Being in a relationship with someone who has chronic migraines can be a difficult and frustrating experience. Since migraines often occur with little or no warning, they tend to interrupt plans and distract from daily life on a regular basis. If your partner suffers from migraines, you can take steps to ensure that you continue to have a successful and stable relationship.
Understand what your partner is going through. Migraines are chronic headaches that cause significant pain for several hours or days. A typical migraine often involves the following symptoms: severe pain in the head, a pulsing or throbbing feeling, nausea and sensitivity to light and sounds. Understand that migraine pain often becomes worse with physical activity and the pain is sometimes so debilitating that it interferes with regular activities. Understanding your partner’s struggles will not only help you to be patient with her condition but will also show her that you truly care and want to help.
Monitor your partner’s migraines. Take note of when they occur and any events or conditions that may have caused them. Keep detailed notes on how long they last, the severity of pain experienced and the type of treatment that brought relief. This monitoring period should give you and your partner a clearer idea of what causes the migraines and when they commonly occur.
Plan your activities around the “common times” for migraines. For example, if your partner typically gets a migraine in the evening, plan to do your activities in the morning. Use the morning hours wisely; take care of any shared responsibilities, spend quality time with each other and be intimate on a regular basis.
Be patient and understanding if your partner’s migraines are unpredictable and do not occur in a regular pattern. If you and your partner are out, return home as soon as possible. If your plans are interrupted due to an unexpected and sudden migraine, simply accept it and reorganize your plans. It is important to not hold resentment towards your partner for the migraines. Although the migraines will likely interrupt your life on a regular basis, it is important to understand that they often cannot be controlled. Getting upset with your partner will only create additional problems in your relationship.
Provide care and comfort to your partner during migraines. When a migraine begins, make sure your partner is comfortable in a quiet, dark room. If it helps, apply an ice pack around the neck and give a gentle massage on the scalp. Help your partner obtain the correct medication and check in on her regularly as she rests.
Engage in regular aerobic exercise with your partner, if her doctor approves. Not only will this potentially help with the migraines, according to the Mayo Clinic, but it provides an opportunity for the two of you to spend time with each other. Consider going on walks, swimming or cycling together -- but ensure you warm up slowly to help avoid triggering a migraine.
Offer to go with your partner to her doctor appointments to discuss possible medications and lifestyle changes.