This morning I’ve been inspired to write about The Husband by reading a guest blog from the wonderful Barbara Stensland stumblinginflats.com @MS_Stumbling.
Simone from Manchester talks about how her fiancé, “Usain bolted away from the neurologist’s consulting room” after she was diagnosed with MS in 2006. She now finds dating with MS very difficult and wonders if she’ll ever find anyone who would be able, “to see past those two hated capitalised letters and see me”
My heart really goes out to Simone from Manchester, especially as I prepare to celebrate my 5th wedding anniversary and it got me wondering what makes one man “Usain Bolt” and another grow into a supportive, loving and gentle hero?
I met The Husband in 2001, he was a friend of a regular customer in the pub I was running at the time and I hated him on sight! He doesn’t always create a warm and fluffy first impression being 6ft3 and built like a barn door but he had just the right amount of bad boy bravado and vulnerability that I subsequently found irresistible! He was 29 and I was 26 and we had a stormy first few years together, eventually semi-settling down when we bought a flat. He often jokes, “I only came in for half a lager” when asked how I managed to straighten him out and turn him into an upstanding citizen!
I was diagnosed with MS in 2008, just after our first child was born and The Husband hardly even flinched. He put his huge, bear-like arms around me and asked if I wanted a cup of tea. He had proposed when I was pregnant in typically unromantic style (he’d drunk 6 cans of Stella on his own to pluck up the courage) and it never occurred to him not to go through with it, or if it did he never voiced it.
A few years later I had my second child and MS started to claim me more noticeably, forcing us both into roles we didn’t sign up for. I’ve talked about what I’ve lost in previous posts but it’s The Husband who has to take care of everything and does it brilliantly without complaint.
He does all the shopping, most of the cooking, all of the washing (mainly due to his OCD in this area but that’s another story) most of the cleaning, most of the school runs and still manages to earn a decent salary, grow vegetables in the garden and provide emotional support for me! He doesn’t let me take myself too seriously, dragging me out of self-pity when I’m getting dangerously close to wallowing. He’s gently supportive, considerate and kind and I’m incredibly lucky to have met him and see past his bravado all those years ago.
He would hate all this attention too; he hates social media which is why I christened him The Husband on Facebook a few years ago, to protect his identity (bless him)
The most important thing we have together though is humour which gets us through tough times and my boring “bad days” One of his favourites when describing MS is, “it’s not just any chronic illness, it’s an M&S chronic illness” Here’s to that!