When you are a Couple Living With Life-threatening or Chronic Illness, one of the challenges you might experience is that you and your partner will have different reactions to the same situation, different feelings, different needs and different priorities.

Even though you believe that you are facing the same challenge and that you are on the same side, sometimes your needs and priorities and your partner’s needs and priorities will be competing with each other.

While we can’t change, nor would we want to change your feelings, needs and personal priorities, we can absolutely make these differences less prominent and problematic in your relationship.

A first good step to calming the tumult that often accompanies couples living with life-threatening or chronic illness is to remember (and ultimately live by) Virginia Satir’s The Five Freedoms.

I invite you to try this:

Read each Freedom several times and let the meaning really sink in.

Then ask yourself, “How can this Freedom guide me today?”

Here they are:

THE FIVE FREEDOMS
By Virginia Satir

1. TO SEE AND HEAR
What is here,
Instead of what should be,
Was, or will be

2. TO SAY
What one feels and thinks
Instead of what one should

3. TO FEEL
What one feels,
Instead of what one ought

4. TO ASK
For what one wants,
Instead of always waiting
For permission

5. TO TAKE RISKS
In one’s own behalf,
Instead of choosing to be
Only “secure”
And not rocking the boat

 

I hope these Five Freedoms are meaningful to you, and that they inspire you as you walk down one of life’s most challenging paths.

Remember, only YOU can make it happen!

 

Original Content by Jackie Black, Ph.D., BCC
”The Five Freedoms” reprinted with permission
www.DrJackieBlack.com ~ DrJackie@DrJackieBlack.com

You are invited to stay in the know by listening to
Dr. Jackie’s Relationship-focused Podcast

PS: Virginia Satir (1916-1988) was a pioneer in the field of Family Therapy. She deeply believed that people are capable of continued growth, change and new understanding, regardless of the circumstance.

 

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