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Interview 38

Age at interview: 33
Brief Outline: In 2005 her husband had a car accident and was admitted to ICU for two weeks. She feels it is important for couples to discuss their feelings with one another and, when they feel ready, to get back to normal, including having sex again.
Background: Secretary, married with one child. Ethnic background/nationality: White British.

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In 2005 her husband had a car accident and was admitted to ICU for two weeks. She visited him every day in ICU and on a ward. He is now making a good recovery and their lives are almost back to normal. She feels it is important for couples to discuss their feelings with one another and, when they feel ready, to get back to normal, including having sex again. When her husband was recovering at home, at first she was concerned about having sex again because she'd recently had a baby and he was still physically weak and had a scar that was still healing after he'd had an operation. 
 
 

At first she was worried about hurting her partner because of his surgery but, in time, they felt...

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At first she was worried about hurting her partner because of his surgery but, in time, they felt...

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I think when my partner first came home, sort of he was still too sort of weak and things like that. But as he got stronger and, I don't know, you felt that you wanted to be close to him, but then you didn't want to hurt him and worry and touch where he'd had his operations and things like that. And I think it still, even now, you still feel that you need to protect him or you don't want to hurt him or just lean on him or give him a cuddle and things like that. But I think it was a few months when he got home that we just started getting that bit closer and things like that. And sort of he felt ready and we had the discussions. Because we'd just had a young baby as well, it was all still a bit difficult after then. But I felt more that I didn't want to hurt him or things like that. Whereas he just wanted us to be back to normal. And he was like, and he knew that when he felt ready and what he could and couldn't do. But I think it was harder for me because I didn't want to hurt him or do anything. But he was like, 'No, I'm ready' and things like that. 

And I think that's the main thing in a relationship is to get back to normal, because I think it is quite a big thing. And you feel so distant from them, from not seeing them. I think even just to talk about it is better than nothing really. It was, that's one thing I found, or just even talking and having a cuddle, you felt you didn't want to. But afterwards it's, so, yes, I'd definitely say, 'Talk about it'. 

And did things go back to normal? Or it took time? 

It took time definitely. Just because my partner, you have up-and-down feelings and some days you feel depressed and sometimes he would feel that he wanted to do things or he was ready. And then other days I wouldn't feel, but that's when you explain rather than giving them the cold shoulder and then people think like, 'Why's he in a mood?' or something. The main thing is discussing it, and then you realise. And it soon got back to normal and things. 

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