Monday, July 20, 2009

Missing In Action

Hey my beautiful friends and bloggers! I'm sorry I've been missing in action. My husband and I just made a big, stressful move! Here is a picture of one of the first things we did in our new state. We went to see Death Cab for Cutie. And I'm so excited because I was able to sit through a concert! I did have to bring a pillow and get up and move around a lot, but that is a huge accomplishment for me, considering how high my pain levels can be. Yeah! It was a huge blessing. A year ago I would never have seen myself going to a concert--I was just too sick.

One of the songs they played at the concert was a song my husband and I listened to on our first date. We have been through a lot of stress, and I'm grateful to look back and see how far we've come since that first date of ours. Since there's a high rate of divorce among individuals with chronic illness, here's a post on how to fight right and not let the stress of chronic illness ruin your marriage. Some of this is from my psych studies, some from religious leaders, and some from learning to make a marriage work with chronic illness in the pic. Not an easy task! Only for the strongest and the bravest of us for sure...

1. Delegate. What can your family and friends help with that will ease the burden on your spouse?

2. Choose your battles. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the most important), what number is your concern? If it's not an 8,9, or 10 then let it go.

3. Fight Right. Disagreements are okay and healthy in a marriage. Contention isn't okay. If a discussion gets heated, step back. Get space between you and your spouse for a half hour. While you're taking some space, put yourself in his/her shoes.

4. A family that prays together, stays together.

5. Use scheduled time each week to evaluate your marriage. Set goals, and kindly express expectations. Make sure you keep these sessions brief and that you use "I" statements. For example: "I feel sad when you..."

6. Always be honest. Keep your commitments. Write them down if you need to.

7. Keep the lines of communication open. I can't stress this one enough. Instead of stewing about something, open up a discussion about it.

8. Have one night a week where no serious matters are discussed. Just have fun. If you have kids, have someone watch them. You could call it your 'date night.'

9. Get away.

10. Allow each other time to grow in the relationship. What is, is. Be at peace in the present. Focus on that little sparkle until it shines! (Gordon B. Hinckley)

My husband and I saw the movie Fireproof recently. Check it out! It discusses the difficulties in marriage and suggests some ways to show love to your spouse and strengthen your relationship. Although it doesn't specifically address chronic illness, the lessons it provides will be helpful for all those working to better their relationships.


Devin, Abby, and Grady said...

Yay welcome back. Love you Em!

Lindsey Sharp said...

and you forgot to add... fight naked... no on a more serious note those were very good tips! it was good to talk to you today! love you!

Ricki said...

Congrats on the concert-going! And thanks for the great advice, good for me to see that.

And we loved your article in the Ensign!

Jason said...

Hey Emily it's Karolee and Jason from good ol'e La Grande apartments. Remember us? So we saw your article in the Ensign and we knew it had to be you even though we didn't know your married name. It was beautiful. I could really relate to some of those feelings during my pregnancies when I was very sick the whole 9 months. I'm sure that is nothing to what you deal with daily. I'm so sorry. It has been such a blessing to me also to know that our divine worth does not change whether we are able to serve phsically or do anything else. It's awesome to know the Lord loves us and values us and we can bless others no matter our circumstance. Thanks for sharing. Jason and I were saying what strengh you have and what a stong spirit you always carried. I'll never forget the conversation I had with you as I was deciding to serve a mission. It was one of the times I recieved an answer to serve. thanks again. god bless you

Kristina said...

Emily, you are amazing! And this blog rocks too!