Wheelie True Stories

10 Things We Learned from Dating Someone in a Wheelchair

If you are new to the world of wheelchairs your life has probably been filled with new experiences and new information. Over the years we have learned many things about being in a relationship with someone in a wheelchair. Some lessons have been life altering, some lessons have hurt physically and some lessons leave us in a fit of laughter. Here’s our top 10 list of things we have learned from being a wheelchair spouse.James and Shawn

  1. People are going to stare; and that’s ok. When we say stares we mean an array of different looks. Some are pity stares, some are curious and some are just downright rude. Continue with confidence and don’t take it personally.
  2. All spinal cord injuries and people in chairs are different. Before we knew our men on wheels we thought if you were paralyzed it meant from the waist down. Essentially you just couldn’t move your legs. We learned very quickly that this is not the case. Each injury level or disease is as unique as each individual person and story.
  3. The world is not wheelchair accessible. Next time you go for a walk, bike ride, or drive, take a look around you. Notice the stairs without ramps? Notice the curbs without openings? Notice that the bar your in only has high tables? There is still a lot of work to do to make this world more wheelchair friendly.
  4. Shit happens… or doesn’t. When you’re in bed, in the car, out for dinner. Same with pee…when you’re least expecting it.
  5. UTI’s are the man’s version of PMS. Seriously, don’t mess with a man who has a UTI; they are hormonal, they have cramps and they are miserable. And no, throwing chocolate at them doesn’t work.
  6. Skin issues. Due to limited or zero sensation, being aware of cuts, bruises and sores is very important. A skin issue gone unnoticed could be critical and lead to a hospital visit.
  7. Assume they can do anything without help unless they say otherwise. There is nothing they find more frustrating than people helping them do things that they can do themselves…like open the door, or put their chair in their vehicle.
  8. It’s ok if it doesn’t work out. A relationship is a relationship and no one should feel pressured to continue one just because your partner is in a chair.
  9. All jobs are purple jobs. In most relationships there is a division of labor. Guys jobs and girls jobs; blue jobs and pink jobs. But when you’re in a relationship with a person in a wheelchair the blue and pink get combined and every job becomes purple.
  10. Be aware of where your toes are at all times. Casters hurt… a lot.

IMG_7777Despite our list there are endless things we have learned and continue learning. One thing we can agree on and has been a major life lesson is that dating or marrying someone in a wheelchair is the same as having a relationship with an able bodied person. It may take a little getting used to but soon enough the wheelchair disappears and what you are left with is all the “normal” aspects of living and loving with a significant other.

Pushing on…

Sam & Chelsea

What have you learned from your loved one in a wheelchair? Leave a comment below, we would love to hear about your lessons learned!

83 Comments

  • Jeffrey Hall

    I’ve been injured at c5-c6 quadriplegic for over thirty five years in a quickie rigid frame, and have taken care of my self the whole time. No one has ever helped me get in an out of bed, and the shower. Except for my Mother a few times after my injury, while was I still building my streneth back up.

    For many years I’ve searched for the love of my life. I know she’s out there some where, and this website gives me some hope.

    It’s difficult finding someone to love, but when you do find girl who loves you for who you are, you know she is special. Throughout all these years I ‘ve attracted very many pretty women, but nothing worked out long term since they were either married, had a boyfriend, weren’t attractive to me, thieves, lived too far away, and also myself as I am very selective choosing the women I want. Probably too selective, looking for the love of my life. Plus that I live in a small isolated town in the north woods of maine. I’m a hermit that can push his chair ten miles easy when it’s not snowing or raining too much.

    Although that hasn’t always been the case, since I graduated from University of Maryland College Park studying the physical sciences such as meteorology, geology, chemistry, with some math and physics to back it up. Therefore I had to live in the city for a longtime.

  • Melissa Palacios

    Hi my name is melissa and my good friend was in motorcycle accident 23 days ago. Hes parylized from waste down. He now is in realabation center where he will remain for the next month. He’s such amazing man i just cant understand why something like this had to happen? I try to put my feelings aside because i know the only thing he needs to worry about is getting better and i want to be a good friend. Its so hard for me because im so inlove with him. I want to be there for him in every way! Ive thought thought about it and i clearly understand that the future will have many ups & downs it doesnt change anything for me because love see past it all. I just dont know if i should tell him or if i should just remain a good friend.

  • Marianne

    Hi Sam and Chelsea. I found Wheel Love while I was searching for advice. I have been in touch with a man I met online. He is in a wheelchair. I want to meet him and he wants to meet me but there is some apprehension. I have told him a couple of times that I have absolutely no problem going to him. I’m fine with it. He wants to take me out but he told me it will not work because the back of his chair folds down and it goes straight into the tailgate of a SUV. I have a Sedan. I was going to suggest that I go to him and bring take out so that we don’t have to go anywhere. I am thinking he is very frustrated because he wants to meet me but feels that we can never go anywhere because of my car. I’m kind of lost here. Do you have any suggestions for me? Thank you so much!!

    • TonyT_11

      Marianne,
      I understand will your friend is going through. In 1989 I got paralyzed in a motorcycle accident when I was 16. Life rolls on. We have to get on board or else it’ll continue moving on without us. There will be hills and valleys but life will get better. Have accomplished a lot of things since my disability and I’m here for support and encouragement. I’m glad to see he has somebody behind him.

      —TonyT_11

  • Delia

    It’s really a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m glad that you simply shared this useful information with us.
    Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  • Lissette Whitehead

    Great list. The one thing I don’t get is why does the part of UTI’s reffers to men? Us women get UTI’s too and they’re no fun for us either. I’m going though one now so I know exactly how it feels. It’s worse than PMS.

    • Sam & Chelsea

      Hey Lissette! This list was referring to what we have learned from our men who are in wheelchairs, that’s why we talked about the man getting the UTI!

  • Ria

    A very accurate list! Said with honesty and humour as always. One thing I would add that comes as part of building a relationship with a wheelchair user is talk about the intimate side of your relationship before anything happens! Being spontaneous isn’t always practical and ‘traditional’ ways of being intimate might not be possible. Every paraplegic or tetra(quadra)plegic is different. And it saves confusing and embarrassing misunderstandings. Lpve your posts. Keep up the good work!

  • Juli Sanning

    I am 33 and my boyfriend is partially paralyzed from a motorcycle accident. He’s been paralyzed for five years. At first, for a year and a half, he didn’t have feeling anywhere below his ribs. One day, he felt like he was wiggling his big toe on his left foot, and sure enough, he was, and he had tingling in that toe. Physical therapy for several months and regaining some feeling in his left leg, hips and lower abdomen means that he can now walk short distances with a walker. This is a huge deal because he fractured T11 and T12 and shattered L4.

    The biggest issue I encounter is wanting to help him with everything. I try really hard not to do things for him unless he asks, but it’s difficult. My man is kind, calm, sexy, smart, and I want all the success in the world for him. He was only 20 when he had the accident. His resiliency astounds me daily.

  • Moe

    Hi, I have been in love with my boa for 13 years. We lost touch and resently reconnected. Am aries he’s libra, we seem to have different views on relationships and how they best work but when we convo it’s as if we had never separated. When am with him it’s as if I never left. He soothes my soul and brings out my spirituality, something I thought I had lost. Loving him has been the best thing for me. He has been paralyzed for the last 18 years in fact I met him 3 years after his accident and have always felt close to him. I would love to be his last love. I would love to bare his children and be a holding part of his family. There is only one problem I don’t know how to get him out the house. Sometimes I think he’s depress and hiding it but I don’t want to pass my place in thinking I know what’s best for him. My world has opened up so much since him and closing some doors may come to be distasteful but he is the love of my life, the sir I breathe, my rising sun and my setting moon. He is my view. How can I express my concerns without pissing him off. I believe he has had enough hurt in his life time. I just want to bring him peace he deserves it.

  • Joyce

    I am in love with an incredible man who happens to be a paraplegic of 30 years. I do not know what level of paralysis he has. I want to spend the rest of my life loving him, laughing with him, supporting him and everything else that other people who love one another do. He ignites my inner spirit. He excites me. He turns me on. He’s one of the most handsome, sexiest men I’ve ever met. We’re not married. Actually, we’re not even in a relationship. I met him a little over a year ago and have been telling him for the last 8 months how I would like to pursue a relationship with him. He finally said that he thought about a relationship with me in the beginning but not lately because I said my freedom is priority. But, I haven’t said that. It’s been the complete opposite. He’s a very successful business owner and travels quite a bit so, I don’t get much time to spent with him. I would like to point out that our sexual encounters have been incredible and they’re getting better. He’s finally allowing me to explore his body intimately. He just seems so distance most of the time. He said he never thought that I would still be around this long and he can’t believe that I’m not seeing someone else. I don’t want anybody else and I’ve told him that. What more can I do or say to show him that I want/love and need him? Please help us.

    • Sam & Chelsea

      Hey Joyce! Time and patience are key! Just keep doing what you’re doing and be patient with him, he just needs to learn that you aren’t going anywhere

  • Fabienne Olsztynski

    Good morning,
    I am French. I’m 30 years old. I stumbled upon this old post a little by chance. I’ve been a couple with Yann for 2 years, paraplegic T9 for 3 years. Between us, it was love at first sight. It fell on us like that. It’s inexplicable, but we knew right away that we were meant for each other. Yann is beautiful on the outside and even more beautiful on the inside. He’s an extremely gentle person. I love everything about him: his strength of character, his humour, his intelligence, his way of simplifying what seems complicated to me. And besides, he knows how to assemble IKEA furniture, and that’s very strong, that’s how you know a real guy! (Lol). And then, sexually, he’s like me, he likes to play. We love to do little scenarios. I like to dress up as a hostess, a businesswoman, a punk…everything… I learned the Pole Dance too, I do small private sessions. And he, for his part, is the champion of foreplay. He knows all my herogenic zones perfectly. But to get there, we communicated a lot. No taboos. I love you,Yann. 😘💕💞

  • Dylan Thompson

    Dear Sam and Chelsea,

    I’m a 24 year man who has been in a wheelchair starting since I was 10 years old but I became confined to a wheelchair for the last 10 years. I have a disease called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). Duchenne results in progressive loss of strength and is caused by a mutation in the gene that encodes for dystrophin. Because dystrophin is absent, the muscle cells are easily damaged. The progressive muscle weakness leads to serious medical problems, particularly issues relating to the heart and lungs. Young men with Duchenne typically live into their late twenties. I was born with this disease. Throughout my life I have had my freedom and independence taken from me. Every part of my body is weak so I need most things done for me. I have nurses who take care of me while my mom, who is a single parent, is at work. I have been shy for the past 15 years. I have had a low self esteem because the chair has held me back from having confidence. I am slowly breaking out of my shell though. I have definitely made big strides in the past few years. I have a very hard time talking to people let alone women. I have been pushing myself to try and talk to literally anyone. But since I have never had a girlfriend, I just wind up seeing girls I think are pretty and I get myself into a position to say hello to them but nothing comes out. Also I have difficulty breathing so I need to use a non invasive ventilator to help me breath. People assume I can’t talk and they just don’t know how to act and talk around those of us in wheelchairs. I was able to relate to most of your lesson learned. I pray every night to find love and to find the right person for me. Its all I think about. I feel like I have been waiting forever. I’m very lonely and I wish I had someone to share my love with. I have literally tried everything like dating sites, mutual friends, Facebook, etc.
    I sometimes feel like I may never find my best friend and true love. I’m lost.

    • Sam & Chelsea

      Hey Dylan! Thank you so much for your message! We are so glad to hear that you are breaking out of your shell! You are right when you say that people don’t know how to talk to people in wheelchairs. They assume that you are mentally incapacitated and that they can’t talk to you like a normal person. Don’t let it discourage you! It just takes that one person… someone who isn’t afraid of your wheels and vent and will see past them. So don’t lose hope! If you ever need someone to connect and chat with, feel free to email us at info@wheellove.ca, or look us up on Facebook! Much love and we are keeping our fingers crossed for you!

  • Ashley

    I know this is an old post but I’m glad I found it. Me and my boyfriend have been together for 6 years and he has been in a wheelchair for 5 of them. He has spino bifida but what caused him to not be able to feel his lower half anymore was diagnosed as sarcoidosis of the spine which we were told was rare. Although, it took over a year with him losing more and more feeling as days went on to finally be told why. Up until a year ago he still hadn’t accepted his chair and new way of life. He now does and I love him with all my heart through good and bad. And it’s not always roses and sunshine. He is is very self sufficient but does ask for my help for certain things, we can’t afford a second vehicle and mine isn’t good for hand controls so he doesn’t drive. I am also a mom of two teenage girls that are from my previous marriage. With those thing together I tend to have down days because I’m doing so much for everyone but who is taking care of me cause I sure don’t have the energy to. Then I feel guilty for worrying about myself. I never would’ve felt guilty for thinking about myself a little prior to him being in a wheelchair. My guilt is what made me find your list because I don’t want to be anywhere else, I just have devoted so much to this new life for us that I forgot to adjust for myself as well. Maybe add that to the list….being in love with someone in a wheelchair doesn’t mean you have to give up yourself or feel guilt that you can do or want to do something his chair doesn’t allow him to do. I know this but it’s still not easy at times! I love him (chair or not) through all the good, bad, and ugly. Your list hit so many things on the head. The world is most definitely not accessible (even when they say they are) and not all people are understanding of that or respectful either. You learn quickly to hold your tongue and move on. Handicap seating sucks in most places. Unless you can afford those all terrain wheelchairs being on lawn or enjoying much outside (without paved trails/walkways) sucks. A positive note is you find out who your true friends are and who truly cares. Especially when accidents happen. He gets embarrassed but I try treating things as if nothing has happened and assist him with whatever he tells me he needs (I don’t assume but I’m usually prepared with supplies and anticipate these things happening). I may have to do some extra cleaning or we leave somewhere early but it’s not like he can control what we able bodied people take for granted to be able to do at our convenience while in privacy. I’m his rock in those situations, he knows he can count on me. Just as he is my rock in other situations. What helped his depression is finding others and becoming active again. All he needed from me was encouragement and knowing I will bring him wherever he needs me to plus cheer him on! He is now in wheelchair basketball and wheelchair racing and we’ve met so many people that are amazing!!! He did a very hilly 15k (Boilermaker in Utica, NY) this past year in his standard chair with only 3 months of training for a wheelchair challenge to try and win a racing chair. He was 30 minutes over the time but a generous lady anonymously gave the money for him to get one and he should have it to start training when winter is over. He finished it though. He accomplished his goal. Something he said he never would’ve done if he’d never been in the chair. Sometimes the chair allows for greater abilities to be seen rather than those that were lost. I was so proud and still am! He has a good sense of humor too, always jokes when people have no place to sit that he never has that problem and he always tried to make feel better if he falls…says he’s master the art of it and is fine. That chair doesn’t make him weak as some may think because he is stronger than anyone I know. He has made me see the strength in myself as well! Your list is great and I hope you add onto it as there is so much more to add as things are always coming up that we have to learn to change, adjust, laugh at, or do differently…and remember different isn’t always bad or easy but it can be an adventure. Thank you for this list and sorry this was so long. I’m long winded and this list meant a great deal to me to read tonight! Thank you again!

    • Sam & Chelsea

      Hey Ashley! SO glad you found us! It’s amazing what a little peer support can do, hey? It can make all the difference in a new wheelchair users life. It has for our men, that’s for sure! Glad you guys are figuring out your new wheelchair life!

  • daph leepile

    am a bodied woman dating a wheelchair guy for almost 5yrs.am so madly in love with this guy. I treat him normal. his so romantic. he separated with the wife is almost 6yrs.I found this guy was so depressed and massed up.if u can see him now a hunk handsome guy.I played a big role in this guy’s life.I truly love him .

  • poisonivy

    Hello everyone!! I was reading your comments and i thought i should i write down my experience too.
    I have been dating a paraplegic guy for about 1 and half yrs now. I must say, he is the coolest guy i have ever met (although i dont have so much experiences with guys) He is 34, paraplegic for 9yrs so far, and i feel so lucky i met him. i have never felt pitty/sadness towards him, just because he is such a strong man, much stronger than many “normal” people out there. This attitude of his and the way he sees life, has inspired me and i just want to look like him. The only sad thing, is that we are not in a proper relationship (it was his will) and you know…. I just wish i was his girlfriend. That is the only thing that makes me sad. Also, it is not very clear to me whether he doesnt want to be in a relationship but in an “open” relationship… the thing is we sleep together , we have been together for so long and i havent had feeling for anyone else, except him.

  • Bubs

    Hello!
    I recently volunteered at a wheelchair skills training course (I’m able bodied).
    I met the most amazingly funny, gorgeous and smart guy (SCI). We got on so well and I really like him. I want to message him to see how his journey and rugby matches go… I’m just concerned that he might regard my behaviour as me thinking he is not capable of driving safely or what not. How would you take it?

  • Rubyred

    I love this tread simply because it’s nice to know an not alone. I have been with my Bf for 6 yrs now, living together 3yrs. It been tough at times mostly trying to get him out of the house experience new things, he’s so set in his ways and is comfortable as well. Working progress. He been wonderful helping me raise my kids. Am so grateful for that. Times get tough usual accidents and UTI, we do our best and handle it well. His sense of humor makes everything easy to get through. And i know at the end after all the cathers and hospital stay’s, I will still be here by his side. I know people think there disability holds us back, but in reality there disability is what keeps us going, and makes us strong. When I get sick all i can think about is who going to take care of my kids and him. I want to live and be stronger for him and of course my children. Don’t get me wrong am not his caretaker, he’s very independent. Am more of his partner in crime, and most importantly best friend. Its just a matter if finding the right person to help you get through it.

  • shannon

    I loved this article a year ago and love it today. My husband is a quad with c3-c4 injury. Now listen, he is amazing and my complete counterpart. I fart in the bed, sometimes he pees. I always wear slides on my feet. For quick removal in case of caster problems.
    Nothing is ever easy though, it takes a strong person to be with him… but with a sense of humor and a quick tongue, life is good.
    The worst thing about being with him, isn’t the casters or uti or smooshed toes, it’s knowing that more then anything he wishes he could lighten my load, with 4 daughters him his wheelchair and a puppy, and I am so blessed to have him.

  • Bella

    My partner is a T7 paraplegic. He’s really positive about life even after what he’s been through. We have amazing sex life and he’s more intimate than any other walking men I’ve encountered in my life.

    • Alisa

      How do u guys even have sex? My fiance’ and I have been together for 4 years and were very sexual before he just recently became a paraplegic between T9 and T11. Now he’s seems discouraged cause he feels his penis won’t be able to work. I however am very optimistic…even if his penis doesn’t work. I believe this is a test of our love..in sickness and in health, til death do us part right? I’m more worried I won’t be able to live up to his expectations more than whether he will be able to sexually please me. Please give me some advice on sex after spinal cord injury and intimacy.

    • Stephen A Estrada

      Hi Alisa,
      My names Steve and I’m a T8 complete Paraplegic. I sustained my injury 18 years ago. Due to a motorcycle accident. I have no sensation below my rib cage. In regards to having sex and pleasing your lady. There’s a few ways that I have learned through the years. One big thing was to accept the fact, that I could no longer get a “Erection” to have intercourse. My pleasure now is making sure my partner is totally pleased. Which can be done with some intimate kissing, touching and toys if needed. I have much more to share. I don’t want to sound conceited. I’ve been told by my able bodied women. That it was a amazing experience. Wow..that’s bad.
      Alisa, don’t lose hope. It takes awhile to figure things out. Especially, when your Fiancé is a new injury, BTW…I stand corrected. For the first 3 years after my injury. My penis would get a full erection after some stimulation. By my partner. However, I couldn’t feel the sensation while we were having sex. I got the enjoyment of the visual. With her on top obviously because of my paralysis. We would use my wheelchair as well. For her to sit on my lap. Ok, I think I jabbered enough. Please feel free to ask me any questions that you or your Fiancé might have. Good luck and God Bless you both.

  • Mike

    Hi I’ve been in a wheelchair since 2014 my legs partially work your website seems all warm and fuzzy and that’s awesome for everybody who’s coping with her issues but for me it doesn’t seem to be that way the truth of the matter is for me the way I see it I’ve asked my good friends who were mostly women how would they feel in a relationship with a guy like me with bladder issues and they all agreed quietly that it’s gross and disgusting that’s my reality there’s so much more to say in my experience I can’t list half of it but I do know this when I move to Agassiz from Langley BC there doesn’t seem to be much help in the way of mental help or anything else

    I don’t want to sound like a whiner or anything else I take care of everything for myself including housekeeping shopping I don’t know if it’s because I don’t live near a city or anything but something I did notice is younger people seem to be way more accepting than people my age

    • Sam & Chelsea

      Hey Mike, so sorry to hear about your negative experiences! We both strongly believe that eventually the right person will come around, but unfortunately you’ll have to go through quite a few wrong ones first. Not everyone is disgusted by some uncontrollable bodily fluids and those who are clearly aren’t the right fit for you. Just don’t give up hope! It’ll come in time.

    • Anonymous

      My boyfriend of 9 months is a paraplegic and I’ll be completely honest, if you find the right person, none of that stuff matters. He’s open with me about his bladder/bowel issues and it doesn’t gross me out at all. Meet a mature person who will love you just the way you are. I still think he’s sexy and we have an amazing sex life. I have to help in the bathroom on rare occasions and i don’t care or get disgusted. He didn’t choose this and any girl who would be grossed out by any of those girls isn’t the girl for you!

  • Wendy

    Thanks for the grins. I’m fairly new to dating a wheelie, so your insight is very helpful. Still have lots of questions, but time will provide the answers. The biggest issue I’m running into so far (literally) are his size 16 feet. Sheesh, they become weapons! The next issue (the one that goes along with the size 16 feet . . . ), well, we’ll figure that out one day at a time. I was so very apprehensive on our first date – what should I expect, is he looking for a date or a caretaker, can I handle this, my friends think I’m nuts for even considering dating a paraplegic, what limitations are we going to encounter . . . should have spent less time worrying and more time enjoying the really great guy across the table from me. Every day is a new adventure and a new learning experience, just as it should be with any new relationship. I’m just glad that so many others passed him by because of the chair. I may just have a keeper here 😉

  • Samantha True

    Hello

    I’m found this thread by typing and looking for love in a wheelchair I am recently in a wheelchair well as of last year February I have any autoimmune disease called neuromyelitis optica so I have lesions in my spine and my C spine I forget the exact locations but he calls me to be paralyzed from the waist down well after a few rounds of chemotherapy I’ll begin to get some movement and Morris sensation or feeling in my legs so I go to physical therapy wants to read to try to learn to walk again it is an uphill battle your body build go to a lot of different changes because I went from really really bad spasms to mild spasms but in any case I guess my concern is that I won’t find the relationship before 1 I don’t go out much and that’s because I live upstairs and when I do go out it’s my ex-husband that has to take me out because he basically is the only one that can get me up and down the stairs go figure so it just seems like for me it’s just going to be that much tougher to find someone unless I find someone online and I’m not Savvy at this point to come across any real or legit dating sites to find someone so for me pretty frustrating if I did find someone I will probably be scared to talk to them because I wouldn’t know if they were legitimate or if they want to take advantage of me because of my situation but anyway just wanted to share that

  • Chelsea, aka Chez

    1) Intimacy is still possible, and physical attention still necessary for them as it is for us walking folks.

    2) That sometimes you need to remind their friends to be sensitive of their needs and issues without biting their heads off. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to pull people aside for saying things like “smells like poop/pee in here.” They assume the dogs have left a mess somewhere when in reality it’s my fiancee. They have no clue because she has not told them she wears a depends and has bathroom issues.

    3) That not all her prior dates/relationships have been so compassionate. In the beginning she was fearful after the first few bathroom accidents in the bedroom that I would break it off with her. I told her I will never leave her for the things she can not control. Still took her time to trust and believe it because others had been down right verbally abusive about it.

    I’m sure there is more but I found this page late at night and my brains slowing down lol THANK YOU ladies for this page, glad I finally found people who understand and articles to read about this. <3

  • Megan

    My boyfriend, who is a C5/C6 quadriplegic, and I have been dating for about 6 months. This isn’t something I’ve necessarily learned about him, but something that WE learned about me… I’m a lot stronger than I thought I was, for a 5’2″ woman. Everytime I help him in and out of bed, or in and out of his car, he always gets surprised by how easily I lift him out of his car (usually both his mom and sister have to help him).
    I’ve also learned that depending on who the person is in the chair, it’s okay to totally joke about some things! My boyfriend always likes to make himself look like the handicapped sign in parking spaces, and he always tricks the kids he talks to at our local driving school that he uses sticks and duck tape to drive his car!

    • Tarun chahar

      M also the patient of c5c6 but everyone is not like u dear u care too much of ur dear one .but my wife loose me due to my injury ….its like i m the damn burdon on her ….this is the real life chapter also …god bless u .u are special

    • Bari

      Megan, your comment about the impersonating a handicap sign definitely made me laugh. I just started dating a paraplegic about 2 months ago. It would be great to connect with others who I could bounce questions/concerns off of!

  • Pam

    You have made me laugh today which is great cos was having a bad day previously. Have been a paraplegic for 30 yrs now n have chronic pain 24/7

    My marriage fell apart just after 25 yrs cos my husband was an alcoholic which I always thought was my fault. I’ve not had the courage to try n date someone else n would welcome any ideas please. Thanks.

  • Livia

    Hi everyone,

    thanks for the great article. I really saw myself in most of the points. My boyfriend (29 years old, in wheelchair for 18 ys) and I are now for over 2 years a couple. What I learned most since is that there is so much he actually CAN do and to LET him do and to hold myself back. And that people truely are willing to help when there are to many stairs to handle alone or swapping places in restaurants (ok, sometimes it can be really annoying when people are TOO helpful sometimes).
    And yes, the stares. But 90% of the time they’re just smiling at us. But NO, you can’t take a picture of us! 😀

  • Tracey

    Married 29 years, 8 years in a chair: Don’t assume 1 set of bedding and one towel will be enough. Wash day can be every day! Even at 2:00 in the morning. Backpacks become so much better than purses too!! If it’s serious… Be prepared to have your “friends” thin out a bit. It freaks a lot of people out when there’s a person sitting in a wheelchair next to them. But that means more time with your partner!!

  • RadioRoz

    My BF is queer with MD, so he can do virtually no chores anyway. I’d like to challenge people on the idea that there are women’s vs. men’s chores, because there aren’t – full stop. “Gendering” chores puts people in boxes, even before we get the chance of thinking outside of the box when learning to date a wheelie.

  • Jason

    Ladies thank you so much for that article. It had my wife years and I in stitches. After almost 9 years of marriage and 5 years of me in my chair every point made us laugh and shout YES!! From the stares to the castors to the…of all things…urine! Keep it up, you’ve got two new followers and thanks for humanizing our relationships.

    I admit, the stares sometimes annoy me 🙂

    • Sam & Chelsea

      Thank you for your kind words, Jason! Glad we could make you laugh! Thanks for joining us! Much love!

  • Kate Jones

    Love this! My hubby was paralysed (t4) in sept 2014 and I had our twins the month after! People never think we are together or he’s their dad. The uti part is spot on 😂 Xx

  • Haden Eason

    After almost 10 yrs with my husband (met 2 1/2yrs after his accident) I’ve learned while I DO ALOT, and it’s a lot, it pales in comparison to what he goes through daily! He doesn’t stop, he overdoes it, but he doesn’t quit. Works hard, inspires everyone he meets, and never lets his disability (paraplegic) stop him. #7 is so so true! Also for all of you able bodied “helpers” with good intentions…remember, as my husband says, “it’s my legs that don’t work, not my brain! 😊

    • Jim

      → ALL Re: opening doors
      ¿ With respect to store or office doors , what if one has for decades , been opening or holding such doors for others , regardless of gender , age , or disability ?

  • Karen

    I am in a wheelchair a yr n 3 months ago.. Its been an experience.. So much you take for granted n don’t realize til ooops not happening.. Its scarey at times trying to relearn things again or new things.. I had melt down after melt down.. Its ok just have it start over.. My husband has been a trooper the past year.. We’ve been married 23 years.. He learned all he needed to care for me.. He still gets a little impatient at times.. Understandable.. Going for walks to movie theaters especially like some places you either sit up top by the door at exit n garbage or down front then it’s neck breaking.. My biggest one is the hospitals how really equipped they are a lot of drs offices are too.. So you end up sitting in your chair to get examed.. Hospital testing areas they won’t stop long enough to let you talk them thru transfers which bothers me bad.. And lastly airplanes in case of an emergency really how does a paraplegic get to an exit without being trampled.. You’re the first on last off.. Scarey thought there.. But it is what you make of it.. You can be sad n pity for me or you can cut up and make the worst to a joke.. I was told by an er Dr I’d never walk again.. I told him he better go back to his books cuz I would have grand babies to chase one day… Not wheel them around.. I looked at him said never ILL PROVE YOU WRONG.. I’ve been learning to rewalk since May of this year.. Therapy since Oct my wreck was May 5 2015.. I’m working on it.. I’m gonna do it..

    • Patty R Lund

      I was also told immediately by Dr that my son will never walk again. He announced this in the waiting room while my son had just been airlifted to ICU. He brought the x-Ray out & held it up to show us. Docs should have classes in etiquette!

    • Sam & Chelsea

      The first couple years after injury are the hardest! You can do it! Best of luck to you in your rehab!

    • Jaz

      Hi you should consider drive in cinemas if you have any in your area! We do it all the time , it’s funner more privacy, you can chat, drink, whatever all from the comfort of your car seat. (If you are comfortable in a car seat, which my husband finds really comfortable and better than vein his wheelchair).

  • Angela Glover

    have been married to a quadriplegic for 7 years now and I will not change one thing about him. Of course he still dreams of one day getting rid of his power chair but for me, if that never happens, I will be there for him forever and always. BUT if people believe that being married to a man/woman in a chair is easy I’m gonna burst their bubble because it is not. You must be really convinced of what you’re doing, doesn’t matter if family nor friends support you or if they actually don’t. In the end it will be the two of you, and you as a couple alone. It takes a looooong of patience and team work. Yes, it does sound as any other married couple BUT with extra work. It’s very similar to having to take care of a child with the big difference that this child weights 3 times a baby. I am talking about my own experience. Hubby’s SC injuries does not let him to do a lot of things by himself though he helps at home a lot. And of course there is the intimacy. Analyze every little aspect of how life is going to be. In my opinion it is nor fair at all to leave someone just because you wasn’t convinced or because you lied when you said that his/her disability -and all its little unforseen issues- didn’t matter. LOVE. You MUST truly and madly be in real love with this person if you want to have a long-term relationship. And about the strangers’ looks? Who cares? All that matters to me is what God has to say.

  • Deb

    My son was paralyzed at 15, he has dated an amazing group of young ladies, all excepting of the situation, willing to learn about his condition, and just as drama filled as “normal” relationships.

  • Nils Jorgensen

    In my many years of dating and being in relationships, I’ve “written” a book: “101 advantages of being with somebody in a wheelchair. #1: Warming your feet on them in bed because they can’t feel it! !

  • Erin

    My husband has a spinal cord injury but isn’t in a wheelchair. But his gait is very noticeable and the stares make me so mad. I have a hard time being calm and kind when people are being so awfully rude.

    • Sam & Chelsea

      It can definitely be hard sometimes, Erin! We’ve had those moments where you want to say something to someone but bite your tongue instead.

    • Leeanne Yearling

      I am your husband & you are just like my husband 😉 I had a spinal cord injury when I was 16, 21 years ago. T12 incomplete. I walk very akward but am very thankful to be walking!

  • Mark

    I have learned patience. She can do most things just fine without my help. It just takes a little longer. She is the love of my life and has opened my eyes and educated me on the rudeness of people who do NOT consider the life of those in a chair.

  • Betsy & Rick (rookies)

    I just tell my wife that I love her when things go wrong.
    And she tells me “Hey it’s not so bad, I’m not on the floor!
    Purple is our favorite color,but right now everything is blue for now.
    If you get someone’s feet with your casters please keep going,
    Quick stops leave no escape for those in distress!
    And please please continue to drink water!!!Your way dark!!!

  • Dalene vd Vyver

    I am in a wheelchair for over 38 years. Beiing married for 45 years. Its NOT a pleasant
    jerrney, but your head must be on the right place. U learn each other and learn to do things the best way that suits you both. HARD work and many tears over the years. U learn to stand back, or to look to the other side. Always play things by looking and hearing, at a problem. And there are so many problems come your way, u dont ask for!!! And people dont understand, they acting if u are paralizes from your neck upwords instead of beiing paralized from your legs down.. what a pitty…

    • Karen

      Im recently in a wheelchair for a yr n 3 months nope it don’t get easier.. You do gotta keep your head in the humor side of things or it will eat you alive.. I’m learning to rewalk with kafos braces.. I never remember walking being that hard..,but main thing is Keep trying forward..

      • Nonpedestrian At Large.

        It does get easier. The first two years are the hardest . Since then i have lived my dream of being a mountain man , running a self sufficient homestead and now a small peach farm. 31 years and counting.

  • Teri Brunelle

    Thank you again for sharing. You have made me understand what a normal happy life you can have. It may be a little different but it is there to be had if you want it. I really meant it when I said you all have changed my life. Keep on wheel in. Love Teri

  • Girl with SCI

    Would be awesome to read something like this coming from a guy who dates a girl in wheelchair…

  • Meredith

    #4 is one of the truest statements of all time. Thanks for turning something that is embarrassing for us SCI patients into something humorous and to be able to just brush off (if we’ve found the rig person to date).

    • Sam & Chelsea

      Hey Meredith! It’s important to see the humour in those moments and situations because they are definitely not glamorous! It helps ease a bit of the stress and embarrassment.

  • Adele Berndt

    This one made me chuckle. But I have to disagree with the purple jobs thing. In our house there are very much still blue and pink jobs. I don’t like blue jobs very much! And many of those blue jobs he protects fiercely! And he quite happily leaves those pink jobs for me for my days off! 😉

    • Tt

      As he loads 3 days of nursing Tupperware in the dishwasher while dumping out kids 1/2 eaten cereal bowls…….;)

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