Tuesday, October 18

Let Illness Destroy Your Marriage In Ten Easy Steps

If you’re currently in a marriage where one spouse is chronically ill, researchers say that your relationship is more likely than the average to end in divorce. Health problems – especially chronic ones – typically lead to other problems: financial, emotional, romantic, etc. Put that within the framework of a marriage and voila! Perfect storm coming right up. 

Living with a chronically ill spouse for many years has given me some interesting insights – including what not to do. If you want your marriage to survive your spouse’s illness, do the opposite of what you read below.
  1. Focus only the illness, not your spouse. Make the illness the priority and the sole focus of your relationship.
  2. Only communicate if it’s about the illness... or any other problem. Who has time to talk about anything pleasant? The illness is important, so the illness  (and only the illness) always needs to be discussed.
  3. Only talk about very important matters when you’re extremely tired, hungry, or not feeling well. It’s even better if you’re both feeling lousy!
  4. Never recognize or commend each other’s efforts. No one needs to hear that they’re doing a good job at anything. In fact, it's better if you can put your spouse down at every opportunity - especially in front of the kids.
  5. Don’t bother to say I love you every day. You don’t need to actually say it. Come on, you’re still together, so isn’t it obvious?
  6. When you feel an argument building up, go ahead and duke it out. Why should you hold back your anger? You put up with a lot and you should get to scream, shouldn’t you? You deserve to be heard – at any volume. It’s even more effective if you throw something or use profanity.
  7. Never go on a date. Don’t worry about keeping the romance alive. Puhleeze. It’s enough that you still live under the same roof. Going on dates, leaving each other love notes, and constantly reminding each other of why you fell in love is a total waste of time.
  8. Don’t worry about the healthy spouse staying healthy. Constant worry and daily stress might take a toll, but so what? If you’re not the sick one, you don’t require any attention. Try not to get enough sleep, don’t bother to exercise, and just ignore your constantly rising stress level.
  9. Blame your spouse for being ill. Hey, they chose to be sick! The whole situation is all their fault. After all, couldn't they have chosen an illness that was easier to deal with?
  10. Stay isolated. Don’t go anywhere as a couple. Make sure not to attend parties, dinners, or accept any invitations to anything even remotely fun. Make sure not to have people over. Stay insular and focused only on yourselves and your problems. After all, the illness is the only thing that matters... right?

1 comment:

  1. GREAT INSIGHT. Every couple facing chronic illness should follow this authors suggestion: AVOID ALL TEN and you will live a FAR, FAR, FAR more fulfilled marriage. It has changed our live.