Talking about love, sex, and intimacy can be like unraveling a tangled web, even to those without a brain injury. Add a brain injury to the mix and these difficult to discuss subjects can look insurmountable.
Intimacy is most natural when two people love each other, body, mind, and soul. But brain injury is an intimacy game changer. Many years ago, I heard sex defined as “an outward manifestation of inner love.” It’s a definition I have come to love. As many people with brain injury know all too well, mental exhaustion leads to physical weariness, which in turn leads to instant sleep when head hits pillow. Hardly a recipe for intimacy.
Everything about me has changed. Yes, I look the same. I react more openly to life. I laugh more than I ever have. I cry at just about anything. I am a different husband, partner, lover, and hand-holder than I was before. But, I know, too, that at the core of me, deep inside, I am still, and always will be, David. Thankfully, Sarah sees and understands this, often even more perceptively than I do myself. She has the ability to see through my brain injury and see the person with whom she originally fell in love.
Slowly, we are rebuilding a new “us” on the same foundation that worked the first time: mutual respect and a deep love for each other. We have found that open, sometimes raw, occasionally awkward conversations about love, sex, and intimacy are critical in helping us come to understand, embrace, and live in the “new normal” of our relationship.
To read the full article and comments (which are very insightful as well):http://www.brainline.org/content/2013/12/reclaiming-intimacy-after-brain-injury.html