It can be difficult to know how to approach the subject of health when you are talking to your partner. You may be very contentious, careful with your diet and lifestyle, and in the habit of going for regular check-ups, but if they don’t feel the same way it can get a bit tricky. You do not want to make it seem like you are judging their lifestyle or their attitude, but when you care about someone you want to make sure that they are looking after themselves.
The simple fact is that there is no one right way to approach this. Everyone is different, and what might work for one person may not be effective for someone else. One thing is true, however: if you care about each other, you will get there in the end. It might not be easy, but there are several different approaches that you can try. Here are some options for you to think about.
Voice Your Concern Instead Of Telling Them What To Do
If you are worried about talking to your partner about their health, there is a good chance that it is at least partly because you are worried that simply bossing them about will not have any effect. With some people, giving stern instructions will push them further away. It can also cause more issues than it solves, particularly if the behavior that you are worried about is along the lines of dependency, or something they already feel ashamed about.
This could apply to issues such as smoking, drinking too much (there has been a lot written about this becoming a real issue during the pandemic), or diet concerns. If this is the case, then make sure that you make it clear that you are approaching the discussion from a place of love. Tell them that you love them and that you are worried about them, rather than telling them that they’re doing something wrong.
Share Information With Them
A lot of people can be awfully stubborn about the behaviors that are causing them harm. It might not even be something that they are doing consciously, it may just be that they have avoided learning more because deep down they know that they won’t like what the experts say about their behavior. Being confrontational is probably not the answer, but if you are trying to raise a concern then it will help to have some facts to show them.
Show them the reports about what eating too much red meat does to your chances of suffering from issues such as heart disease, obesity, and cancer, for example. Talk to them about how getting a regular check-up will improve their chances of getting a disease or illness treated because it has been caught early. A full body MRI, for example, can identify warning signs of cancer and give them a head start that will make all the difference. Ezra offers full body MRI scans and they have a wealth of information to illustrate how effective they can be.
Remind Them That You’re A Team
We have talked about the importance of avoiding the sense that you are blaming your partner for their lifestyle choices, but something that is important to stress is that you are in this together. All of us could benefit from changing something in our lifestyle, whether it’s our diet, how often we exercise, or talking about our mental health. Whatever it is in your partner’s lifestyle that is worrying you, there are ways that you can remind them that this is a team effort. Talk to them about working together on getting healthier. Suggest going for walks or runs together to get into a routine. Look at what changes you could make to your meals that would make them healthier and suggest learning how to cook new recipes to reinforce that teamwork.
You should also remember that it might help to talk about any issues that you have found hard to deal with in your own life. Mental health is a great example of this. There have been endless stories written about the impact of the pandemic on our mental health, and we are all much better at understanding and talking about what we’re dealing with. But there can still be a reticence to open up and discuss the things that are troubling us. If you are worried about your partner’s mental health, suggest talking to a counsellor or therapist together. It is true that there is going to be a point where they will have to step up and make a change for themselves, whether it’s quitting smoking or cutting down on red meat, but there are plenty of ways that you can show them that you will be standing by their side every step of the way.
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