I was inspired by Valentine’s Day to dedicate a post to my husband. He has kept his promise to love and care for me “through sickness and health.” And I really don’t know what I would do without his support. I developed pain and stiffness in my neck and shoulders a couple months after we were married. Then I came down with acute mononucleosis and symptoms of fibromyalgia followed. The pain spread to other parts of my body, I was fatigued, depressed and my sleep sucked, etc, etc..
It took a couple years before I was diagnosed. So while my husband didn’t understand what was wrong with me (neither did I), he remained patient, compassionate and loving.
G-d does not create a lock without its key.
Having a partner in life has strengthened my faith. I believe that G-d united me and my husband at just the right time. We were both in transition professionally and itching for more meaning in our lives. While we were both dating, finding a spouse was the farthest thing from our minds at the time that we crossed paths. G-d has a plan for each and every one of us. You just have to pay attention to the cues. Fortunately, we got the hint.
After five months of long distance dating, I left my life in Boston behind to move in with my soon-to-be fiancé, who lived in New Jersey. I have always been a very independent, self-sufficient person (I’m an Aquarius) so living with someone else took some adjusting. My husband was extremely accommodating and has taught me A LOT about the importance of communication and the day-to-day behaviors that are imperative in order to live harmoniously as a couple (euphemism for how to live together without killing each other).
Mammals evolved to take care of others. –Dr. Stephen Porges
But most of all, being married to my soul mate has reinforced my understanding of the health benefits of love and intimacy. When you have a chronic illness, after a while you begin to notice the little things that make you feel better than lousy. If you intentionally repeat these things, you experience more and more truly good days. I know there is science to back up many of my perceptions. But for now, I’m going to keep it simply subjective. Maybe I’ll look up references and include them in a future post.
- Hugs and gentle back rubs help quell aches & pain and improve mood.
- Cuddling helps fight insomnia.
- Starting and ending the day with “I love you” builds self-esteem and hope for a brighter future.
- Caring for another human being nourishes the soul.
- A kiss on the forehead never fails to turn a frown upside down.
If you don’t have a spouse, hopefully you have a parent, sibling or close friend who you can turn to for the medicine your doctor can’t prescribe: love, hope, joy and laughs.
― Mother Teresa