Tribute to Healthy Spouses and Partners

I just read a fabulous post by A Chronic Dose about The Healthy One.

An extract:

the reason no illness is ever truly invisible is because the people who love us can decipher the many signs and symptoms of illness no one else can. I think it’s important to explore what it’s like for our partners or spouses when a shared illness is invisible, because it isn’t easy. It isn’t fun, or glamorous, or fleeting.

And it certainly isn’t fair.

I mentioned previously that my husband can tell from the single word “hello” if I am having a bad day.”

It’s a great post.

And this is the comment I left:

“I am also lucky to have a crazy husband.

Although chronic illness can put tremendous strain on a marriage I like to think it has built an even stronger bond between me and my husband.Even though there is fear, sacrifice and struggle – we are left in doubt of our love and devotion to each other.

Whenever I shake my head and think “how can he love me when I am like this?” I have to remind myself that I do him a disservice in thinking so little of him and his prospensity to love and care for me, and to help me to be the best I can whatever the circumstances.

And I remind myself that if the roles were reversed I would be there for him fully and wholly (though perhaps not with quite as much grace or charm!).”

And here’s one of my favourite inspirations about loving relationships and chronic illness taken from an article called Coming To Terms With A Life You Didn’t Plan on Melissa Kaplan’s site Chronic Neuroimmune Diseases :

I was also berating myself and feeling guilty about all the things I could no longer do routinely – cook, clean up, enjoy hobbies or sports or fun outings. I worried that my husband was getting the end of a very pointy stick – wasn’t I a drag? Wasn’t he sick of doing all the work? Didn’t he wish he had a healthy wife? How awful is this for himThen we talked about what bothered him worst about my being sick and his responses surprised me – an always-messy house, a lousy social life and my tendency to overdo and then relapse. Now we simply look for things to do that aren’t tiring, like movies, going to museums (we bring the wheelchair for me) and going for long drives together. We got a cleaning service to come in every other week, making the house livable again. And I vowed to ?When my husband and I talked about these issues, he pointed out something very valuable to me: If the situation were reversed, would I still love him, he asked. Of course, I said, stung he’d even asked the question. Then I realized: I was assuming the worst of him when I assumed he’d love me less because I’m sick.

work on resting and not overdoing it. It’s made a small – but significant – difference. We feel like we’re “handling” it. And, hey, life isn’t so bad! The best part: I don’t think often about this stuff anymore.”

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7 Responses to “Tribute to Healthy Spouses and Partners”


  1. 1 Laurie Edwards September 18, 2007 at 12:01 am

    Thanks for linking to my post!! Your comment definitely left an impression on me, and I couldn’t agree more with what you said about illness forging an even tighter bond. It’s certainly a litmus test of a relationship, and if someone can stand by you through all of this without hesitation, then that person is in this for the long haul. Unconditional love is a powerful (if sadly underappreciated) thing.

  2. 2 elizabeth September 19, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    Thanks for the post – it reminded me to thank my partner – and helped eased the guilt (for a minute or two).

  3. 3 Derek Belm September 20, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    I think your husband is the lucky one.

  4. 4 ouiser September 21, 2007 at 3:28 am

    Can I just take this oppotunity to say one more time what a jerk my husband is in dealing with my illness? he, he Like I don’t say it enough on my own blog?? But I don’t ask myself “would I be willing to accomodate him if he were the one who’s sick,” I ask myself if I’m willing to accomodate his inability to handle my illness. So basically we are like this: “Honey, I’ll put up with your hateful, inconsiderate, selfish hind-end if you will put up with my whining, griping, and moaning about being sick.

  5. 5 rachelcreative September 21, 2007 at 9:42 am

    Laurie: Thanks for stopping by! Yours was a great post and you got me thinking.

    Elizabeth: We are lucky. But as my dad told me “Maybe it’s nothing to do with luck. Maybe it’s because you’re an amazing person who people want to be with.”

    Derek: Thank you. My husband and me have to to agree to disagree about who deserves who the most. We say “I deserve you and you deserve me and we deserve each other”. I love him so much.

    Ouiser: Oh grrrr – I wish I had a magic wand to change things for you. I didn’t mean to boast or brag – I know not everyone has the kind of support I do. But I wanted to show it’s possible. And to say thank you. Did you read the article quote? Maybe you could haul him down to counselling and discover there’s a miscommunication going on. Or maybe not. Sending you friendly support across the ocean!

  6. 6 ouiser September 22, 2007 at 4:05 am

    Rachel…. you SHOULD brag on that hubby of yours and the relationship you have together and please don’t feel a bit bad about it! While my relationship with Owen isn’t perfect, it does work somehow and that’s really what I was trying to say. As for hauling him off to counseling… well… can’t I just smack him around instead?

  7. 7 Rachel M September 22, 2007 at 3:46 pm

    I had read The Healthy One by A Chronical Dose, thanks to your blogroll, and was thinking of you and Paul while I was reading it.
    As you know, I have nobody to share life with. So I might be envy of you if you dig deep into my soul. However, the envy is negligible and I get much greater comfort and peace from reading about good relationship like yours and A Chronical Dose’s.
    I also know, keeping good relationship can be a bumpy road sometimes and require lots of willingness, efforts and some sacrifises (visible or invisible) from both parties, healthy or not.
    I just wanted to mention that posts by A Chronical Dose and by you, also invigorated a non-partnered person’s sprit. And I would love to hear about how good your relationship is as often as possible. 🙂


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