Intimacy and Cancer Treatments

By Lizzie Rubin, a certified nurse & sex therapist, and the manager of the Sexuality & Cancer group at Belong.

The role of sex as part of physical intimacy is only one of several types of intimacy couples share.

In most healthy relationships, other levels of intimacy are formed over time by couples sharing their thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

When going through cancer treatments, the day-to-day focus is shifted, which may leave some couples feeling disconnected.

If physical intimacy is less of an option, try focusing on the emotional, mental, and spiritual forms of intimacy to help you and your partner cultivate a sense of closeness and maintain a loving relationship.

To help you through, here are some tips to help you practice other forms of intimacy.

Try nurturing emotional intimacy by sharing your fears, dreams, disappointments, and emotions. Do so while showing respect and considering your partner’s feelings. Try to encourage open communication.

Intellectual or mental intimacy can be encouraged by keeping negative discussions to a minimum. Of course, there is a need to process and acknowledge these emotions as a couple, but, when possible, take some time to talk, laugh, discuss shared interests, or take a walk down memory lane.

Spiritual intimacy. Practice the rituals that feed your soul and the soul of your partner? Is it faith? Mindfulness? What are your shared values?

Remember, too, physical intimacy is also about holding hands, giving hugs, stroking your partner’s hair, and simply being together.

It’s about closeness and maintaining the bonds you have created over time, which is an integral part of any relationship.

This content is provided for your general education and information only. It does not necessarily reflect Belong’s views and opinions. Belong does not endorse or support any specific product, service, or treatment

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