Roz Kalb , Psychologist & Pat Kennedy , Nurse Practitioner
2 Dec 2015 | ~1:55 Engagement Time
Intimacy Can Be Intricate
Intimacy isn’t just about sexual feelings and sexual activity (although it’s one important part). It’s also about effective communication, trust and respect, shared values and expectations, and a balanced give-and-take.
Maintaining intimacy can be difficult in any relationship, but the stress of MS can challenge any couple.
With all these obstacles to maintaining healthy intimacy, where do you begin seeking solutions?
Communication Is the Place to Start
You can talk about feelings you’re each experiencing, the daily problems you’re trying to solve, or the physical or cognitive changes you’re trying to manage. Communication is the most intimate act there is, and it lays the foundations for other ways to maintain closeness.
If you need help jumpstarting the conversation, a counselor can help.
Managing Symptoms Is Your Next Step
Work with one another and your healthcare team to identify symptoms that interfere with daily routines, shared activities, or physical intimacy. These may be physical, cognitive, or emotional symptoms. From there, working together to manage symptoms is a great next step.
Every member of the healthcare team can contribute to your efforts to keep your connection strong. Symptoms that prevent you from doing the things you want to do are best managed by a comprehensive care approach involving the neurologist, nurse, rehabilitation experts, and mental health professionals.
In the meantime, here are a few tips to get you started:
Always Keep Communicating
Share your feelings, your appreciation for each other’s efforts, your achievements, and your goals for the future. For any and every couple, this keeps intimacy alive and well.