Saturday, September 26, 2009

In Sickness and In Health...

There are times I think to myself, "I wonder if he'd like a redo on that?"

I met my husband when I was 16 and, according to him, it was love at first sight. I personally think it was the catholic school uniform, but I'm not going to diminish my effect. Anyway, we started out as friends and it blossomed into more. Ok, collective "awww"! He was always so flattering. He loved that I was a strong willed, take charge kind of gal. He's a very "go with the flow" sort of guy, and he liked the challenge that I presented. Back then, the challenge (as defined by him) was to get me to say "yes". I was always into something, in the mix, life of the par-tay, movin' and shakin'.

Fast forward to 2003. I had said "yes" some 9 years prior, then he gets wind that the wife's got ms. My husband's coping mechanism when the crap hits the fan is to go catatonic. So while I hoped for a giant hug, I got the catatonic stare. My initial and very selfish reaction was...this isn't about you, honey. I'm going through something here, ok? Suck it up! So I never asked him how he felt about it back then. But I felt bad for him. Going gets tough for me, I call my Mom. If it gets REALLY tough, I call my Dad. But my husband doesn't have that same support system that I have, nor does he have anyone to spill his worries to like I did. It was just him, all on his own. Unless...there's another personality in his head that he goes to hang out with while he's catatonic? I'll have to ask him in the morning!

Early on, we fought more often than not. All the sudden, it infuriated me if he walked past the full laundry basket without carrying it up the stairs. Or stacked his dirty dishes in the sink like a game of Jenga. I'd yell, "I shouldn't have to do such and such because I have ms and I'm exhausted and haven't stopped crying and my back hurts!" Sudden onset catatonia. Lost him again!

It took a few years before we started to get the hang of this ms thing. I'd communicate my daily "status" by putting a sign on the fridge. If it was one way, he'd know I was good to go. If another, he knew he had to do the housework that night. That was helpful to some degree, though his timeline for housework differs from mine. But afterwhile, we found a common ground. And let's not discuss how certain facets of ms impact husband/wife situations, right? Anyone with it knows, so I don't need to elaborate!

We recently celebrated 15 years of marriage and I can't imagine life any different. I love him more each year, each month, each day. But sometimes I lose focus on my blessing of being joined with him and let doubt get the best of me. I'm pretty much a complete 180 from the girl I was when we met and were dating, which is a very good thing. He married crazy, strong willed, party girl. I sometimes wonder if he ever wishes he could trade me in on a newer model that more closely resembles me circa 1994? Oh who am I kidding? He'd be bored if he were with someone other than me. I mean really, what fun is a wife sans lesions?

On our anniversary, I broke down and asked him if he ever wanted a redo on that vow. His response? "Do you want a redo on the 'for richer or poorer' vow?" Hmmm...sarcasm in lieu of catatonic state? In the words of Paris Hilton, "that's hot".

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