Cancer, you and your partner
This information is about how cancer can affect your relationship with your partner. It aims to help you understand some of the practical and emotional issues, and discusses what may help.
It is important to remember that there isn’t a 'right' way to cope with cancer. How you both deal with it will depend on your personalities, your life experiences and how you cope with challenging life situations.
Many cancers can now be cured, and some treatments have become easier to cope with. However, finding out that you have cancer is almost always a time of deep emotional crisis and distress.
The effect cancer may have on your life will depend on many things, including the type of cancer, the treatment and its side effects, and your lifestyle.
It’s important to remember that there isn’t a ‘right’ way to cope with cancer. How you and your partner deal with cancer will depend on your personalities, your life experiences and how you both cope with challenging life situations.
Being diagnosed with a serious illness can be difficult for you as an individual, but it can also deeply affect your partner and put a strain on your relationship. How cancer affects your relationship with your partner may depend on the level of commitment in your relationship, how long you’ve been together, how long you have been living with the diagnosis and how it affects your day-to-day life.
When someone has an illness that affects their relationship, it can help to think about what things were like before. If the relationship was difficult before the cancer was diagnosed, it probably won’t be any better after the diagnosis. For some people, a cancer diagnosis may reveal a relationship to be less strong than they or their partner had previously thought. However, some couples come to a new understanding and have more love for one another as a result of overcoming a shared challenge like cancer.