Carrying A Spouse – Hard Truth about Marriage

18 Jan

 

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It will happen to you. That is just a fact. At some point in your marriage you will either carry your spouse, or be carried by your spouse. In reality – you will probably both spend a good deal of time carrying each other.

All to often today we see this as a major imposition. When we marry we do not think too deeply about the “in sickness or health, for better or for worse” part of our vows. Then when a spouse needs to be carried any significant period, we think it’s ok to tell ourselves “this isn’t what we signed up for”, or the even more nefarious “I deserve better than this”. I’m telling you now – this is exactly what you signed up for, and your spouse deserves better if you think you can come up with an excuse not to carry them.

Most of the time, it is not just physically – but emotionally that we must carry each other. It is in those times that the need for God in your marriage becomes the most obvious, followed only by a willingness to sacrifice everything for your wife or husband for as long as it takes.

For my wife it was several years of carrying… recurring tumors in my head, and then neurosurgery, radiation, chemo drugs, medical complications, and strokes that accompanied them made her life a living hell. She nursed me back to health when the doctors sent me home to die, she changed my bedsheets, bathed me, helped me every time I needed to use the bathroom, and worked with me for long hours each day – long after the physical therapy coverage had run out. All of this while I had mood swings, depression, and massive memory loss.

I was frustrated, angry, and often downright belligerent. I had trouble speaking – much less speaking clearly, and when I did I had trouble finding the right words. Even when I did find them – they came out wrong, word salad and endless stuttering were some of the joys of brain surgery. I was in and out of the hospital time and again – and always she was by my side and holding my hand.

She was infinitely patient, and though I am sure she sobbed herself to sleep many nights, and prayed all night on others. All I saw was an angel sent by God, ministering to me every day with infinite love and patience. She had a developed a glow about her, as if lit from behind with soft light.

I’m telling you this because of the effect it had on me. It made me wonder even in the deepest recesses of my soul what I could have possibly done to deserve her love and dedication. The kinder she was, the more loving and tender, the harder it was to hate myself for my inability to do common things. The more difficult it was to even think of letting go, and the more I really loved her. I’m ashamed to say that I did not love her in the way I had loved her before she carried me, as that was so much more superficial and pedestrian than this and I had no basis for comparison beforehand.

I fell in love all with her over again and resolved myself to love her as she loved me – which was the closest reflection to the love of Christ I had ever been personal witness to. I’m still not there. I strive everyday just to be worthy of her – but I keep trying. It changed everything for the better, in the midst of tragedy God worked a miracle on my body and mind, while working the most amazing miracle on my heart – and He did it through her, and her love.

The next time you encounter a time when you must carry your spouse through a bad patch (no matter the reason), especially an extended one… It is not a truly a burden, but an opportunity for your spouse to see Christ in you, and add a whole new dimension to the agape, storge, and eros love in your marital relationship. It will also deeply bond you together in new ways you cannot yet even imagine.

Pax Christi

Colin

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10 Responses to “Carrying A Spouse – Hard Truth about Marriage”

  1. Karen Morton January 18, 2016 at 9:44 pm #

    Reading about your experiences, I am reminded that yes, we did promise in sickness, and in health to each other, before the priest and God himself. I only hope that I can be, for my husband, what your wife was to you, when you were sick. Thanks for inspiration!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cathy January 22, 2016 at 1:22 am #

    What is storge?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dona Eis Requiem January 22, 2016 at 9:38 am #

      Cathy,
      Thank you for asking – Storge is one of the greek words for love, as they have different words for each type. In this case Wikipedia provides an excellent definition –

      “Storge or affection is a wide-ranging force which can apply between family members, friends, pets and owners, companions or colleagues; it can also blend with and help underpin other types of tie such as passionate love or friendship.”

      you can read more about Storge here:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storge

      I hope that answers your question 🙂

      Colin

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Tender hearted fool January 22, 2016 at 3:03 am #

    No good deed goes unpunished.

    Like

  4. Linda February 13, 2016 at 11:35 am #

    WOW…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Syndal Leigh February 13, 2016 at 9:11 pm #

    Reblogged this on extraordinarily normal and commented:
    To the friends I know who have carried their spouses in hardship, sickness, and with much heaviness, your example of love has made me weep.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lisa Marino February 15, 2016 at 10:34 am #

    Thank you for this… We are currently watching a beautiful and faith-filled couple go through a very similar experience. He is inspiring everyone by talking about his faith in God through this struggle and she is inspiring everyone with how she is living out that faith as she cares for him. It is a beautiful thing to behold and a lesson for everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Amanda's HOPE March 11, 2016 at 5:23 am #

    I am living this right now. Well, struggling towards this. I’m thankful for this reminder/encouragement.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Carrie March 18, 2016 at 9:59 am #

    I too have experienced this with my husband. One year ago today I was diagnosed with breast cancer. 5 surgeries, 6 months of chemo and 28 days of radiation have since followed. He was my rock, and he loved me so much I felt blessed and still do. It really is seeing Christ in your spouse – such a remarkable blessed experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dona Eis Requiem March 18, 2016 at 10:37 am #

      Thank you so much for sharing Carrie. Hearing other people speak up that they too have experienced this is a way to show that world that what I experienced is not unique – it is in fact something that many others experience in their marriages.

      May God Bless and Keep You and Your Husband Always,

      Colin

      Like

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