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Feb 242015
spark photo


Click here to read part one in this relationships series.

It’s very easy to fall into the trap of thinking, “What the point of a relationship? Who would want to be with me? Ah, I can’t be bothered- I’m such a burden.” Many people deliberately try and distance themselves from loved ones or potential partners because what if it doesn’t work out? Is there any point in starting something if you believe you’ll probably disappoint the person later? How can I be in a relationship if I can’t even leave the house to go on a date?

spark photoPhoto by Kelley Bozarth taken from UnSplash


We need to switch our thinking around. You are separate from your illness, and you need to remember this true ‘you’, this separate part of yourself that is worthy of love and belonging. Although you might believe that CFS will completely disrupt any chance you have at a relationship, this will only be the case if you let it be that way.

We don’t have the right to dictate how someone sees us. If they like us, they like us and there’s not a darn thing we can do about it. How we chose to react to this is what’s important.

Single with CFS

If you’re single, don’t write yourself off. Don’t believe that you’re going to be like this forever. Ask friends and family to help you, and stop hiding yourself away. If you’re completely happy being your fantastic self, rock it.

(Reread the paragraph on ‘Worthiness’- rinse and repeat again.)

In a Relationship with CFS

If you’re currently in a relationship or married, you might be wondering exactly the same questions. You might deliberately be trying to sabotage your relationship to distance yourself from your partner. It’s kinder that way, right? However, the only person you end up alienating is yourself.

Relationships can be an incredible source of relief, fun ( hat’s right, I said the ‘f’ word!) and comfort when we’re not feeling so great, but we often tell ourselves that we feel horrible and disgusting, so this is probably what we think we are to others. When somebody tells you that you’re gorgeous or reminds you of that ‘spark’, believe them. They know their emotions better than you and they know what they like. Don’t push them away because you believe you’re right and you know yourself better than anyone else. Stand back a little bit…

Sex and CFS

There are ways to enjoy yourself without forcing yourself into crazy, swinging from the chandelier positions. Sex might even help you to feel good about yourself- it gets those endorphins flowing and you tend to focus on something other than feeling horrendous. You might think that you don’t look especially sexy or you feel guilty for enjoying yourself when you’re so sick (something which I often told myself), but why not?! Sex can often make you feel energy you didn’t know you had- it helps you to rediscover that spark in you that you thought you’d lost.

Having a partner who respects your wishes if you don’t feel like ‘getting jiggy with it’ is also part of it too, because there will be times it’ll be too much for you. Remind your partner that reserving your energy will make it all the more pleasurable next time.

(For more on making sex a pleasure rather than something your dread talking about with your parter, please visit beautiful Susana Frioni’s website. Astounding.)

peg dollsPeg Dolls by Pegtales (Etsy)

The Golden Rules

  • I cannot expect another person to like and/or love me unless I’m willing to contemplate liking and/or loving myself.
  • Asking for help is all part of it. Don’t deny them the pleasure of helping you- be receptive.
  • What works for one person might not work for you- as with everything, different strokes for different folks.
  • You need to separate yourself from your illness (as an ongoing practice, not just in relationships).
  • Remember that it’s not all about you. It’s incredibly frustrating for our families too, and sometimes we just need to give them a break. Unless you’ve had CFS yourself, you can empathise, but you can’t totally understand.
  • You are allowed to feel all loved up, fabulous and sexy when you’re sick. There’s nothing wrong with it and it could even make you feel a little better. Nobody’s going to call you up on enjoying yourself.
  • Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

As I mentioned yesterday, I’d love to get a conversation going on this. Please feel free to share your comments below- let someone else know they’re not alone.

Love and more love,

Katie      xx

  4 Responses to “Relationships and CFS – Part Two”

  1. Hi Katie. First of all, thanks for writting about this issue.
    You make a lovely couple, congrats for both, both of you are very fortunate!!
    I’m feeling very insecure with this, I’m single, and was terrifically independent (now I guess it was only my own insecurities and sense of nonworthiness what attracted the wrong men and supported my independence feeling). Now, after months of being ill, I feel I miss someone by my side, and I realise my lacks for self love in the past (and in the present, but I’m working on it and making progresses). This summer I met at a shop an attractive man who had asked me my phone to call. I couldn’t believe!!! we went out for three times, but it didn’t work out, we are very different and don’t match very well. Besides, he loves going out late at night, and for the moment, I’m kind of Cinderella, when I begin the battery is beginning to go out, I say goodby ;-) I told him about my state, but I guess he dinid’t realize what it was, i had a very good aspect.
    I had to take a lot of courage to go out with him. Was sleeping before the hour we met, and I got very tired during the date. I didn’t feel likeable because I couldn’t express myself properly, and wasn’t so lively… I realized it was my fear, not only from the illness, but also from much before it, and I went through it. Now we are friends, we send some whatsup messages and that, but we don’t meet.

    In september I met a man via internet I thought we were going to match. There were so personal and lovely letters… I went with him very soon, I’m shy and I don’t open my soul till months of relationship, till I feel more open. But with this man it was so fluent the comunication… I was scared to tell him about my health state, but he accepted it. He had a friend with fybromialgia and could get an idea. I couldn’t believe too. We are knowing ourselves by mail and phone, we live far one from the other. A couple of weeks from now, I went to see him. I was scared because the last thing I made before my big fall into CFS was making love and got exhausted. But I got the courage again and went. And all was OK personally. The only thing was there was missing that feeling of HE IS MY MAN. I need that feeling ( I feel a bit jealous for you Katie, your story is so beautiful…). There are more reasons that make it difficult (economic, basically). I know if I felt that calling inside, those other problems wouldn’t make it part one from the other. The inner calling is: he is not for you, is a friend, don’t think of him and “need” his presence and voice… Now we are friends too, we maintain touch by mail and hope maybe in a future we feel like giving us an opportunity for us as a couple. Sex was ok, I didn’t feel exhausted, and felt better after it, so I feel more secure to keep on my searching. Life that week was ok, he respected my needs for naps and rest. He in unemployed and we were together all the time. I gave myself to him every moment as much as I could. I’m learning to trust in me and to put on practise all that things worked in therapy and talked here: I’m not my illness, I’m worthy, I deserve being loved, my actual state of health will not last forever… But I confess I have to make a big effort to believe it possible: a relationship, my recovering, going back to work world… These experiences support me in my way. There’s much more to do…
    Thanks Katie and keep on enjoying yourselg and Frazier, that’s a good point to have somebody so supportive loving you and unconditionally by your side. Lots of love for both
    (gosh, such a long reply… 8-) )

    • Thank you so much for sharing beautiful! Often, there can be a lot of fear involved in dating, even without the illness, so it sounds like you’re doing really well with this. It’s also ok to just have fun in a relationship sometimes and just see what happens. We often think ‘What’s the point?!’ if we don’t think it’s going to be serious, but he sounds like a lovely guy. Just go with the flow!

      Thanks my love- xx

  2. You have touched on an important topic that needs to be talked about. It’s so great of you to be brave and honest enough to talk about it. Good for you, Katie!

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