If you’ve been happily married for ten or more years, and your life is suddenly disrupted as a result of an accident or illness where you will spend most of your time in a wheelchair or bed, what do you do if it hurts the other person to have sex? What if it’s awkward and painful and the person does not feel like it? Do you expect it? Do you force it? Do you live without it? Should your partner have sex outside the home? Or have sex with a stranger with your permission? What is the protocol?
Going to the heart of the matter
There is nothing that can replace intimacy between a couple who has been in love for years. Intimacy is not the same as sex although it is a combination of understanding and love. When you have understanding and compassion, when you love a person and feel and want the best for them, and are used to your quiet moments where it is just the two of you, there is a lot one can do if one is genuinely concerned. Sex is not only about the body; it is to a large extent, the brain, intimate conversation, a loving touch, and yes, doing what you can to bring your partner to a climax.
The brain is the real sex organ. It is where lovemaking begins, in the head. You do not suddenly stop loving someone because he or she has had an accident – unless you had no intention of having a lasting relationship. Here are some things you can do.
· Always smell nice. Don’t stop wearing your favorite perfume. Be fresh and squeaky clean even though you are in bed.
· Wear nice clothes in the house and get rid of that old cardigan that you wear when you feel sorry for yourself.
· If you are a kisser, this is the time to get creative. You know what your partner wants.
· Play your favorite music and go down memory lane.
· Hold hands whenever you can to let your partner know that things have not changed.
· Tell him you love him when he least expects it.
· If you are ill, but still able to walk, do as much as you can in the house.
· Discuss the possibility of trying new techniques you are comfortable with.