Living with a chronic illness effects every part of your life. You may be affected by daily pain. There may be issues with chronic fatigue or side affects from medication. Some may suffer from depression due to the stress of day-to-day existence, or loneliness due to loss of friends or the loss of independence. There may be changes in your body that affect your self-esteem. Due to these factors a person who once had an active sex life may find that they know longer have the desire anymore. This can put a strain on your relationship with your partner. Don’t forget your partner is on this journey with you. The may not experience all of the physical manifestation of your chronic illness but they are there with you through the day-to-day and are experiencing the highs and lows of your illness. They too are experiencing a loss of the person you once were and the relationship you once had. A once happy relationship may start to show signs of cracks and strain if there is not honest communication about both of your feelings especially those regarding your sex life. It is best to communicate these feelings before either of you begins to feel resentment about the lack of sex and intimacy in the relationship.
Just because you are sick doesn’t mean you must live a life of celibacy. With a few changes and compromise between you and your partner you can continue to have a healthy sex life.
– Pick a time of day when you feel your best. If you take pain medicine make sure it has time to take effect.
– If your medications affects your libido talk to your doctor.
-Experiment with new positions and use pillows to help relieve pain. Be creative!
-You doesn’t always have to have intercourse. You may not always feel your best no matter how well you prepare. You may only be able to cuddle, kiss, or massage each other. Find other ways have a close intimate connection with your partner without intercourse. Have fun exploring each other’s body.
-Last, keep open communication with your spouse. It is going to be a trial and error journey. Work together to find out what is best for both of you while still fulfilling each others needs.
Just because you are sick you don’t have to sacrifice sex and intimacy with your mate. Certain things may have to change but remember that you love each other and that your relationship is worth it!