Stand with him

On a forum today, I read a question from a woman asking for advice on how wives and partners deal with this diagnosis in their spouse.

I can imagine it would be really tough for some women, particularly those from cultures in which a couple’s worth is judged by how many children they have. I know I am so grateful not to have meddling in-laws intent on interfering with my marriage — luckily mine live in another country, and we speak a different language.

But that’s only a fraction of the issues a woman must deal with. She’s going to have to get used to his recurring blues, his poor self-esteem, mood swings and likely unresolved issues from negative experiences in adolescence.

In many cultures, her husband’s character will be frowned upon, for not being macho enough, and being too quiet and shy. But maybe that’s a good thing for her: she has a man who is respectful, kind and loyal, assuming he’s following a supervised treatment regime.

She’s going to have to dig deep into her faith, recalling that all of life is a test. If she doesn’t have faith, she’s going to have to find something else to grasp hold of. She should know that her beloved isn’t intellectually handicapped; he’s just had profound experiences that have shaped his worldview.

Go easy on him. Be kind. Ignore the outside voices of friends and family, demanding you abandon him because they think he’s not a real man. You know him better than they do. Look for all the good in him. Be forgiving of his shortcomings. Be grateful to have a sensitive companion, attentive to your needs.

Every good man needs a good woman. Look at it this way. This is a gift you have been bestowed with. It wasn’t an accident. You two were pushed together for a reason, your status raised high. Stand with him, for you can be sure he will stand with you too.

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