In our earlier post, we had indicated that we launched a blog series on relationships. The focus will be on couples where one or both partners has a disability and faces barriers in many aspects of life. We have now drafted a questionnaire that will be used to discuss many key issues with such couples.
Is there a difference in the attitudes and approach of someone who was born with a disability and someone else who acquired a disability in mid-life? Is there a danger of a loving partner becoming more the caregiver? (Even the “system” is very relieved if there is a parent or spouse in the picture). Does one of the partners in such a couple face special difficulties due to the possibility of prolonged hospitalization or mortality of the other partner? What are the financial implications of teaming up with a person with a disability?
We are trying to ask the tough questions that will hopefully shed some light on life with a disability. Whether you were born with a disability, acquired it later on in life, or you have a friend with an impairment, we hope that the topics discussed will help others face their own challenges in life. We’ll ask what it’s like to have a relationship, the hardships and perhaps the miracles that seem to make life work. We shall talk about social stigma, financial hardships and what life is like for children with a disabled parent and what prompts some couples to embark on the parenthood adventure while others choose not to.
Our hope is to be relatable to everyone who is looking for support, which is why the couples that we are interviewing are extremely diverse, coming from different ethnic backgrounds and with very different life experiences. Some have been disabled from birth, facing challenges with their education, social circle, or getting a job. Some have had supportive family and friends previous to their disability that they could depend on when things got tough. Others who have recently been disabled may have a family that depends on them or a career that requires a large amount of responsibility and time that they can no longer provide, giving rise to different challenges.
After acquiring a disability, life can become completely new, perhaps in ways that you didn’t anticipate. But with help from friends, family and tools to cope, it can feel like there’s no disadvantage at all, but perhaps just a new lifestyle.
If you have any questions that you would like answered, or there’s a topic that you’re interested in learning about or contributing to, please use the comment box below.