If you or a friend are married and struggling with a chronic illness, today’s post is for you. The Christian Marriage Bloggers Association recently featured a new blogger, Helena, with the Chronic Marriage Blog. Helena is a counselor and also lives with Muscular Dystrophy. She shared this post, Beyond the Fairy Tale with advice for all those married couples in which one of the spouses has a chronic illness. She shares the statistic that sadly the divorce rate exceeds 75 percent for those with a chronic illness.
Having a close friend with MS, and having interviewed couples with depression and other long-term illnesses, I can see the challenges it can bring to the marriage. Helena’s advice is right on target. I have also been blessed to see how some couples handle these difficulties with grace and love and are positive examples of marriage. For instance, in my book First Kiss to Lasting Bliss, I wrote about a young wife whose husband experienced a brain injury after a bike accident. He was left with physical impairments and an inability to communicate in the same manner. Yet, his mind was still astute, and his love for her never waned. While her challenges have been intense (read Challenges for Spousal Caregivers), she says it has made their marriage more extraordinary.
Even those without a chronic illness will likely go through at least a period of illness at some point during their marriage. This may include recovering from pregnancy or the common flu. Or they may include cancer treatments, joint replacements or other times in our lives when we must rely on others for care. It is during these rough days, months or years when our character as a spouse is known, and the depth of our love and commitment is shown.
Lori Lowe is the founder of Marriage Gems and author of First Kiss to Lasting Bliss: Hope & Inspiration for Your Marriage. It tells the inspiring, true stories of couples who used adversity to improve their marriages–from overcoming drug addiction to cancer, infidelity, religious differences, family interference and infertility, among many others. It’s available at Amazon.com and in all e-book formats at www.LoriDLowe.com.
Note: I just saw that Amazon has First Kiss to Lasting Bliss currently discounted at $13.95 for a hard copy and $8.19 for the Kindle edition!