Intimacy during Illness

4 years ago

I have a cold. Another one. When it comes to health, this year has been less than stellar. Mono, bronchitis, colds and flus have been constant companions. I am hoping 2013 is my lucky year because 2012 has certainly wreaked havoc on my system. 

However, I have learned that illness can increase my connection to my husband. In fact, it’s made our bond very tender…and here are three things that have made us closer.

1.  He dries my hair. This tradition actually started when I was pregnant. Some days, it took all my energy to get clean for the day. Drying and styling my hair wasn’t going to happen. So, my husband would plug the hair dryer in next to the bed, and very carefully brush and dry my hair. He did it in the hospital after each birth and continues to do it for me when I am sick. Often, I will lean into him and fall asleep.

2.  He rubs my feet and/or back, when I ask. The important learning from this is that husbands are usually more than willing to help out, if we ask. It might not occur to them that a sick wife might like a quick massage, but if you tell him, you might be surprised at how quickly he obliges.  Conversely, it isn’t fair to get upset that he isn’t a mind reader (I do this a lot). “Why don’t you just know that I need ________,” said while tired tears fall is less likely to get the response you’d like than just straight up asking for what you want.

3.  He holds me…naked. Sex during illness is hit and miss with me. Sometimes it helps me feel better, but other times, it’s the last thing I want or need. However, being held and having that essential skin to skin contact can strengthen the marital bond while making me feel like I am still desirable, even if my nose is a little red.

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