BBNB Founder Lindsey and her parents

Posted by & filed under blog, Emotional Support.

Relationships and a chronic illness is a hard mix most times…trust me, I know! Whether it’s a friendship, family member, romantic interest, husband, wife or other relationship; it’s a challenge.

What is the HARDEST PART of maintaining a relationship when you are sick?

Here are some common challenges that a lot of CFIDS / CFS / ME patients experience when in a relationship:

  1. Honesty
  2. Scheduling Challenges
  3. Lack of Enthusiasm
  4. No Desire for Intimacy
  5. Need of Assistance/Caregiver
  6. Temperament Changes
  7. Communication Challenges
  8. Loss of Previous Identity
  9. Inability to enjoy hobbies /activities
  10. Embarrassment of inabilities
  11. Feeling of Helplessness
  12. Increased Financial Stresses


CFIDS & Fibromyalgia Self Help have another list posted for additional ideas

Now that we have reviewed the CHALLENGES of being in a relationship with CFIDS / CFS / ME, how about we talk about the positives!

It’s hard to discuss this personal matter without referencing my 15 years of dating with CFIDS. I was diagnosed when I was 21 but had symptoms that left me bedridden starting at age 17. Being a personable athlete by nature, ¬†my desires for a relationship didn’t change with my varying health. I’ve had my fair share of the good, bad and ugly relationships over the past 15 years (who hasn’t)! I’d like to share with some of you out there some of the things you gain PERSONALLY while being in a relationship while living with CFIDS / CFS /¬†Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME).

  1. Realization of Anger
  2. Facing Depression Head-On (thanks to a partners day-to-day realizations)
  3. Learning How To Communicate Current State of Health (how you feel day to day)
  4. Learning How To Listen (yes, you have to listen even when you are a patient)
  5. A New Understanding of Compromise
  6. Gaining the Ability To Ask For Help
  7. Sharing Humor and Laughs About Situations You Face
  8. A Second-rate home massage therapist
  9. Additional Channel of Emotional and Physical Support
  10. An Attitude Check (when it’s needed)

Not everyone has all of the above listed 10 items present in their current relationships. I honestly haven’t had those items previously. The list is a culmination of 15 years of learning what works for me, my partner and relationships. No one’s list will be the same, but I know the above helps me be a better chronically ill patient on a daily basis.


Quick Shout Out for my two rocks: my mom and my husband

My Mom and Caregiver

My Caregiver

2034-02-17 16.04.41

My Husband








Please leave your comments on what other items you think can be added to:

* Challenges Faced For Patients In Relationships With A CFIDS Patient

* Positives (or things learned) From Being In A Relationship With CFIDS

Can’t wait to hear your feedback! Update blog including you feedback is coming soon!

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2 Responses to “Relationships With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / CFIDS”

  1. Angel

    I had a relationship even married and a child by a man but due to my “sickness and tiredness” he decided to leave and play house with some girl he worked with at the hospital and this female didn’t care be had a family or children, etc. and she knew. But maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. Relationships may not be easy even when two people are healthy. I wasn’t able to give him the attention he wanted or needed and he didn’t want a sick wife or child. Instead he was happier with a coworker who would flaunt her dads wealth and yet had nothing to show for herself sadly.

    You have some great sites and its great you have a supportive family and great for all you do and it’s inspiring to see someone give back and help others and speak on real issues as well. Keep up the good work.

  2. Angel

    One positive is that you see someone’s true character. Being tired and seeming depressed and yet constantly trying. My ex husband was not able to help or stand by me and yes it was disappointing at the time especially for our child but maybe it is a blessing. It is great that you have a supportive mother (caregiver) and father and husband. Thanks for sharing that you had your ups and downs and its great that you met a caring man. He is lucky to have you as well. You seem like a beautiful person inside and outside.


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