8 Ways to Show Your Love

  • 9 Nutrition Tips
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    8 Ways to Show Your Love

    If your spouse is undergoing this treatment, the side effects—from hair loss to fatigue—can sometimes diminish your partner's desire for physical intimacy.

    But that doesn't mean that chemo has to drive you apart as a couple—there are many ways to increase intimacy outside the bedroom. 

  • Mini-Meals
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    Flirt Again

    Remember when you and your partner first fell in love and couldn't stop stealing glances at each other or finding reasons to touch each other? After being with a partner for a long time, we can sometimes forget how much fun it is to flirt!

    Go out of your way to make your partner smile again. Try lowering your voice to a whisper and locking eyes. Hug in a public place. You'll be surprised by how much it brings back your spark!

     

  • Stock Up on Easy Snacks
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    Write Love Notes

    Chemo treatments sometimes damage patients' self-esteem—especially if they've lost their hair or dropped a lot of weight. Leaving little messages around the house can remind your partner that you still love her and still find her attractive.

    Grab an erasable marker or some lipstick and write a message on the bathroom mirror, like "You'll always be beautiful to me." Slip a card that says, "I love you" into his wallet or under her pillow.

  • Adjust to New Flavors
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    Take on Chores

    One foundation of a good relationship is respect—something that is often better shown than simply stated. One way to do this? Offer to take on some of his or her usual chores.

    Whether it's cooking dinner, vacuuming or doing the laundry, you're not only giving your partner a chance to rest and heal, you're also letting them know you realize that the chores they've been doing take a lot of effort.

  • Keep Moving
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    Anticipate Needs

    Your partner has a lot to think about right now and might not be functioning at his or her best. Show your love by anticipating his or her needs.

    Little things go a long way—wake up before her and start her car so it won't be chilly in the winter, leave out his morning meds and/or vitamins so he remembers to take them or leave her slippers by the bed.

  • Add Ginger to Meals
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    Snuggle

    Intimacy doesn't have to mean sex—keep passion alive by cuddling on the couch and watching a movie or giving each other back rubs.

    Just touching your partner can cause your bodies to release oxytocin, the bonding hormone that can reduce stress and increase feelings of connectedness.

  • Stay Hydrated
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    Make Time for Talking

    Make time to listen and speak intimately to your significant other each week. Use these moments to listen and bond over concerns, hopes and thoughts for the future. Find a special place to go to have this daily ritual—perhaps a nearby park, an intimate coffeehouse or a quiet room in your home.

  • Stick to Water Juice
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    Learn Something New Together

    If your partner is up to it, try signing up for a class together. Whether it's yoga, a cooking class, photography or wine-tasting—just choose something that appeals to you both.

    Not only will this create a scheduled time to be together, but learning something new and building happy memories as a couple is one of the best ways to feel more connected to your partner.

  • 9 Nutrition Tips
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    Plan for the Future

    To fight the feelings of depression and fear that cancer brings on, try to focus on your future as a couple. Plan out your dream vacation for when chemo sessions are over or start on the business plan for finally opening up that bed and breakfast you've both always dreamed of starting.

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  For Caregivers

Help Your Loved One With 'Chemo Brain'
8 Ways to Show Your Love
What Not to Say to Someone Having Chemo
Make Long-Distance Caregiving Work
Delight a Loved One Going Through Chemo
Get Your Loved One to Eat During Chemo
Keep Intimacy Strong

More You & Your Care Team

Put Some "Me" in Chemo Caregiving
Caregiving and Depression: How to Help Yourself
Prevent Sibling Squabbles When Caring for a Parent
5 Ways Chemo Caregiving Is Good for You
Taking a Loved One to a Party
How to Stress-Proof Your Diet