Your relationships after a serious personal injury

Experiencing a life-changing injury can impact a lot of areas of your life. Your relationships, in particular, may feel the strain of such an unexpected and stressful event.

While you cannot prevent the ups and downs of adjustment, your understanding of how your relationships may change can help you to navigate challenges with more confidence.

The value of flexibility

Your injury may inadvertently cause roles to change in your relationships. You may feel helpless and stressed as you cannot control everything you used to. Watching your partner execute things differently than you would typically do can cause discomfort and angst.

Choosing to have flexibility enables you to support your spouse, facilitate your recovery and prevent tension from hurting your relationship. Let your spouse know that you appreciate his or her help. Recognize that this adjustment phase is temporary. Ask your spouse for specific things you can do to provide support even if you cannot currently do everything you usually do. Having open communication can help everyone to feel heard and valued.

The power of teamwork

Drawing upon the encouragement of your family and friends, you can identify goals for your recovery and celebrate your victories. suggests that you and your family separate your injury from you. The added difficulties are not because of you, but because of your injury. Making this distinction can help everyone remember that they are on the same team.

Just like you want to recover and regain as much independence as possible, your family wants to facilitate your recovery and help you live a long and happy life. Working together and showing gratitude for each other’s efforts can minimize strain and maximize unity.