Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

Support

on May 1, 2013

I’ve seen quite a few posts about how to support someone who is going through IF or loss. I think it’s great that people have written these posts because, let’s face it, we aren’t an easy group to understand and support. Statements that are meant to be helpful and supportive can be really hurtful to many in our community. I’m learning that this is not necessarily unique to to IF/loss, and being a good source of support for anyone isn’t easy.

Over the past few months, I have been struggling with how to support my husband as he deals with Crohn’s disease. My heart just breaks when I see him in pain, and I desperately want to make him better. But I can’t. I can’t heal him. I can’t alleviate his pain. I can’t promise him that he will feel better soon. So what can I do? Over the past week I’ve been in prayer about how to support him, how to be a good wife to him as he faces this terrible disease. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

  • Pray for him I pray for my husband’s health regularly. I don’t just pray that he will be healed–I also pray that the Lord will walk with him through the desert. I pray for strength to endure and peace to deal with a diagnosis that sucks. And I make sure that hubby knows that he is being surrounded by prayer by telling him when I pray for him. 
  • Serve him When hubby has bad days where he can’t really leave the couch, I serve him. I make him something to eat that won’t make him hurt more. I bring him anything he needs. I take care of things he is usually in charge of (like mowing the lawn or putting the dog up at night) so he won’t stress about it. It’s exhausting, but it’s so rewarding and giving him the opportunity to rest makes a big difference to his pain levels.
  • Abide with him Earlier this week, hubby was hurting too much to stay in bed, so he took another pain pill and went to living room and propped himself in a more comfortable position on the couch. Instead of taking my usual approach (silently bemoaning the interruption in my sleep and shutting the bedroom door so he doesn’t keep me up), I got up and went into the living room. I held his hand and talked with him to help distract him until the pain pill kicked in. I let him know that he’s not alone in this.
  • Love him I try to use every opportunity to remind my husband of how much I love him. Sometimes he will say something like, “I’m sorry you are stuck with a broken hubby” and I refuse to accept that. I remind him that I meant it when I said “in sickness and in health.” I make it a point to show him and tell him that I love him and his illness cannot change that, and in some ways, his illness has made me love him even more because it has given me the opportunity to serve and support him in a big way.

So that is how I have learned to support my hubby: pray, serve, abide, and love. And you know what? I think that’s a good way to support someone through just about anything.

What kind of support have you received that has been particularly helpful or encouraging?

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7 responses to “Support

  1. April says:

    You are such an amazing wife. I’m glad he knows he’s lucky. :)

    Those are definitely good ways to support. Unconditional acceptance from my husband has been what’s helped me most with IF.

    • Thanks. It’s a little weird to have everyone say how lucky hubby is because I have always believed that I hit the hubby lottery with my husband. I can’t imagine a better one and cannot even begin express how amazing he is!

      • April says:

        I know the feeling. I wonder how many people laugh when I say that, knowing our history? Lol!

        But yes, you are awesome.

  2. SM says:

    You are so sweet! Your husband is lucky to have you! :) My husband and my BFF have been my support through the last five years. I couldn’t have done it without them.

  3. Belle says:

    I want to print this and give it to my husband the next time my uveitis flairs. Seriously, you are a wonderful wife and your husband is extremely lucky. In regards to my autoimmune disease, the best support I have received is when friends or family take the time to learn about my disease and then share what they have learned. Even though I already know it (I think I’ve read every site on uveitis at least twice) it warms my heart knowing that they are interested enough in my well being to read up on the condition and then use that knowledge to have an educated discussion – not just say that they know a healer who will burn incense over my eyes and I’ll be cured!

    I think the same goes for infertility – the best support has been from people who take time to learn about PCOS or who tried to learn what to say after my loss. “I did some research on miscarriage and, I’m so sorry, but I’m still at a loss. I love you though and am here how ever you need me” is the most comforting. They tried. I can’t ask for any more ever.

    Continuing good thoughts for your husband.

    • Belle, thank you for the confirmation that I am doing the right things for my hubby. You are welcome to print out this post–I won’t even charge you for it ;o)

      I haven’t really had anyone do any research on IF/loss, but I also don’t have a diagnosis–it might be different if I did. The best support I’ve experienced is when people validate my feelings, even if they aren’t very pretty. “I know you are angry, and that’s ok. You had something taken from you and you anger is totally understandable.” I have a lovely friend who says things like this and never follows them with a “but” statement.

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