“I, Mrs. A, do take Mr. B as my lawfully wedded husband, to love and cherish in SICKNESS and in HEALTH till death do us part”
Marriage was initially ordained to last throughout a couple’s lifetime but unfortunately, nowadays, you can find marriages that lasted for just a night. There are many justifiable and unjustifiable reasons why people forsake their marital vows one of such is the issue of illness. Getting to live with a spouse who has a terminal disease is what no one would wish for. Life doesn’t always give you what you wish for; most times she gives you what you fear most. Why is it so? Because life knows that you’re stronger than your imagination.
During courtship do you feel it is proper to hide your health status from your partner and disclose it after wedding? Okay, I was privileged to host this beautiful couple, Mr. and Mrs. B during one of my counseling sessions. They were both young; probably in their early thirties. I mustn’t forget to add that they were also rich. So what brought them to me? I will tell you.
The man was an engineer while the lady was a doctor. They had just been married for 6 months. According to them, they got married two months after they met. It was more of a love at first sight. Before their wedding ceremony, they did series of medical screening which came out negative.
On the fifth month into their marriage, the husband found his wife’s true medical records while he was searching for something else. And guess what? She was HIV positive and that report was two years old.
He was heartbroken and when he confronted her, she apologized for lying to him. She said she had done that because she loved him and didn’t want to lose him.
On another case, a man saw a lady and fell in love with her beauty. Few months later, they got married. He often uploaded his wife’s pictures on his Facebook account. He was so proud of her beauty. Five years later, while they were driving home, they had a fatal accident. The accident left him with bodily bruises and scars but left the wife with two amputated legs. The beauty was gone and she was handicapped. The thoughts of taking care of her outweighed him then gradually, his love for her started fading away and he wished to leave the relationship.
What is marriage to you? My mom would say “Marriage is like a beautifully decorated parcel, when opened, you’ll find both good and bad stuff inside. For the lucky ones, their good stuffs outwit the bad ones.”
The occurrence or discovery of an illness in our spouses shouldn’t always mean the end of the marriage. These diseases could be diabetes, cancer, HIV, cardiovascular disorder, neuroses, psychoses or behavioral disorders.
The reason why most people leave their sick spouse is because of the fear of taking up the responsibility of being a caregiver. In a case of communicable disease, the fear of being infected could make a once loving spouse to take that walk through the door.
Have you ever imagined yourself being in the shoes of the sick one? How would you feel if you’re rejected and dumped? The pain of rejection kills faster than the illness that’s why you should be supportive to your sick partner. Sometimes, a disease might occur due to an uncontrolled lifestyle, such as excessive smoking, drinking, promiscuity, drugs addiction, etc. You might feel he/she deserved what he got for not heeding to advice. Come to think of it, would you accept to cater for a spouse who cheated on you and got infected with a sexually transmitted disease? Only love can make you do that.
Many persons, who have battled with chronic diseases and survived it, were able to do so because of the prayers, love, patience and faith of their spouses. So, don’t give up on your sick spouse while he/she is still alive. While taking care of your spouse, you can make the sacrifices within your limit but don’t make any sacrifice that would endanger your own health and life.
Don’t go about looking all stressed and worried because of your spouse’s condition. Take it easy on yourself; one day at a time. If he gets healed, that would be cool but if the battle is lost, you would need to be strong and move on without seeing his smiles ever again.