In our marriage, my husband, Jared, and I are equals.
He may have chronic illnesses, which means there are certain adjustments he must make to have a semblance of normalcy in everyday life. I have psychological issues as well. But we strive to be equal partners.
Sometimes we are imbalanced. Perhaps that is the nature of PwD (persons with disability) relationships: Compared with typical relationships, the imbalance appears more frequently. Whenever Jared has a bleed due to hemophilia, I’ll go out of my way to give him the assistance he needs. That’s fine — some adjustments are necessary in any marriage.
However, as we both mature in our marriage, I am beginning to realize that we approach it as individuals. We were married because our partnership brought out something better in each of us as individuals. This means that both of us must put effort into our marriage for it to work.
My husband often tells me I am the reason he experienced the freedom he constantly wished for as a child. When he was younger, he would often feel trapped by his illnesses. But after I came along, he was finally able to go places whenever he wanted to, play certain sports, exercise, and even start a business — something he never thought he could do — because I was his companion. If he had a seizure, I could help to keep him safe.
I’m glad I do all of these things for my husband. It makes me feel good that I make someone’s life better. But a marriage requires teamwork. And for teamwork to be possible, it’s important that both of us feel satisfied to be on the team.
This means we ought to be doing the things that really matter for each other.
For my husband, it’s the little things that matter, such as seeing me sleeping next to him at night. Or my staying safe so that he feels confident I will always be there for him and our daughter.
For me, what matters are financial stability, peace of mind, and knowing that someone will always accept me for who I am.
Psychologist John Gottman proposed the concept of a “magic relationship ratio” of positive and negative interactions between a couple during conflict, which ultimately defined whether a marriage would be successful or not. Of the negative interactions, being emotionally dismissive is among the most damaging.
Lately, I have been feeling extremely anxious about providing for our family. I want to make sure that we have physically and emotionally healthy lives. One of the key steps for this that we have identified is having a home that we can truly make our own.
I opened up to my husband about needing his help and cooperation in working toward our shared goals. He was willing to listen to how I felt, which I appreciated. It matters to me that my feelings are acknowledged.
My husband and I both have lots of work to do. I’m just glad that after six years together, including two years as a married couple, our interactions are mostly positive and constructive. For me, that’s a great place to start.
I believe in my husband and know he is capable. I have seen his impeccable work ethic and have faith that he can help bring us closer to where we hope to be. Even with his chronic illnesses, I like to believe he is an asset to our team of two. I hope I can empower him more to work harder for our family. That way, we can both feel more fulfilled in our marriage.
Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.
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