014: How Relationships Can Be Affected After Sight Loss

[Podcast] How Relationships Can Be Affected After Sight Loss - Episode 14

Relationships are a vital part of life. From parents and children to husbands and wives, relationships help to shape us and make us who we are. But, when one of the people in a relationship goes through sight loss, it can drastically affect the dynamics of each person. Sometimes this can be a good things but sometimes it can be a severe divide. Today, we'll talk about just a few possibilities in the dynamic shift in relationships and how to deal with them.

News & Updates

1. Apple Releases Videos Showing Real People Using Accessibility

Apple is nothing if not a marketing machine. They are constantly pushing out materials that show their products being used in a variety of ways. And, they have recently produced a series of videos showing real people with a variety of disabilities using their products. As Apple does with everything, these are top notch, high quality videos, meant to inspire and inform. You can check out the videos by visiting Apple's YouTube Channel. I also posted one on my Facebook, so make sure to check that out as well!

2. Blind Man and the Car Dealer

A recent story I shared on Facebook made me do a huge eye roll. Basically, a family goes into a car dealership to buy a car. It was a mother and father with their adult daughter and her husband. The father is blind and uses a guide dog. Well, I guess the salesman made a snap judgement of these people. In the end, he told the people that people on disabilities can't usually afford the car they wanted. Funny enough, the father said to the salesman, “You think my daughter is disabled?” Ignorance and being misinformed is a sad reality.

3. My New E Book – “Lost in Transition”

So, I just finished writing my first E Book entitled “Lost in Transition.” It is a short book that includes 3 strategies to help people who are walking the journey of losing their sight. It is something that I plan to append and update as time goes on, but you can get a copy for FREE by visiting this link¬†and signing up for my email newsletter!

Relationship Dynamics

Relationships are a key part of life. They help us to understand others, provide us with compainnionship and even teach us about ourselves. While relationships can go through many ups and downs, sight loss can throw a huge wrench into a strong relationships. Let's talk about a few tings that may happen in a relationship and how to work through them.

Arguing

When a person loses their sight, it can cause a loot of emotions to bubble up. Typically, this can cause the people in any given relationship to argue more than usual. Often times, they aren't even really arguing about the actual topic at hand which, in this case, is the sight loss. They argue because of surface tings and just can't seem to get out of that trap.

The best thing to do here is to simply take a moment and walk away. If you feel like you are arguing more and more and can't get a hold of it, something like professional counseling might be helpful. But, remember to be open and honest with what you are feeling. That might help avoid some of those fights that are really about nothing in the long run.

Distance

Another shift in relationship dynamics is when one person pulls away from another. In our case, the person losing their sight might pull away as they are working through depression or feeling like they just can't be the person they used to be. On the other hadn't, the sighted supporter might also pull away as they aren't sure how to help and don't know what to say. At any rate, distance can cause even more problems as the relationship slowly dissolves.

Again, it is important to share how you are feeling with each other in this moment. Whether you are spouses, parents and children or best of friends, if you can be honest and open, it automatically starts bridging that gap you may be experiencing.

Role Change

This one especially applies to spouses. For example, if the husband always drove everywhere, he is going to have a hard time doing that if he loses his sight. Therefore, the wife will have to take over this role. This can cause a variety of things, like stress and anxiety. But, it can also cause the people to feel different in their relationship as it is now working differently than it ever has.

It's important to remember that just because “jobs” have changed a bit doesn't mean that you are different. Bear in mind that you are who you are, no matter if you are driving or not. Work on staying close to one another and let the jobs fall where they may.

Deeper Trust

I mentioned that sight loss can cause distance. But, it can also cause you to come closer together. And, deeper trust for one another can be one way that manifests. When one person now has to depend on another, it can be very hard. But, it can also prove to be a way that that person learns to trust the other in a more foundational way. It might take some time, but it can be amazing in the long run.

In this case, never be afraid to ask for help. Even if you are the sighted supporter, remind the VIP that they are still part of the relationship now matter what. Keeping in mind that you both have to trust each other even more can really help in this journey.

Being More Present

In a world of smartphones, we are often times distracted by everything around us. But, when someone loses their sight, it forces you to start paying attention. If someone needs help with something, you have to put down the remote to do so. This can be annoying at first, I'll admit. (BTW, it is annoying to have to ask as well.) But, that few moments of looking away can be the start of moments where you are no longer distracted and can be present.

Try this: the next time to need to help with something or ask for help, take that moment to just have a brief conversation. Ask a question like, “How are you feeling about asking for help?” or “How does it feel when you have to stop (fill in the blank) to help me?” They aren't easy to answer, but it forces you to break away and have a conversation. These moments can hopefully lead to more and more moments of being together.

 

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Important Links

Podcast Pisode #10: Finding Identity After Sight Loss