By Marco Bendinelli
If you’re married and have suffered a life-changing injury, you need to know that your injury may offer the opportunity to create deeper intimacy between you and your spouse. For this reason, your terrible setback in life may be a cloud with a silver lining.
While you may scoff at the notion that a life-changing injury has any “positives” attached to it – and that’s certainly understandable; the truth is that you and your spouse may become closer than ever during your adjustment to this devastating challenge. Whether your injury will heal or leave you with long-term physical/health challenges, you should know that your relationship with your partner may be one of the primary keys to your emotional stability as you deal with your injury and its aftermath.
If you do have a devoted and loving better half, you are very lucky and you may be amazed by the depth of loyalty, concern and support you receive as you learn to live with a changed body. This kind of loyalty, concern and support is a gift. However, your spouse may need a little help and education in order to give you the support that you want.
Continue with this post to learn of ways to grow stronger in love after a life-changing injury. These tips are based on the experiences of real-life couples who were at some point in the same situation.
Be Sure to Schedule Romantic Activities
Activities that you may plan with your spouse will obviously depend on the injury and how it limits mobility, etc. However, keeping it simple may be the key to enjoying romantic experiences. For example, a candlelit meal in your own home kitchen, with soft music playing in the background, will help the two of you relax and talk.
If you have kids, try to arrange for a sitter or keep them occupied with a Disney video in another room close by. Put on nice clothes, just as though you were prepping for a first date. It’s easy to make things special with the right attitude!
Make this time an occasion for just the two of you. It doesn’t matter who cooks – takeout is one practical option if you’re both exhausted from everything that is going on in your lives – it is all about looking at each other, smiling, and breaking bread together in a romantic atmosphere.
Try to do this one night a week at least. It should become a treasured ritual which allows both of you focus on each other, rather than the everyday pressures of life.
Other ideas for romantic times together include:
• Nature walks (injury permitting)
• Movie nights (at home or a theater)
• Exercising together (do your physical rehabilitation exercises, while
your partner helps or works out beside you)
• Trips to museums or art galleries – seeing new things will freshen your
• Outings to local pubs or wine bars. Only drink alcohol if your doctor
gives you the OK. Lots of places serve “mocktails” to teetotalers.
• Couples massages/spa days
This just scratches the surface. Every couple is different. Think about what the two of you used to enjoy doing before the life-changing event. If these activities are no longer possible, try to find close substitutes.
Another tip is to create a bucket list – what do you or have you always wanted to do together in your lifetimes? Then, try to make it happen. Goals and wishes for the future will keep you strong, energized and motivated as you tackle the challenges that lay ahead.
Every couple needs things to look forward to – from trips, date nights and beyond.
Embrace Spirituality as a Couple
One last suggestion is to let the power of spirituality into your lives. If you do believe in a higher power, you may already have a religion which guides your actions and helps you to stay centered. If you don’t currently have a faith, you may find that certain religions offer useful tips for a better living.
For example, Buddhism is focused on living in the moment, being compassionate and detaching from negative, draining emotions, such as hate and envy. This may offer exceptional tools for personal growth. No matter which spiritual pathway you choose, walking this pathway together may give both of you strength and also bring you closer together.
As a Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or of other faith, you may wish to attend worship with your spouse. Being part of a welcoming congregation may make the two of you feel less alone as you deal with the after-effects of the life-changing injury.
Religion is about community for many people. It’s about sharing the spirit of hope, peace and love with like-minded believers. However, you don’t need to be religious in order to be spiritual. There are many spiritual self-help books, articles, podcasts and videos which aren’t centered solely on religion. You may find these at online resources or stores in your own community.
Stay Strong and Move Forward
A life-changing injury doesn’t have to ruin your love life or marriage. It can enrich it, if only from an emotional standpoint. It is all about choosing to forge a stronger bond with your true love.
Life isn’t fair, but life is also what you make of it. For this reason, treasure your spouse at this difficult time and remember love is a balm for the soul and a powerful healer.
Do you have other tips to help couples grow stronger in love after a life-changing injury? Please share.
About the Author
Marco Bendinelli is an attorney and the founding shareholder at Bendinelli Law Firm. He is devoted to representing individuals who suffered injury or death caused by the negligence or wrongful conducts of others. He also finds time to motivate and inspire through his writings.