When a spouse falls gravely ill, staying by their side constantly is often what the world expects of the other person. They see it as an obligation of love, but it could also be a sentence for the person enduring it. Being with their loved one every minute of the day might be more than they bargained for, but they see little or no hope of escape. It could seem that they do not care, but a necessary break now and then could help both of them deal better with what is happening.
Life goes on even when a partner is ill, and running errands or paying the bills still must be done. Some spouses with a partner who requires constant care find that these breaks in their daily routine are helpful for giving them the emotional distance they need for coping with the situation. Others could find that never doing more than caring for their spouse and their home is a routine that has wearied them to the bone. They need more than an hour or two away, but guilt often leads them to clamp down on mentioning their own needs.
The couple must realize that even doctors and nurses get a break when they go home to their own family, and those close to a caregiver should look at it in that light. Providing an entire afternoon off could be a saving grace for all involved. Family and friends who step in to help could be the answer to an unspoken prayer for both spouses. It could be a way for the caregiver to go out without concerns for a few hours to balance their life, and their ill spouse would benefit from being with someone new.
There are many times when taking care of a spouse who is ill can be difficult, but those without any breaks could find it is overwhelming. Friends and family should feel they can step in and give both of them a break, and everyone will be better off in the long run.