently forgetting the telephone call that your sister made to her earlier because she doesn't really like your sister. How can she expect me to believe that having some time to rest doesn't really say that she just doesn't want to talk to me or the children? Each and every one of these examples are actual reactions to a symptom of CFIDS. You must be able to distinguish why you are reacting to her manifestations with doubt. Is it really because you almost wish she was creating these reactions so it would be easier to justify that she has something definitely "wrong" that can be treated with medicines and she would be instantaneously better? Try to remember that your loved one is not manufacturing this disease or its symptoms. Would the person you love or care about realistically wish to be in intense physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual pain? Probably not! Isn't this proof enough that she is truly suffering with this illness?

There will be many times where your simmering emotions boil over and spill out into words. In having no actual course of action in contesting this ailment, frustration emits from your throat in yells and curses. The added relationship, household, financial, and child rearing responsibilities that have been heaped on you may produce feelings of anger and resentment towards your mate. "Why did you go and get sick anyway?" "I can't do everything around here!" "Why can't you just get better?" The constant roller coaster ride of his emotions going up and down, as a result of tackling chronic fatigue syndrome, may make you feel as if you are going to go in and wring his neck. "I can't do any thing about your muscles aching, honey." "I don't know why your hair keeps falling out." "I can't do anything about you not sleeping at night dear." The perplexing medical community, who claims they are there to help sick people such as your spouse to get better but they can't seemingly do a thing for him, overburden you to the moment of where you just want to get up and leave this whole mess behind. "There is not much I can recommend to do for your mate except for lots of bed rest." "Be sure to keep him as stress free as possible." "Have more patience until we can discover more about this unique and baffling disease." Your patience will wear thin over time because chronic fatigue syndrome eats away at it by lingering in your lives and generating more and more problems to contend with". "When will this sickness ever end?" "When will our lives get back to normal?" You will feel legitimate anger over the fact that her friends and family have abandoned your partner in her time of need. They say that they love her but where is the love and support? They never call any longer unless there is a selfish ulterior motive to the inquiry and there is no actual compassion for her being chronically ill. Visits are few and farther between. The disheartening let down is the actuality that these so called loved ones only have time in their lives for themselves and other people who can keep up with their life styles. There is no desire for your languishing and weakened companion to be a part of their lives. It is so sad and unfair to virtually eliminate someone from your life, let alone it being a family member, close friend, or neighbor. Nevertheless, this is the fixed attitude that these individuals wish to exude towards the two of you. They have no direct understanding or comprehension of what this disease is or how it affects your lives. It is in this state of ignorance that they can excuse themselves from caring about your ailing mate or about how you will be affected as a result of him or her being ill. They doubt their own abilities to truly care and love someone without apprehensions, restrictions, or fears. You may have reached a point where the repetitive explanations of your companion's bout with CFS and what it is are no longer worth repeating to anyone. The constant recurring negative feedback that you receive back from the "non-believers" is something you have discovered that you can no longer expend the energies or time to address. It is very abrading over time to hear the opinionated attitudes of others who have no idea what you both are coping with and the struggle that your daily lives have turned into. The circumstance that you are in with these types of people is seemingly unending.

They will constantly instigate feelings of frustration and anger in you each and every time that you hear any of their negative input or derogatory comments about this affliction. A solution to dealing with this situation is to have the feeling that it is your sole responsibility to care for your mate without a person's help who either doesn't believe the illness is real or have no actual empathy towards your loved one. You will discover the result of your anger will warrant the reassurance that having healthy and supportive people involved in your lives-be it family or not- who will foster more sustenance and nourishment for the both of you. It would be much healthier for your associate to have someone that can be relied upon rather than fickle people who do not really believe in him or the struggle the two of you contend with. These angry, frustrating emotions act as motivation and instigate changes in attitudes for the both of you as well. A reevaluation of the associations you both have with family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers may be in order. You need to determine what relationships are actually healthy, supportive, and enduring for you and your significant other over your long term battle with chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome. It may be extremely painful to confront the issue that your families or close friends, who you thought you could rely upon if anything happened, are not the best type of mainstays. The "cleaning or weeding out" process of who is positive and helpful and who is not is necessary for the continued endurance of your companionships.

Hopefully, you will ascertain who you can depend on to build up a type of support system with in getting help or relief when you need some "down" time to replenish yourself. A critical characteristic in being a care taker of a sick being is to be sure to nurture yourself when necessary. How can you expect to help your cohort if you don't have anything to give? An arrangement to work out with a caring family member, close friend, or neighbor is called caregiver respite care. It means that this person will "take over" for you in caring for your loved one to give you a repose. This relief time gives you the break from the enormous responsibility to get some rest and relaxation in for yourself. You should strive to keep stretching your support network wider and wider and involving more and more people who are genuinely interested in aiding you. Be absolutely sure that the person who offers to aid or help you is committed for the duration of the worst part of the illness no matter how long that may be. You will find it a necessity to have someone that you can rely on in case you are delayed at work or have to work overtime unexpectedly and can't get home on time. Your companion will benefit as well as you do because he or she will have the chance to socialize with people that may not normally come into regular contact with  her since CFIDS began. The both of you should openly discuss how much of a "safety net" that you may find substantive to her situation. . . maybe she would feel uncomfortable with so many people coming in and out of your home. The arranged help should be a benefit, not a deterrent. Your goals in making this situation work is to not expect that you will have large amounts of free time to yourself. The relief person is not there to complete all of the chores around the house or to "baby-sit" your special one. He is there to give you a short amount of time to relax. Try to appreciate the tiny bits of personal time by doing what you want to do-not errands or chores. You should focus on some sort of activity that is restful and energizing. Getting out in nature may be ideal for you to refurbish your attitude and to allow you some peace of mind. If you are an athlete, use your sports as an outlet to take out your frustrations as well as re-energize. A hint to bear in mind is that you have to keep yourself in excellent health to be able to retain the tremendous energy level that you now require being a caregiver. Don't feel guilty in taking a little time for yourself. "Refresh myself" should be your motto when you have any ""down time". It may be hard to imagine taking a vacation when your loved one is so sick but you may require some relaxation from all of the stresses that you have to contend with every day in taking care of him. You should seriously consider taking a weekend or week long vacation to reinvigorate yourself. Be sure to discuss the idea with your significant other and express that you do need some time to be alone. He is bound to be feeling a little left out but will probably understand why you need to be by yourself for a while. Don't rub it in his or her face that you are going on a vacation no matter how excited you are about it. You should be empathetic to his plight of not being able to go on a holiday or that he can't have a leave of absence from having this disorder. Also, be sure that the caregiver who is willing to tend your loved one while you are gone has a complete comprehension of what is expected from him in aiding your sick individual.

Your physical attraction to your significant other will definitely be reformed in the ongoing strife with chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome. Your comrade's physical appearance was probably one of the assets that you may have been drawn to when you were first involved as a couple. The enchantment that you may have felt then is now beginning to wilt and shrivel up. The onset of this illness may contribute to you having a "turned off" attitude towards your loved one because she is assuming a drastically altered physical countenance. She may have lost or gained a phenomenal amount of weight, skin is pale all the time, eyes aren't clear, dark circles around the eyes, hair loss and the texture's changed, and loss of muscle tone. Your partner doesn't have the energy or seem to really care about her physical appearance any longer. You acknowledge that this isn't her fault that you find her unattractive (thanks to chronic fatigue syndrome!), but you can't help feeling the way you do. You miss the "old" beautiful person who used to turn your head around from the moment she walked into the room. Your counterpart has become extremely unfamiliar or displeasing to you. The residual feelings you have of non-attractiveness could contribute to you not wanting or desiring to be with her at all. Conceivably, you may even mentally detach yourself from your unattractive lover to aid in inhibiting your physical passions. These thoughts and feelings are validated in the perspective of observing your relationship based solely on your physical needs but isn't your connection to him or her rooted in love and caring? The physical alterations to your special one should not reverse your depth of feelings towards her. All illnesses drain essential energy and nutrients that support health in the body. The results are that the body undergoes drastic transformations. There should be some solace in knowing that whatever or whoever this person may appear to be on the outside, he is still that same loving individual on the inside. Don't perceive the physical changes to meaning that the person inside is not caring or desiring to look this way. He doesn't want to look like this but the body will endure this syndrome in whatever way it has to, if the both of you like it or not. The residuals of the drain on his body from this battle will be obvious. You may want to adjust your perspective about your sweetheart's physical appearance. The adjustment will foster more understanding and empathy towards her. How about a comparison of your needs versus her needs? She can't predict or designate what areas of the body will be affected with this illness. Your colleague is "stuck" with the physical changes that have happened on the outside as well as on the inside of his or her body. Because your companion is still the same being on the inside, there is a desire to be loved by you just as if she wasn't sick. This individual wants you to feel the physical hunger that you possessed in the past but realizes that it just doesn't exist any longer. Your loved person becomes dispirited and understands that those passionate feelings must surface within you. There is nothing that can be done from her standpoint in being more physically desirable. She unconsciously comprehends your withdrawal mechanisms. Over time, your special one "learns" not to expect minimal to any physical contact from you. How can you contrive a formula for your mate's needs to somehow come before your own when you are "turned off" by him? The starting point is to confirm your commitment to loving this person. You are going to have to extend yourself by becoming less selfish and demanding. Remember that your motto is one of being an asset to your special other not an encumbrance. If you can find it within yourself to put a halt to the way you are perceiving him as undesirable and begin to see something wonderful in this being again, you will have created a solid basis to deter selfishness. Look at him with love and care that you feel and truly see who he is. The soft eyes that reflect the depth of his soul. . . the wide smile from genuine laughter. . . the overflowing goodness of who he really is. All of these components comprise the attractiveness that still exist in your loved one. You will discover that your love for him will rise above your physical urgencies. Be positive with your extraordinary other and reflect this positiveness in the way you respond to him. The incontestable feelings will contribute to an increase in his self-esteem. If you demonstrate love and desire, he will respond in kind. A person will feel attractive if he is desired and this lure is demonstrated.

CFS takes such a physical toll on your companion that it is understandable that she may not have the physical desires that were in her before the onset of the illness. It is not only difficult for her to inhibit occasionally surging passions but imagine how exhausting it is to want to make love but your body doesn't have the energy or drive to. Her body could be experiencing a lot of physical discomfort which is totally distracting her from wanting to make love. Imagine the pent-up frustration in her! You will have to attempt to compensate for these restrictions. There is a prerequisite to creating a romantic environment which would encourage a physically stimulating experience. How about getting her a sentimental card that expresses how much you truly love her? Buy a favorite flower and setting on her bed while she is resting. Light up a new candle and place it beside the bed. How about drawing her an unexpected bath and you bathing with her? Offer a body massage after she is rested. It may seem that doing these things would be too much work or trouble but you must ask yourself if the effort is worth the end result. A romantic atmosphere is essential for any further sensual involvement but you must take into consideration that what would have once been romantic may not now apply to your circumstances. Contemplating on your special other's physical restrictions with chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome will contribute to a successful love making encounter. He may not be able to perform with the intensity that once existed between the two of you. You can acknowledge and affirm the alterations and adapt your environment to what he can now deal with by having a serious conversation at a different time than when you plan to develop a sensual setting. You may be having a hard time envisioning him in a romantic way when all you can do is see the physically incapacitated person in front of you. Sometimes people have to use fantasies to aid in stimulating their passions. You should not have a negative connotation to your thoughts of fantasizing about your significant being before he became ill if you are still having a troublesome time seeing your other as desirable-so long as it is him or her you are imagining and not someone else! The selfishness of performing only to relieve your own desires will be a solemn reminder to your lover that you don't really empathize and understand what he is going through with this disease. You may discover that it is more beneficial for you to self-satisfy if you have an ego to contend with and the act of love between the two of you should coordinate the attitudes of patience and consistent efforts. How about adjusting the time of the day that you make love to being when it is at your sick one's peak energy time? You may discover that it is wonderful to start your day off with the afterglow of sexual intercourse in the morning instead of right before you go to sleep in the evening. You may consider developing new techniques to enhance and deter the prolongment of love. Since variety may not have been one of the most dominant aspects of your love life, you now have no choice but to take the initiative to discover new ways to approach your sex life. You could discover that these variations may be enough to stimulate more intimate interest in your lover. If you are unsure about where and how to find some new ideas, ask a close friend or relative that you can confide in and trust not to disclose the intimacy of what you are inquiring about. She may be able to provide you with some of her actual approaches that have worked in his or her sex life. Take into consideration that your lover doesn't have the energy it make take to perform some of the acts that your relative or friend may suggest so you will obviously have to adapt these ideas to accommodate her. You could also go to the library or book store and explore new sexual approaches through how-to manuals. While you are there, you could borrow a book or poetry to recite to your loved one on a daily basis or to write down and leave by her bedside to remind him or her how much love you have for her. Don't let your ego or embarrassment stand in the way of you attempting to help the both of you enjoy an adapted approach to love making. How about buying your special one a new piece of night wear? Be sure to take into consideration her weight loss or gain in selecting this new garment as well as comfort in wearing the item. You don't want to offend her by purchasing something that won't fit and ends up making her feel more self conscious about her body or that causes an allergic reaction. That would definitely put a damper on your libido! The list of ideas can go on and on. All it takes is a little imagination and an open mind to discovering what you can adapt your love making sessions into being for you and your special one to end up being mutually satisfied. The most important consideration from your standpoint should be making the most of what time the two of you share. You could be sure your time is enjoyable and relaxing for both of you. There should be no pressures for either of you.

On the practical side, you may discover that your days of sharing a bed are over. His new insomnia or light sleeping patterns allow no leeway for you. You can't roll over as often because you moving the bed can disturb his or her sleeping habits or cause physical pain for your loved one. He will demand more sleep time than ever before because your comrade's body is in a state of total exhaustion all the time-day or night. You may detect that your night snoozing pattern is in total opposition to his constantly shifting sleeping habits. The alternating sleep schedules may contribute to you considering getting your own sleeping space. It would be temporarily feasible to get some shut-eye in your own bed. Remember that you can't expect to keep going all day and night without some serious sleep. This is a situation where egos and old behavior patterns are put aside and the sensibility of good sleep is foremost. It is sagacious to buy a fold-out cot or sleep sofa and the both of you alternating nights to sleep on the bed or couch. Be practical!

There are various emotions to contend and validate within yourself in living and loving someone who agonizes with CFIDS. The sufferer endures an immeasurable emotional roller coaster ride of ups and downs and you deciding to help are along for the ride. The anger, frustration, and resentment needs to be confronted from an objective standpoint of where it is aimed in the right direction. The issue is not that you are really angry, frustrated, or resentful towards your special other. It is not her fault that sickness has disrupted so much of your lives. She did not go out in search of finding an illness that would create confusion. The fact of the matter is that it is chronic fatigue syndrome that you are feeling so much pathos towards. The illness can arrange a pattern of disruption and chaos in your lives and utilize your intense emotions as a sort of design to base the intensity of the destruction on. However, this syndrome is not something that can be identified like a broken leg set in a cast or weeping sores all over the body. The viral infestation is invisible and unnoticed in most people who endure chronic fatigue syndrome. It is hard to be angry at something that is inanimate or undetected, but it is necessary to focus and direct your negative passions in the proper direction-not at your companion.You may even ascertain that you are still in a sort of denial about your loved one's dilemma. It is painful to see him or her as being chronically ill so you may be in need of a quick diagnosis to validate his or her illness. Your emotional reactions in this situation are perfectly normal for the circumstances. Your mate already considers himself or herself to be the cause of the disruptive predicament that you both are now in and your immediate reaction may be to blame him or her in your frustrated state of being. You may even reach a point in time where you just want to get up, walk out the front door, and leave this whole situation and your loved one behind you. The only solace that can be provided for the arduous emotional instances where you lose your patience is to remind yourself that if it is this difficult for you, what is it like for him or her tolerating this disease on a daily basis and what must the stress be like for him or her day after day? Then ask yourself, what type of a person would you be not to understand and be as compassionate as possible to create a healthy environment for your partner? Don't allow this sickness to forge a chasm in your love for each other. Your overwhelming capacity to care, love, and be an unselfish companion to your special person is who you really are. The reversal of negative energies into positive ones contributes to the two of you bonding tighter and tighter instead of drifting further and further apart. The intense negative feelings that you may have towards this affliction can be turned into positive empowering affirmations. You have the propensity to alter your living environment for the two of you by being more emphatic. Attempt to have a good attitude about the disease. Your acknowledgment that your special other and you will benefit in some way from encountering CFS. The education you must acquire about the syndrome and how to live within it is a positive experience because you are in effect expanding your limited horizons. You must attempt to retain a sense of normalcy within the aberrant cycle of chronic fatigue syndrome. It is not fatal like other horrible diseases. There is the hope of finality that someday it will end. You can't help but wonder what long term effects that this malady will have on him or her because a human being's body can only withstand a certain intensity of disease before the organs are afflicted and deteriorating. It is permissible to feel and think these thoughts but try to keep them to yourself. Disclosure of your hesitation and reluctance to really believing that she will eventually have a full recovery leads to stagnating, recessive thoughts and withdrawal for your lover. You can learn new life and coping skills to enhance daily living. Be the best friend, ally, and cheerleader for her by motivating your sweetheart in pointing out how much better she is doing now as compared to the onset of this ailment. Recovery from this illness will be at a snail's pace so any sign of real progress will be a milestone for both of you. Any sort of encouragement and sustenance that you can contribute will lend progressive reinforcement to your comrade. Openly discuss the disease with your loved one to demonstrate your commitment to fighting this ailment together. When she is complaining about how bad  she feels and you're fed up with hearing it, keep your mouth shut and do what you have to do to get by. The result of temporarily internalizing your feelings is that you are learning more self control and in the time that you hesitated to lash back with an emotional reaction you actually listened to how your loved one felt. Acceptance of chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome will only occur when you stop fighting it or when the negative anger is refocused and redirected as positive healing energy. Once the acceptance happens within you, a reevaluation of what is really important to you about your spouse will come to pass. Your bond will intensify and you will realize that the both of you being alive and together is more important than any obstacle that you have to confront. You now apprehend that there are specific archetypes about your emotions that will alter and evolve into better feelings. What attitudes will you outgrow as a result from being your beloved's caregiver? You will become pessimistic about goodness in all people, but in turn will acknowledge the commitment of sticking by someone's side no matter what difficulties have to be defied. There will be a new perspective to observe how fragile and transparent your friendships are. The adage of "When the good times are good, they are great. When the bad times are bad, they are gone." is something you will actually bear witness to. The end result? You will cherish your real friends with a deeper respect and intensity. There will be a new found discovery of respect and admiration for your cherished one. The daily cognizance of this strong person suffering with this disease and how much he or she has grown spiritually, mentally, and emotionally right in front of your eyes. Your love for this person has only increased and the intensity has evolved onto a new level. The testing that the two of you now share has contrived a strengthening of the bond of love and caring. The concentration of your trusts encourages a willingness for the two of you to get to know the "new and improved" versions of yourselves.

It is a proven fact that biologically women are the maternal caregivers to their children. There are a notable amount of men who do the majority of child rearing in the family. However, for the most part, men decidedly take a back seat to the responsibility of providing most of the child's nurturing. They leave it up to their wives or girlfriends to provide the love and caring for the child's welfare while their focus is directed on providing the financial support for the child. If you are in a situation where your significant other is the child rearer of your family, then you have inherited that duty as well as caring for your sick mate. You may discover that being thrust into the majority of the responsibilities for caring for the entire household is overwhelming and exhausting. The role that you may have fulfilled as a financial supporter is now circling an even wider area. You are viewed as the person who you always were in the child's eyes, plus nurturer, provider, caretaker, and educator. Once you have experienced your adapted role as the all encompassing caretaker, you will immediately appreciate all that your ill loved one did. The vast responsibilities it takes to rear a child will become apparent in a short amount of time. It may be that in physically being at work, distracted by life's obligations, and away from the center of the child's life activities, that you were not actually aware of how much energy and effort it takes to maintain a balance in having a career, raising your child, and running the house. Now you find out through direct experience what is involved in performing this feat! There will be many enjoyable and difficult situations in trying to be the main caretaker for the child. But no matter how hard it will be to sustain the household, there is a beneficial long term result of taking on this role. You will profit in many regards in spending some quality time getting to really know your child from all perspectives. Remember that just because your mate is ill it doesn't mean that he or she is not there as a parent. He or she has to take a reticent approach to parenting for a while but must still feel that she is involved and participating in making the parental decisions. You have the unique opportunity to get loving support and parenting advice from your spouse when there may be a problem or a situation that only she can resolve. Communicate with her about any issues you confront with your child when the two of you can share some time to discuss alternatives or solutions. The both of you can function as a working pair who can compliment each other's assets with your child.

The first "awakening" you will have in your conformed role as the sole provider is that your old ritual of being an observer versus a doer will immediately cease. The alteration of switching from a passive role in child rearing to a more active role becomes essential. You must now become immersed in your unexplored territory of child rearing from another person's perspective. It is comparatible to being in the wilderness with no map. Fear will instantaneously surface as your initial reaction to your newfound obligations. "Can I really do this?" and "Will I do a good job of it? will be the questions going through your head at the beginning of the ordeal. You can do it! You have participated in your child's life all along, but may have not been as involved as your partner has. Now you may have to make a more concerted effort to extend yourself a bit to accommodate your child's needs. You will detect that you have more usable fostering skills than you may have previously thought you had ascertained, will develop, and learn new ways of coping. As with most parenting in any situation, the lessons will be ones of trial and error. The only critical requirement is that you must be one hundred per cent committed to your parenting responsibilities as you are towards caring for your special ailing one. The predicament of what the household will have to deal with because of chronic fatigue syndrome is no one's fault. Coping with this disease has now become everyone's reality in the household. For some children, the adjustment to the new type of life style may be a bit confusing and disruptive. His or her observations of having a parent who is in bed and sleeping most of the time could scare and frighten the child into believing that the caregiver is never going to recover and get well. A child requires the stability of a safe household where there is a sense of predictability. This affliction has interjected an unstableness to everyone who lives in his or her home. You will find that you may be required to emphasize the fact that your loved one is going to get better someday and that everyone has to work together to help him or her get better. Any child would be ecstatic to have more time with his parent at the beginning but this newness will wear off and the reality of the parental role alterations may create uncomfortable awkward feelings within the child. He may have discussed or done things with the sick parent that produced a special intimate bonding between the two of them. Now the child is expected to have that same sense of closeness with you. It can create a sense of betrayal within the child to share such special moments with you and not with the ill spouse. You must stress the fact that your mate is still available for the child just not to the degree that he or she was previous to CFS.

There are two objectives that you can fulfill in helping your child adjust to your situation of the caregiver suffering with chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome. The first is to sit the child down and explain in terms that she can understand and comprehend that the other parent is sick. The explanation should include some of the limitations that the diseased person now has to live with and how those boundaries affect her. The child will need to hear that the sufferer will someday be well enough again to participate in her life more than what is happening now. Emphasis should be placed on the fact that your spouse has to relieve herself from the responsibilities of being a full time parent for a while but she is still there as a parent for the child. The child should have total accessibility to the ill parent outside of "resting" times. A child requires the observation from her own viewpoint that the parent is not any sicker than she sees or reacts to. The ill spouse can still perform minimal tasks with the child such as reading, cuddling, playing board or card games, or having talks while bedridden. How about having everyone eat in your significant other's room to share dinner time with meals on television trays or making up a picnic style supper to cement a sense of security and normalcy between all family members? If the ailing person can muster up enough energy to get to the couch, she could even watch a short television show or movie cuddling the entire time with his or her child. The ill one may even be able to muster up enough energy to sit at the table and have dinner with the family. These activities provide a two fold purpose. One is to secure the child's sense of having the same parental love and support as before the syndrome affected the parent. The second is that it allows the sick parent to share in a portion of her child's life as existing within the limits of this disorder. There must be continued and uninterrupted quality time spent with both the child and the ill parent. Especially when your spouse may not have the energy to make special time for the child, you can and should encourage that you can serve as a substitute until she has rested.

How do you cope with the child after working all day and having no support system or help to come home to? Obviously, you are exhausted and in dire need of some energy to keep up with the activity level that your child has once you return home. You are hoping your mate will have some energy to be able to help out, but he is sound asleep. You refuse to impose on his rest time so now what? This scenario could become a regular occurrence at your home. The fact is most single parents in the world face this situation on a daily basis-being two parents in one body and mind. Your encounter with CFS makes you appreciate and respect the job that single parents tackle every day. The daily accommodations you must plan out will be adapted to adjust each fluctuation that you encounter, but overall, there are some consistent changes that you can incorporate into your schedule.

First, you must lower your expectations of how things will work out at home. The old days of both parents sharing the responsibilities of one cooking dinner while the other plays with the child are not applicable. You now have to find ways to perform many functions at the same time. Dinner may not be a home cooked meal every night. The house may be a mess. Laundry may be piling up. Dishes have to be washed. All you want to do is sit down and put your feet up and your child is fussy and hungry-this is your new reality and you can find solutions. However, you will need to sacrifice some of your own time to make this scenario livable. The immediate issues to tackle are to readjust and revamp everyone's behavior patterns to best meet a workable solution. Good time management skills are essential. You must acknowledge that you only have so much time with your child until he goes to bed and that your ailing lover is in dire need of your attention as well. Prioritizing which objectives you want to accomplish when you get home will help you redress your expectation levels from yourself, your spouse, and your child. If you are fortunate to have an older child, have the good sense of timing to have a weekly family conference on a weekend or a quiet night to discuss your reprioritized aims for the household. The entire family should be involved in the conference if possible. Chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome should be talked about and the limits it has imposed on the ill parent should be reiterated so everyone acknowledges his or her restricted participation in the household. The child should understand that just because he doesn't like or agree with the way the healthy parent does things that he should not go to the sick parent and complain. The acceptance of the dispersal of authority from one parent to another must be endorsed by everyone. It must be made clear that the ill spouse supports the well one in regards to child rearing. If there are any disagreements or discussions about child rearing, they should be done in private once the child is not present. The united front for the child's sake will encourage his or her sense of stability and security. There should be no deceiving the child with the illusion that one parent is dominant or more superior than the other with discipline. Both parents should be recognized as equal partners in the parenting role. A chore list could be created with everyone's input for the child to do. The chores should be applicable to what the child can do at her age or size. A child may put up a fuss in having to pitch in and help out with the chores. However, having a child do chores can help build a sense of responsibility for doing an expected job and self-worth for a job well done. A roster of all of the chores that have to be done on a daily basis can be listed on a piece of paper. Everyone in the household should consider an equal amount of chores to do within the time parameters that are agreed upon by all. Be as realistic as possible in your expectations of your child. The issue of rewarding this type of behavior is best left on an individualized basis.  Have the entire family contribute to the idea of creating a respite networking of family and friends. The child and parents should contribute to who they feel comfortable with coming in and out of their home. The respite care providers should not be an intrusion into the child's time with the ailing parent. Everyone should make the commitment to agree to sacrifice some time out of their lives to spend some quality time together as a family. There should be accommodations made to include your sick spouse in this time by doing something within the house together such as playing a game, straightening out photo albums, watching a movie, etc. You could encourage your child to comfort and brighten your mate's environment by having a family "drawing time" where everyone draws a picture to hang in your ill spouse's room.

Quality time for the family may even include time outside, if the sufferer has the pep to go out in the yard, to sit and talk or the entire family could take a short walk together. A family conversation out on the porch can encourage a sense of togetherness. Use your creativity as a family unit to conceive new ways to spend special time together. You can bolster any of these activities by taking some photographs of the family to demonstrate to all that the family connection is as solid as it ever was-with or without this affliction in the picture! However, there also has to be quality time for you and the child without the sick member. Life is full of activity and it is not fair for the child (or you) to not participate in this movement. Your significant other will probably encourage you to partake of the goodness that life has to offer. Your lover will tell you that just because she can't do things it shouldn't mean that the family can't. Try to not feel guilty in leaving her home while the rest of the family goes out. She will regain enough strength over time to be able to go out with you again sometime in the future. You can help her the most by making the most of the time you have with your child and making your child happy. You must spend some time in the outside activities. If she is in athletic or organizational activities, you have to encourage this activity by attending the events or directly participating in them with the child. The only stipulation to the participation is that your time is now limited and more valuable than ever. The child must comprehend that her activity level and involvement in these activities now has to have a time limit involved as compared to having no previous time restrictions before the other parent became ill. She may not be able to go to play basketball every day after school. You may not be able to attend every single football game that she plays in. Karate class attendance may be cut down to once a week not three times a week as before your spouse became ill. Your child is probably going to be more understanding of the changes imposed upon her life than you expect and will accommodate your request. You can include the other parent that can't come along by being sure to document the activity your child is involved in by videotaping or taking photographs. The child can encourage the ill parent's involvement by coming home and discussing the event in detail. This intimate discussion will encourage the tie between the members in the family unit and contribute to the sense of bonding that the parent and child have. As the dependable parent, you will note over time that the infinitesimal things you though and felt were important in parenting are no longer as vital. You will overlook unimportant actions and begin to refocus your energies into actually appreciating your child and her blossoming into an individual. She may even teach you a few things about life that you never would have experienced if you weren't involved in being the primary caretaker now that your significant other is ailing. Gradually, you will sense a change in yourself and your perceptions of who your child was as compared to the individual you now see. There will be an awareness of the subtle transformations that are transpiring in your life. Your new scope of life will include observing the natural course of life and how your child fits into it. In the time you spend with your child, you will eventually see how much your child has begun to care about ecology and the future of his or her planet. The renewed awareness that you will gain from his or her interest in the environment will make you more conscious of your commitment in making the earth a better place for your child to live and flourish. Your child demands that you be strong for him because you are the one he depends on for love and guidance. Your priorities may need to be shifted to accommodate this demand. The main readjustment is to understand that your mate and family need you in this trying time. The priority is family which may mean that your career and work have to take a back seat in your life right now. If your concern is that you need the money to keep the bills paid, the reality is that your bills are always going to be there but, your family isn't. Your child will grow and soon be out on his own. You can't retain the past or present but you have it within your power to formulate future ethics and morals for your child. Try to find a middle ground to live within as a parent during this upheaval in your life. Your child is counting on you!

The first abilities that your sweetheart will regain is her sense of parenting. She will get stronger over time and have an instinctual desire to reach out and participate in being a more active parent. The disabling disinterest usually only lasts during the severe onset stages of CFIDS. She will slowly, over time, be able to take on more and more of the "old" parenting obligations. It will all depend on her recovery rate. Some prospects of the responsibilities of parenting she may never be able to perform again. The important fact is that you will eventually regain some help in your parenting situation. You will learn that you are no longer the parent you once were as a result of having to live this way for a length of time. You are more responsible, stronger, loving, and receptive to your child and have forged a special bond within this time that no obstacle will untie. Your encounter with chronic fatigue syndrome has brought you into another realm of existence where the only stable sure footing within your new reality is the love and devotion that subsists between you and your loved ones. Always acknowledge within yourself that you are a person who has self-sacrificed and through this type of fidelity, has learned to love someone more than you ever have in your entire life. You are fortunate to be able to know this type of emotion even under such duress. True love for another human being is a rarity and a miracle.

CFS is not fatal, so you will never have to feel the loss of your mate that sometimes is the end result in other diseases. You will have an "improved" person to share your life with and you know that you have endured more during your bout with this disorder than most couples face in their entire beings. Your relationship as a couple, and a parent, will grow and prosper in a positive direction where your new life affirmations have superseded the old. The propulsion of your clear, definite directness of attitude will create more meaning, happiness, and joy in your life and your loved one's life than you may ever have felt before. You can do this! You can live with chronic immune dysfunction syndrome in your life for a while. The benefits of personal growth and maturity outweigh the disease's restrictions. Remember the measure of success in struggling with this illness comes from within you and that the depth of love you have for your beloved is immeasurable. Love can conquer CFIDS-you just have to believe it can and it will!