back pain, chronic pain, depression, fibromyalgia, friendship, health, hope, humor, in sickness and health, life in general, life transition, love, marriage, nerve pain, neuralgia, pain management, pray, social work, spinal fusion, spouses, supporting each other, surgery
Tomorrow I will be celebrating the 4-Year Anniversary of the day I met my husband. I have so much to say on the topic of how my condition affects our marriage, but I would like to focus, today, on how wonderful my husband has been in helping me through this difficult and unexpected time in my life.
Jhon and I met on a dating site. Yes, we are among the nearly 30% of couples who now met online*! Our relationship went from “pleased to meet you” to “will you marry me?” in less than 4 months. The day we met, this handsome guy with amazing eyes, sent me a message saying he thought I was cute. We chatted online, he called me a half hour later and an hour after that, we met up for ice cream and a walk in the park. We always joke that our first date was more like lawyers in a courtroom. We both had been in the dating world for a long time and didn’t want to waste time or play games, so we both laid our cards on the table and realized we wanted the same things in life and a relationship. Our first date lasted 6 hours (get your mind out of the gutter, it was very innocent). After that first date, I knew we had something. After a week, we talked about moving in together. After a month, we talked about marriage and I KNEW that he was my soul mate. Four months into our relationship, he proposed (a wonderful story for another post). I said “YES!” and a year later, we were married. It was a whirlwind, to say the least. I just knew he was the one.
We do not always have an easy relationship. We love each other with the same passion that we argue with. But we LOVE each other, wholeheartedly. When we said “I do” to the “in sickness and in health” vow, neither of us had any idea that we would be dealing with the sickness part so early on.
As much strain as the surgeries and recoveries have put on our marriage, I believe that in some ways it strengthened our bond. This patient and wonderful man has sat by my bedside through every test, procedure, surgery and recovery. His support has been unwavering, even through the breakdowns, the tears, the depression, the long testimonials wherein I promise I am giving up, never to try again. My husband has been by my side in sickness and in health.
Several years ago, a few years before I met my husband, my Aunt Anna, who was in her eighties, was diagnosed with stomach cancer. She was given 6 months to live (thankfully she lived almost 3 years) And her husband, Uncle Joe, sat by her bedside every day, all day. They watched TV together, ate pudding together, and spent their last years together. He helped her as much as he was able to, given he was almost 90. But he NEVER left her side through her ordeal. I remember visiting her and seeing them together, the purest example of “in sickness and in health,” and praying to find my Uncle Joe.
Since I have had health problems since shortly after Jhon and I met, our relationship has had several of what I like to call the Aunt Anna/Uncle Joe test. But Jhon has never once failed me. Yes, in our relationship we both occasionally let each other down with the small things in life, but when it comes to the big things, when it comes to someone who is by my side when I really need him, my husband always passes with flying colors.
I often tell him how guilty I feel for the strain I have put on our life. and marriage but he never makes me feel guilty or brings up my medical costs. He works hard to support us. He is always positive and tells me on a daily basis how strong and brave I am for not giving up. He builds me up and he gives me the strength to go on. I believe that if I had to walk this long and difficult road by myself that I would have fallen long ago and not gotten back up. But Jhon, my rock, holds me up as I walk the path and he lifts me up when I fall.
Thank you, mi amor, for walking this difficult path with me and for always being by my side. I love you.