I Will Not Baby My Husband
I will not baby my husband.
I will not carry all the weight on my shoulders just because he is “sick.” His disability does not mean that he is brittle. He has the capacity to grow, develop, and become more resilient over time. But that is something he won’t be able to do if he is shielded from challenges.
My husband is 25. He is an adult, capable of making his own decisions. Caring for him is one thing, but denying him the opportunity to decide things for himself is inconsiderate and selfish. He is human, so he will surely make mistakes. But to keep him from making mistakes altogether would be the same as keeping him from learning. If it were up to me, I would let him learn how to self-infuse by actually experiencing it on a regular basis. This is how learning is meant to happen.
The fear of something bad happening will always be there — as a person with anxiety, I know fear all too well. But letting these fears govern us and dictate our decisions in life can paralyze us, and much worse, even damage the people we love.
I will not keep my husband from experiences just because some experiences are potentially dangerous.
At the very least, I believe he deserves to be trusted to know his limitations and to choose the safest option available.
And if he does make a mistake, I’d want to treat it as a learning experience. I wouldn’t blame or shame him for being wrong once — that would be a blow to his self-esteem. I’d want to let him know and feel that it’s OK to try again.
I am all for empowering my husband and encouraging others with hemophilia to do the same. I want my husband to be independent and grow confident that he can sustain himself and treat his injuries proactively. We are about to have a child, and I believe our child deserves a father who is dependable and is, first and foremost, capable of taking care of himself.
He may have epilepsy as well, but this should not be an obstacle to his learning. He is on medication, and recently he has been able to identify when a seizure is coming so he can drop whatever he is doing, surrender to the attack, and be safe.
I speak as a wife who believes in her husband’s strength and considers him her equal — a fellow adult, and an excellent partner and friend.
I am not going to baby my husband … except during instances of what we fondly call “paglalambing“ in Filipino. And that’s pretty much only when he needs me to scratch his back, help him take off an inappropriately tight shirt, or wrap him up in a hug (with a stuffed toy or two) when he’s sad.
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