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American Stroke Foundation

WellnessIntimacy after Stroke

Intimacy after Stroke

Intimacy isn’t brought up often enough. It’s sometimes thought of as a taboo topic. People feel uncomfortable talking about it or it’s misunderstood. Too often, we think about intimacy as being synonymous with sex, which is not true. Sex can be intimate, but intimacy isn’t always sex or sexual. However, intimacy plays a large role in our lives. It impacts our health, our mind, our happiness, and more than anything, our relationships with our spouse, partner, or loved one. Intimacy is one of the building blocks of a relationship.

Introduction & Definition (0:00-3:33)

Take a moment and think about what your own definition of intimacy is. How do you experience intimacy? What ways are you intimate with your partner? What are your boundaries for intimacy?

Experiences After Stroke (3:34-6:04)

Each stroke is unique to each individual but there are some common experiences that can negatively impact intimacy. These changes are mentioned so that we may be educated about what may be impacting you, a friend, a loved one, or partner from being intimate. This list is fairly small, but there can be endless amounts of changes that may be experienced. If you’re unsure, you can always ask!

Kinds of Intimacy (6:05-6:34)

Yes, there is more than one kind of intimacy. Five to be exact. The rest of the presentation will go over definitions, examples, and ways to practice each intimacy.

Emotional Intimacy (6:34-7:35)

Emotional intimacy can range from what you share with someone to how you share it!

If you feel like emotional intimacy is something you’ve been struggling with, here are some ways to practice it.

Experiential Intimacy (7:36-9:03)

Here are some ways to increase your experiential intimacy throughout the course of your relationship. If you want to schedule dates, it’s up to you to dictate how often, what your budget is, and your time commitments, but as long as you get one thing scheduled your doing great!

Intellectual Intimacy (9:04-11:05)

Intellectual intimacy is being able to share beliefs and viewpoints without anger or judgment and respecting your partners opinions and values, especially if they’re different from yours.

If you feel you’re lacking in your intellectual intimacy, here are three ways to incorporate it into your relationship.

Spiritual Intimacy (11:06-12:45)

Anything spiritual can be hard to define because it means many things to many people. However, these are three ways to define spiritual intimacy.

If you’d like to improve your spiritual intimacy with your partner, here are three suggestions. They can be religious or nonreligious, and sometimes both!

Physical Intimacy (12:46-14:05)

Physical intimacy is about the physical touch between two individuals. It can be sensual or sexual.

If you feel like this is an area of your relationship that has struggled, you can try these three suggestions to improve this area.

Partner First, Caregiver Second (14:05-16:24)

It can be difficult to switch back and forth between your role of partner and caregiver, more so confusing. These topics are what you may experience filling both roles.

Conclusion (16:25-18:38)

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