When you stand at the altar and say your vows, you vow to support and love your partner in sickness and in health. You vow to be by their side for all the good and the bad. Most of the time, marriage stays good. You support each other and push each other to be the best that you each can be as much as possible. When one of you is then hit with the unexpected, it can feel like a punch to the gut.

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If you ever find yourself in the position where you get a phone call to tell you that your partner has been in an accident, you’re going to initially worry and panic. When that panic is over – they’re alive, they’re hurt but alive – it’s time for you to manage what comes next. Coping with a partner who is injured is not easy in the slightest. A lot of your plans could be pushed back or cancelled depending on the severity of the injury and the prospect of the future. Supporting someone that you love through a recovery is hard and no matter how much information you get, it’s not going to compare to actually supporting them. If injuries are still compatible with life, you could be looking at a lifetime of supporting someone you love; it’s not easy but it is an easy decision if you’ve ever taken the vows and said, ‘in sickness and in health’. By providing your partner with emotional support as well as the physical and financial support that they will need, you can make their life far more bearable after what’s just happened. There are a lot of ways that you can offer the right support, and here they are:

Emotional. When someone is in a lot of pain and distress, and their body isn’t moving the way that they want to, the anxiety, depression, guilt and anger they feel can spill over the top. Emotional turmoil can be equally as difficult as the physical pain. Be there for them. Validate their feelings; what has happened – well, it sucks! They need to feel the rage as well as the happiness that you are there to support them. Create a calm atmosphere at home to help them to recover well and you can help them on their way to a better and more stable future.

Scheduling. When you live with someone who has an injury, you need to keep them on a schedule so that they can attend appointments, medical meetings and anything that they have loved before and are able to do. They may sink into a depression, so those medial appointments are a necessity.

Stability. You need to keep your partner stable. So, when they try to push themselves, slow them down. When they need motivation, motivate them. When they need to remember meals and medicines, set their alarms instead of nagging. Create a stable life for them to lean on and make their new normal.

Supporting a loved one in pain isn’t the easiest, but it’s right there in the vows. In sickness and in health.

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