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To My Husband Who Didn't Sign Up for My Chronic Illness

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Dear husband,

We met a couple of months before I turned 18. At that age, we didn’t really think about the future. We were young. You were funny, cute (still are!) and we got along for the most part. We moved in together very quickly. So fast that we celebrated my 18th while living together. It wasn’t easy but we made it work. Every fight, every move, every family issue…it was easy to work it out with each other. You have been my rock and biggest supporter through the most difficult moments of my life. Even the parts I wish you didn’t have to be there to see.

A mere six months into our marriage I went from “healthy” to chronically ill. When I first got sick, you held my hand when I thought I was going to die. My anxiety over my health kept me up late at night but you didn’t leave my side. You let me stay home with our son. You didn’t blink when you needed to quit school and take an awful job to pay my new medical bills. Never once have I heard you complain. I didn’t hear you complain when we had to move in with family because I needed more help than you could give while working. Not even when you would come home to a dirty house and have to make dinner for our little family. From day one, you supported me without hesitation. You helped me get to all my appointments, you made sure I took my medications, you made sure I ate healthy when I wanted to just sleep and most of all you loved me when I couldn’t even love myself. As always, you’re my rock and my best friend.

I thank you for being my everything and putting your family first when many might have left. I also want to apologize. I’m sorry you didn’t know what you were getting into. You didn’t sign up for my diseases. More often than not I wonder if you regret marrying me since I’m sick so frequently and we have buried ourselves in debt to keep me alive. I wish I would have known when we met. I could have saved you from me; I could have saved you from a disease that has pushed so many of your dreams aside. When I look at you I feel that you deserve so much more than what I have to offer. Although you have never shown me you feel that way, it is constantly lingering in my mind.

While I’m in better health now, I have my bad days. You still smile and ask me how my day was when you come home. Even if I haven’t showered and the dishes are still in the sink. If I have been pushing myself too hard to keep up with our daily life, you’ll remind me to rest. When you look at me all I see is love. I know in my heart you would still say “I do” even if you knew about my lupus. I’m sure you would jump in with the same enthusiasm and love that you do now. When my guilt from my illnesses surfaces I have to remind myself that you love me. That even with lupus and my other issues I am worthy to love you and to be loved. Thank you for being you, for accepting me for who I am and for being there unconditionally. Without you, I wouldn’t have made it this far.

– Your Loving Wife

Thinkstock photo via Kerkez.

Originally published: May 26, 2017
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