Dating and having a relationship with disabled people

The partners of disabled people can also be effected in different ways from being in a relationship with that person.Sometimes the relationship started when both of the people were able bodied and the other person later became disabled.

Or perhaps the relationship started when the other person was already disabled and the other partner already knew this.

Which ever way that you got together with your disabled partner it will take a little bit of adapting to life with that person.

A man pushes his disabled wife as they go for a walk together
A man pushes his disabled wife as they go for a walk together

Sometimes partners may act as unofficial - or official carers - to their loved ones. This can be rewarding and help the person to become a more caring and compassionate human being as they learn about disabilities and the difficulties and differences that disabled people might go through.

However, having a disabled partner can also be emotionally and physically draining and the partners may need someone to talk to about it themselves. There are a number of support groups just for carers and the partners of disabled people.

Perhaps of a disbled partner may feel guilty that they can't do more to help that person with their disability. Sometimes they feel frustrated that they can't rescue or save the other person that they're in a relationship with. They might even feel guilty that they are able bodied. If their partner's disabilities requires them to use a wheelchair they may sometimes be exhausted from puching them or lifting the chair around.

It is worth pointing out here that all the same emotional rules of loving relationship apply and that one person's disabilty should not be used to emotionally manipulate or abuse the other person. Yes, this can come from both sides. For example, the disabled person might take advantage of the other person to do things for them. Or perhaps the able-bodied partner will say something 'If only you were different'. These kind of emotional games happen in relationships between all kinds of people and if you recognise these it's important to seek advice from a friend or professional such as a relationship counsellor.

Moving on, one of the most important things is to learn about your disabled partner's condition and understand how they are feeling and why ther are feeling a certain way. Education about their disability will help to overcome frictions and misunderstandings. For example, a common symptom for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis to sleep a lot. If a partner os somebody with Rheumatoid Arthritis is aware of this - and doesn't just think that he or she is just being lazy - then the relationship will be more harmonious.

Athletic: Disabled athlete Tanni Grey Thompson
Athletic: Disabled athlete Tanni Grey Thompson

Able-bodied partners of disabled people might also feel frustrated at the other person for not being able to do the things that they do, such as physical activities together. One of the most important parts of any loving relationship is being able to do things together. People in relationships with a disabled person should therefor find an activity that both can enjoy.

Activities that disabled people can do varies enormous from person to person. One disabled person might be able to go sky diving or even compete in the Olympics as Tanni Grey Thompson (right) does. Another disabled person might not cope as well with their disability and only be able to manage a trip to the cinema. However bad the disability, it is almost guaranteed that there is something that both members of the relationship can participate in. Keep trying different things and keep looking.

Sex is an important part of any relationship and that is no different for disabled people. It is important that the able-bodied person realises some of the physical limitations that the disabled partner may have when it comes to sex. They may also be uncomfortable being naked due to their disability. Likewise it's important that the disabled partner understands the sexual needs of the other person in the relationship. Talk about the issue if you need to and be opena bout needs and feelings.

One of the last things to point out in this hub is that partners of disabled people might also be effected by changes, adaptations and alterations that have to be made around the house to accommodate the other person. This could be anything from a new bedroom on the ground floor because he or she cannot climb the stairs or something as small having plastic suction handles in the bathroom. The other person in the relationship might not appreciate the way the new wheelchair ramp looks at the front of the house or having to have the door widened so the wheelchair can fit through. All of these alterations for disabled people cost money, too, and that can put added strain on the relationship.

In conclusion, it is perfectly possible for two people to have happy relationships while one of them is disabled - just like two disabled people or two able-bodied people can. It takes a bit of time and effort from both parties to understand the others feelings but both people can do it. Good luck!

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Comments 14 comments

wheelinallover profile image

wheelinallover 5 years ago from Central United States

In my case my marriage worked well, I married a woman who already had her house made accessible and very tastefully I might add. My house was accessible also but no modifications had to be made it as was built with someone in a wheelchair in mind. As for the other aspects, I did spend time learning about her reason for being in a wheelchair. We both worked full time and truly wanted to spend any time we could together. We were christian so didn't make love till after we were married, she had limitations but it didn't take long to figure ways around them. When I had a traumatic brain injury, with menieres syndrome and became wheelchair bound also the only thing that really changed is we had live in walking help. We did have a few problems with the idea of someone living with us but we worked that out also. I think it was hard on her that the live in help was related to me not her. Her mother had her hands full taking care of her disabled husband, while mine spent part of each day taking care of her mother also. She never needed help dealing with my becoming wheelchair bound but I did.


Rickrideshorses profile image

Rickrideshorses 5 years ago from England Author

It really sounds like you and your partner have both overcome your disabilities to have a fulfilling realtionship. Thanks for posting the comment. It's an inspiring story and I really look forward to hearing more from you! Rick


wheelinallover profile image

wheelinallover 5 years ago from Central United States

Rick my wife passed away in 1999. Being christian I now open my door to anyone who needs a place to stay. It has it's ups and downs too. In giving what I can I am following Christs teachings and hope to spend eternity with my wife when that time comes.


bahar 5 years ago

I m 32 yrs old guy If any disabled lady needs my help or relationship so I m ready happily to do.email me: alam_bahar@yahoo.com Thanks


Skylar Spring profile image

Skylar Spring 5 years ago from New York

interesting hub. I am visually impaired and my husband is sighted. Our relationship is the same as any. He has learned much about my disability but only out of sheer interest. He has not had to change the way he does things or adapt in anyway. Most disabled people, at least in the US, don't feel different or anything. It's usually the non-disabled partner who feels that way. In my experience a relationship between a disabled person and a non-disabled person is successful when both people realize that they are not different from one another and their relationship is not different from others either. Good advice though ;)


Ashley 4 years ago

i have rsd i dont know how its going to progress and what will be wrong in the end i know it effects my whole left side from feet to brain. it is neurological. my new hubby after me getting out of a bad narriage before we are havign a lot of issues and to be honest i feel like just giving up wit relationships because it causes so much stress and i have a 6 year to tak ecare of too. he doesn't help around the house unless i bitch. and i have to bitch to get anythign and i refuse to be the bitchign wife anymore. Do i leave him and just do it with me and my daughter and family, or do i deal with the stress which causes my condition to get worse. *sigh* iam so ready to scream at this point i have given him chances and multiple benefits of the doubts since i met him how many chances do i giev a person before i walk away. i am so deppressed i am sick of dealing with it all. what do i do!


zann17 profile image

zann17 4 years ago from Bristol, England

Good Hub, my husband is disabled (he uses a walking stick because he has a club foot) and special needs. It is true two people can have a happy relationship while one of them is disabled, it just needs possibly more patience and understanding on both sides than if you were both able bodied.


andrea@disabledcupid.com 4 years ago

Yes, it may take some time to adjust especially if it's your first experience with dating a disabled person. Remember, they have needs that are quite different from the usual dates that you have. Just remember that you have to understand them but treat them as normally as you would want any other date. This will at least help them feel more at ease than you treating them like they will break down any minute; help them put down their guards and you'll get to know them better. Good luck.


anny 4 years ago

I have multiple sclrosis, I am 47 and single again. I walk with a cane due to a drop foot. I also have other hidden challenges. Im not having any luck in the dating field.


Fateh Mubeen Babi 3 years ago

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Whiggescins 3 years ago

When i employed to receive at the top of lifestyle nevertheless as of late I've truly accumulated any resistance.


Futamarka 3 years ago

Весной 1990 г. в гостиничном номере города Ульяновска тихо умерла легендарная рок-группа "Автограф". Л.Гуткин: "Автограф" перестал существовать в 90 году, по причинам сугубо творческим. Мы записали, на мой взгляд, один из самых наших успешных альбомов "Каменный край", но в какой–то степени были изнурены работой над ним в течение трех лет. К тому времени группа существовала одиннадцать лет, и в какой–то момент мы просто почувствовали себя опустошенными и решили, что в ближайшем будущем вряд ли сможем записать что–то интереснее того, что мы сделали в последнем альбоме.


laxmi 3 years ago

m physically disabled girl..


Mylindaminka 3 years ago

В целом наши результаты подтверждают явление стагнации определенных признаков акселерации, которое прогнозировалось и наблюдалось также и другими исследователями. Обобщив литературные данные и основываясь на исследованиях ЦИИМ, Райссиг пишет: «С 1950 г. половая акселерация заметно замедляется и, похоже, затухает» (1981, с. 143; ср.: Рихтер, 1973). В последнее время заметно даже повышение менархеального возраста. Примечательно, что в связи с изменившимися жизненными условиями сегодня девушки становятся половозрелыми примерно на три года раньше, чем 100 лет назад.

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