Disability No Obstacle for True Love
He’s handsome, intelligent, honest and makes you laugh. He is disabled and in a wheel chair. Initially she may see the disability over the positive qualities and may find it difficult to relate or understand his world. Though, if two people genuinely care for one another and have a mature, sincere and mutual commitment, the challenge of a disability can be squarely faced. Just ask Sex Therapist Karen Brash McGreer.
Karen Brash and Greg McGreer met as colleagues; Greg has a Ph. D. in psychology and Karen is a MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist). Being the same age, Karen widowed, Greg coming out of a 30-year marriage and each with three children from the previous marriages, the two had a lot in common. "It was love at first sight," Karen said.
After 15 years of marriage they continue to have a loving and sexually satisfying relationship. In part, because from the beginning they were clear about their intentions to keep their relationship sexually vibrant. Greg has MS, a disabling disease affecting the central nervous system. One of the most common limitations in MS is mobility because of nerve transmission and muscle weakness. Greg was walking when the couple met, although his conditioned worsened and he now relies on a wheel chair most of the time.
"Some say there are two groups of people, TABs (those who are Temporarily Able Bodied) and Crips (those who are already disabled)," Karen said. "Some people may not consider that if we live long enough, we will likely become disabled." Greg’s MS was not a deal breaker for Karen since he already knew how to handle his disability.
Contrary to the belief an able-bodied woman in a relationship with a disabled man primarily becomes a caregiver; Karen said her main roles within her marriage are being a best friend, lover and co-parent. An RN by profession as well, she has a hard time not slipping into the role of a caregiver, whether Greg thinks he needs it or not. Though, she highly respects his level of independence.
Another common belief toward those with disabilities is that sex is a physical impossibility. Usually, this is not true. Sex may have unique circumstances where physical disability is present. They may have to exercise creativity to find good positions for lovemaking. Certain positions may be difficult or uncomfortable if a partner has limited mobility or flexibility. There are solutions to meet these challenges.
Equipment such as the IntimateRider increases motion, positioning and mobility while providing comfort. The natural gliding motion enhances sexual relations. It offers a method of support by enhancing balance, strength and coordination, making it easier for the couple to achieve intercourse.
Disability does not in any way lessen a person’s need for all the things the rest of us seek, including social interaction, romantic involvement and sexual fulfillment. Every person regardless of gender, age or disability is a sexual being and there is no one too disabled to share physical pleasure. Couples in sexually satisfying relationships are usually creative and willing to expand their repertoire. Flexibility is a key to resilience in all relationships. "Where there’s a will there’s a way," says Karen. "Each couple can find a way to stay close and connected and can use a sense of humor and perseverance to figure out what works best for them."
Learn more about intimacy solutions for couples with disabilities at www.intimaterider.com