Dealing with Ignorance About Our Marriage

Dealing with Ignorance About Our Marriage

Being married to a paraplegic is no different than being married to anyone else. There are small details that are different. We can’t pack up at the last minute and drive off into the sunset without a second thought to planning. We’re also parents, so we couldn’t do that either way. It takes longer to plan vacations. There are medications that need to be filled every month. Some places are not accessible for wheelchairs. Those are small details in life that have nothing to do with being married. We still argue, not often, but it does happen, he is a man after all and he’s prone to doing stupid things. I consider our lives to be perfectly normal. We both work full time professional jobs. We share the responsibilities of parenting equally. We both cook, clean, and care for our animals. We go out together as a family and also as just a couple. We laugh and have fun. I have never seen my husband as disabled or different than any other man. He’s always been Luke. Crazy, silly, funny, compassionate, and obscenely stupid at moments. I love my husband and can’t imagine spending a single day without his smile or carefree nature. We have been through our share of trials with medical situations on both sides. It’s all a part of life right? Yes, our life is the same as any other young married couple.

There are things I will never understand about people and the way they see my relationship. Tonight for example; my husband and I went out to the bar for a few drinks with another couple who are dear friends. It’s been a stressful few weeks in our life as I’ve been in and out of the hospital dealing with an ongoing long term illness. We were both more than ready to get out and let loose. What frustrates me is the way people sometimes stare. Is it really so odd to see someone in a wheelchair who isn’t miserable? People will approach us and ask personal questions that make me blush! Wow people, I do not know you so why are your asking about our sex life? Isn’t that a little personal? Then there are the people who tell me what a wonderful person I must be since I married someone in a wheelchair. I can promise you wouldn’t say that if you could read my thoughts after making such a statement. You would think I adopted an orphan child that I personally saved from a burning building! How completely selfless of me to marry him! Then of course there are the negative comments that are mostly made to me by men. Why would you settle for that? Settle for what exactly? You don’t know my husband. It’s amazing that you can’t figure out why you’re still single when you speak to people in such a disrespectful tone. I tell myself that it’s sheer ignorance and I try not to take it personally, but it’s upsetting.

I am a born and raised southern belle. My parents taught me to respect all life, even the idiots. I am a lady at all times and sometimes that means biting my tongue with a smile on my face. There are days I want to scream at perfect strangers because they have no clue how to function in public. I wonder how people would react if I approached their dinner table and said something along the lines of, “Wow! How on earth did you marry someone that stupid? God bless you for lowering yourself enough to marry him, let alone have sex with him. You deserve an award for that! High five people!”. I’m fairly certain that wouldn’t be very well received. How do I handle it? I smile. I look at my husband, and I thank God that I didn’t marry an idiot. I married a gentleman. He knows how to act in public, even if he doesn’t always display it. He is educated, polite, and always has a kind thing to say to about everyone. It’s true, it’s quite obvious that I suffer in my marriage. You can’t imagine being married to someone so horrible that they always put their family first. I can’t believe that I put up with it. In true southern form I am only left with one thing to say to ignorant people of society..

Well bless your heart, aren’t you a special one.

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