5 Ways to Keep Your Relationship Alive After a Spinal Injury : There is no denying the fact that suffering a spinal injury can have a major impact on your life, including your relationship. That said, it doesn’t have to be this way…
If you’ve been unfortunate enough to suffer a serious spinal cord injury, you’re bound to have lots on your mind. Plenty of arrangements need to be made, both for the short term and the long term. This can make some matters seem somewhat trivial in comparison – including the details of your relationship.
Despite this, maintaining your relationship, and the intimacy that comes with it, is as important as ever in the aftermath of a spinal cord injury. Not only will you need your partner to provide emotional and practical support, such as if you’re having to pursue spinal injury compensation, but it’s equally important to sustain the romantic side to your relationship.
With that in mind, in this post, we’ll be detailing five ways you can help to keep your relationship alive after a spinal injury. Be sure to read on to learn more.
5 Tips to Help Maintain Your Relationship Following a Spinal Cord Injury
Understand What You’re Likely to Expect from Sex
Around 80 to 90 percent of those who suffer a spinal cord injury will experience a change to their sex lives. Of course, the exact changes you may experience will depend on the circumstances of your injury and the level of damage you have suffered. That’s why it’s important to get an understanding of what you and your partner can expect from sex, both in the short and long term.
For some couples, talking about sex isn’t easy at the best times, which makes it even more difficult after a spinal cord injury. However, for many of us, sex is a central human drive and intimate experience that we want to share with our partners and that is unlikely to change, even after an accident.
Speak with your doctor and talk things through with your partner so you can get a comprehensive understanding of what sex will look like. For instance, you may find that you have difficulties controlling your sexual response, or your level of arousal.
If you and your partner are both aware of these potential barriers, and you are both on the same page, you can then work around them and find ways of being intimate. If intercourse isn’t necessarily possible, there are plenty of other ways of being intimate – a spinal injury may just open the door to different opportunities for you and your partner.
Expand Your Idea of Romance and Intimacy
As we’ve just touched on, intimacy and romance go well beyond sex, which is something many couples tend to forget. So, it may be an idea to reconsider and expand your idea of romance and intimacy and find other ways of showing love to your partner and vice versa.
There are plenty of simple steps you can both take to keep your romantic spark alive. You can spring welcome surprises on them, plan romantic evenings with one another, or simply make a point of showing your love and gratitude on a daily basis.
Take Your Time
Make no mistake – your relationship won’t be exactly the same as it once was after experiencing a spinal cord injury. That isn’t to say that it’ll be in any way worse than before; it’ll just be different.
That’s exactly why it’s important to remember to take your time. You won’t be able to figure out exactly how to make your relationship work straight away and, in some cases, it may take months or even years before you understand exactly how you and your partner can full adapt to your new circumstances.
Don’t try and rush into anything and don’t expect any miracles straight away. It’s a process that you need to work through, and it will take long as it takes to be resolved.
Communicate Exactly How You’re Feeling and What You Need from Your Partner
You’ll have probably heard that communication is the key to any successful relationship. There’s a reason for that – it’s true! When you experience a spinal injury, that doesn’t change. If anything, it becomes even more important, as you adapt to your change in circumstances.
You and your partner have the opportunity to learn more about one another and what you can both do to ensure that your needs in the relationship continue to be met. Make sure you both speak honestly and openly about exactly how you’re feeling and what you need.
This isn’t just something you can work on while being intimate – it relates to every aspect of your relationship.
Appreciate That the Situation Will be Difficult for Your Partner Too
If you have suffered a spinal injury, it can be natural to only think about how it has affected your life. After all, you’ve suffered a life-changing injury that will have either resulted in paralysis or severe pain.
But you shouldn’t be quick to forget that your injury will have a profound impact on your loved ones as well. Your partner is likely to feel the brunt of your injury head on, especially if they have to act as your caretaker for a certain period of time.
So, with that in mind, take some time to appreciate how the situation will also be difficult for them and consider if there is anything you can do to provide emotional support.
Are You Looking to Maintain Your Relationship Following a Spinal Injury?
In this post, we have proposed five ways you and your partner can ensure your relationship continues to thrive, even after a spinal cord injury. The road ahead will be tough, there’s no doubt about that. But, by following these tips, there should be a few less bumps along the way.
Have you got any other tips for maintaining a relationship after a spinal injury? If so, feel free to leave them in the comments below!
Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained medical professional. Be sure to consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you’re seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.
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