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Loving My Spouse While Parenting a Child With a Disability

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As I rush around the house packing all of the things we need for going away this weekend — and it is a full car load of things — I think about the weekend my husband is going to have.

While I will be staying with friends with the kids on my own, he will stay home for the weekend. He will get a full night sleep. My husband will have rest and free time, which is a very rare thing. And he will wake without having to care for our son’s needs.

After my own weekend away a few months back, I know the feeling of having a few days to myself. It is so restful and so incredible, that every minute and hour felt like Christmas.

In this season of our life, this is a new way of loving my husband.

In the 11 years we have been together, I have experienced many time the feeling of being in love, enjoying his company, treating one another, going on adventures together, supporting one another, and doing things that at the time felt like “serving.”

Yet, after this rollercoaster of a life since having our beautiful boys — medical complications, surgeries, learning to live with disability and the daily managing of two non-mobile children — giving one another a break feels like the beginning of what it means to really love another.

When it has never cost so much.

This is love in the raw, true, deep into the mess, selfless sort of way. Could this be what true love actually is?

Last year, as we were both were in the thick of our trauma, I started to really feel deep disappointment of where our relationship had gone. So often, we let our stress out on each other and turned on one another in the daily pressures. All the “feel good” moments seemed to have gone. At times, I felt perhaps our relationship had turned sour, and what we had for our season of friendship and falling in love was over.

But lately I’ve questioned whether this new season of parenthood actually could be the beginning of learning to really love one another. To experience love in a more pure way.

To love from the exhaustion, emptiness, stress and hard work — while still recovering from deep pain.

To give our last drop to one another, trusting we will have enough to face the day, and continue to give our boys all we can.

And suddenly I feel more encouraged, more hopeful.

A greater love is at work whenever we put the other first.

So as I head away today, I am so glad my husband will have a break; and am also glad my turn is next weekend.

Originally published: March 12, 2018
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