As 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.
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?