Disability and Relationships – The misconceptions of being your partner’s carer

Having a disability and being in a relationship can be complex. However, most of those complexities come from the assumptions of other people.

For instance, when a person with a disability is in a relationship with someone who does not have a disability, it is often assumed that the person without the disability is the carer. And if caring is taking place, it’s often believed to be a burden for the partner, even though all relationships involve elements of care.

Producer Eliza Hull, a person with a physical disability, ‘Charcot Marie Tooth’, explores what it’s like navigating these complexities as a person with a disability in a relationship.



  • Nicole Lee is a woman with a physical disability and a wheelchair user. Nicole has been in a relationship with Mark Holloway for three years. Mark says the biggest misconception he has faced in being partnered with Nicole is that he is her carer.
  • Alistair Baldwin has a physical disability and uses leg braces. He is in a same sex relationship with his partner Brandon Danker. They feel they don’t receive potential discrimination because people assume Brandon is Alistair’s carer, and not his partner.
  • Andy has a visible difference, significant curvature of the spine, due to Marfan’s syndrome. Andy and Rachael have been together for twelve years. Early on in their relationship, Rachael found it hard getting used to people staring at Andy.
Listen to podcast online (off-site)
Parents, Families, Children, Women, GLBTI

Eliza Hull

ABC Life Matters

Date published:
Mon 6th May, 2019