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I'm Divorcing My Illness and Remarrying My Husband

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This past year, as much as I hate to admit, I have not been much of a wife. I’ve spent more of my time being married to my illness than I have to my husband. It has not been intentional, but it has happened nonetheless. My migraine has been a near constant companion, demanding most of my time and energy, the little I have left I’ve tried to spread between my children, my work and my husband.

After multiple different treatments failed, I fell into a deep depression. I didn’t want to put any more stress on my husband, so I pushed him away instead. I was focusing so much on the pain I was in and trying to force myself through each day, that I had nothing left for him. I was always too tired, too stressed, or in too much pain to really just spend time with him.

I wake up in the morning with the migraine and go to bed with it. No matter where I go or what I do, it’s always there. All I wanted was to be normal and do the things I was able to do before the migraines got to this point. I’d try to push myself to do the same things I used to even though I couldn’t. When I couldn’t, I would withdraw from everyone.

It’s an easy trap to fall into when you deal with a chronic illness. Making the choice to divorce your illness is hard. It takes work. It’s also necessary for a healthy marriage with your spouse. They need our time and energy too, not just the leftovers. I appreciate my husband’s support during this hard time, but it had also taken a toll on him and us.

silhouette of couple on wedding day
Samantha and her husband on their wedding day.

It’s time to divorce my illness and remarry my husband. To make the time and energy for him, even when it’s hard to. To make sure I’m not taking his care for granted. To not take my frustrations with my illness out on him. It’s OK to lean on your spouse in times of need, but I think they need to be able to lean on us sometimes, too.

I still have a lot of work to do. Some days I fall short and I still struggle with opening up to my husband about how I’m feeling. I have to remind myself not to use up everything I have and leave some for him. Sometimes that means putting off a chore for the next day. Sometimes it means just allowing myself to be open with him.

It’s not always easy to do. It requires stepping out of your comfort zone. You have to learn to let the unimportant things go and take time not only for yourself, but for your spouse, too. Keep dating your spouse, even if that date is a night in with a movie and lots of cuddles. It’s so important to show your spouse how much you still want them and haven’t taken their care for granted.

I wouldn’t trade my husband for the world. I’m very lucky to have such a strong, supportive man at my side. I much prefer being married to him than to my migraine. It’s time I showed that.

Follow this journey on Migraine Mom.

The Mighty is asking the following: What do you want your past, current or future partner to know about being with someone with your disability, disease or mental illness? Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Originally published: May 26, 2016
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