Post-accident: How to save a relationship

The aftermath of an accident doesn’t just affect people physically, it can have mental, financial and emotional consequences too. And while these side effects can be devastating for the individual or people involved, they can also impact on a partner or spouse, and not in a good way.

In fact, our Make it Right campaign recently found that almost half of those in a relationship had problems with their partner post-accident. If you have spotted signs your relationship is in trouble, there are a number of things you can try to help ward off the devastating impact that an accident which wasn’t your fault can have.

1. If there is a communication breakdown in your relationship

Do you find that you or your partner have become withdrawn post-accident? Communication is key even in the strongest of relationships, so by spotting this issue early on, you can work to improve your relationship and bridge the gap before it becomes too late.

If your partner has experienced an accident and has become withdrawn, try reaching out to them in a calm and supportive way. Explain that you are here to help and see if they are receptive. They may require a little more time before they feel they can open up, but knowing you are unconditionally there for them may be all the support they need.

2. If there is a change of role in your partnership

After an accident you may find you are unable to work for a while, depending on how serious an injury you have sustained. You may not be able to complete jobs around the house such as cleaning, laundry or helping to care for children. If you’re the breadwinner, you may no longer be able to provide for your household financially. We know how much stress this can cause so it’s important to discuss this together early on.

If you’re finding that you can no longer do the things you used to do post-accident, it’s important to reach out to your partner, close friends and family for help. Have an open and honest conversation about your change of role and the kind of assistance you may need while you’re recovering. This could be as simple as getting help doing laundry or day-to-day chores around the home.

Your loved ones will want to help any way they can, but may not understand the extent in which you need help, unless you speak up about it. This kind of openness will not only get you the help you need, but could also work to improve your relationship with them post-accident.

3. If you both now have different outlooks on life

For some victims of accidents, the experience can often cause a change in outlook on life. It can spur them on to try new things, visit places they’ve always dreamed of seeing, ticking things off their bucket list or change their life completely. For others however, they may find themselves suffering with PTSD post-accident, leaving them unable to do things they once loved, such as taking a trip out in the car.

If you or your partner is extremely anxious post-accident, try taking things one step at a time. It may be that you’re worrying about them doing something as simple as heading to the shops. Alternatively, you or your partner may be frustrated that you can’t do everyday tasks you took for granted or things you used to enjoy.

For example, if you have an end goal of driving to the shops, use each day or every other day to complete smaller goals like simply getting into the car and starting it up, working your way up to the bigger win. If you now both have different outlooks on life, try counselling or talking in a safe space to air any concerns or negative feelings you may have.

4. If you experience trust and intimacy issues

Many couples report a change in their sexual relationship, including trust issues, after an accident. Whether this is due to the roles changing in a relationship, a distinct lack of self-confidence or because of the level of pain they’re experiencing, catching these trust and intimacy issues early on can help improve relationships quicker.

Try seeking the help of a therapist, either as individuals or as a couple, or find a local support group who you can air your feelings with. This way you can get advice from people who may be going through the same experience as you.

It’s all a process

By looking out for signs your relationship is in trouble early on, you can help to prevent any problems from getting bigger and much more difficult to deal with. Remember, improving your relationship won’t happen overnight, but making positive changes and working on your foundations will have you both well on the way to being in a much better place once again. Give our things to do to improve your relationship a try and see how they can help.

If you’re looking to speak to someone about making a claim after an accident, we’re here to help. Contact us today on 0800 376 0150 to talk to one of our friendly advisors for free.

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