Exploring Compassion and Connection: How to Improve Relationships Through Trying Times

Lisa Shield –

Relationships can be challenging to start. Cancer can test the strongest relationships. It can bring tension with the changes that life brings, but there are ways to strengthen your relationships. Listen today for tips from an expert!

Ep. 102

My guest today is Lisa Shield and she is a certified Life and Relationship coach with a degree in Spiritual Psychology. Our conversation highlights the importance of understanding each other’s needs and the strength that friendship and partnership bring during such trying times.

Maintaining a relationship when someone is diagnosed with cancer can be incredibly challenging. You may feel a sense of loss while your partner may not have expected to become a caregiver. Both of you will have to adjust to your new roles, and both people should be supported during this difficult time. 

Because very often people feel alone in their suffering, and they feel like they’re caught between a rock and a hard place. Like a husband who is supposed to be there might feel guilty about feeling the way he feels helpless and like his hands are tied and like there’s nothing he can do. And his wife may also feel guilty because she’s causing all of this, even though it’s not her fault. She may feel that, oh, my God, I’m bringing this on him or on the family, and this is my fault, and she may feel guilty as well. And now you have two people who both feel guilty and don’t want to put this on the other person. And so it’s important for both people to be able to communicate openly and honestly.

When cancer and chronic illness enter into a relationship, it doesn’t have to be the end- discover how you can improve communication, trust and understanding between partners in this episode.

You can learn more about Lisa and bettering your relationships at LisaShield.com 

Instagram @lisashieldcoaching, Facebook @lisashieldcoaching and YouTube @lisashieldcoaching

How does Lisa Sail Through Life?

Her words of advice…

“You have to have compassion, no matter how isolated and alone you feel in your diagnosis. It is so important to remember that there are two people if you’re married, if you have a partner, there are two people going through this, not one. And there is pain and suffering on both sides. There’s fear of the unknown and all. And there’s also, if one person doesn’t make it, there’s another person who is going to be left alone, who’s still going to be here facing life alone. So it is very, very important to remember to have compassion for yourself and your partner as you go through this.


Relationships can be compromised when one partner is diagnosed with cancer. The patient may feel a deep sense of vulnerability and loss, and their partner may not be prepared to care for them in this new way. It is important to remember – while both people are drastically impacted by the diagnosis, they cannot cope alone; they need to have each other’s support and understanding.

1. Be patient and understanding

When your partner or loved one is diagnosed with cancer, both of you need to be aware that it is a process. It may take time for them to adjust and cope with the diagnosis and its consequences. Show them patience and compassion as they adjust, and be willing to slow down when needed.

2. Check-in regularly

Be sure to check in on your partner’s state of mind from time to time, encouraging open communication between both of you so that neither one of you feels isolated during this trying period. Checking in will also give your partner an opportunity to express their feelings of fear, anxiety, confusion, or any other emotion they might have. 

3. Acknowledge the challenges, but stay positive

Although cancer can be a difficult and draining experience for both partners in a relationship, try to focus on the positive aspects of what life has held before the diagnosis and hold onto those thoughts while helping each other get through the challenges cancer presents. 

4. Participate in activities together 

Taking part in activities together can be beneficial since it serves as an avenue where each person can grow closer while soaking up some enjoyable memories during this tough time. An activity could include taking walks together or sharing new music or books found online; having something to look forward to often helps when dealing with cancer-related stressors for both people involved in the relationship. 

5 Reach out for help if necessary 

Caring for someone affected by cancer can become overwhelming at times which is why getting support from family members, friends, or professionals can help relieve any stresses felt in relationships due to changes associated with a partner’s diagnosis with cancer. Providing strength while going through a major life change brought on by this news and receiving extra guidance throughout the process may help provide comfort when tackling issues related directly or indirectly with cancer’s effects on a relationship.

Listen to this important episode to hear more.

How do you sail through life? Join me on this endeavor!

I would love to grow this amazing support community! Learn more here.

** Sailing Through Life Podcast is intended to educate, inspire and support you on your personal journey and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only. If you are suffering from any psychological or medical conditions, please seek help from a qualified health professional.



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Published by Lorie

Hello and welcome to Sailing Through Life! My name is Lorie. I am a 2-time melanoma cancer survivor and a sailor - in my heart and on the water. I want to be a beacon of light to others with life challenges and be an inspiration to stay positive while going through these life-altering events. Join me as I set sail on this new adventure... Sailing Through Life.

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