People often ask Kevin and me how we cope as a married couple. Well, there are a couple of things that I would like you to recognise to start with.
Disability doesn’t make it impossible for you to live a married life. In fact, from a very young age, I had realised that I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with a fully able person. So if I was going to marry it would be to a disabled person.
Marriage is a very important part of life and both Kevin and I took the sacrament of marriage very seriously. This is not something to be taken lightly. When you say the wedding vows some of the words you promise each other are “in sickness and in health” and we meant the vows when we said them.
I suppose in one sense, there was a difference to being fully fit and able to do anything and everything because we were already disabled.
Actually, when we first met we spent time describing our conditions and how they might/would impact our lives. We also discussed with each other what they could mean if we ever wanted to have a friendship. Yes, it does impact the two of us and our lives together. We didn’t stop talking about it through the days that followed.
In fact, the good thing is that we have never really stopped talking about it.
Being A Team
We wake up with different problems because of the conditions we have and we never know exactly what the other one can do until they have moved around a bit. However, now that we have been married ten years we now (generally) recognise when the other one is feeling more tired or sorer and you help them. It creates a different atmosphere in the house when we help each other. We also try to look at things in a positive light because when you’re ill if you’re thinking negatively, the pain becomes that much more intense.
I think also, it makes life easier because Kevin and I work together as a team. Generally speaking, what one can do, the other generally can’t or finds it difficult to do. Sometimes we actually do jobs together. There are some things neither of us can do and then we have to ask friends or carers to help us in those situations.
Supporting Each Other Through Loss
Just like anyone else, we care about the six pregnancy losses we have had. Both of us have discovered that on days I am struggling with the loss and suffering Kevin is having a good day about it and he encourages me and vice versa. Yes, losing that many babies is a hell I would never want to put people through but we get through everything together and that is the key.
We also are Catholics and although we don’t always get to Mass, we do rely on God. and I feel that we have got through our pregnancy losses difficulties and kept our relationship together not only because we trust God but we are honest and truthful with each other. We discuss whatever issues are there in our family life and come to solutions as a team. And it’s amazing what we can actually accomplish.
Obviously, we have difficulties that you most likely don’t have. But, let me tell you, it makes no difference. Like you, there are issues that come up that need to be solved. Sometimes we actually come up with some creative solutions to problems that we know we are going to face.
Facing life together is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
I have a partner who shares my life and I have learnt the delight of this.
We didn’t know if we could even have children when we married and looked at fostering and adoption. I wanted to stay home and look after the family rather than going out to work. I want people/children to know there is a life after abuse and you can find happiness again. Every day, I/we look for the silver lining in the cloud that surrounds me/us. There is always something to be grateful for.