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Moving in with a Partner when You Have Asthma

Happy couple unpacking in their new house
Getty Images / SolisImages

Moving house can feel like a brand new start, but it can also pose unique challenges for those with asthma. Unfamiliar environments can harbor unexpected triggers, and all the cleaning and packing/unpacking can sound like the recipe for an asthma disaster. 

The worries can increase two-fold for those moving in with a partner. "What if we can't find a place we can afford without damp?" "What if my partner gets tired of all the compromises?" "Will they dump me if they can't get a cat?" 

Choosing the perfect home for both of you may take a while. But, as Michelle Rivas explains in her post, the long search, compromises, and ongoing communication were worth it. It's possible to have an asthma-friendly living space and partner! Read her story below.

Moving in with a partner is one of the biggest steps forward in any relationship. It can impact the location, the décor, and even the laundry detergent you use.

Blending two lives and preferences involves compromise, collaboration, and a lot of planning. Perhaps more so if one of you has asthma.

I committed my whole self to my partner when we decided to move in together. That meant I had to share every aspect of my asthma journey and trust that they accepted me.

Living with asthma isn't easy. Asking someone who doesn't have asthma to sign up as a caregiver, therapist, and confidante is terrifying.

I feared my partner would say they'd had enough of the nights being disturbed by coughing. I imagined them growing to resent the constant sound of air purifiers running, the unscented soaps, and the special cleaning products.

After all the anxiety, we decided to jump in with both feet. And it's been wonderful!

Here are a few tips to consider if you have asthma and are planning to move in with your partner.

Agree on your non-negotiables

I had to be very selective when searching for a place to live. I needed to spend time in the space. I inspected high and low to ensure there wasn't mold, cats living nearby, poor airflow, or any other asthma or allergy triggers.

I felt ridiculous! I never want to be considered "needy." More than a few realtors were annoyed with me.

My partner and I toured a dozen homes before finding one that met our needs. It fitted within our budget, had outdoor space, and would allow a large-breed dog.

We made a list of non-negotiables before heading into our home search, making the process much easier! We knew the other person's needs, and they weren't up for compromise.

Keep an open dialogue

Your asthma triggers are unique to you. My triggers are frustratingly personal.

I react to strong smells, cleaning products, soaps, feathers, smoke, cold air, open windows, certain foods, and all cats. The list goes on and on.

My partner came home with products that were "organic" or "allergy-friendly." However, that didn't always mean they would work for me. They were often an asthma trigger.

Be appreciative when your partner tries to be helpful but remain honest. Discussing your triggers can help end the cycle of blame and shame with asthma.

Discuss pets before you move

You probably haven't considered adopting a dog if you're allergic to them. It might become a surprise point of contention if your partner has always dreamed of having one.

My partner and I were forced to talk early on about which animals could be allowed in our future home.

My partner's roommates had cats. It was a huge challenge! I could only ever visit for a short time, and I always needed my inhaler. We took extra precautions to reduce the cat hair and dander.

All this was such a process. But at least we were both on the same page about pets when we moved in together.

Split up the responsibilities

Studies show that women are often responsible for a disproportionate amount of the "invisible workload." These tasks include family schedules, cooking, and cleaning. This load multiplies when it comes to managing a chronic condition.

Have an honest conversation with your partner about household responsibilities early on. It can save you both from feeling like one is overburdened with tasks.

Be yourself

My biggest concern was that my partner would resent the changes I'd bought into their life. Asthma isn't easy mentally or physically - to have or to navigate alongside your loved one. They now needed to avoid the many things that trigger my asthma, as well as having to watch me have scary asthma attacks.

I learned that the right partner wouldn't judge and run from the situation. They won't reject you. They'll do everything possible to make your life and asthma run smoothly. 

Ultimately, no matter what your condition, your partner should accept you as you are. Your partner's understanding may even help you better accept yourself and your asthma.

The information presented is solely for educational purposes, not as specific advice for the evaluation, management, or treatment of any condition.

The individual(s) who have written and created the content in and whose images appear in this article have been paid by Teva Pharmaceuticals for their contributions. This content represents the opinions of the contributor and does not necessarily reflect those of Teva Pharmaceuticals. Similarly, Teva Pharmaceuticals does not review, control, influence or endorse any content related to the contributor's websites or social media networks. This content is intended for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered medical advice or recommendations. Consult a qualified medical professional for diagnosis and before beginning or changing any treatment regimen. 

NPS-ALL-NP-00967 May 2023

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