Zen & The Art of Loving Your Spouse

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship. -Buddha
 
Marriage is not easy and it’s not supposed to be. That doesn’t mean it’s drudgery either, it definitely isn’t in my experience.
 
I’m not intending to make great proclamations with this post, these are merely the observations of one person who has promised love, honour and loyalty to another person.
 
We’re closing in on our two year anniversary and our lives together get more interesting and exciting.
It’s also brought up many challenges.
 
Without violating my wife’s right to privacy too much, she has a chronic illness which takes its toll on her and sometimes me.
 
It is difficult trying to be the healer and the one in need of healing.  Sometimes it makes me angry that some things can’t just take a back seat until I am well enough to carry everything on my shoulders again. But that’s not the way life works.
 
My problems are not as debilitating as hers are, at least right now, she’s been in the throws of her relapse for over a year and we’re beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. As I am getting stronger, so is she.
 
It’s a real blessing.
 
I cannot say I have been the best care giver to her all the time. I’ve been angry, resentful, short tempered, occasionally non supportive and hurtful. None of these are intentional of course but the damage remains the same.
 
What I’ve found is that it’s vital, if not mandatory, that as a caregiver, you take care of yourself.
With my wife’s love and support, I went out with friends, joined a support group and pursued my own interests. It was just what I needed.
 
It gives me the energy to return to her and hold her when she has a bad night and talk her through the worst of it.
 
When we have a rough patch, and there’s been a number of them over the past year, I always remind myself to tell her:
 
“My worst day with you sweetheart is still better than my best day single.”
 
Loving yourself gives you strength, loving someone else gives you courage.
 
 
 
 
 
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