Our daughter has been diagnosed with a chronic condition. When she was in her worst moments, I could not think about anything other than comforting her. I used to spend day and night by her side. During the night I held her hands and rubbed her back. During the day I tried to distract her. I pretty much forgot about that person lying on the other side of my bed, my husband.
I used to cry a lot. I was hopeless and desperate. I was doing everything for her and nothing was really working in the long run. I knew my husband was there, but I felt alone.
It was not until we traveled for her treatment to Denver that I realized how my daughter’s chronic condition had affected our marriage. As I was sitting on the plane, drying her oozing skin and preventing her from scratching it, I realized that my husband was suffering as much as I was. She was his daughter too. He loves her as much as I do. But he never said a thing. He was just there supporting our family as a rock, loving us in complete silence.
How My Perspective Changed
I made so many decisions for my daughter’s treatments, so many trips and different approaches. He was always there agreeing and supporting me. When I told him I was going to fly to Denver for 3 weeks for an intensive treatment, he told me, “We will do what we have to do.” We found someone who could travel with us while he stayed at the house with my mom and took care of our son. Every weekend during those 3 weeks, he flew to Denver with our son to spend the weekend with us.
I felt that strengthening my marriage was one of those things that would have to wait. However, the truth is, one of the best things I can do for my children is to love my husband. With that realization on the plane, I started to see my husband and our relationship in a different way.
How I Started Nurturing our Relationship Again
After we left Denver and went back home, our daughter was doing much better. We knew we would always have to live with her condition and help each other with her daily routine and meal preparation for her restricted diet.
However, I decided to also take care of our marriage.
We sat together and talked a lot about how Bella’s chronic condition had changed our marriage and what we were going to do from now on to never forget ourselves again. We decided to have special dates at least once a month. We also promised to talk to each other about our day every night before going to bed, no matter how tired or sleepy we are. For us, communication has been the key to walking this path together.
We know if our marriage is strong, we will be better equipped to be the best caretaker for our child.