Living With Polio

Relationships: An Overview

Every relationship is built upon unique experiences and qualities. For a relationship to succeed, both individuals will need to cope with any disability. This requires a realistic acceptance of the disability with an emphasis on what one can do, rather than on what one cannot do.

The following are brief general suggestions on how to maintain personal relationships when facing new or increasing disability (Genskow & Genskow, 1997).

  • Strive to maintain psychological health, or a “healthy personality.” Accepting oneself is basic to accepting others and being accepted by them.
  • Be actively concerned with each other’s growth and happiness.
  • Commit to the relationship and to the other person.
  • Communicate clearly with each other. Deal with feelings such as anger, fear, and anxiety.
  • Provide freedom and time away from each other.
  • Be realistic about demands on each other.
  • Be flexible and adaptive in confronting new challenges.
  • Be prepared to accept new roles.
  • Seek professional counseling to resolve persistent relationship problems.

Excerpt from PHI’s “Handbook on the Late Effects of Poliomyelitis for Physicians and Survivors.” © 1999

Tags for this article:
Health & Wellness
Mental Health