The Uninvited Third Party in My Relationship

I posted something on Instagram a couple weeks ago that stirred up A LOT of conversations.  So many of you reached out with thoughts, questions and thanks.  I felt compelled to dive in a little deeper and share with you here.  I did hesitate at first because it’s super personal. With that said, it is always my intention to be real and honest with all of you.  Pull back the covers and share with you the good, the bad and everything in between.  REAL LIFE. All in hopes that my message speaks to and reaches those that need it.

When we are faced with a crisis or trauma in life, in my case, it was Lyme Disease, many things can change. Relationships can be impacted. This is something many experience but may not always talk about.

When I first got diagnosed, I was one sick chick.  Little did I or my husband know that my recovery was going to be a long one.

When a serious illness or circumstance hits a significant other, both lives are dislocated. It has been quite the journey.  Not always easy, certainly not pretty and sometimes downright scary.  My illness, my experiences, my journey have changed me.  How could they not?  The changes have been profound.  It’s almost as if my illness became the uninvited third party in our relationship for a while.  It nudged its way into some very tender places. Into our daily activities and routines, into the images we had of each other, into the kitchen, into our bedroom. Pretty much everywhere.  It touched the lives of everyone around me. For a time it was my Lyme that was making decisions that once belonged to us.

We rolled with the punches.  Our relationship for a time became one of caregiver and patient in a sense. There were times I felt like we lost “us.” So scary.  But my love, Sal.  My husband of what’s going on 19 years didn’t miss a beat.  He was and is always there for me and my family.

Unconditional love and support.  The kind that gets stronger during challenging times.

So here I am, having regained my health.  Living a new normal, but oh so grateful to have my health and my life back.  I am a very different person in so many ways. This leaves us to navigate some new waters. We are adjusting, learning, growing. Communicating. This is key.  And to be perfectly honest, this was really, really hard for me in the beginning, because we had already been through so much. Not knowing what would come up, not wanting to hurt his feelings or be hurt. But it was the only way to go. To be open and honest about what each of us is feeling and experiencing. Clear communication.  Not always easy, not easy at all.  But we don’t give up easily and there is a whole lot of love that binds us together.

This photo represents so much for me.  “With you, I am home.”