Purpose Statement

This blog is intended to educate women on issues that affect women. Although we are all healthcare professionals, we are not here to give medical advice. Rather we hope this will encourage women knowing that help is available and give them the courage to seek help.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dating and Your Love Connection

Couples sometimes experience the loss of connection in their relationship. This is especially true when the woman has chronic pain. When these women are touched, they cry out or withdraw, and simple, loving affections such as hugging and gentle massage create misery. Sexual intimacy falters and eventually becomes a distant memory.

Couples who can be honest with each other about changes in their relationship have an excellent opportunity to restore their connection. Open communication is a plus, and couples often struggle with this. Women are frequently taught from childhood to remain silent, to be submissive or to complain, and men learn to sublimate their intimacy interests into work, hobbies or pornography. A passive aggressive relationship may develop where each partner grumbles, “I take it and take it and then I explode in anger."

Seeking couples counseling from a therapist who has an understanding of the effects of chronic pain can help re-establish the connection. Qualified couples’ therapists work as part of the woman’s interdisciplinary team of medical professionals who strive to improve health and quality of life.

Despite having chronic pain, continuing to have fun together is an important factor in maintaining closeness. Equally significant is planning a weekly “date,” where couples commit to creating an enjoyable time. Listed below are ideas clients have offered over the years as modified dates which are fun and yet respect the woman’s need to find comfortable positions which minimize pain:

Drive-In Movies
Drive-In Restaurants
Camping which includes using chaise lounges or cots
Short walks
Home dates including

Indoor picnics
Playing board games
Romantic dinners
Playing or learning a musical instrument(s) together
Reading to one another, especially humorous books
Creative movie dates
Listening to music and sharing thoughts on what you hear