There's not a lot of resources for chronic illness and marriage and unfortunately statistics show that "75 percent of marriages plagued by chronic illness end in divorce". Jesus is the "flame" that keeps our marriage alive. I once heard a pastor who said he and his wife have absolutely nothing in common, but Jesus, so in reality they have everything in common. My husband and I can vouch that even in our short marriage, without the Lord, we could not make it through the trials we continue to endure. My husband really is a special gift God has given me. He is so good to me and never complains. His laid back personality and mild tempered spirit is exactly what this "type A" worry-wort needed.
Even with a strong relationship with God, marriage still takes lots of work. Since my debilitating symptoms began over a year and a half ago, I can probably count on one hand the times that my husband and I have gone on a "date". Unfortunately it seems like the "date" ideas and planning fall largely on the spouse who is healthy, especially when you are mostly housebound, like myself. So what are some ways you can help keep that spark alive in your marriage when you can't hardly get off the couch? Here are a few of my ideas:
- Dessert/coffee date- run out and get your favorite dessert/coffee, or the healthy spouse can make it at home if you can't get out. Dessert/coffee is cheaper than a meal and takes less time which is good if you don't feel like being out of the house long. Also if you have young children the healthy spouse can go get those pumpkin spice lattes without having to get a baby sitter!
- Leave notes for each other telling each other how much you love and appreciate each other
- Plan for a sitter or the grandparents to pick up the kiddos, and the healthy spouse can bring home dinner from your favorite restaurant. Turn on some music/light some candles and you've got yourself a romantic dinner :)
- Snuggle in bed and catch up on that Amazing Race episode you missed on Hulu
- Go for a leisurely stroll, look at the beautiful fall leaves, and talk
- Read a book together
- Surprise your spouse every once in a while. Bring home a "treat' from the grocery or a movie from Redbox you know they'd like
Any more ideas? We could definitely use them!