Grab your cup of coffee or tea and get ready for some “girl talk”! First, let me tell you about me. I have been married for 19 years to my wonderful husband. Anyone married this long knows it isn’t sunshine and rainbows everyday. We have had our share of “rough patches” over the years. He was 19 and I was 21 when we first got together and we both had some growing up to do. Although, it felt like I matured faster than he did when it came to responsibility (of course!). Luckily, we grew up and figured out how to have a stronger marriage.
When you say your vows, “In sickness and in health” I guess you don’t really think about what that means. Maybe, you think when one of you has a cold you will be there with soup. I don’t think anyone thinks about the other one being so sick, that they actually can barely live life anymore. Some marriages might not be able to weather this kind of storm and some may be able to actually get stronger. I will tell you what I think makes it stronger.
In one of my psychology classes, I learned that some relationships are based on something similar to checks and balances. This means that there must be an even amount of giving and take. We all know this isn’t always possible, especially if one of you is chronically ill. Yet, there still must be some give and take or the balance will be so off, you might not be able to get it back. When you have a chronic illness, sometimes it is all you can do to take care of yourself. However, if you try to do something for your spouse that you know they would appreciate, it can go a long way. I have to admit, on my really bad days, this just doesn’t happen.
- If your spouse always does the cooking or dishes-do one of these without them asking at least once a week.
- Initiate intimate time!
- Buy them something special just because.
- Write them a gratitude letter thanking them for always being there for you and choosing to take care of you.
- Plan a special date night if you’re feeling up for it. This could be as simple as popcorn and their favorite movie on the couch after YOU put the kids to bed.
- Tell them you love them and appreciate them often. This is an important one because you don’t want them to feel like you don’t notice all that they do for you. Especially when they have to pick up your slack on the really bad days.
I recognize on some days the above tasks might not be possible. You don’t have to feel guilty on those days. You WILL have good days; just make sure to tip the balance on those days especially.
Something special happened to my marriage a few years back, my husband started changing. He started putting my wants and needs ahead of his own. Naturally, I loved this and wanted to give him the same treatment.
Friends!!!!! This is the secret to my happy marriage. Once he started doing this, I wanted to do it too. It became a domino effect with each other and we both strive to bring happiness to the other as much as we can. We make sacrifices for the other one, not because we know the other one will as well, but because it feels natural to do. We are more in love now than we have ever been! He still comes up behind me and smacks me on the butt, just a lot lighter now (LOL).
Having a chronic illness can and does put a strain on relationships. Everybody has different circumstances like maybe you feel you don’t have anyone that understands what you’re going through, or maybe you just don’t feel supported. You may not have control over your illness but you do control whom to let into your life, whom to let into your inner circle. It is important for your overall health that you also take care of yourself emotionally as well as physically.
Now that you know the secret to my happy marriage let me know in the comments what makes your marriage work.
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