I’m reading a new book called “An Unfinished Marriage” and it’s interesting to see the life of a mother and wife from the outside after living inside of it for so many years. I just stumbled upon a page talking about how the author fractured her ankle and ended up having surgery to correct it, thereby putting her on bedrest for about eight weeks and the effect it had on her marriage of thirty years.
“….remembering that moment helps me realize that being helpless or weak has its place in the life of a marriage – that to let down one’s guard, to be touched for reasons other than sex, can carry a couple to an unexpected level of intimacy.” ( An Unfinished Marriage, p. 126). She goes on to talk about how she had always been the giver, which gave her the benefit of retaining control. I see myself in this because the d.h. and I just had a disagreement today about me feeling like he treated me as though I was helpless, and I objected because today was one of those days that I could do what I wanted, and what I needed to do around my house.
I know there are days that I can’t, days that I am not as self-sufficient as I used to be….as I’d like to be. But I can’t just give up. I have to push myself to keep up with a mostly typical life of a thirty-something stay at home mom. But I had my eyes opened by that simple passage, and realized that I’m fighting to retain control as well. I’m much happier if I have control of the situation, and over my existence.
One of the tenants of life that I have impressed upon my children is that each person needs to fashion his or her own existence, or others will be more than happy to do it for you. One of the main struggles in a life of constant, chronic medical issues is that loss of control, and it’s hard to face. Just like the author of the books says that she has never been comfortable receiving…I know very well that I have a hard time taking up time and space, and that’s part of what I’m struggling with as I realize that I am weaker…and even sometimes helpless now.
I just thought that this was a good way to touch on another aspect of life as I know it. My docs still are saying it’s quite probably not Fibro anymore, but instead DJD (Dejenerative Joint Disease), but life as I know it is pretty much the same. And I started this blog to raise awareness, to share what life is like for people like me, and Ging, and her mom, and many others. I suppose that includes touching on topics such as how living with a chronic condition affects our relationships.
Does it strain it sometimes? Absolutely. But my d.h. knows this is not what I chose. I wanted to be a dancer, but fate…well, she said no. Does it lead to a place where only he and I know? Yes, sometimes it does. Joan Anderson, the author of the book I’m reading, is right. It does lead to an unexpected level of intimacy. The balance of control shifts and you have to trust one another more than might typically be the case.
“….in sickness and in health…”