You’ve been involved in an accident recently, and the injuries were serious. You had physical and mental injuries because of what happened – you incurred fractures in some part of your body, and you also experienced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. After what happened, you and your family decided to seek professional treatment for your injuries. These treatments were tedious, and it lasted for months. Sure, you were well after going through all of these treatments but you know that things will never be the same – there will be things which you’re now unable to do. And since you’re married, this fact begins to bother you. You have to stay in a relationship, but you just don’t know how after the injury.
It’s not easy staying in a relationship after an injury. For one, you have to make up for the lost time you’ve spent during your treatments and second, you have to continually function as a spouse every day even if you have injuries. All of these sound very simple to do, but in reality it isn’t. Staying in a relationship after an injury is challenging not only for you but your spouse as well. To help you with your dilemma, these tips might help you on how you can stay in a relationship after the injury.
But First, How Are Relationships Affected After An Injury?
Your relationship will be affected after an injury – that’s for sure. But the gravity of how your relationship will be affected will depend on the grounds of your relationship and severity of your injuries. You can’t compare your own relationship as to how other injured spouses handled theirs as every relationship is unique. But there are common grounds on how relationship are affected after an injury, and these are:
- Responsibilities: Before the accident happened, you might have a set of responsibilities at home such as taking the kids to school, paying the monthly bills and doing the groceries. But after the accident, your energy should be focused on developing new skills and long-term recovery. Because of these, you might not be able to meet your previous responsibilities.
How do responsibilities change?
- You as a survivor might give up responsibilities to make way for treatments on how you can get better. Or you might need to spend some time talking to your lawyers on how to sue the other parties involved in the accident where you’ve incurred personal injuries. Whatever the reason is, you’ll have a lot on your plate after the accident.
- Since your attention is focused elsewhere, your spouse must now take on your responsibilities, which can include planning and organizing activities for the family and managing household finances. And this will require a great deal of adjustment for your spouse.
- You and your entire family will also take on new responsibilities such as managing your health care.
- Communication: Without communication, your relationship might crumble. If your injuries hamper your ability to communicate with your spouse, this could become the reason for issues and arguments in the relationship. When things like these happen, you and your spouse should look for ways on how to build better communication and not limit yourselves in merely doing it verbally
What happens when communication patterns and style change?
- The change from using one communication style to another might result in both people feeling isolated and alone. You or your spouse might feel that you two no longer understand each other.
- After the injury, you or your spouse might have difficulties in communicating with each other. This might cause you to pull away from the relationship and choose to handle these challenges with your friends and family. Or worse, you or your spouse might choose not to communicate with each other at all.
- Once communication is adversely affected, other aspects of the relationship may be affected too. It’ll be difficult for the both of you to talk about responsibilities and adjust to changes together.
- Physical Intimacy: When you’re married, it’s essential that you and your spouse share private moments together. This is one way of sharing a physical bond that only you two can have. But you can’t expect that the physical intimacy before will still be the same after the accident. And the reasons for this change could be because of:
- Areas of sexual interest;
- Attraction, appearance, and self-confidence;
- Hormone levels due to injury; and
- Roles in sexual relationship
How Can You Stay In A Relationship After An Injury?
Yes, different aspects of your relationship are affected after an injury, and you, as a spouse, should exert time and effort to ensure that these areas are still taken care of after you’ve sustained those injuries. It’s just too much to handle, right? This might be true, but the tips listed below can help you in more ways than one.
- Responsibilities: Your responsibilities might change after the injury, but that doesn’t mean that your relationship will end. You can still improve your relationship if you and your spouse know how to handle responsibility changes, which can be done through:
- Both of you should be understanding with each other’s new responsibilities. Taking on new roles might be difficult, but both of you should work together to ensure that everyone in the relationship isn’t overwhelmed with the tasks.
- Learn to appreciate your spouse and never forget to say “thank you” whenever he/she manages new responsibilities.
- Both of you should take breaks from responsibility. Sure, some things should be done in the house, but don’t overwork yourself in learning all of these as you will end up feeling stressed and burned out. Schedule time off with your family to bond and relax.
- Communication: Communicating through a new medium can be challenging for a couple, but if you two are patient and willing to adjust from what was accustomed before, the transition will come off easily. These tips can help you achieve that goal:
- There should be a commitment from the both of you that you’re willing to improve communication.
- You should listen patiently whenever your spouse is talking, and vice versa.
- You should take note of points you can agree on rather than focusing on a disagreement.
- When you disagree with what your spouse is saying, think about it a couple of times before actually uttering something. Don’t let emotions get in the way.
- Physical Intimacy: If you fail to give physical intimacy to your spouse, chances are, he/she might feel incomplete in the relationship. Most of the time, this is the reason why marriages fall apart. To avoid going in that direction, these tips might come in handy for you:
- Find a therapist: There are a lot of firms which offer support to couples who are having issues with their physical intimacy. If you think seeking professional help is the best way to go, talk to your spouse about it and make sure that the decision is agreed upon by the both of you. There are different types of counselling, which will not only benefit the relationship but your individual well-being as well.
- Try a support group: Look for communities and groups which have the same experience as yours. These groups allow you to establish new friendships and find local information and resources.
Your role as a spouse and as a parent if you have kids doesn’t change the moment you sustained any injuries. There are still people who need your companionship and your attention, and without all of these coming from you, their well-being might be affected negatively. Yes, you might have difficulties functioning as an individual in a relationship after the accident, but there are ways of solving these problems. The ideas and information presented in this article can help you. You just have to gradually implement all of them in your daily routine without compromising your current condition.
Lilly Jordan has been a law writer for more than 20 years, and she hopes to impart legal wisdom to the common reader through her works. She is currently working on a new law piece. A certified “foodie,” Lilly loves to cook for her friends and family. She often tries new dishes whenever she has free time.