Prostate cancer can affect your relationships with your partner, family members and friends. Sometimes cancer can bring you closer to your partner because it gives you a different way of looking at things. But it can also put strain on a relationship because it can change roles and responsibilities. It really does depend on what your relationship was like before the diagnosis and how you both cope with the changes that follow.
Sharing your experiences, concerns, feelings and thoughts about living with prostate cancer might strengthen your relationships. Some men feel too embarrassed or aren’t sure what to say. But letting others know what is going on can help them to support in ways that are right for you, and can help you maintain a positive relationship with them.
It is equally important to give yourself and others time to adjust to the changes brought about by prostate cancer. People react to stressful situations differently. If they are constantly positive, play down your anxiety or ignore you, it may be just their way of adjusting to the situation. Your partner, family and friends may also need support, for example from a support group.
One point to remember: making sure your partner, family or friends have support doesn’t mean you’re the one who has to support or ‘look after’ them. In some situations, your support is about helping them to find help.