Relating to Your Partner

The 5 Love Languages - A Tool For Improving Communication In Relationships - on
Communication is an essential part of maintaining a healthy relationship – it’s how we share our thoughts, ideas, feelings, and desires with our partners. But, in a relationship where one partner is living with a chronic illness like rheumatoid arthritis, communication is likely even more important.

My Supportive Partner – on
While it may be my body that hurts when my RA flares, I’m not the only one who has to deal with the consequences of my arthritis. I don’t think there are very many people who truly understand how much my RA affects my life – but there are even fewer who realize how much it affects my husband’s life.

5 Tips to Improve Communication and Teamwork With Your Partner - on Mango Health
Long-term relationships are complicated – even more so when one person is living with a chronic illness - here are some ideas for working with your partner as a team.

When Your Partner Is Sick – on
When you live with a chronic illness, it can be really hard to smother feelings of frustration and unfairness when your partner is sick with a temporary one.

How To Talk To Your Partner About Sex – on
While it may be quite uncomfortable, good communication is critical to sustaining a healthy sex life, particularly when arthritis places additional obstacles on the path to intimacy. If the idea of talking to your partner about sex seems daunting, here are some tips that may help you foster communication with your partner on this very important topic.

Impact of Chronic Illness on Sexual Health

"Sex and Intimacy in Chronic Illness" at the 2016 American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting - on
While RA patients may want to ask their healthcare providers for advice on issues like pain or fatigue, the subject of sex can often be difficult or uncomfortable for patients to bring up.

The #ChronicSex Movement - A Safe Place to Discuss Self-Love, Relationships, and Sexuality with Illness and Disability - on
Despite the seemingly obvious link, I’ve always been surprised that the issue of sex and RA seems to be that thing no one talks about. The #ChronicSex Movement is a safe place to discuss self-love, relationships, and sexuality with illness and disability.

That Thing No One Talks About – on
I’m not a sex therapist and I am certainly not an expert on this topic. But I do think it is important to talk about this issue and share whatever resources and support we can to help each other.

While arthritis can have a huge impact on a person’s sex life, it is actually relatively rare to hear people in the arthritis community talking about it.

"Sexual Issues in Rheumatology: Assessment and Intervention" at the 2015 American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting – on
From body image to side effects from treatments to physical pain, maintaining something remotely resembling a healthy sex life can be a real challenge with RA.

It only takes one negative experience to alienate someone from healthcare, which is a real problem for individuals with chronic health conditions.

"Treating Us Right: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Considerations" at the 2016 American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting
- on
The 2015 ACR Annual Meeting was the first year to have a session specifically addressing the special medical needs and concerns of the LGBTQ patient population. Here's my review of the 2016 session.

Improving Sexual Health

How to Improve Intimacy With Chronic Illness – on Mango Health
If your health has had a negative impact on your sex life, you are not alone. Many factors can impact intimacy – such as pain, fatigue, mood, body image, and more. 

Many of us with RA understand exactly how fatigue and pain can make intimacy difficult or unappealing. And we can probably all agree that a strained sex life will eventually take a toll on your relationship as a whole. I have compiled a list of all the useful information and advice about actually improving your sex life when you have RA. 

Advice From A Sexual Counselor for Chronic Patients – on
Although life with a chronic illness can present challenges when it comes to sexual health, there are things that patients can do to improve their situations.

Sometimes, I write about my sex life on the internet. Or, more accurately, I write about the ways in which I am struggling with my sex life.

Maintaining A Healthy Sex Life With RA - on NewLifeOutlook RA
Most adults would be likely to agree that physical intimacy is an important element of a relationship. However, for those living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), pain and fatigue can sometimes present major hurdles to maintaining intimacy.

Chronic Illness & Intimate Relationships - An Interview with Dr. Logan Levkoff - on
Dr. Logan Levkoff is dedicated to perpetuating healthy and positive messages about sexuality and relationships, and she recognizes the added struggles chronic illness can bring to the table.

The Scheduled Sex Experiment - on
Scheduled sex. The concept honestly didn’t appeal to either of us, because it seemed so forced and unromantic. My husband was also concerned that scheduled sex would become just another stressful thing on my to-do list (no pun intended!). But we both wanted to improve the situation. We knew we were dealing with mismatched libidos and that we had very limited time to be alone together. So we decided to give it a try.

Talking To Your Doctor About Sex

How To Talk To Your Doctor About Sex – on
It is easier said than done to bring up the intimate topic of sex with your doctor! But, for the sake of your own health and happiness, as well as the health of your relationship with your partner, it is very important to find the courage to talk with your doctor. 

"Where oh Where Is My Libido?" or The Time I Decided to See A Sex Therapist - on
Deciding to see a sex therapist was a very weird feeling, because it seemed so taboo and there’s a certain kind of negative stigma associated with needing “sex therapy.” But I had run out of options and didn’t know where else to turn, so it seemed worth giving it a try. Almost a year later I can say that it was a very good decision – for me personally, for my relationship, and for my family as a whole. 

Hello, Representative, Does My Insurance Cover Sex Therapy? - on 
My therapist helped me find practical ways to work on self-care, to focus on enjoying my life, and to find the energy to care for my husband and family. Deciding to speak to a sex therapist was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made towards improving my quality of life...but that doesn't mean my insurance company made it easy!!

For Partners

Knowing how to help a loved one living with a chronic condition can be such a challenge. This article offers six ways to support a partner living with a chronic illness. 

When Your Loved One Has RA - on
My husband and I have been living with my diagnosis of RA for more than eight years; my RA has certainly had an impact on both of our lives and our children

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