We all know that maintaining a relationship with a significant other is hard enough when it is between two healthy individuals. When you throw a physical handicap or chronic illness into the equation, it creates even more stress for both individuals. There are a few lessons I’ve learned the hard way over the years, and “love conquers all,” unfortunately, is not one of them.
Over the last 33 years, I have been called many things — a cynic, a pessimist, and a few other things that do not bear repeating in polite company. I prefer the term “realist.” Most of the time the name-calling is due to my views on relationships and, well, love in general. We would all like to have that Hollywood love story moment where our eyes meet with another’s from across a crowded room, and we both instantly know that we will live happily ever after with a house in the suburbs, 2.2 children, and a Chocolate Labrador named Buddy. The reality of the situation is that this rarely happens. And by rarely I mean never. Relationships are work, and relationships that involve someone with a chronic illness require extra work.