How Relationships Change After SCI

This article contains a video
a woman smiling
Curated by
Kristen Sachs
Content via FacingDisability
Curated by
Kristen Sachs

When a spinal cord injury happens, it affects more than just the person injured. Oftentimes, family members – and their relationships with each other – go through a change as well.

Bernadette’s son Pat was injured at age 21 in 2006. Bernadette suddenly found herself in a caregiving role in addition to her role as parent. No doubt the stress of the trauma and the readjustment to a new life changed both her relationship with her son and with her husband.

“I think we’re closer.”

Before her son’s injury, Bernadette says their relationship was strained due to a difference in lifestyle choices.  But now they “work through a lot of things” and “understand each other” on a different level than before.

Bernadette’s relationship with her spouse was also transformed after their son’s injury. “There was a lot of anger on his part,” says Bernadette of her husband. “I think that he wanted me to choose between Pat and him.” And like any relationship that has survived a drastic life change, it’s often a work in progress. “I think we also communicate on a different level, perhaps a better level now.”

“We’re finding a little more time to spend with each other – and it’s enjoyable time.”

Rebuilding relationships after a spinal cord injury can be challenging, but it’s something that can most certainly be done.

How have your relationships changed after an injury or diagnosis? Share your thoughts and experiences with us for a chance to be featured on AbleThrive.

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