We (the hubby and I) begin simply enough in the bedroom… on weekends we watch movies in bed. Popcorn, puffy pillows and two massive smelly dogs happily snoring at our feet. I was telling him I wanted to interview him for a post about the healthy ‘partner’ living with a chronically ill loved one. I explained when one person gets a chronic illness, there is a very high divorce rate. He was reluctant, and I was insistent. What started as an interview turned into me writing as rapidly as I could! Jeff had powerful feelings on this matter…
Kim: Ok, honey, let’s just start with why did you pick me when you knew I was chronically ill?
Jeff: Everybody comes with something. Whether it’s a weird sexual preference, maybe they like being slapped around? [Kim gasps.] I don’t know! But everyone comes with something. That’s ultimately the truth. When I got you, I thought I knew beforehand what I’d be dealing with, but it was so much more. I made sure I was all in before we said our vows.
Kim: Why do you stay?
Jeff: That’s not the right question. Why don’t THEY stay? What the f*ck is wrong with them? [Jeff is now pacing the room.] You get married and promise to love this person, then you bail? What’s that about?!?!
If you are not growing, as a couple, then what is the point? Obviously, that person stopped maturing. WHY?!?! Did you take the same vows I did? For better or worse. I meant it. I just don’t get it… bailing.
Kim: Alright love, let’s go back. You just found out I had Fibromyalgia Syndrome. What did you think?
Jeff: You were in trouble. Here is my life long friend and you are in deep trouble. I wanted to help you, there was no question. But, was I in love enough with you to marry you? I mean, we loved each other. There is a love between friends, and then there is the passionate love. You’d like both, but you have to separate the two. I was trying to decide if I was going to be your friend or your lover? Did I want to be both?
It’s like seeing a car wreck.
Kim: Now I’m a car wreck?
Jeff: You aren’t the wreck, this is the only way I can think to explain. Hey! You wanted me to answer questions.
Kim: Right, go ahead, I’m sorry I interrupted.
Jeff: It’s like seeing a car wreck and you have to decide to stop and help or not. I am going to stop and help! This is who I am. There is no question, it’s a given.
I made a decision to commit to you, to us. It isn’t about ‘you’ getting this diagnosis. We both got the diagnosis! I was the one who signed up for this! I mean, to come home and sit in your lazy boy because you put in your time at work and do nothing all evening? You do nothing for your spouse? You are in a relationship! This is not OK!
I understand divorce. I do. One partner matured the other didn’t. They didn’t work on it together, they didn’t grow as a unit. It’s like getting your driver’s license. You have to work at it. Are you going to give up because it’s hard or do you want to be able to drive that car? Work at it! Learn it.
I’m not a quitter. Never have been ain’t gonna happen! I may be tempted or dissuaded, but I am not a quitter.
If they thought going into a marriage that it was going to be all rosy I’ve got news for them, it’s not. Does anyone even stop to even conceptualize the reality of spending your life with another person? Where’s the common sense? You’re an idiot!
Kim: Maybe you should be a marriage counselor?
Jeff: It’s like signing a 30-year mortgage, you aren’t getting out in year six when shit starts falling apart in your house. Either you are in, or you are out. Who in their right mind thinks everything is going to stay the same? Really. That’s the question.
Kim: Well, okay then! Thanks for participating in this weeks blog post.
Jeff: I was forced!
Kim: Happy wife, happy life.
Jeff: More should pay attention to such things.
A lifetime doesn’t seem long enough with this man…