Wednesday, October 01, 2008

marriage and chronic illness

A post I read on the Wellspouses forum has me thinking. It was from several months ago but if you are in the group you can find it by searching for the subject "How do you define a healthy WS/IS marriage". I don't want to quote it because I haven't asked permission, but the general argument is that when a spouse is temporarily ill we relate to them by making a fuss over them, but that doesn't work for a long-term illness or disability. The author argues that in the situation of a long-term illness or disability the ill person should as much as possible take responsibility for figuring out how to manage their own care, just as they would if they were single. The key suggestion is to avoid taking responsibility for the other person, but instead let them take the consequences of their own decisions as much as they are still capable of making reasonable decisions. That makes me realize I've fallen big time into trying to rescue John (and then resenting that role). And he isn't to the point where that is necessary yet.

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