Over the past two years, my diseases have been relatively stable, which is great. I am grateful to be on a medication regimen that keeps my diseases in check. However, what’s scary is that as a result of this longed-for stability, my fiancé has never seen me have a flare that has lasted longer than a day.
These “flares” have typically been self-induced, meaning that I knew they were going to happen because I was burning the candle at both ends. I had prepared for them. But what happens when I’m not prepared? How can the man I’m getting married to feel prepared for something that I don’t feel prepared for?
In my previous long-term relationships, I was never in a place where I wasn’t flaring often. So I never had to worry that I would be getting married someone who hadn’t experienced it first-hand.
It’s not that I don’t have confidence in our relationship or its ability to withstand hard times. Been there, done that. But the prospect of marrying someone who hasn’t experienced me in the throes of a major flare concerns me. It makes me uneasy. What happens if I’m bedbound for two weeks? I’m the primary earner. I pay the mortgage. The slack that will need to be picked up is huge.
Trust me; I’m not wishing a flare on myself. I also don’t want to be in an unstable place with my health. But I don’t want my marriage to be tested, if and when, my diseases become active again, and neither of us feels prepared for it.
I’m also not naïve enough to think that our relationship is so wonderful and perfect that my illnesses will now, forever and for always, be in remission. I know that’s not the case. But how do I prepare now for what might happen later? Or for what may not happen at all?
My fiancé and I have had conversations about this, and about our mutual concern that he has never really experienced a flare. But aside from actually having a flare, I have no easy answers for how to prepare him or myself for what might come.
For most couples, “in sickness and in health” is purely hypothetical. For us, it’s not. But the truth is that we might not experience the full reality of that until we are married. So, for us, while the possibility of illness is not hypothetical, what it looks like and how we handle it kind of is.
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