The weather has been erratic in most of the
world and many of us are feeling a bit uneasy
in response to the apparent unpredictability
of nature. We are aware of unpredictable
change in our lives as well. Two life issues
that can be challenging as we try to keep our
balance and our sanity have to do with caring
for a spouse who has a chronic illness and
finding our passion as we watch our children
grow up and anticipate their leaving home.
Children leaving home is inevitable but
still may be perceived as a surprise. Caring
for a spouse who has a chronic
illness may be a surprise but is not
inevitable. Both require our attention to
In Caring For A Partner With A Chronic
Ilness, I suggest ways to address the
transformation in each of you and your
relationship while being conscious of taking
care of yourself in the process.
Many of us long for finding our passion
within. We wonder what we will do when our
children leave the nest. In this month's
tips, Finding Your Passion, I suggest
reasons why it is useful to
do this before they leave the nest.
great value in beginning to explore the
richness of your inner life and see what will
peak your interest and passion. So, as your
children grow up and leave, you will be able
to transition more
Once again thank you for helping to get the
word out about Sanity Savers: Tips for Women
to Live a Balanced Life.
Check my website, www.drdaleatkins.com
for updates on my appearances related to my
newest book, Sanity
Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced
Life. For those of you with wedding related
questions, please see my column on
WeddingChannel.com at: www.weddingchannel.com/ui/buildArticle.action?assetUID=90252&s=84&t=71&p=106184112&c=90252&l=137006.
And if you
me to speak to your group or organization,
please contact me directly at
firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the
Speakers' Bureau at HarperCollins.
I appreciate you sharing this newsletter with
friends, loved ones and colleagues by
to a Friend button below.
Wishing you a Happy New Year along with
health, peace and balance in 2008.
|Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
SANITY SAVERS: Tips for Women to
Balanced Life is in bookstores and
with suggestions to save
every day of the year.
A must for any woman
seeking to find her balance!
Caring For A Partner With A Chronic Ilness
You vowed to stay together in sickness and in
health. But, in fact, you did not really
think that you would REALLY be in the
position, at this point of your life, to be
caring for your significant other who is
managing a chronic illness. Much of your
pattern and rhythm as a couple will be
reflected in the way you deal with each other
and this particular health challenge.
of the way you want to be married and the
roles you are willing and able to take on,
and those you aren't, in order to save your
sanity, your respective dignities, and your
caring for your partner with heartfelt
compassion, kindness and humor.
First and foremost, be an adult. You
asking, "why me" and
feel disappointed, angry, tired, or restless.
It is normal to feel this way. Try to
maintain self-control and respect instead of
taking out your frustrations on your partner.
It is imperative to take care of yourself,
eat healthfully, exercise, and stay connected
to your friends.
Seek a support group for other couples who
are experiencing similar issues with this
illness or find a couples' therapist if either
of you blame the other or you are both having
It is also important to find appropriate
roles. Do your research;
find out what is needed and what your role
will be in helping your spouse to deal with
this medical condition and change in your
life. Do you have to get a job? Will care
need to be provided while you are out of the
house? Who is in charge of making dietary
decisions? If your spouse is able to take
responsibility for a medication regime,
exercise program, or doing projects that
retain his or her role in the family,
marriage and community, make sure that
Additionally, become a support player.
Depending on the
condition and the restrictions, at all costs,
maintain dignity and respect for your
partner. Discuss what works and what doesn't.
Be aware of some shifts in your roles,
even if you assume more significant care giving.
You are not to become your spouse's parent.
You are a supporting player.
Finally, participate in couple things.
Do as many
things together as a couple that permit you to
be conscious of the illness but do not
totally focus on it. If your spouse tires
easily at the end of the day and evenings out
are no longer viable, meet friends on a
weekend afternoon for a movie or lunch. If you
are music buffs, attend uncrowded concert
rehearsals (often open to the public in the
mornings or afternoons). Your life will
change. It does not
need to stop.
Remember, although your partner is living
with a chronic illness, there are ways to
preserve and deepen your bond and find unique
ways to "marry" your new roles with the
challenges you both face.
TODAY Show (NBC)
Please check website, www.drdaleatkins.com,
New Morning Show
Please check website, www.drdaleatkins.com,
KTSF San Francisco TV News
February 14: Marriage Myths
WNPR Radio - The Real Life Survival Guide,
hosted by Bruce Barber
February 10th: 3PM: Topic: Relationships
Listen at www.wnpr.org; View
interview at www.rlsguide.com.
A Good Daily Habit
We all have tumultuous days in our lives.
You may not believe you can create calm in
the midst of such chaos, but you can.
If you are facing a problem, quiet yourself,
breathe deeply, and be open to a resolution.
If you can't figure it out, quiet
your mind and come back to it later. While
being patient and realistic, you can face a
challenge and give it your best shot.
Bring attention to your ability to focus on
your inner strength when facing difficulty.
|Sanity SaversTM TIPS
Finding Your Passion:
As Your Children Grow Up
For many women, putting everyone first is
just the way life is. You may have stopped a
career or pursued another one when you had
children. Whatever you did, the child rearing
years were part of "sequencing" your
interests, passions, and careers to handle
all that was going on in your life.
But as the kids go onto school, become teens,
join the military,
go off to college, enter the workforce, and
move on with their
lives, you realize it may be the time to put
yourself first for a change. At midlife you
may feel restlessness and, maybe, for the
first time in your life, can finally explore
your passions. This is the time to consider
the rest of your life and what you would love
to do with it.
- Re-discover - Integrate as many
of the things that you once loved back into
your life: sports, more arts, more time with
spouse and friends, more travel. Give
yourself time to reacquaint yourself with or
relearn the skills you once had. Quiet
yourself and listen to the voice inside of
you which may not be used to being heard.
- Explore - If you're not sure what
your passions are, take classes, read about,
and try new things. Don't limit yourself. You
may find something you love by taking a
circuitous route or rule out something that
isn't what you love to do. Remember you are
exploring. Give yourself a broad canvas on
which to work. Talk with people who know you
and those who are new in your lives. What do
they see in you that you may not recognize?
- Keep Up - If you can't commit to a
new career, dabble in your area of expertise
through meaningful volunteer experiences.
When the time comes, you will be able to
dedicate yourself more to projects that are
deeper and more complex.
- Model - Allow your children to
see you discovering parts of yourself and a
zest for life in areas that are not about
them. It is healthy for children to see their
parents as "whole" people with interests and
passions and knowledge and "lives" that bring
them joy and enrichment. Talk to them about
your interests and what you do when they are
You will feel more prepared to let your
children go so they can build their own lives
and discover who they are if you embrace the
things you love as you discover new interests
Everything works out in the end.
If it has not worked out,
it is not the end.
DALE V. ATKINS Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist,
lecturer and commentator in the media who
on the Today show.
She has more than twenty-
years of experience and focuses on living a
life, parenting, aging well, managing stress,
work transitions, family connections and healthy
Dr. Atkins is the author
and/or co-editor of several books including:
Their Private Thoughts about their Private
Families and their Hearing-Impaired
OK, You're My Parents
Let Go of Anger and Create a Relationship that
Wedding Sanity Savers
Handle the Stickiest Dilemmas, Scrapes and
Questions that Arise on the Road to Your Perfect
book . . .
Savers: Tips for Women to
Find out more....
As Seen on the TODAY SHOW!
Wedding Sanity Savers
How to Handle the Stickiest Dilemmas, Scrapes and Questions that Arise on the Road to Your Perfect Day
You're My Parents
How to Overcome Guilt, Let Go of Anger, and Create a Relationship That Works
Now in Paperback!