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Why My Fiancé Didn’t Get Down on One Knee

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It seems like many little girls dream about their ideal proposal at least once during their life. Movies, books and YouTube videos display cute and memorable ways to pop the question and fill our heads with what we believe would be the perfect way to be asked those magical words: “Will you marry me?”

My ideas of what I wanted my dream proposal to be like changed constantly, as most of my thoughts and ideas do. But one thing stayed the same through each of the scenarios I came up with: I always pictured my future husband getting down on one knee and asking me the question I longed to hear. So you would think when my surprise proposal last October didn’t include my fiancé getting down on one knee that I might be a little disappointed by the missing gesture.

But instead, I wasn’t disappointed at all. In fact, the simple decision to stand by my side with a hand around my waist instead of getting down on one knee to propose was probably the best way for him to show me how much he loved me, understood me and wanted to be with me.

I am living with a chronic sleep disorder called narcolepsy, and I also happen to have cataplexy, a unique symptom of %%Tkx4hBy4bV%% that is best described as the weakening of muscles due to emotional triggers. This means getting too happy, excited, sad or upset can trigger my cataplexy and cause me to fall, appear to have fainted and even lose my ability to speak. It can have quite an effect on everyday life depending on the severity of the cataplexy attack. Fortunately I am able to control most of the muscle weakness with medication, though I still have attacks from time to time.

And after three years of being together, my fiancé knew all about this. He saw it happen numerous times and helped pick me up or snap me out of it. Instead of getting down on one knee like I had imagined, he stood by my side, supporting me like he always has, and asked me to marry him. As I blissfully said yes, I felt my knees getting weak and noticed my strength waning. But thanks to him, I didn’t fall, and that meant the world to me.

Every day can be a compromise when you live with a chronic disorder or disease. It gets tougher the more you battle on, and often it can feel like you’re missing out on life. The support that comes from family and friends is crucial in trying to maintain a somewhat normal life. So as we start our lives together, I know things will be difficult and unpredictable. But just like he did during the proposal, I know I will always have him by my side to support me through it all.

Couple in sports arena stadium

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? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Originally published: February 5, 2016
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