Husband or Wife
6 Ways to Support Your Diabetic Partner
Oct 3, 2012 (updated Jan 10, 2014)
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It's common for people to subconsciously sabotage a partner or friend's weight loss efforts. Change--even good change--can be scary. If you find yourself encouraging bad diet behavior, or tempting your spouse with favorite foods, you may be sabotaging them. Not only is this behavior unhealthy for your partner, it's ultimately damaging to a trusting relationship.
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Get with the program
The best way to be a supporter is to know what you're supporting! Attend doctor's appointments with your loved one and make sure you understand the doctor's instructions on lifestyle changes and medications.
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Play to your strengths
If you want to help, but don't know how, try the direct approach. Ask your spouse how to be useful, and offer to play to your strengths. Maybe you're bad at coming up with balanced meal ideas, but you may be a born organizer who can juggle medical appointments, medication information, or other practicalities.
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Many aspects of diabetes management are simply healthy lifestyle changes. Try joining the effort to lose weight, establish an exercise program, and take better care of your health. You'll be supporting your loved one and lowering your risk of developing diabetes at the same time.
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Know when to stay quiet
It can be easy to find yourself nagging your loved one when you see them making what you consider to be unhealthy choices. Encouraging healthy behavior is good, but if you're always putting in your 2 cents you may find yourself labeled the enemy. Try praising healthy choices rather than criticising every slip.
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Freaking out? Remember, diabetes is a disease that can largely be controlled. Reading up on the disease, as well as taking an active part in your partner's care, will help you get comfortable with the long and short-term treatment of diabetes.