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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

My struggling relationship

I live in L.A now. Two months ago, I met a nice man, we started dating and I feel so happy to be with him. At first, he didn't know that I'm visually impaired until I told him at our third date. He was surprised of my secret as he couldn't see the difference on my behavior. After I told him about my vision, he realized why I can't see the signs well on the street and why I must move my head so close to read the words on paper.

He told me he doesn't care about my vision, he said it's not a big deal. Although we're happy to be together all the time, but there's one thing bothering our relationship. I can't drive and it's weird if a person can't drive and live in L.A. He drives to my place and see me all the time, but he isn't used to this. He feels frustrated of my unable to drive. I feel upset as there's nothing I can do to change this situation, there's no transportation like bus or metro rail for me to get to his place. He likes me but he feels struggled of the situation. I feels it's my fault and I hate myself now. I start thinking of breaking up with him as he shouldn't deserve my relying all the time. My vision problem influences his life, his dating style, I like him a lot but how can I ask him to change his life style because of dating with a visually impaired person like me?

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Re: My struggling relationship

Through out my life, I have had friends and intimate relationships with people that the situation of me not driving has not been a concern or has been a problem.... The people that it was a problem for, are no longer in my life... those that don't care are still great friends...

If it's a problem for him, that's not your fault...

Maybe he's not the one you're looking for... You can't find an amazing partner if you've settled for someone that has issues with you not driving...

I grew up with a very loving family and friends... so I would rather be alone than be with the wrong person... in between relationships, my love of life came from my friend and family...

I met the love of my life almost 4 years ago at age 38...
Get this... been legally blind all my life, then just before turning 38, my vision improved to where I could drive for the first time! When I finally got my license, I thought, gee, I could meet a wonderful girl and drive to the next town or what ever. The love of my life. She lived one street over from my best friends house, where I had lived for a while. I'de been walking past her house for years.... and as soon as I get my license, we meet....

Anyways... if you not driving is a problem for him, your feet work, stop wasting time with this person, walk away and look for that amazing person who it's not a problem for... you'll be much happier...

Again... don't settle... It took me a while to find her... but I can tell you, that she is better than the girl I would of dreamed of, because she is things I never would of imagined...


Re: My struggling relationship

Depending on the situation, that could be quite tough. I hope this improvies. You could provide them with information about your eye condition or vision loss. Explain about your particular issues. But, what is it exactly they are questioning and thinking that you are faking? Do they feel you are taking advantage of something?

Some HR departments may do an inservice on vision loss, disability, diversity, or something like that. I think identifying why they question your vision loss or issues -- are they having to pick up some of your main job duties because of these issues? Or, is this common interpersonal relationship issues between you and your coworkers? There could be many reasons. It could just be who the specific person or persons are -- they do it to vent. This doesn't make it right at all. But, if these comments are bothering you and affecting the work atmosphere, you might want to bring it up with management. This could be an issue your management could address and put a stop to -- they don't want a hostile work place.

Just some thoughts for you. All the best!
Joe S.
AFB Staff

Re: My struggling relationship

I know how it is. At work I have my good eye days and others not so much. On my good days I dont need a cane and can get around just fine but Im sure my coworkers think I am faking. They dont understand that there are levels to blindness and it is not black & white.

Re:My struggling relationship

I have a question just on relationship in general. Has anyone been in a relationship that their partner, in the beginning feel that they can handle beginning with a person who is and will lose the vision, but through the proccess find out the might not? I'm a 27 yr old male who is losing my sight. I have been with this most amzing beautiful women for 5 yrs, and through my actions and depression, has left bec she doesn't know if she is strong enough anymore.

Re:My struggling relationship

Please do not feel guilty about your impairments, it's not your fault, and if anyone else should feel that way they're not worth the trouble. I am currently seeing a man who is visually impaired, and while it did take some getting used to, it is by no means a reason to end a relationship. Besides, relationships are not all created equal, if everything were the same in each relationship, wouldn't life be boring? I enjoy the spice of life, and embrace each person's differences, and I'm quite sure that there are other people out there like me. Please don't be down on yourself!


Re:My struggling relationship

Hello, I just read your message and was wondering how old you are? I was wondering because I was hoping your guilt over your visual impairment and the fact that it is inconvenient for your boyfriend to drive to your house could be explained by your youth. I am not trying to be mean or hurtful but please think about this.... Could your friend possible think for one minute that it is less conveinent for you to be visually impaired? My husband is deaf and reads lips. He asked me over and over if that bothered me before we married. I hurt for him each time he asked me because he has missed out on so much, he has never heard our beautiful grandaughter call for PaPa or hear birds sing. He is unable to pronounce some words because he can't hear how they should be pronounced. Two years ago I was diagnosed with a macular disease and have lost a great deal of my vision. My husband is my best support system. If you don't have some one who wants to be there for you 100% just as you are then what would happen if you have worse problems. Don't ever feel guilty for who you are or for things about yourself you can not change. Hold your head high and let him know he is lucky to be with such a special person as yourself and if he doesn't see it that way then tell him to hit the road. There are realy nice people out there who will love you just for your wonderful self.
Best of luck,

Re:My struggling relationship

I am 26 and have macular dystrophy. I just wanted to respond to you because I am pretty much in the same situation as you. Except at this point, I can still drive during the day at least. So guys always have to drive to me anyway since I can't drive after dark. Anyway, don't let anyone make you feel guilty about something you have absolutely no control over! You didn't ask to lose your sight. If there WAS something you could do to improve your vision and get your license back you would! And who is he or anyone else to complain when they have no idea what you go through every day because they were blessed with good vision !! This is just my opinion...but I think if anyone should feel bad or guilty, it should be HIM for making you feel this way. and I know you would do the same for him with no problem.

You cannot improve your eyesight at this point - but who knows what the future brings. Bottom line is that it is hard enough out there living with a vision impairment. And I think others should realize this and thank God every day they don't have to go through what we do...and be supportive and if they care they would just try to make our lives just a little bit easier -- I don't think that is too much to ask!

Well, good luck and I hope it works out for you.


Re:My struggling relationship

I'm shocked you're considering braking up with him just because of your impairment! Living with a disabled person always means a change in lifestyle, for BOTH partners. Tell him you would do the same for him if something ever happened to him and that it's a sign of a non-superficial relationship if the partner adapts, it's a sign of real love. If he really likes you so much it won't be a problem and he should be happy to have you. Don't feel guilty about something that's not your fault! If you have that kind of mentality the same thing will happen with every guy and you'll end up enver being in a long-term relationship! If you like him don't let that slip away and tell him out straight what you can and can't do - he himself sais he doesn't care. If he doesn't then it's not a problem. Don't feel guilty!! Many people don't know how to drive! It's something new for him, sure but he'll have to adapt and he will! Tell him you're feeling guilty about it and make him comfort you, you'll both feel better if you get these matters sorted at the beginning!

Cheers a bunch


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