I once heard that the first year of marriage is the most difficult. I always thought that meant we’d struggle to get used to living together. You know, fights over how to squeeze the toothpaste or which side of the bed we’d sleep on.
I never thought that instead of fighting with my husband, I’d be fighting with him against a common enemy: my health.
Phillip and I have been married since December 2011. A few months after we were married, my “mild Ulcerative Colitis” turned into “severe Crohn’s Disease.” I was admitted to the hospital 13 times in our first 9 months of marriage, and almost 40 times in the 6 ½ years we’ve been married.
Needless to say, our six years of marriage have not been very typical! However, looking back, we wouldn’t change it for anything. There have been some hard, hard times, but they’ve made us stronger: both individually and as a couple.
I was so worried those first few months when it became apparent that my health had taken a permanent turn for the worst: worried that my husband would say, “Psh, this isn’t what I signed up for! See ya!” and walk out the door. On the contrary: he has never once complained. Not one single time. He hasn’t been resentful or blamed me……ever.
Instead, he and I have allowed these difficulties to bring us closer together and help us grow. We’re at the point that we wouldn’t change a thing, even if we could. While it is still hard (after all, there is no cure for Crohn’s), we’ve learned a few things along the way that make these challenges a blessing as opposed to a stumbling block.
Here are some of the lessons that we’ve learned that have helped us fight together instead of fighting against each other.
Read also: 5 Ways to Have a Biblical Marriage