Today I was having a conversation with my wife and she gave me something great to write about. I just had to take a minute to talk about it because it’s something really important to think about. If you suffer from CRPS and are married then this might just be a post that you want to take read through. We got to talking about how a disability can not only affect the sufferer of the disability, but sometimes it can disable the other spouse as well. The easiest way that I can think of to explain this is by telling you about the way that things work in our family.
When my wife and I went to Hawaii not to long ago there were all kinds of things to do. One of the things that I wanted to do was snorkel, however it was to difficult for me to manage. Just because I couldn’t do it though didn’t mean that my wife couldn’t go ahead and do it. After all I didn’t want her to miss out on doing something fun and exciting on account of me. If she had wanted to do something fun herself, I would have said to her to go and have fun doing it and so she would have. It’s this ability to release your wife or husband to go and still have fun that I’m talking about. I think if you were to ask my wife she’d say that she feels as though I don’t hold her back. Lots of times the attitude people have is ” well why should you have fun and not me”! With that type of an attitude a spouse doesn’t feel free to go and do what they want to do, instead there is a feeling of guilt that they shouldn’t be having fun. As a result a husband or wife will hold back on account of the other person. So all of a sudden there isn’t just one person suffering from a disability but now there are two.
Sometimes the anger and the pain that a person with a disability is carrying with them causes them to put on blinders and see things only from their perspective. I think in a lot of cases what happens is that the anger and frustration comes flooding back a lot of times when a person with a disability sees their spouse doing things that they can’t do. As a husband who is in this situation you have to be ok with allowing your wife to move about with freedom and not allowing your disability to become hers. At the same time you can’t direct any of the anger and the frustration that you are feeling at your spouse. When it does get directed at the person without the disability it can be another way that your spouse may become entrapped in your disability.
This is something that is really important to me, and something that I need to try and pay real close attention to. I want my wife to be happy. I want her to go out and enjoy things that I can’t take part in. It isn’t healthy for your relationship if the two of you are stuck in one persons disability. Unfortunately this isn’t always the case, and it can cause tension and a relationship can really suffer because of it. I get a great deal of joy just knowing that she’s happy! If I can minimize any amount of an effect that my disability has on her then that’s what I’m going to do. I think that for the most part in our relationship I do a good job of this. So I want to put out a challenge to those of you who are living with a disability and are married. If your disability is disabling your spouse then do something about it. Challenge yourself to look at what is causing the problem and then try to fix it if you can.