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The impact of the illness of your child in your marriage relationship

Updated on January 21, 2014

‘The best feeling in the world is when your child comes up to you and lays their head in your lap, for no other reason but just because. I can't wait to have more.’ – Marlee Matlin

Life is not always smooth sailing and you are often thrown off balance by the suddenness with which your life changes. You adore your spouse but you adore your child even more. You life centers around your child and you have many dreams about him\her. But when your son\daughter falls sick, your world shatters to pieces. It is a tragic situation which affects almost all in the family.

You adore your family and feel happy when everyone is hale and healthy. But when your son\daughter is diagnosed with a deadly disease the world comes crumbling to your feet. Tears and hopelessness make your life seem nightmarish.

You lose your smile and feel as if you have a rock tied to your stomach. It is that painful. You shudder with agony by the visits to the doctor, the never ending medical tests, the mechanical voice of the doctor telling you how sick your child is, the running from pillar to post for the money needed for your child’s medical treatment and the anguish of seeing him\her suffer.

You want to go into a self inflicted shell of nerve wracking sorrow and feel it impossible to interact normally with your spouse. The days of laughter seem to disappear from your life forever and in its place you feel numb with pain.

Is this the right way to show your sorrow?

Can you never be normal with your spouse?

You always dreamed of a happy married life and you were sure that your happiness would continue forever. But tragically married life is not so easy for everyone. Mild illness of your child does make you worried, but you are back to normal when your son\daughter regains his\her health. You forget the pain you felt and the agony you underwent.

But when the illness is very serious and life threatening, you are shattered with grief. You do not feel like interacting with your spouse as you feel there is nothing in your life here afterwards to be worth smiling. You suffer, your spouse suffers and in fact your whole family loses its smile.

You cannot be blamed for your reaction, but you have to face the brutal reality. Try not to become cynical as it makes you behave harshly with your family. It takes incredible mental grit to handle such a situation. Your whole lifestyle changes when your child falls seriously sick.

You have the medical expenses which literally drain your financial resources. Someone must be in the hospital to look after the sick child while someone must be at home to look after your other children.

It is sad that you and your spouse drift apart not knowing how to handle the situation. Instead of supporting each other, the trauma makes you feel apathetic towards your spouse. Hot words fly forth making the already sad atmosphere even more sorrowful. You fight as to how the expenses should be borne and everything in your relationship assumes a negative aspect.

This is the time for you to stand united with your spouse as you can draw great inner strength by the soothing presence of him\her. It is very true you become averse to everything when your son\daughter falls sick and you cannot look lively and cheerful when your heart is screaming with agony and distress.

Do not isolate yourself from your spouse as it makes you feel lonely and forlorn. You should make arrangements for the medical expenditure along with your spouse. You cannot afford to freeze with sorrow as you will not be able to handle the situation if you are grief stricken. It is very important to show courage and perseverance at this juncture of your life.

You should both divide your duties so that your other children are not deprived of your care. You can leave your children with your parents during the weekends so that they do not drown in the pitiable atmosphere at home. Do not yell at your other children as they can never understand your distress.

Do not also show your sorrow to your sick child as it unnerves him\her. You should be absolutely supportive to him\her and you should give him\her courage to withstand the pain involved in the medical treatment of his\her disease. You should take him\her for regular check ups and encourage him\her to feel that he\she will overcome the disease.

You never in your dreams knew that your child would suffer from such a deadly disease. When your son\daughter is born, you visualize a happy life for him\her and pray for his\her well being. When destiny intrudes into your dream, you have to gather your total inner strength to withstand your intense agony to make your sick child feel sheltered by your love.

© 2014 mathira


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    • mathira profile image

      mathira 4 years ago from chennai

      denise, I am sorry for what you have suffered. To see the children on whom you build your dreams suffer from a deadly disease is the worst trauma for any parent. I am really happy that your daughter pulled through to have a family of her own. I pray for her and your family.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Our oldest daughter contracted leukemia at the young age of three. We had two other children at the time, and we left them with my husband's parents while we took our daughter across the state for treatment at an oncology hospital. It was a most difficult time in our lives. My husband had to return to his employment while I stayed with our daughter for the first month of her treatment. We traveled back and forth between the two cities many times in the next few years. We were fortunate to have loving family and friends who supported us during that time. It was a most heart wrenching experience, just as you have indicated here. After two years of chemotherapy, our daughter was considered cured, and today, she is an adult with a child of her own. We were greatly blessed. Our daughter met many during her time there who we never saw again. Our hearts were grieved for their families.

    • mathira profile image

      mathira 4 years ago from chennai

      billy, it is the most tragic thing that should never happen to any parent. Thank you for visiting.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      So sad, and it happens daily, and people are just not prepared for it. Valuable information here. Well done!