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Intimacy and Chronic Illness

Feeling attractive, sexy, and “in the mood” is hard when your body hurts, you’re tired, and you’re fatigued…

The last thing on anyone’s mind when we do not feel good is feeling attractive, let alone “frisky”, per se. All one wants to do is curl up on the couch with big blanket and do absolutely nothing. I have been there, I am still there in this place more times than not. I wanted to touch on a topic that I think we all think about, but no one discusses what to do or how we should be feeling about intimacy.

With our wide range of ages in our readers here at HepatitisC.net, I am going to keep this PG. No details or risky language will be shared in this article.

My experience

In my life, I have found this to be something that bothers me from time to time. No matter how much we hurt or we are feeling sick, in the back of our minds, we dream or wish of the old days when our vibrancy was more than it is today… Where we could go out on dates on a whim or have intimate relations with our partners.

For many, the reality of a chronic illness is that intimacy is the first to leave a relationship because of the hardship of how the patient is feeling. I believe this too is some of the reason that relationships can be destroyed when one partner is sick. My marriage didn’t fail because of this particular instance alone. It was a gamut of issues, but it did help lead to the dismay of the relationship…

The many forms of intimacy

It was during the years of being single that I really did some soul-searching on how I can help others with the same issue in their love life. What I have found is intimacy is not made up of pure physical touch. Intimacy is sharing of deepest thoughts and feelings. Acts of kindness and little notes left sharing our feelings for our partners. While you may not feel “in the mood” for physical intimacy like your partner, going long periods of time may leave them feeling lonely and unappreciated… Driving a wedge between two people who love each other.

My advice

I am not here to say you must offer intimacy to your partner, but I am here to say that compromise to their needs here at times too. Find ways to fulfill the partners desires for you. Gain that intimate love back in your relationship.

I began writing love notes daily, sharing my thoughts of my partner. Appreciating him for taking me to my doctors’ visits and for comforting me in my meltdowns. Just letting him know that I recognize all he does and contributes to make my life more at ease. Through these notes, I share my desire for him.

The power of emotional intimacy

Let’s face it, being a caregiver is a sometimes-thankless job. They are dealing with a wide spun of mood swings, and it does hurt them to see their sick partner not able to get “fixed up” or feeling like just hanging out for a while.  So, to surprise a partner with these little notes lets them know you still find them desirable and that, for a moment in time, they are above your illness. This may or may not lead to physical intimacy, but the emotional intimacy you just gave them gives them the power to continue to be there, love on you, and take care of you.

We have to step up from time to time and be there for our partners. Life is two-sided and even if for a night, you need to set aside your own pain to comfort your partner in this dual relationship. Fill their love tanks up too. By no means am I some love expert, but I share from experience it makes dealing with a chronic illness more exciting and loving. That connection with your partner then becomes more personable.

Start your love note today…

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The HepatitisC.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • littleshe
    3 months ago

    Hi all,I’ve only just joined this forum and wanted to express my thanks for letting us have a place to chat share experiences or just to rant !! Personally I have been through the treatment in 2005 when it was alpha interferon combination with tablets that I can’t recall the name of !!
    My genotype was 2b and I was told it was a rare genotype to have here in the UK ,HAS Anyone else GOT THIS GENOTYPE ?
    IT WASN’T TOO BAD THE TREATMENT WAS FOR 6 months and THE ONLY THING THAT WAS BAD WAS MY MY BIOPSY DONE BLIND ON THE WARD !! OTHER than that it was OK X
    ANYHOW TO ALL YOU OUT THERE WHATEVER YOU ARE GOING THRU YOUR IN MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS XX LITTLE SHE ❤

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