Love is blind. Thank god for that. Pure love doesn’t see gender, body, or beauty. All it sees is the capacity of the two people to last with each other through thick and thin. By definition, love is not something that is free of hurdles. Love is something that is strong enough to overcome those hurdles, survive, and thrive. These hurdles vary, depending upon the people involved in a romantic relationship. For those who love someone with a disability, these hurdles become almost impossible to overcome. However, loving someone with a disability is not a rare act. There are people coping with a disabled partner. And if you are stubborn about staying in love with a differently abled person, here is a romantic guide for loving someone with a disability in the same way as loving someone without them.
Understand that the pain and the person are two different entities:
It is vital to realize that the person you love, the person you are dating, or the person that you are married to is still the same person – even after altercating changes in his/her body. While you may get sucked into the whirlpool of taking care of the disabled partner’s body, you might fail to grasp your partner’s heart and soul that still craves your love and affection.
There is no denying the fact that you are doing your best to make your disabled partner comfortable. However, it will help you to remember that your partner also needs to feel loved. Don’t confuse soothing your disabled partner’s pain for making him/her feel wanted or needed. Soothe the pain and love the person – this is the key to loving someone with disability.
Communication and chemistry makes loving someone with a disability easier
Many people do not realize that the caregiver in a romantic relationship also goes through excruciating pain along with the one with a disability. The pain that you go through as a caregiver is almost always mental or emotional. There will be times when coping with a disabled partner will get extremely frustrating or over-whelming. These are the moments that will test your love for your partner or spouse. These are the moments when you should never give up. Instead, you should establish communication and chemistry with your partner.
One of the biggest reasons why people find loving someone with a disability hard is because they cannot communicate their feelings to their partners. Most people who are in a relationship with a disabled person feel guilty about voicing their concerns because they feel like they contribute to the disabled partner’s pain by doing so. This is one of the biggest myths about dating a disabled person.
If you plan on staying in love with a disabled person, you need to fuel your communication and chemistry with them time and again. Talk it out. Find different ways to bond with your partner. Don’t stuff emotions inside and wait for them to explode – destroying your relationship in the process. No relationship can survive without communication and chemistry – especially the ones in which one partner is dealing with disabilities.
Don’t let your helplessness turn you hopeless about staying in love with a disabled partner
You love your partner or spouse without any limits. So, it is inevitable that you will want to ‘fix’ their disabilities and take away their pain. Here is a bitter pill of truth for you to swallow. You can’t do either of the two. Sometimes, you will feel frustratingly helpless about the whole situation. Even after communicating these feelings with your loved one, you will not be able to tackle this experience of being inadequate for him/her. Try to work out things through understanding and acceptance.
Don’t let feelings of helplessness make you give up on this beautiful romantic relationship. Build up a certain level of mature acceptance within yourself. Firstly, accept the fact that you are not be blamed for your partner’s pain. You are doing the best you can to be there for your disabled loved one – physically, emotionally, mentally, as well as financially. You can only soothe your partner’s pain, but you cannot take it away. And that is okay. Don’t let the guilt of not being loving enough actually stop you from loving someone with a disability.
Secondly, understand that your partner, who is in pain right now, is also experiencing those exact feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness. In a society where we put body stereotype on a pedestal and turn a blind eye on everything that is ‘abnormal’, understand that your disabled partner is probably going through much more pain than he/she is able to express. Rather than letting your relationship drown in waves of guilt and shame, acknowledge the unspoken love that you both bear for each other. That will surely make staying in love with your someone special even more special.
Creating moments together always helps love to thrive
Never forget that a romantic relationship needs a strong foundation of love to stand on, not the plastered walls of sexual intimacy. While physical intimacy helps the relationship to thrive, limiting the potential of intimacy to just sexual encounters can be damaging to the same relationship. One of the biggest myths of dating a disabled person is that you miss out on all the sexual fun and thrilling adventures in the relationship. This is completely untrue.
If you love someone from the bottom of your heart, a physical disability cannot disable the strength of your love. Loving someone with a disability means doing things with the person to create moments and memories together. These things could be anything – laughing at a private joke, watching a movie marathon together, whispering sweet-nothings to each other at random times, reading a book together or even discussing small or big ideas under one roof! Disability doesn’t necessarily limit love. If at all, it makes it even stronger. Loving someone with a disability or without it isn’t the challenge – the challenge is to remember that love conquers all, even in the darkest of times.