Skip to main content
help partner with migraine

How to Help Someone With a Migraine: True Stories

Migraine sufferers across the country explain how their partner helps them deal with migraines.

When you’re experiencing migraine symptoms — when your head feels like it’s being squeezed in a vise and even blinking requires Herculean effort — letting a partner know how they can help may seem impossible. That’s why it can be a good idea for you and your spouse or partner to come up with a plan of attack before the migraine hits. After all, your partner hates seeing you in pain, and even though he or she can’t take the migraine away, there’s a good chance they can do something to help you feel a little more comfortable, which might also help them feel more helpful.

Here, migraine sufferers explain how their partner pitches in.

“My husband hurries to clean the toilet because he knows I’ll be throwing up for hours. That is love.” Nicole Zeman, Portland, OR

“My boyfriend knows when I crawl into bed to go silent. He shuts off the lights, takes the dogs out of the room, and watches TV at a low volume.” Kristin Ratigan, Ancorage, AK

“My husband immediately assumes all household duties as soon as I know a migraine is coming. One time, he even hosted an entire barbeque for my family while I lay upstairs in a coma-like state. We’d had the party planned for weeks, and I didn’t want to cancel at the last minute. I could hear laughter coming from the backyard, but was far too weak and in too much pain to join in, but it meant so much to me that he took over the festivities for me.” Judy Cantu, Van Nuys, CA

“My husband gets bad migraines, and I’ve found what works best is to send him upstairs, crank the air conditioner, draw the blinds, and leave him alone. Then, when he emerges hours later, I’ll usually make a simple, home-cooked meal that we’ll eat by candlelight because his eyes are still sensitive.” Lizz Smoak, Miami, FL

“I’m a longtime migraine sufferer, and my husband strikes the perfect balance of leaving me alone and taking care of me. One thing that helps so much is a steady supply of crushed ice in plastic bags so I always have something cool to put on my forehead.” Cindy Kavanaugh, Calgary, CA

“I have a nine-year-old and a twelve-year-old, and when I get migraines, my husband is amazing not only at checking on me and taking care of the kids, but also coordinating how the kids can help me. Together, the kids make meals and take turns checking on me, which makes me feel a little better, even in the middle of a migraine.” Becca Ludlum, Tucson, AZ

“I have five adopted kids, all under the age of seven. I get a migraine that sends me to bed about once a month, and my husband takes over kid duty—it makes a huge difference to know that their meals and baths are being handled so I can focus on resting.” Carrie Le Chevallier, Raleigh, NC

Alternative text

Manage your migraines a
little easier with our 5-week
Migraine Survival Guide.