Relationship Changes After Spinal Cord Injury

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Curated by
Kristen Sachs
Content via FacingDisability
Curated by
Kristen Sachs

When a spinal cord injury happens, relationships often change. And sometimes getting through those changes can be a challenge.

Nancy Rosenberg, a clinical psychologist at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital talks about the kinds of changes couples often experience in their relationship after one partner has been injured.

“Marriages can be tricky when the partner has a spinal cord injury.”

Oftentimes looking back at the past history of a relationship can be a good indicator of how the marriage will progress moving forward. “If the marriage was solid, and for a long time has been surviving nicely through difficult times, in all likelihood, it will continue to do that after a spinal cord injury. If the marriage was challenging prior to the injury, it might be more work to keep it progressing, moving forward, in a good way.”

Sexuality is another relationship area that is usually changed drastically due to a spinal cord injury. But that doesn’t mean sexuality has to be cut out of a relationship; it just may have to be approached or thought about differently. Nancy suggests couples ask themselves this question: “How are we going to be sexually intimate with one another now that my loved one’s body parts are compromised, they’re not working the way they did before?”

Relationship challenges are common with spinal cord injuries. But with joint effort and open communication, these challenges can be successfully overcome. Watch Nancy discuss relationship changes in the video below:

What relationship challenges have you experienced after an injury? Share your insight with us for a chance to be featured on AbleThrive!

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