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How Chronic Illness Has Strengthened My Marriage. www.paintedtecup.com

How Chronic Illness has Strengthened My Marriage

How Chronic Illness Has Strengthened My Marriage. www.paintedteacup.comAs I mentioned in this post, I have struggled with some very intense health issues for the past while. I am not new to dealing with chronic illness however lately symptoms have been much more intense than they have been in the past.

This post has been inspired by my health concerns and my upcoming second wedding anniversary (on Monday)!!! I know I am not the only one in a relationship who is dealing with chronic pain/illness… there are tons of us in this boat. I also know that both single and married people with chronic illness have fears about how their pain is/will affect their relationship with their loved ones. There are many posts out there that state how chronic illness negatively affects relationships so today I wanted to share a different point-of-view based on my experiences in my relationship. This is a very personal post for me but I am writing it in hopes that it will help someone somewhere through their chronic illness journey.

How Chronic Illness has Strengthened My Marriage

Before I start I would like to say that my intention is not to make it sound like being in a relationship with chronic illness is easy or that anyone should be grateful for the illness they have. Rather, I would like to highlight some of the positives I have noted in my relationship because let’s face it, there is just too much negativity out there and that isn’t helping any of us feel better! Although I am speaking particularly about my marriage, this could apply to any significant relationship in your life.

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I (we) Have No Energy to Fight over the Little Things/ Pick Fights.

We are all guilty of this, we pick, nag, and fight often over things that in the grand scheme of things really don’t matter. Since I’ve been sick, I no longer have the energy to nag (let’s be real, I was always the one to do this more than he was). Nagging is no fun. It sucks to be the one nagging because usually something is really bothering you and you feel like the other person just isn’t getting it. You get stressed out and you are unhappy. It is also no fun to be the one who is feeling like they are getting ‘picked at’ or told what to do’. Nagging/fighting over the little things causes a lot of unnecessary stress and unhappiness in a relationship (for both people). I have been so exhausted and sick lately that I no longer am nagging about stupid stuff. We rarely fight now. I am thankful to my illness for helping me to realize the problems that I was guilty of creating in my marriage.

We Have More Time to Spend Together.

Now this isn’t usually very glamorous, in fact it is the exact opposite. Our time together lately, more often than not involves cuddling on the couch watching Netflix and hanging out on the deck. It is not often that we get to go on dates anymore as I have been feeling horrible but that doesn’t mean we can’t spend quality time together. Also on my bad days I am less likely to be able to blog, read etc which leaves more cuddle time J I didn’t realize how busy I had been doing other things until I started to have a difficult time again. I am thankful that my husband and I now have more time to spend together.

We Cherish the Good Days.

Lately my good days feel few and far between. But let me tell you when I have a good day we make the most of it! We will go shopping, out for lunch, spend time with family, go for a walk with the dog etc. I am also in a fantastic mood on my good days which makes us both very happy. Before the good days were taken for granted, now we cherish each moment of these days.

We Make One Heck of a Team.

Divide and conquer. We work together in good times and bad. One of my favourite relationship quotes is

“A marriage rarely has two strong people at the same time. It is two people who take turns being strong for each other in moments when the other feels weak” – Ashley Willis.

Although we have always been a team, now we truly understand the importance of our bond.

Clearly our marriage has not been a simple walk in the park. The past two years have been faced with many life struggles, health issues and stress. But it has been worth it! I am so thankful to my husband for everything he has done and for how he helps and supports me each and every day. I am so grateful to be celebrating 2 years of marriage with my wonderful husband on Monday!

How do you manage the difficult times in your relationship?

 

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53 thoughts on “How Chronic Illness has Strengthened My Marriage

  1. I love how you are able to see the silver lining here. Chronic illnesses have a way of doing that to those of us with the right attitude…they make us appreciate the little things like cuddling to Netflix & hanging out on decks. Cherish those good days. xo

  2. What a wonderful post. Its so wonderful to see how such a terrible and painful thing has strengthened your marriage. Most of the time people fail at this. Thank you for sharing your experiences with me. We are also coming up on our second wedding anniversary and these remind me of the little things that we need to cherish.

  3. It’s so great to hear when challenges make a marriage stronger! Kudos to you and hubby :-). I hear too often about people bailing on their commitment to their marriage when things like health issues come up. Really, life’s challenges should bring us closer!

  4. I love that you were able to turn something a lot of people would take as a negative and turn it into a positive. Keep it up!

  5. I think when you’re going through something like chronic illness, it makes you more appreciative of the little things in a marriage that most people take for granted. The older, I mean wiser, I get the more I realize that life’s too short to fuss, fight and worry and I tend to enjoy life much more.

  6. Through sickness and health is when you know you have a keeper. Sometimes we feel sorry for ourselves but I love that you haven’t done that and you found positivity to make your marriage stronger. My hubs just lost his job and while I was super pissed (because I don’t work) this is the first time in years that we actually got to spend some time together without a hi and bye and we have learned about each other in new ways.

  7. I agree that the good days should always be cherished. It is great that you have a partner who supports you and you are able to maintain a strong marriage. As long as you work together as a team things will only get better.

  8. It sounds like you are really able to bring the positive out of your illness. Since my husband died, I had looked back at the stupid little things that we would fight about…it isn’t worth it. Cherish all of the times you have and don’t insist on being right. Happy Anniversary to you!

  9. I love this. I have a chronic illness and a very supportive husband and 3 sons. I try to stay positive despite my illness. I think it has taught us all to be more empathetic, you never can tell by looking at them to know what someone is facing. It’s also taught me that it’s ok and often very necessary to ask for help.

  10. I’m glad to hear that it has brought you closer. Sickness in marriage is never an easy thing to deal with. However, when there is love like yours in the relationship it is possible.

  11. Chantal, thank you so much for sharing this post!!! I am the spouse of a chronically ill man. He suffers from Gastroparesis – literal translation “stomach paralysis.” I, myself, have been disabled for almost 20 yrs, due to being bi-polar. I am maintained with medication. This is the 3rd marriage for both of us, yet it is the strongest and most peaceful. (We’d been sweethearts since we were 12 & 13 yrs old, but just now managed to work out actually being together. LOL!) I am asked ALL THE TIME, how I do it. The bottom line is, I love the man with every fiber of my being. I do not see him as “ill”, I still see the boy I first fell in love with all those years ago. (We’re in our early 50’s.) Since his last marriage ended -in large part, due to his no longer being able to work – he is in awe of the fact that I accept his limitations without question. You are right, due to his illness we experience everything differently than those who are both completely able. We appreciate each other more, we cling to each other more. We don’t sweat the small stuff as the saying goes. I’ve grown in the fact that I no longer plan future events, thus removing the stress of that.. We simply roll with everything as it comes, since we can’t guarantee how he’s going to feel from day to day.The things that many “normal” couples stress over, are now seen in their true light (not truly important) thus we have far less stress from that angle.

  12. It’s bittersweet how something like this brings you closer to loved ones. But at least it is together and not divided. Good luck!

  13. How wonderful that you are able to see the positives in all of this and that is has brought you closer together. Marriage is about teamwork and it sounds like you are doing your best at it.

  14. It’s nice to hear that your chronic illness brought you closer together. Other relationships may have crumbled when things like this happen. Sad, but it really happens. You and your husband are doing a great job. Happy Anniversary!

  15. I don’t suffer from chronic illness, but I had appendicitis and then an emergency c-section during our marriage and it definitely helped us. I could not be shy about any bodily functions, and had to rely on and trust my husband completely during recovery.

  16. I love this, not many people have a turn around like this where they derive positive output out of pain. Thanks for sharing.

  17. What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing. I’ll be honest I don’t deal with difficult times well. I tend to freak out, or become way too stress and my husband is my rock. He’s always there to pick up the pieces, mend things together and basically be the glue that binds us. It’s amazing! Happy Early Anniversary to you!

  18. It does sound like you have an incredibly strong relationship. It’s great that you are able to observe your own relationship and realize this!

  19. I think there’s no simple marriage and this has to be a team effort between the husband and wife. Congratulations for celebrating your second year together. Patience, understanding, and love are all important. Constant communication should also be practiced.

  20. What a great post, I love inspirational and positive thoughts <3 They really can do so much!! Marriage can be complicated but when two people go through something together, it can really strengthen that relationship. Loved this post 🙂

  21. I an thankful that my husband is supportive of my chronic illness. I’m unable to work outside of the home (I’m a risk to employers bc of my back). It gas been a real struggle for me. I’m used to being active and now not so much.

  22. Marriage is such hard work already, I can’t imagine suffering from a chronic illness too. I can see how you wouldn’t have the energy to fight over the little things…which in this case, works in your benefit!

  23. Wow, what a lovely post. I’m glad it worked out for you and made you guys stronger. It’s so important to communicate and trust each other.

  24. Cherishing the good days is the best quality for a marriage. I know that it can be difficult dealing with illnesses. We have to deal with minor things and it makes us stressed and struggle with our thoughts!

  25. Your story is so heartwarming. Not all can surpass such struggles in their married life. I admire you both for hanging in there. Bless your hearts and your marriage.

  26. Great outlook on your relationship and true love always stands the test of time. Happy Anniversary and thanks for sharing your story with us at #AnythingGoes link up

  27. My best friend has a chronic illness. She once told me about the spoon theory and referred to a blog post that described how someone with a chronic illness goes about their day. The theory was based on a person started out with so many spoons. For everything you did, you lose a spoon. If you had no spoons left, basically it represented that you were pretty much in bed.

  28. Through sickness and in health and so happy your marriage is keeping strong through your chronic illness. I am happy that even simple Netflix date nights keeps your bond strong too…a date is a date!

  29. Keep at it. I too have suffered chronic illness and where it not for my husband, God only knows where I would be. Happy anniversary. We are up 24 years in two weeks time!

  30. Happy Anniversary! I agree with you, and I can completely relate to your situation. When my husband & I were married for about 1.5 years, he was carjacked and shot. He has since recovered completely, but having to deal with such a horrible tragedy so early on in our marriage has actually strengthened our relationship more than anything else could have even come close to doing. You are SO right about not fighting about stupid little things, or nagging. All of that stuff is nonsense and not worth wasting time & energy on. Every time he does something that upsets me, I thank God that he is still here to do those things that upset me! We will celebrate our 7th anniversary on 7/4.

  31. I just found your post on the Turn it up Tuesday link party, and I’m really glad that I did. I have two chronic illnesses and my husband has been by my side through thick and thin. Hospitalizations, surgeries, having to stop working and the financial fallout that it caused, to experimenting with different treatment options, and eventually finding some relief through dietary changes. While it hasn’t always been easy, our “us against the world” mentality has only grown stronger. There are so many stories out there about families crumbling from the toll of chronic illness, it’s really nice to read another story of strength. Thanks for sharing.

  32. I am so sorry you are suffering from a chronic illness, and of course are sending you prayers of healing. I am also so impressed that you have managed to find the silver lining and cherish what most healthy people take advantgae of.

  33. I am really loving that you ‘make one heck of a team’! I know that my own research in this area tends to reveal that ongoing adversity is almost always a catalyst for relationship change. Relationships either grow and strengthen by embracing it (the adversity) as a shared challenge, or they dissolve under the weight of the chronic nature and challenge of the illness. It is so heartening to see that you have a wonderful and reliable support system in place!

  34. Thank you for sharing this insightful post Chantel! I am on the opposite side of the chronic illness as my husband is the one going through a chronic illness. After reading your post, I realize there are a lot of things he deals with, that I just don’t understand because he ‘looks’ fine and doesn’t complain much. You have challenged me to gain a new perspective, not sweat the small things, cherish the good days, spend more time together, and to have a attitude of wanting to serve & encourage my husband even more. Thank you for taking the time to share your struggles and helping me become a better spouse #AnythingGoes

  35. I loved finding this post. I have several chronic illnesses, and have been married a little over a year. Usually, the posts I see about being married with chronic illness are sad- people getting divorced, being overwhelmed, and things like that. I fully believe that being ill has made my relationship with my husband stronger and I’m glad to see I am not the only one.

  36. Happy anniversary! I know exactly what you mean about chronic illness strengthening a marriage. Having a chronic illness is not easy and does make the marriage stronger – if you let it.

    Thank you for sharing at Chronic Friday linkup!

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