I have been married to this lovely man for ten years now. Even better, we’ve been together for sixteen years – which is almost half of our lives. I fell in love with him fairly early in our relationship. He did too; he just refused to admit it to himself for a while.
When we married and said our vows, “for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health,” we never thought we would experience three of those four in the first ten years of our marriage. As you could imagine, we’re still waiting on the “for richer” part. (Yes, I know we are rich in love and family, and we do have many blessings in our lives. However, after a cancer diagnosis that left you even further in debt, having that extra financial security would be nice.) It’s the sickness and health part that has struck us the hardest.
To me, Eric has been amazing through all of this. When people we know heard of my diagnosis, he would receive some advice from various friends and acquaintances. One of them appeared as odd, but came from a good heart. He was told to make sure he loved me and to stick by my side for the duration, no matter how hard it was for him. This woman had one of those experiences where, in the end, her happy ever after left her before she became healthy again. The thought of Eric ever leaving me over my diagnosis and treatment decisions never crossed either one of our minds. In fact, my diagnosis has made our relationship stronger. We tend to laugh more. We let the little things slide more often. We love with all our heart. That’s the way it should be.
Eric has shown so much strength and support over the last two years. He has been by my side every step of the way. He has been my shoulder to cry on, my therapist, my personal trainer, and my motivational speaker. He has been my rock! I’m not saying Eric has never had his moments of frustration, sadness, or anger since my diagnosis. I know he has felt all of those at various points, but he made it a point to rarely show those emotions in front of me. He wanted me to be allowed to show my emotions whenever and wherever I needed to.
Marriage takes work. It’s a lot of give and take. Sometimes, we tend to give a little more than we take, but it usually evens out in the end. Without my husband by my side during my diagnosis, I’m not sure if I would have been as successful as I was. I would not have laughed as much or felt as loved. With him standing next to me every appointment, every step and journey, I knew I would be able to conquer whatever was thrown in front of me.
So this post is not only dedicated to my husband, but to all those husbands that take a stand against breast cancer. To all those husbands that love with all their might. To all those husbands that give and give, and never expect anything in return. To those husbands, I thank you. You are your wives strength and courage, their laughter and tears. You are there when needed. You are their personal rock, their salvation, and their happy ever after. Thank you!
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