How my husband with hemophilia supports me in our marriage
'Barbie' prompts a reflection on hemophilia and romantic relationships
I recently had the pleasure of watching the “Barbie” movie with my husband and daughter. The experience not only provided us with enjoyable family time, but also left a lasting impact on me.
Beyond the vibrant visual effects, comedic gags, and engaging storyline, the movie delivered a profoundly empowering message for women. It emphasized the idea that women can break free from the constraints of societal norms and become anything we desire.
Although I may not be as career-driven as my mom, who found deep meaning in her chosen field of work, I do cherish the idea of financial independence. Money allows me to embrace life’s pleasures and explore the world through travel and enriching hobbies. It’s essential for me to find areas where I can contribute to others and develop my skills.
I firmly disagree with the notion that women should be confined to the responsibility of running a household or taking care of their husbands and children. Ideally, both moms and dads must undertake an equitable share of household tasks, divide child care responsibilities, and contribute to finances according to their ability.
Here’s how my husband, Jared, who lives with severe hemophilia B and a seizure disorder, manages to actively support and encourage my identity as an independent woman beyond the roles of spouse and carer.
A champion of women’s rights
Jared is, without a doubt, one of the most ardent feminists I have ever encountered. Growing up in an all-boys school exposed him to the pressures of conforming to stereotypical male culture, but he never saw the need for it. Being the “sick kid” in his class, he knew he could never be an “alpha male.” Instead, he sought a different path and found his own tribe by being kind, friendly, and considerate, attracting love and appreciation from others.
In many of our conversations, he has expressed his preference for the company of female friends over other men. His friendships with women taught him how to treat them with respect and care, qualities he brought to his relationships.
Throughout our relationship, Jared has actively resisted societal pressures and expectations regarding my role. He reassures me that he is content with who I am and what I do. He will openly communicate if something isn’t working for him.
He never imposes expectations on me as his carer, stressing that my approach should be solely based on our needs, independent of the opinions of others. What truly matters is that we do what works for us.
Jared also supports my endeavors as long as they benefit our family and don’t interfere with my individual responsibilities as a wife and mother. Plus, I never have to worry about doing everything by myself.
Jared does not want us to be co-dependent
Above all, Jared opposes co-dependent relationships. He’s aware that disabled people can fall into co-dependency in relationships, and he doesn’t want that for our marriage. So he strives to be as independent as possible while still respecting his limitations. He also ensures that I don’t overburden myself. It requires a delicate balance, but we navigate it carefully to maintain a healthy marriage.
He values our individual identities, which are aligned in passions and goals, but still uniquely our own.
I also want Jared to thrive as an individual. I constantly let him know that he can rely on my support whenever he needs it, for as long as I’m able to provide it.
The “Barbie” movie not only entertained us, but also helped Jared and me reflect on the concepts of empowerment and equality in our marriage. We’d both like to think that even with disability in the picture, our marriage is forward-looking.
Jared’s unwavering support as a feminist husband, his encouragement for me to pursue my passions, and his belief in our shared independence enrich our lives.
At the end of the day, our partnership is about each of us embracing our individual identities while sharing marriage goals, finding meaning in raising our child together, and finding home within our family — and disability doesn’t change that.
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.