a woman, who has insomnia, and a man looking calm and happy laying in bed together

How Much Love, Affection, and Touch Affect My Therapy & Sleep

I’ve been in a stable, loving, solid relationship for 2 years now with a man I truly adore who puts others first and has very similar ideals and morals as me.

I’m continuously grateful for the things that he does every single day for me, like bringing me something to drink to make sure I’m eating and drinking enough. Without thought, these are the things he continues to do to show me support in non-verbal ways.

He is the greatest man I know

He makes sure I’m okay if I’m awake at night either due to a nightmare or due to insomnia and all that goes with it. He’s the greatest man I know and it’s not because he takes care of me. It’s because of the way he takes care of me. It’s the soft touch of letting me know it was a bad dream.

I talk about some of the following on our sister site, InflammatoryBowelDisease.net as well.

He makes an effort to meet my needs

Recently, my therapist told me what I really need during this phase of therapy is “touch." I told my partner that and immediately, he started to move closer to me and made me feel completely held and comforted. This went on for days. I felt at ease and that I could have gone to sleep right there. It definitely hasn’t stopped.

Since then, he’s continuously made an effort of making sure he does this every opportunity he can. Our intimacy needs some work sometimes, which for the most part goes untalked about because he’s been understanding of my needs living with PTSD, endometriosis, and IBD - both physical and mental illness.

Working on the talking part

We’re working on the talking. This will be something lifelong that goes along with relationships, love, and with chronic and mental illness. These things are hard to talk about - SO hard - but need to be.

...which is why my therapist and I talk about it to make sure I’m comfortable talking to him about it. It’s hard for both of us. He’s understanding, especially with intimacy at night and PTSD and my insomnia. More understanding than I feel I deserve, but with therapy, I’m learning that I need to talk kinder to myself.

Grateful for how our intimacy looks

Our intimacy doesn’t look like most couples, something I’m extremely grateful that we’ve both been able to adapt to. He understands the days I’m in pain the worst are the days I’m trying and those days are the hardest. He has consistently reminded me that I’m not weak for needing to take naps, sleep when I can, and fall asleep halfway through a conversation with him. He recognizes those days as my strengths, which I never thought about like that before.

I’m grateful a wise, emotional, man was placed in my life. Because that’s the truth - we all have difficulty showing, expressing, and verbalizing our frustrations, pain, lack of intimacy, and how the can affect a relationship, etc...

Being kinder to myself

When you have issues sleeping, thoughts creep in and they can be devastating to a person or couple. Therapy has helped me with this self-talk and making it more representational/verbalized of how I’m currently growing and learning to help myself more every day.

My partner knows I need at let 10-15 minutes of touch to feel safe before I go to bed. Not only does it make me feel safe, warm, and loved, but also secure. It helps me love myself better and it draws attention to different ways you can be romantic, not just sex.

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