1. Wow, I really need this. In our almost 40 years of marriage, my husband has been sick about 75% of the time. Three years ago, he was finally diagnosed with an auto-immune disease that doctors think he has had most of his life. At the same time, he became totally disabled and unable to work. Their have been many changes since (countless hospitalizations, doctor bills, treatment issues, etc.). The thing that bothers me most is that he refuses to do much to help himself (from my perspective)and seems to be content to ‘roll over and play dead.’ Jesus saved my soul last year (after 50 years of church membership and believing I had salvation) and my life is not the same. Neither is my marriage. With daily prayer and Bible study, I am trying to ‘live a life poured out for Him.’ But this continues to be the area where I struggle the most to be a godly, supportive helpmeet/wife/caregiver. I can’t wait to see what you are going to tell us. So thankful for the things I have learned from you and thank God I found your blog.

  2. Could one of your days on this subject be about disabilities? My husband has Tourettes Syndrome and he is very overweight. I am overweight as well. Right now we cannot have intercourse as our weight keeps us from joining together. I work outside the home while he stays home. He twitches and will repeat silly songs until they start to upset him. He can get very stressed. He craves affection and always wants me to be close to him. He does not sleep well and is up and down several times a night.

  3. Thank you for this post. I did have tears by the end of it, because my husband was diagnosed with Fabry’s disease one year into our marriage, after $4,000 in doctors visits including a trip to Mayo to figure out what was causing his chronic vertigo/dizziness. We’re on the starting end of it, as we’re only now approaching our 2 year anniversary. It’s been tough – unrelated, but on the subject of pushing through and living for Christ, within the same 18 months: my parents divorced, I got married, my childhood dog died, I moved 800 miles, my husband and I both started new jobs, and we bought a house… My “new normal” is almost daily paperwork for medical stuff between insurance, hospital, and drug companies, scheduling infusions that will continue to occur every two weeks for the rest of my husband’s life, keeping up our home (Oh! and God has finally brought us to the place where we have begun to try for our first child! :DD), keeping romance a priority in our marriage, and struggling for the first time in my life to try to find my own time for God and for rejuvinating my own spirit. Before marriage, I spent a half hour in the morning and a half hour at night reading the Bible, was in a woman’s Bible study, and prayed all day long (that part I still do!). I need to figure out how to read the Bible more, and nurture relationships with other Christian women, while putting 100% of what I have into keeping life in order and supporting my husband through this “new normal” … and being “the strong one” as I shouldn’t be the one to be struggling, after all, I’m the healthy one, right!? I look forward to more posts on the subject of chronic illnesses, and hope and pray that together all who reads and you who are writing, can see the light, the Lord, our Father who loves us and is ALWAYS with us through everything! For if God’ll clothe the birds of the air and the animals, how much more does our Heavenly Father love us!!!!

  4. Thank you for tackling this issue. I have dealt with chronic health issues all of my married life. Multiple sclerosis is the current one.

  5. I am so looking forward to this series. I have had various healthy issues for the past 6 years. My husband is a wonderful caretaker and so loving, but it is hard not to feel guilty. Thank you for being willing to share from your heart and experience with us.. God knows what He is doing even when we can’t figure it out.

  6. Thank you! I have wanted someone to address this issue for so long. My husband has dealt with health issues for most of our nearly 20 year marriage. He is now completely disabled. Our whole life has changed. It can be so overwhelming.

  7. am i ever looking forward to this series, my friend. whew, what a relationally-stressful road this chronic illness stuff. and that search for a new normal? boy, it can take a long time to find (or at least to accept . . . ).

    thanks for the privilege to walk through your journey,

  8. I just read your blog and will be following this closely! My husband and I have been married for almost 45 years. In 1992 he was diagnosed with MS. It was quite the journey finding out what was wrong and why these wierd things were happening, but after a little over a year the MRI’s showed the plaque/scars on his brain….Now it is hitting him hard. Balance has always been an issue, it is a lot worse. Strength, memory, and other little things are showing up and frustrating him. I try to slow him down (like the other day he mowed the front and back of a big yard and weed whacked….he was down (in his chair) for 2 days! I love this man more than anything (except my Heavenly Father) but he is such a proud man and any little weakness just hurts him so.
    Your writing sounds like it will help me see it from the other side. I really do not want to lose my temper with him, he can’t help it-ya know? but again IF he would listen when I try to let him know I can see he is getting too tired, …well, I don’t know. I look forward to more of your story. Thank you! Marianna

    1. Marianna,

      My grandma has Alzheimer’s and has had problems with dizziness & balance. She continued with doing the yard work (her passion) for quite sometime. We (as in the family) begged her to stop before something happened. Finally it took my uncle taking away the lawn mower & hiring a landscaping service. She still gets to work in her flower beds but someone else handles the big stuff. You may need to try what we did and just say “It hurts and worries me when you do this. please let’s try to hire someone to do the biggest part of the work but if you want you can still do some of the smaller easier stuff.” That way its a compromise without him feeling like less of a husband & man because of his health. I hope that helps!

  9. Thank you for sharing your heart. I began to have physical issues after a car accident last August, which led to me finding out that I have Chiari 1 malformation, which is a congenital brain defect. I began to have symptoms after the accident and these symptoms worsened to the point where I had to have brain surgery to decompress my brain and help with the symptoms. There is no cure for this condition but I am much better since the surgery. I am still trying to wrap my head (and heart) around all that I have been through in the last 8 months, as well as having a chronic condition now. My husband has been wonderful through all this and we are closer than ever, but it has changed our marriage and our roles in life a bit. I look forward to continuing to read your posts about all this.

  10. I happened to find your blog. I LOVED your testimony!!! I also was married to my first husband who was very abusive. I thought I was doing right by my children, staying with their father… until he started abusing our oldest son. After many years of marrige I divorced him. I prayed for the Lord to send me my next husband. The Lord sent me a WONDERFUL husband…who is my soulmate. Three years ago, I received the call that has changed my world. My husband had an accident and suffered a massive stroke. I can relate to your world, but from the spouse’s end. My job layed me off. They told me I would miss to much work with his illness which turned out to be a blessing, as a couple of weeks he would have his first seizure. My husband went from strong and healthy to death’s door in a second. His life hung in God’s hand for four days. I have had to trust the Lord as there was no one else I could turn to and he has been AWESOME!!! I have started public speaking on this experience also. I will pray for the Lord to bless you as you speak out on this subject which is so close to your heart. Thank you for sharing. In Christ, Debbie

  11. I have dealt with several issues over the years. I have battled severe depression for many years (suicidal thoughts and a few attempts). My thyroid had reached a point that it was almost completely non functioning, not to mention the “female” issues I have that cause trouble with my weight and other parts of my body. With medication my depression & thyroid are under control, it took God pushing me to push the doctors to figure out what was wrong. I dealt with infertility (and beat it twice to have my children) but those issues have returned, I guess I’ll have to wait for God to put me through menopause to fix that.

    But through it all my hubby said “I’m here. I meant that “in sickness” part. But I really want you to feel well.” And tonight it came up again. He had knee surgery today and he was thanking me for taking care of him. I told him “I said in sickness, too, remember?”

  12. Amy, Thank you for your reply! It is wonderful how God works, because I spoke with my son after the posting ( he and his wife have a home care business in MI) and he told me about the VA Assist benefit. A veteran can receive up to $2000 for home help which covers YARD WORK!! Now all I have to do is talk to Dan over the next couple of days, find a company and apply for the benefit (not necessarily in that order)…but your post helped me a lot!! Again, thank you, Marianna

    1. Marianna,

      Of course! I hope your husban agrees. I had not heard about that VA benefit. My husband is active duty Army now. Do you know if spouses of a deceased service member can use that benefit? My grandfather passed away several years ago (my grandmother is still in the early enough stages that she can be left alone) but that is a benefit she could definitely use to help with some repair work & some of the upkeep.

      1. I will ck with my son and see…and let ya know

        Amy, Tony said that YES it does apply to spouses of deceased service members!!!

        1. Thank you! I’ll get to work on starting that process.

          You could also point out to your hubby that the less he tries to do at once the more energy he will have for things like taking you to dinner or a movie and with the summer coming maybe some outdoor concert/play in the park! 🙂

  13. True! I think with a few comments here and there, I will be able to get him to say yes. I just have to go slow and let it be his idea. 🙂

  14. Thanks so much for this series. I have psoriatic arthritis and get discouraged when I think of all I cannot do. Having to depend on others is hard. I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts and experience.

  15. Thank you for sharing this. I know it takes a lot to be vulnerable and share something painful for the benefit of others, but as you can see from all the above comments, your story is going to bring a lot of comfort and healing to others. I hope God blesses you like crazy for your obedience!j

    By the way, I love reading your blog. I look forward to every new post. God bless you!

  16. Thank you for sharing this. 🙂 Long term illnesses call for plenty of adjustments and compromises, especially when it happens during the course of the marriage. You can either be responsible and brave it on or wallow in the misery and simply give up. It’s nice to hear that living for Christ has encouraged you to take this on and bring normalcy back into your life.

    Visiting you from the Happy Wives Club link up.

  17. Thank you sooooo much for sharing! I got the email from the next one you do on this and wrote you back there because I didn’t know. I’m 35 years old and have had Fibromyalgia, R.A., Chronic Fatigue and a handful of other things. I have been on about 9 really rough medications including Morphine for 15+ years. This year I had enough. I got off of my medications. I went through almost 2 months of withdrawals. It was HORRIBLE. the crazy thing is I feel better than I did but it is still there. I have only been married for 2 1/2 years. He knew coming into our marriage but it has been so tough. Now, we are dealing with financial issues because I’m going to a holistic doctor. My insurance covers nothing. It has been really tough lately. I believe God will get us through! I need to focus on the positive….which has been really tough but I have to do it. I just got back from our church’s Women’s Retreat and he goes this weekend. I’m so excited to see God work in us both! Thank you again for sharing!!!!

  18. Jolene, Wow, what an encouragement to find another wife that battles chronic illness! I have MS (diagnosed 9 1/2 yrs ago). I am definitely looking forward to your series. Thank you for sharing.

  19. My father recently passed away and it threw us all off guard because it’s been my mom who has had the chronic illness for the past 15 years. They call it an essential tremor (which is just their way of saying they can’t diagnose why she doesn’t stop shaking except when she’s sleep). She’s been diagnosed with everything under the sun and through it all, my parents continued to be in love. Looking forward to the rest of the series.

  20. Like some of the other wives my husband is suffering with some health issues, which resulted in three amputations to his lower leg, in one year ,before it finally healed. After working at the same place for 19 yrs when I ask for a three month leave to take care of my husband after his surgery I was told they were going to let me go because I wouldn’t be able to come back in three months. With a mountain of hospital bills, no job and a sick husband it didn’t take long to wipe out our savings. It has been a little over a yr now and he is walking with his new leg, we receive Social Security,and the hospital bills are smaller. God is good. I believe when God calls a spouse to go through something, he is calling both of you. It’s not always easy, most of the time it’s very difficult, but we know God has a plan and a purpose for all of us . Stay close to God and he will stay close to you. God has promised he would never leave us or forsake us. God bless you as your going through difficult times.

  21. Wow!!!! I was diagnosed with lupus this past year, I felt like I was a burden to my husband. I married a wonderful godly man that is always by my side. Although he does everything I always feel like I burden him and the kids. I cant wait rk read all your post. Thsnk you so so much.

  22. In the 33 years my husband and I have been married, we have had miscarriages and a stillborn son. I was diagnosed with Lupus in ”94 but all symptoms have been since I was a child. 11 years ago, our older son joined the Navy and is now in Bahrain (for the 7th time) and his sweet wife and darling little girls are on the other side of the US from where we live. 6 years ago, our younger son, Geoffrey, joined the Army, and about that time, my husband sufered Traumatic Brain Injury from a “freak” accident at work. On January 13, 2010, our precious Soldier was KIA in Afghanistan. Last year I was diagnosed with debilitating RSD. My husband and I live in separate worlds in the same house. He has become obese which not only makes sexual intimacy impossible, but, with his TBI, he has NO recollection of the passion we shared for all those years before the accident. He has absolutely no desire for me. I CRAVE his love! I CRAVE the passion! I CRAVE what used to be. I have unfulfilled desires and needs and wonder why we are even together… Except for that marriage vow.
    Wow! No one else knows the whole story…and really, this isn.t the whole story. We have been faithful to each other, and to be honest here, the temptation to wander, for me, is so great. But, I will not yield.
    Desperate to read today what you have written~

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