I was thinking today about the stages of a relationship between a husband and wife. When you first meet, hopefully there are fireworks and passion. The humping any time you can stage. If you are lucky (or not) a long term relationship may develop.
Then, again with luck, you may have children, and may get married, or at least make some form of commitment. At this stage, the physical passion may reduce (have you ever tried to find a quiet time with young children in the house?), but the love between you is hopefully still there.
From that time onwards, we will see a change in the relationship. In my experience time becomes taken over with tasks and chores, and romance needs to be almost scheduled. A relationship in this case takes work and effort. But again, hopefully you still have the same feelings for each other.
I havent experienced what life is like when children have moved out of the house, but from seeing older relatives who are still together, there seems to be a comfort between the two. A peacefulness.
In our house, cancer has totally changed this steady progression between phases of a relationship. For a couple of years, we did manage to have some semblance of a married life. We would still go on dates, and away for a weekend. Playing my cards right, there were even some times when it got physical. But I would start to notice my wife being less keen, and it felt like she was going through the motions to please me.
I understood that she was hurting, and so wouldnt push things, and try to let things happen naturally. And we were still able to have the odd weekend away, and even have some nights out.
Following her stroke however, things dropped off a cliff. And since then they have started digging. She has trouble seeing, and is in alot of discomfort, so anything physical is not on her agenda. And now she has trouble eating various foods, even a meal out can be curtailed.
So our relationship has taken a much different tone. I do feel much more like a carer than a husband these days. There is still love between us, but it is different now. Less passion I guess.
Physically cancer changes a body. In my wifes case, she has had operations and treatment that have ravaged and destroyed her body, and so it is amazing she is still here. This isnt like the gradual changes when people grow old, this is sudden and extremely noticable changes.
The frustrating thing is that this has been forced upon us. Neither of us are at fault, neither of us brought this upon us.
From a selfish point of view, I guess I am luckier than my wife in some respects. After all, I dont have the illness, and I am not dying. There are shocking statistics of husbands leaving their wives when they are ill (I believe Boris Johnson did just that), but I would state I would never dream of doing that.
Ultimately, as I said, our relationship has changed. I still love my wife and hope she still loves me. The physical side is gone, probably not to return. Something else that the cancer thief has taken away.
Slightly unfocused today, not really sure what my point was. Thanks for reading, and if you feel so inclined, some support to help keep my blog going would be appreciated. It might even help me be more coherent in future. Please click on the button below: