The definition of “in sickness and in health” in marriage vows needs to be considered more thoughtfully when one partner is disabled. The truth of it is not everyone is mentally equipped to handle all that comes with a disability for the long haul. As a C6 quad for nearly 10 years, my secret formula for navigating my first year of marriage boiled down to the 3C’s — Compromise, Communication, and Compassion.
My husband, Aaron Watkins, and I met while I was undergoing surgery for a stage IV pressure sore. For the first six months of our relationship, I was healing in bed and we were only able to enjoy each other’s conversation. I took the better part of that time to introduce him to the physical aspects of my care, which allowed us to solidify our bond to one another prior to moving forward in our relationship. In short, we built emotional intimacy and a strong connection before sex even played a role in our relationship.
This is where the 3 C’s really come into play for us.