Friday, August 5, 2016
When Illness Changes Intimacy
I wrote a post about this topic a while ago, and readers are still offering comments. I think this is the case because illness and sex is a common but often closeted aspect of living with a serious health condition. When illness becomes the third partner in the relationship, it infiltrates into the living room, the check book, the social calendar, and the bedroom. If the couple is older, or younger, the intimacy-illness equation gets even more complicated.
I am linking to the original post. But more important than the post itself are the comments. I thank all those who shared their situations and heartaches, and solutions. I hope other readers find community and some comfort in knowing that we are not alone. Here goes:
"What do you do when your partner is no longer interested in or capable of sexual intimacy with you?
Illness takes many tolls, on both partners. One of them is too often sexual intimacy. Medications, pain, and exhaustion can not only turn a libido off, but can make intercourse painful for the ill partner. The well partner may be just too drained after a long day of caregiving, working, caring for kids, and running the household to want anything more intimate than falling asleep side-by-side. And the shift illness produces in some partner relationships -- turning a bond of equals into one of caregiver and patient -- can make sex feel like a taboo."