Maintaining a healthy marriage in the midst of chronic illness is difficult to say the least. And the evil one would have me believe that it is an impossible task and one not worthy of trying to accomplish. He forces his way into the cracks and crevices of my marriage and attacks with a vengeance.
Early on in my marriage, when my illness first struck, my husband and I realized we were being targeted. And as Satan wiggled his way in we had to find a way to kick him out and put up barriers. We filled in the cracks and covered up the crevices. But that was only half the battle. We soon realized that if we didn’t change the dynamic of our marriage Satan would continue to poke and prod at our weak spots. So we girded up our loins and put together a battle plan.
Communication was at the top of the list. Most importantly with the Lord. Together. As a unit. But we also needed open honest communication with each other. If we weren’t honest about our frustrations regarding the situation and discuss them on a regular basis, resentment would soon put a wedge between us that only God could remove. So we talked. And talked. And talked some more. You know that kind of discussion that you have so often that it couldn’t be any deader if you beat it with a doornail? That’s the one. At first, the discussions were more like bickering and complaining. Mainly about how much we “disliked” the situation itself. But once we came to terms with the fact our situation was not changing we then sought the help of those who were going through similar circumstances. And we listened and we learned.
Teamwork was next in line. Despite my illness chores still had to be done and children had to be fed. So we devised a plan of attack. By trial and error I discovered which household chores were detriments to my recovery and which ones were not. And as juvenile as it sounds, we developed a chore chart. I became responsible for the cooking, cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms while my husband accepted the responsibility of the laundry and washing of the bath tubs. And keep in mind as my health increases or decreases in severity we tag team one another’s chores. As he is the main breadwinner of our household it is important to me that he does as little as possible around the house. And the children do their share as well.
For us it’s about meeting one another’s needs. Helping each other with the hand we’ve been dealt and leaning not on our own understanding. This is the “in sickness and in health” part that we never thought would apply to us. But now that it does, we are learning how to maintain a household and a marriage through extenuating circumstances. And seeking all the help we can get!