Wow. The last few days have been filled with a lot of kind words and support for this blog, and I am over the top excited that some of you have connected with the stories I’ve shared. I have been most surprised (in a good way, of course!) by the number of spouses and caregivers that have read the blog and had questions and comments. These have made me step back a little and realize that the people that care for us daily need a voice here too. So, I wrote a few questions and interviewed my husband. Again, we are not marriage experts, so I’m not encouraging everyone to imitate us (Trust me- the world doesn’t need that!). I’m just sharing our experience.
How is your role as a husband different from what typical marriages experience?
I have to be more aware of situations than most husbands do. Typically, husbands can take for granted that their wife will feel fine for a walk through the mall, but that’s not how things go for us. I have to pay attention and anticipate problems. I look at you sometimes and can tell you are fading fast, and I need to get you home. I don’t think most husbands think that way when they’re out with their wives. I also have to make trade offs in order to do what’s most important. If I know you are planning to run errands during the day, I can typically guess that you’ll be too worn out to do anything that night. So, if I’m wanting to go out for dinner or even just sit outside on the patio for a couple hours and talk, I might have to handle the errands so your energy can go toward something more important. In most marriages, both people typically feel decent (maybe tired or an occasional cold, but otherwise fine). In our marriage, one day you might be doing well and fix dinner, or run errands, or come visit me at work. The next day, you might be too tired or weak to walk out of the bedroom. I’m never quite sure what to expect when I come in from work.
How have your expectations for your life and future as a couple changed?
I realize, now, that things take more planning than they used to. Some adventures that I had planned to experience with you (ie. International travel) may never happen, and that’s okay– just different than I expected. I thought (because of how we dated) there would be more spontaneity in our marriage. But I don’t mind that there isn’t. We’re both adults; we have a house now, so there’s a place for us to hang out and just be together.
I don’t really imagine our future will be much different than now. You’re still the same person I married– just slower.
(Blogger’s note: I definitely pinched him for calling me slow. Even if it is true!)
What are your biggest fears?
One of my biggest fears is that your health will suddenly go downhill, and you won’t be able to do anything. I could handle it, but I’m not sure how you would mentally or emotionally. I worry that you’ll become really sick while we’re out, and I won’t be able to get you adequate help. And, ultimately, my biggest fear is that I’ll wake up one morning and you won’t wake up with me.
Finally, what do you do to educate yourself about my illness/ procedures/ etc? How do you draw the line for the things you would just rather not know?
There have been too many times that I’ve used Google to diagnose myself and gotten really worried over nothing. (A headache is probably not a brain tumor.) So, I keep in mind that information found online is normally the worst case scenario, and I typically avoid researching. At this point, I just ask you, and you let me know what I need to know.
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I had more questions to ask, but, honestly, the conversation was just getting a little too heavy for me. The truth is, these things need to be discussed occasionally. I need to know what my husband worries about or even how our marriage is different from his expectations. Obviously, I can’t change any of it, but at least I can know what’s going on in his head. And sometimes (like today) all you can do is validate each other’s feelings and move on. Besides, the Braves are playing . . .!
Peace, love, and health! J