A couple of weeks ago, Cindy and I traveled to Andover, MA where I spoke on adjusting to a chronic illness in marriage. It was a very inspiring and encouraging time spent with our friends at the New England Bible Church.
When I talk about adjusting in marriage, I have three adjustable wrenches with me to show that some seasons of marriage require more flexibility than others. Adjusting to a chronic illness in marriage is one of those seasons.
Recognizing and adjusting to the reality of your unique situation is a major contributor to your having a great marriage relationship in whatever season of life you may be in. It can be difficult to adapt/adjust to a spouse’s chronic illness.
- Sometimes the condition calls for changes to life plans for the future, and often it calls for changes to your everyday lives.
- Your spouse may no longer be able to work outside the home, or to participate fully in household chores.
- Adjustments may be required to your spouse’s diet or sleeping patterns.
- Your spouse may need to adhere to a strict medications or treatment regiment, and may require frequent doctors’ visits to check his or her health.
- As you are faced with such changes and adjustments, it is normal to feel fear, pain, and anxiety about the situation. Don’t feel ashamed if you experience these emotions.
A failure to adjust to your unique situation can lead to unrealistic expectations of your spouse, yourself, and your marriage. That opens the door to contempt, scorn, discontent, disrespect, dislike, disapproval, hatred, condescension, and a host of other relational enemies.
Therefore, it becomes essential to create realistic expectations of each other and of your unique life situation. Take some time today to review the expectations you have of your marriage and your spouse. How flexible can you be?