What I love most about my partner, who has hemophilia

A columnist shares her recipe for a healthy and loving marriage

Alliah Czarielle avatar

by Alliah Czarielle |

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February is traditionally known as the month of love. Yet while Valentine’s Day is over, the act of appreciating loved ones knows no time or place.

My husband, Jared, and I have been together for almost nine years. Our relationship is somewhat unconventional — he has hemophilia and a seizure disorder, while I was diagnosed with ADHD and bipolar II disorder. As a result, we must rearrange our lives around our respective conditions.

Jared’s seizures make driving extremely risky for him, so he doesn’t go out without a companion. This makes traditional romantic gestures sometimes impossible. He doesn’t pick up surprise gifts for me, for example, or whisk me away on unexpected trips, but he does manage to find other ways to make me feel loved and appreciated.

For instance, we might plan our adventures in advance, thinking carefully through the logistics of a long trip. Or we might shop together for things we like and buy them for each other. Even better, he might order a gift for me online without me knowing and find some sneaky way to hide it in plain sight — just to tease my mind!

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Those are just a few ways my husband makes me feel loved on special days, despite having some very real health limitations. But for me, what’s more important are the ways he demonstrates his love to me and our family, even on regular days.

The following are a few of those ways:

1. We share household responsibilities in equitable ways.

Household chores are a frequent source of arguments between spouses, especially those who have kids. A couple’s division of chores (or lack thereof) can be a huge determinant to their long-term happiness.

Since Jared and I have a 4-year-old daughter, it often feels like our household responsibilities never end. There are always dirty dishes in the kitchen, piles of clothes to pick up, and toys in every corner of our home. Add eight-hour workdays (or more) and the 24/7 duty of watching an extremely curious and energetic kid to the mix, and even with a helper our energy levels are completely zapped by day’s end.

That’s why having an equitable division of work is important; it lightens the load on both ends and helps keep us mentally and emotionally healthy. Jared and I divide our work based on what each of us is good at doing — not on stereotypes stemming from gender or our respective health conditions.

Jared has excellent kitchen skills, so he prepares everyone’s food. He just takes crucial precautions to stay safe in the kitchen, given his seizure disorder. Meanwhile, since I am the only one capable of safely handling a vehicle at the moment, I am the assigned family driver. I take my family everywhere we need to go.

2. We contribute equally to family finances.

Jared and I are both breadwinners and contribute equally to the family finances. Jared often handles food expenses and his medications. Meanwhile, I pay our utilities and purchase things that make our home pretty, like furniture and plants. We’re both capable of taking on jobs, so we take advantage of it. We do what realistically works for us.

3. He is my primary source of emotional support and encouragement.

With my mental health conditions, it’s easy for me to feel down or grow disheartened, especially when nothing seems to be going right. Thankfully, Jared is infinitely understanding.

He often tells me that the struggles he endured as a child growing up with chronic illness instilled a strong sense of empathy in him. So he really doesn’t mind listening to other people’s problems; in fact, it energizes him, because he feels like he can truly be of service. I fell in love with this trait of his nine years ago, and I’m thankful he can still be a strong pillar of support for both me and our daughter.

These are just a few of the traits I love and appreciate about my husband. What do you love about your partner? Please share in the comments below.

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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