Some time ago, I attended a wedding. The priest gave a sermon that partly touched on the aspect of sacrificial love. While I don’t remember the sermon in its entirety, I remember I was deeply touched, and reminded me of the good parts that I remember when I was still a practicing Catholic. What happens when our spouse gets sick? How do we deal when one spouse ages more quickly than the other. I found a post about the movie “The Notebook” that reminded me of the priest’s sermon
I’ve been thinking about the “in sickness and in health” part of marriage. My husband rarely gets sick but is now facing some health issues. What the scope and severity of these issues are remains to be seen. Hopefully my husband recovers quickly and is able to function as he had before, that is of course what he wants and what I pray for.
But I know sometime in the future, our physical bodies will change and we will together face the issues of growing old together, if we are both blessed to live long lives. What will that mean for our marriage? Only time will tell.
While these thoughts aren’t new, I often wonder how prepared we are as a society to face the challenges of a sick spouse. What happens if our sick or aging spouse is no longer able to meet our needs, sexual or otherwise? That day could come with no warning. Would we be ready to love our spouses in a sacrificial way?
I sometimes read marriage related books or posts , some of a Christian variety. Often I end up more aggravated by reading the articles. There are so many Christian writers and bloggers who seem to have the message of be a love machine that never says no if you want to have a good marriage. Be a lady on the streets but a freak under the sheets. Of course they don’t use the actual language of “freak under the sheets”, but they would be honest in their intentions if they did. But they never seem to address what happens to the marriage when one spouse can’t meet the physical expectations, either temporarily or permanently. Where is the rest of the foundation of your marriage?
I’d like to think that when the time comes, I would be somewhat prepared. It would surely be a challenge, but it one I hope I could meet to the best of my ability. Maybe I’m wrong about my belief that society doesn’t prepare us for the final years of marriage.
Of course as a nurse, I have seen many elderly couples who do seem content in their marriages, despite their physical losses. I’d love to hear their stories about how they have navigated through the challenges.