Not the most uplifting title, is it?
They’re not my favorite words, either. But they are not mine. While I’m often amused by the search terms that bring people to my site, the phrases that pop up the most aren’t wacky or laughable; they’re sobering:
“Chronic illness and divorce.”
Or some combination of the words “spouse” “illness” “sick” “want to leave” “can I leave” and “marriage.”
See what I mean? Fairly sobering…and yet not unexpected, either.
(But another combination of words comes to mind: unconditional love.)
As I wrote in an older post, it isn’t easy being the healthy one in a marriage with chronic illness, and it obviously isn’t easy being the sick one, either. I won’t repeat what I wrote in that post, but no one likes needing to be that vulnerable, and constantly being a caregiver for a spouse can be draining on so many levels.
And, as someone I interviewed in Life Disrupted pointed out, the literature out there on younger couples dealing with chronic illness is scarce. While there are many universal challenges of chronic illness and marriage, being young has its own unique ones.
Why do I mention all of this?
It’s been on my mind lately because next week is Invisible Illness Week, and nowhere are the complications of invisible illness more apparent than in personal relationships, particularly romantic ones. After all, this is the time when life is supposed to be coming together, not the time when your body feels like it's falling apart. As part of Invisible Illness Week I'm speaking at a virtual conference about friendship, dating, and marriage when you’re young and chronically ill. It’s on Friday, Sept. 12 at 3pm Pacific Time, and I hope many of you will attend!
(Because, you know, the Q&A portion will be a lot more interesting if there are questions!)
I'll also be blogging for Invisible Illness Week this coming week, so stay tuned.