How to Make a Relationship with a Handicap Partner Work
While society stigmatizes the idea of pursuing a relationship with a handicap partner, the reality is that it comes with the same challenges as any other relationship. All humans need to be loved and to love, regardless of their condition. While there are unique situations facing a relationship with a handicap partner, it is something that both people can get through.
Understanding Dating Someone with a Disability
Navigating a relationship with someone with a disability is a unique situation. While every relationship has its own struggles, you will find that you learn certain things about yourself and your partner when dating someone with a disability. Curious about how to, pursue a successful relationship with someone with a disability? Read on.
1. Understand that You Will Rarely be Able to Help
Your partner’s disability will never go away. As you try to love them and be there for them, you’ll want to do everything you can to help them. However, in your relationship, you must understand that you can only be yourself.
While you may want to “fix them” your partner doesn’t need fixing. As you partner goes through each day, you may find yourself exasperated that nothing has changed. However, this is the moment that you need to understand that when it comes to your partner’s disability, you are essentially helpless.
Oftentimes, partners will try to create solutions for their loved one, hoping that these plans will somehow help the partner understand how to deal with the disability. Despite your best-laid plans, it’s better to tune into reality and actually find out what your partner needs. For example, if you want to do something for them, surprise them with their favorite gift, like fragrant perfumes for women. By treating them like you would any other partner, you’ll be doing what you can to be there for them and make them feel better.
2. Focus on Learning to Say the Right Things
Finding the balance in a relationship with a handicap partner is never as easy as it looks. While most people think that they are caring and compassionate, it is hard to unlearn the idea that just “pushing through” the difficult times in life will get their loved one out of their situation.
Many partners, regardless of how much love or sexual attraction they have for their significant other, find themselves saying insensitive and ableist things to their loved ones. While you may never intend to say hurtful things to your partner, during an argument or stressful situation you may find that the words that come out of your mouth hurt your partner more than you realize.
3. Learn More About Ableism
While your partner may be used to their disability, it’s impossible for you to truly understand what it feels like. This is where most ableist thinking comes from. You may have already seen ableism in action, but when you’re dating someone with a disability, you’ll experience it firsthand. While these ableist comments show the ignorance of society firsthand, it’s still mind blowing to see just how much society has stigmatized people with disabilities.
Many people will tell the able-bodied partner that they are taking on “too much” by being in a relationship with their loved one. Likewise, friends and family tend to insult the individual with a disability by accusing them of faking their illness, not being worthy of sexual attraction, taking advantage of their partner or being lazy, and not working hard enough to do better.
4. Get Better at Handling Self-Care
In any relationship, taking care of one’s self is essential. However, it is especially important to remember to practice self-care when dating someone with a disability. This can take the form of shopping for perfumes for women or having a spa day. Regardless of the activity, in order to be the best partner you can be, it’s important to make sure that you are healthy, both mentally and physically.
In relationships where one partner is the caregiver, it is imperative for that person to set aside adequate time to practice self-care. While you may consider it selfish to take care of yourself, this is an important part of what keeps your relationship healthy. Ask yourself on a regular basis, “What have I done for myself recently?” Create a habit of asking this question to make sure you get the right amount of self-care in.
5. Learn to Love Your Partner the Way They Are
Your partner is who they are right now. You need to learn to love and accept them at this moment. While things change, you don’t know what the future will hold. Instead of banking on how your partner will be different in the future or hoping for a better outcome, enjoy the person they are now.
Making it Work
Your relationship with your partner is one that is truly unique. Dating someone with a disability is, essentially, no different than dating a non-disabled person. There will be good days and there will be bad days. Keep these five things in mind as you continue to love and support your partner every day.
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