Cancer, When Cancer Comes Home, Words of Endurance

Nurturing Your Marriage

Pray together consistently.

Prayer is a great source of strength and unity for any couple, and it can be particularly helpful when you face a crisis. Statistics show that couples who pray regularly together have fewer marital conflicts. So practice bring-ing God into your situation. Set aside a regular time to pray with one another over each day’s needs and express the concerns that weigh on each of your hearts.

Recognize that both of you have needs

—needs that you may never have had before. Be consistent and persistent in finding out your spouse’s needs, even the ones you aren’t able to meet personally. When you care enough to ask and then pray for the needs you aren’t able to meet, you send a powerful message of love and concern.

Work at two-way communication.

Conversations between spouses often focus on the daily cancer battle. Make an effort to focus conversation on the well spouse too. And when you talk, share about more than just the events that are happening around you. Focus on the personal side of the challenges you each face. Share how you are feeling about and dealing with those challenges on the emotional and spiritual levels.

Encourage refreshment.

Both the patient and the well spouse need times of rest and enjoyment. So give one another permission and your blessing to do something enjoyable. An overnight stay or a special outing with one of the children might be just what’s needed to provide a renewed perspective.

Accept help.

If someone offers to help with daily tasks or household chores, jump at the opportunity to lighten the load. Make sure children in the family are carrying their share of household responsibilities as well. They sometimes slack off on home responsibilities when their parents are preoccupied, and (despite their protests) their sense of security and self-esteem will be enhanced when they help out.

Enlist help.

Yourchurch, neighbors, relatives, friends, hospice and cancer support groups are available to help shoulder the burden. Use their services. Be open to seeking wise counsel. A third party will often help you see things more clearly. You don’t have to “go it alone.”