How does chronic pain strain relationships?


The personal struggle of managing chronic pain is also a relationship and family problem because it affects everyone around.


“I’ve seen that up close and personal of course in those two years at that post-doctoral fellowship. I’ve seen it so many times that you have this incredible struggle to manage chronic pain. It’s not just an individual person, it’s not just an individual problem. It’s a family problem, because it impacts everybody around you. Yes, it’s a relationship issue. I have a good friend who talks a lot about money. His name is Dave Ramsey. You may have heard him on the radio. He often says, ‘You don’t have a money problem, you’ve got a marriage problem because you're not talking about it.’ In the same way, sometimes you do have the pain problem but it’s more than a pain problem — it’s a relationship problem, too, because you have to be surrounded by healthy communication, conflict resolution, and all the rest.”

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Les Parrott, PhD

Center for Relationship Development

Dr. Les Parrott is a psychologist and #1 New York Times bestselling author. He and his wife, Dr. Leslie Parrott, are co-founders of the Center for Relationship Development in Seattle. Their books have sold more than 3 million copies and include: Love Talk, Your Time-Starved Marriage, Crazy Good Sex, The Good Fight, and the award-winning Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts.

Les and Leslie are founders of the game-changing online tool for couples: Les has been featured in USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. He has appeared on a variety of television programs including: CNN, The Today Show, GMA, The View, and Oprah. Visit