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Managing relationships through coronavirus

Managing relationships after a brain tumour diagnosis can be difficult in itself, even without the added strains and pressures of the coronavirus pandemic.

With the disruption and change to normal routines, along with the increasing amount of time being spent together due to social distancing and self-isolation, it’s no surprise relationships will be tested and may become even more difficult to manage. With this increased tension, we know that feelings of guilt, anger and frustration are all too common.

Whether you’re a parent with the kids at home all the time, caring for a partner without access to any respite, or affected yourself and unable to leave your home or see your loved ones, we understand how difficult these times might feel.

Here are our top tips for coping:

  • Accept and acknowledge your feelings. This is an incredibly difficult situation and it’s totally natural to feel increasingly more irritable at times. Don’t be hard on yourself for feeling this way.
  • Create new routines. The sudden lack of routine, changes to roles and being unable to do usual activities can have a knock-on effect. Try to get some balance by creating new routines and keeping some normality, where possible, to provide some comfort and familiarity. This may be watching your favourite TV programme or having a cuppa in the afternoon.
  • Have some time on your own. It can be useful to take a few minutes for yourself, even if it’s just for a walk around the garden or to read a chapter of a book.
  • Keep connected to others. You may find it helpful to share how you’re feeling, so make the time to talk to someone close to you who you trust and who isn’t in the immediate situation. Use this as respite and make use of phone calls or video chats. Talking to someone neutral can be a really beneficial way to process what’s going on.
  • Take a moment before responding. If you feel upset or hurt by something that’s happened or that someone’s said, try taking some time out and a few deep breaths before responding,
  • Reach out to others who understand. You may like to reach out to others in our community who understand what you’re going through by joining our online communities.

Our new relationship information

We know that 2 out of 3 people see a negative impact on their relationships following a brain tumour diagnosis, so we have partnered with Relate – The Relationship People to launch a new Relationship Support Service, to help our community to make their relationships stronger.

As well as a new relationship information on our website, where you can find information and resources, about the key issues that we know relationship can face, our partnership with Relate means we can also offer free relationship counselling to individuals and couples where one partner has been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Please do remember, you can contact our support and information line by ringing 0808 800 0004, emailing us at support@thebraintumourcharity.org or starting a live chat. The Support and Information Line is open Monday to Friday, between 9.00am and 5.00pm.

Tips from our community

Our community have been sharing tips and videos about staying positive during self-isolation.

Read the tips

Looking after your well-being

How to look after your mental health and well-being during self-isolation for coronavirus COVID-19

Read more

Activities for kids at home

Fun and educational activities for children at home due to coronavirus

Read our tips

We know that, sadly, some people in our community have seen changes in their loved ones that have led to them being violent or aggressive, although this is rare. 

These changes can seem even more worrying in the current situation, but it’s important to remember that if this is something you’re experiencing, your safety is paramount and the current social distancing (or isolation) rules don’t apply if you need to leave your home to escape domestic violence.

If you feel you’re at risk of abuse, remember there’s help and support available, including police response, online support, helplines, refuges and other services.

You are not alone!

Find out more

About the author

I’m a member of the Children and Families Team at The Brain Tumour Charity and previously practised as a Speech and Language Therapist, working with children of all ages. I’m dedicated to supporting children, young people and families affected by a brain tumour by being there every step of the way to provide help, understanding and support, when it’s needed most.

More by this author

Media contacts at The Brain Tumour Charity

Press office contact details:

Phone: Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm: 01252 237864
Out of hours media contact: 07990 828385
Email: pressoffice@thebraintumourcharity.org