I have a physical infirmity. I'm missing a leg and in pain many a times. I struggle to do things that 'normal' people would find easy. And yes, I have a 'normal', young, good-looking husband.
Ever since I have been in this relationship, people around me have been in awe of the guy who chose to look beyond my physical disability and chose accept me. They looked up at the guy who despite being able bodied, smart, tall, educated, and handsome wanted to make me his life partner. Not the me who might be smart, intelligent, caring, thoughtful and pretty. But the me who is defined by my physical abnormality.
Yes. I respect him for what he's done. For looking beyond the physical. For seeing the real me. Something that most guys I have met wouldn't. (Not that I was dying to be in a relationship or get married, mind you.)
Yes. He has chosen to put up with my issues. To watch me helplessly as I suffer in pain. To make adjustments to suit my requirements at every walk of life. To make me feel better about myself when I feel distraught about my health issues. And to even change his priorities and interests to suit our lifestyle and my capabilities.
But no. He is not a hero who has given me life. I lived a good life before I met him and I would have continued to do so if I hadn't. I would still have a loving family and wonderful friends and a happy life. So to all the people who think he's supposed to be the cliched God-like figure to me, I'm sorry but as good a person as he is, he is but only human.. only an equal.
People who heard I was getting married thought the guy was much older or had a disability himself. Many who came to my wedding reception were surprised the guy was young and handsome. Many assumed he was being paid truckloads of fortune for this agreement. Admiration for the groom, pity for the girl. How people said I and my family must be eternally indebted to him!
Lets look at this in the other perspective. If a guy were to marry me for anything but love and respect and if I was forced to feel obliged to him for his choice, isn't it obvious I wouldn't go down that path? To everyone who feels that a 'normal' person who accepts a disabled person is an angel or saviour or blah, we are all just human beings. Some with a bigger mind and a kinder heart. For all you know, this might be my only problem. A noticeably healthy person's issues might not seem obvious but could be much worse. It is high time we lessened the drama in our lives and approached things matter-of-factly. Like my husband says to me... 'I'm glad you have this problem. If it wasn't for this a better guy would have found you and you wouldn't have settled for me.'
That sentence for me is the essence of our relationship. We share a life and share it equally. I will never let him do anything he pleases just because he chose to 'accept' me. He didn't do so despite what I am but also for what I am. It was love. It wasn't charity.
P.S. He complained to me once that while I have blogged about my experiences, about my family that has been my source of strength and about my friends who've made life so much fun, I never once wrote about him. Well, I don't know why I didn't really.
So this post is for you. To tell you that I have always cherished your friendship and valued your love more than anything. I will always love you, respect you and trust you until the end of my life. And I am eternally thankful that I found you. Not for you accepting my disability. But for the million little things you do for me each day. For the fact that despite all the ego-inflating things people tell you, you realise that our marriage is one of equals. For the respect and care and freedom you give me. For realising my worth way more than I do.
Happy tenth, etta!!! 10 years and couldn't be happier!
I love you for the ten wonderful years that we have been together and pity you for the fifty more! *evil grin*
P.P.S: This post was triggered by the latest reference to my husband as an 'angel' by an educated and experienced gentleman.