26 September 2023

The Chronic Pain Couple

Start the conversation

Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

By Karra Eloff, Exisle Publishing, $39.99.

This is a compassionate guide to being a joyful partner in a remarkable relationship for couples who live with chronic pain. It tells you how to keep pain from stealing your wonderful marriage. No one wants to just survive, or as a couple, want a relationship that’s just sustained.

As the health professional Karra Eloff points out: “I know what chronic pain and illness can do to a relationship. My life was once focused on the daily burden of managing persistent pain while I watched, in alarm, as the romantic connection with my husband slipped away. Thankfully, this struggle was short-lived. Not because my pain decreased or went away, but because we made a decision together not to allow the illness and pain that had entered my body to sidetrack our relationship.”

Eloff has drawn on academic research and her own pursuit of joy in spite of suffering to develop this progressive, low-energy and practical path to a remarkable new normal, delivering much-needed solutions to couples living with one partner’s chronic pain.

On average, one-in-five adults suffer from chronic pain. In older people, the number rises to three-in-five.

Chronic illness or pain need not hold you back from experiencing happiness and success. It is possible to move the dial of a relationship challenged with chronic pain from embattled and exhausted to joyful and passion-filled.

The speech pathologist, and managing director of two private psychology clinics, says when couples turn towards each other and refuse to let their circumstances of chronic illness and pain control their love and their lives the relationship experiences a powerful strengthening. That’s when the journey to a new normal begins.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.