… in sickness and in health

June is wedding month and I suppose I should be writing about those. Unfortunately, I didn’t go the traditional route and have a big frothy wedding. We got married in a dingy wedding chapel in Boise, Idaho on a hot day in March, 1978. No cake, gown, or rice. So, for me, a wedding is just the prelude to the marriage and I tend not to pay close attention to them.

When we got married, we used the traditional vows even as many were jumping ship for the self-written vows. I have yet to hear any that touch me the way love, honour, and cherish, as long as ye both shall live, do. We’ve also played out, and still are playing out, the for richer for poorer part. For several years we have been sliding into the in sickness and in health part. And the crazy part is, it’s not me that’s sick.

My husband has never been over weight a day in his life. I have been morbidly obese nearly all our marriage. He has always worked a very physical job while I have been sedentary. (Fun side note, spell check gave me the choice of “sedentary” or sedimentary” just now. Ha ha!) His stomach has always been mercurial, and that was exacerbated by a surgery many years ago. He’s gluten-intolerant and needs to watch his wheat intake. I need to watch my intake as well, only because I can eat anything and usually do.

All this to say we are coming to a place where we need to make some decisions. Disability is a real possibility for my husband. And not the, I-can’t-find-a-job-so-I-think-I’m-disabled kind.

This kind of change challenges the individual certain, but challenges the spouse as well. It challenges the marriage in that, by necessity, roles may change and definitions of happiness need to be updated.

The comforting part is that none of this is new. Couples have faced these challenges for centuries and lived to tell the tale.

The joke around our house is that since I’ve spent a lot of time taking care of my husband through major illnesses, surgeries and chronic conditions, I’m going to have one big, very major blow-out health wise and I’ll get my pay back then. I may have to put that off for a few more years.

So, for better or worse, have a great day–Susan Kaye




3 thoughts on “… in sickness and in health

  1. Robin Helm

    I’ve been the one with the health problems in our marriage. Though my issues aren’t debilitating, they have limited what I am able to do – such as travel on mission trips to other countries. I have battled some of these problems since I was 18, while my husband has enjoyed perfect health and led seven or eight mission trips to Romania. He’s going again (with our daughter ) in two weeks.

    Recently, he had knee surgery, and he has finally started watching his cholesterol and blood pressure. I have wondered if we will suffer the irony you are talking about, Susan. My mother, who had diabetes and a host of other health issues, outlived my father by ten years. I hope it isn’t that way for us. I don’t want to outlive my husband.


    1. Susan Kaye Post author

      I’ve never had a broken bone, been sedated, or been in the hospital except for measles. I was 18 and in training in the Air Force. The hospitalization was to keep me quarantined. I’ve watched my mom going through widowhood this past year. It’s a tough row to hoe, but if that’s how it goes, so be it.


      1. Robin Helm

        Yes, I’ll live with it if I have to, but I certainly don’t want to. Larry helps me in so many ways. I just don’t know what I’d do without him.



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