E and I have an incredible relationship. There are a lot of factors for this including good communication, having been friends for quite awhile before we changed our relationship, and continuing our friendship. Another (major) factor for this is also that he knew what he was (more or less) getting into with my health issues before we were together (other than the lupus, though we knew it was possible I’d end up with it due to symptoms and such) and I knew about his hip issue, that not in depth … I’ve learned a lot more about the whole situation there in the last year or so than I knew before that time period.
We also both deal with chronic pain, so we are more understanding towards each other if we hear “I’m too tired to do it right now” because we both know how draining the pain can be, as well as “I hurt way too much to move/talk/sleep/whatever” since we know how intense the pain can be. We may not know exactly how the other person’s pain feels, but we know how our own pain affects us and we can draw from that to help each other, and to understand each other. The issue is that at times the pain gets so bad for both of us at the same time we end up snapping at each other and getting angry because we can’t communicate (though we do realize why it’s happening, and talk about it later) which ends up stressing us out more than the pain is already doing. Another downside is that some days it’s rough getting the house cleaned or any good food made because we are both hurting. Thankfully this didn’t happen when the kids were with us, and Gamer is old enough that when it was just me awake and I was hurting a lot he would make sandwiches or get cereal for him and Duckling. Also the kids were very excited to help clean up around the house, so things were taken care of during a time that I had a rough time… the storms really got me, plus I don’t sleep as well at night as I do during the day, and I was sleeping more lightly in case the kids needed me. But anyway, this post is about E and I lol! It has made a huge difference in our marriage, and our attitudes towards and treatment of each other that we both have chronic pain. This is in comparison to my first marriage, in which I was the only one with chronic pain, and I hadn’t been diagnosed with anything yet, so it was a double whammy … especially once I was diagnosed with so many illnesses. It is fascinating how much of a difference things can make, between having been friends before anything else, having seen each other sick before hand, and knowing most of what was wrong with me, so there weren’t surprises so much as just some more difficulties added on. It’s nice to see that maybe a marriage can survive all of this. I just wish we didn’t both have to deal with chronic pain, it’s so hard to watch him be in pain, especially when my pain levels are up a lot and I can’t help him out. However, it’s nice to know that we both understand each other and can deal with what’s going on with the other.