Years ago, I went to a talk and the speaker said, “Society is more ill now than it was generations ago.”

Statisticians, social scientists and doctors can argue over this point until the cows come home, but I for one, agree with the speaker. We have higher standards of living, are more knowledgeable about health, eat better foods, and we have better medicines, but all these have not eradicated chronic illnesses waiting to blow up, depression, loneliness, suicides and unhappiness amongst the educated and wealthy.

My new friend Nicola commented, “People expect more these days.”

I often write that who you wake up with every morning plays a large role in your quality of life, especially as you meander into middle age and beyond, where you are more susceptible to illnesses of the body and mind (they are related). And this is what I think: we often don’t put enough emphasis on caring for our partner’s mental and emotional wellbeing. And by corollary, they perhaps do not invest enough to care for ours. Toxicity in thoughts, words and actions can be as damaging as pesticides, parabens, organophosphates and all those nasties we know about.

It is not easy to be angelic with each other 24/7. It can be annoying too to have someone fussing over you incessantly, as my partner tells me (yes, I do have a tendency to do that and it annoys him a great deal). Yet caring is the bedrock of all mutually beneficial long-term relationships.

Maybe that’s why my partner asks me to read to him what I’ve written in the day. Maybe that’s his way of showing that he cares and that I am important in his life. However tired he is, he will make a point of listening for about10 minutes (eyes drooping sometimes), rather than gassing on about his oh-so-important work day and forgetting that I exist as a person.

This meme from Power of Positivity is bang on:

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My mum had always insisted that we never go to sleep angry with each other, however imperfect the day had been.  It’s about making up for the wrongs so that they do not carry over to the next day, increasing the weight of the rocks already in our hearts. Because if we fall asleep feeling “not good enough” that becomes us over time. This is something beautiful from he who mended my soul and made me well again:

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What I am seeing is, illnesses such as cancer are popping up with alarming regularity.  But if you have the supportive someone by your side, you will heal. “I will be strong and you will get over this,” he told me. And he was right. It became a deeply beautiful, emotional journey.

This is something I find useful:

Have a conversation with your partner to discuss how you both need to be supported. Sometimes, it needs to be spoken out, as people are not mind-readers. It could be the most important conversation in your relationship x