I knew William (my husband) a mere four months before he asked me to marry him. We talked for one month, and dated for three—but like they say, when you know, you KNOW! I knew I loved him by his incredibly gentle and caring nature. I loved his love and generosity towards his family and just people in general. He was a hard working man, who would do anything for anyone—and I knew without a shadow of a doubt that he would do anything for me. He knew I had a shaky past, he knew I had an incurable neurological disease, yet he loved me despite all of my flaws. He didn’t just love me, but I saw again and again through his actions that he loved me unconditionally. It was a kind of love I had never experienced before, and when you find that kind of love, you keep it and you never look back!
Handling the highs and lows
I found through the years, especially my teenage years that telling someone you are interested in that you have MS is never easy. It’s scary, and leaves you vulnerable to rejection and judgment. Yet, with William, I knew right when I told him that he truly cared. Ya’ll he has seen me at the lowest points of my disease, and even then, he loved me right through it. In fact, at times, he practically carried me right through it. I learned early on that I would need someone extremely special to love and care for me through my highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Being with someone with a disease takes the utmost understanding and a heart with true compassion. It takes a forgiving and a willingness to continue going through the motions of life. It takes balance. As someone with MS, I have had to learn that my spouse will not always understand what I’m going through. Sometimes we are both stumped and aggravated by MS and the toll it can take on the both of us. I try to never lose sight of the fact that yes, William knew about my MS before he chose to marry me, but that doesn’t mean sometimes it’s not just as hard on him if not more so. We’re a team and when one of us is down, it takes its toll on the other.
The importance of honesty
Another huge thing of importance in our relationship is communication-and it took us a long time to figure this one out. Unfortunately neither of us can read minds so we had to learn how to let go of our pride and figure each other out. I had to learn his little quirks and habits and he, mine. I’ve had to learn that when I’m struggling with symptoms such as depression, fatigue or just feeling crummy I have to tell him. William is amazing, but if I don’t communicate these things with him I cannot expect him to know exactly what’s going on with my mind and body. Honesty and sincerity are so important! It’s also proved extremely important to communicate our understanding to one another. When he gets home from work I ask how his day was and ask how he’s feeling. And, in turn, he asks about me and understands when I’m having a less than perfect day. I appreciate my husband and all he does for me and for our family, but just like everything else, you have to make the effort to make that appreciation known as well. I never want my husband to feel insignificant or taken for granted, and sadly, sometimes it’s easiest to do that with the ones we love the most. I’ve learned to quit assuming he knows how I feel, and tell him for certain how deeply he is appreciated and cared for. I have a lot more advice and things I have learned in the past two years of marriage, but my biggest advice is, never stop dating your spouse! Whether it’s actually getting to go out alone or just sitting together at night watching silly TV shows after the baby goes to sleep, finding that alone time to talk and just be together keeps us going! I look forward to those simple moments with him the most! Love your spouse, enjoy your spouse, and keep that fire in your relationship alive, always.
Taking turns being strong
Now, don’t get me wrong, our relationship at first was anything but easy. It took a lot of time and effort on both of our parts to truly understand and learn how to handle one another. It took time and patience to look past all of the rough times and see the light at the end of the tunnel. But, I believe that’s true with every relationship. Relationships are all about give and take. When I am weak, he’s my backbone and vice versa. I love a quote by Ashley Willis that says, “A strong marriage rarely has two strong people at the same time. It is a husband and wife who take turns being strong for each other in the moments when the other feels weak.” How true is that?? My husband is my best friend; he is my rock, and someone I can turn to when everything around me is falling apart. We depend on one another and lean on one another for help and support, and I believe that’s truly how a marriage should work. I’m so grateful that I have so much in the man I call my husband. As our two year marriage anniversary approaches my heart is just overwhelmed with how deeply I am blessed by him. The past three years we have been together have been a whirlwind, we have had lots of ups and downs-but it’s been a beautiful whirlwind and I wouldn’t trade those years of growing and learning with him for anything. Three years, an engagement, a marriage, and a baby boy later I would say it’s been quite the ride-the greatest ride of my life. Here’s to continuing to grow as husband and wife, as parents, growing old with one another, and keeping the romance alive!