My girlfriend messaged me recently with the news that Yolanda Foster and David Fosters Marriage is over and they have publicly announced their separation.
She sent me the link to the news.
As I briefly scanned the article I noted that she asked that the public “not judge their journey,” and that “they had been through a lot in the short time they had been married.” Brave words. True words.
Is the reason that their marriage has ended because of his high profile life and her high profile illness? We can guess that it has a big role to do with it but we can never really know for sure.
So many people who decide to get married (even those who have been married before) do so with the hope that “for better or worse” are just part of the formalities of the ceremony and not reality.
Nobody gets married thinking of the worst case scenario… well at least MOST people don’t. I did though. That’s why I waited so very long to get married. I thought I would never marry, not because I thought marriage was a bad thing or a waste of time, but because I took it SO seriously.
I had seen so many marriages fall apart. I didn’t want to be THAT couple.
I became sick when we were engaged and after I became ill I begged my fiance to leave and start anew. He didn’t. I am glad. I am not saying that we are not without our challenges or that we are better than any other couple but we are lucky in that we have seen “better and worse”, we have seen “in sickness and in health” and we have seen “for richer and poorer” and so there wasn’t any surprises for us at that time.
When Yolanda asked the public not to judge their journey I knew exactly what she meant. The reality is that not EVERYONE is cut out for this whole ‘life long disease’ gig. Its a hard gig. Its a hard road with many unpredictable twists and turns and so I know in my heart that despite all the well meaning and well intentions in the world… some people just cant take it.
My heart breaks for the Autoimmune brothers and sisters who have lost their partners, amongst so many other things in life… I struggle to find the words. Truly.
I imagine my life without my partner and it is sad thought because he is not just my husband and carer; he is my friend.
We were friends first and foremost which might be why we are what we are today. Life events have a way of drawing couples together or pushing them apart. For us, it made us closer. But are those people who leave or end a marriage because they can’t take the illness BAD people? Honestly, I don’t know.
The research shows that Autoimmune marriage are the highest risk of ending, with over 75% divorce rates! Heart breaking!
Support groups are filled with the stories of broken hearts, broken marriages and broken families; and the pain is palpable. I wish I had the answers for these people for how to make their pain and burdens more bearable. I can’t.
Those people who leave are probably living with the guilt of those decisions and may have agonized before leaving… I don’t know.
When you think of how people can divorce over things like money, careers, different interests, falling OUT of love etc… then it makes you wonder if ANY marriages can withstand a life long illness. But fortunately I can say that there are many examples that show it can!
I personally know of MANY successful couples who have taken on the challenge of health issues and debilitating diseases and still remain steadfast and even stronger for the experience.
I cant judge other people lives, families and marriages but I can say that until you have seen your partner under a number of different circumstances and challenges then you don’t really know them. It takes REAL life realities to turn the lights on your own abilities and character and that of your partner. You don’t really know each other until LIFE happens.
If my own husband told me he couldn’t take it anymore I know that while I would feel heartbroken and terribly sad, I couldn’t blame him for wanting a life without Autoimmune Diseases. I WANT a life without Autoimmune Diseases.
As I write this he is reading another research paper and preparing to write a paper on ‘caring and supporting Autoimmune Sufferers’. That’s him. That is who he is.
Marriage isn’t a list of words and vows and pretty dresses and honeymoons… its choosing someone to see you at your worst and go through hell with.
I can remember one day I asked D why he stays when he was helping me shower and dress for bed. I was roar and embarrassed. He said “this is the disease Trish, but I never stopped seeing the real you. The you inside. The person I met years ago is still there and I am not going to miss out on her, ever.” He made me cry and he made me happy.
For those that HAVE lost their partners I hope that, in time, the RIGHT person comes along who sees the REAL you, and stands by you no matter what. You are worth it. You deserve it. And now that the position is vacant, the right person can now apply.