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For the last two weeks I have shared your responses, suggestions and experiences about marrying into a family wherein there is a parent who has a chronic illness. This was prompted by a letter I received from a woman who wrote that her daughter is having difficulty getting dates because her father has Multiple Sclerosis. Below are more letters from readers who wanted to share their experience and offer help.
Well, I hope I helped you a little.
It is difficult to know when and how in the dating process to share that you have a sick parent or an illness yourself. It is important to discuss this with your rabbi. There is no one rule for everyone. Da’as Torah is needed and should be adhered to.
I realize times have changed but I wonder if our total emunah in Hashem, to deal positively with our children and take care of them, helped in how relatively easily their shidduchim went. I do understand the fear and pain a parent feels when children have a hard time in anything, especially something as important in their life as their children’s future. All I can say to these families is have bitachon. Hashem will only do what is in our best interest.
If anyone reading this knows of organizations or shadchanim who deal with making matches for children where parental illness exists, I would so appreciate hearing from you. If you want to contact the woman who wrote the original letter, I can forward your information to her.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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I find his mother to be a difficult person and my nature is to stay away from people like that.
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When one is blind one learns to use Braille to read. When one cannot walk, a wheelchair gives mobility. Sign language allows a mute person to speak and ocular implants assist in hearing when one is deaf. These are all compensatory strategies that help a person function despite his disability. But compensatory strategies are not just for physical problems. Understanding our psychological weaknesses and setting up our lives to ensure that we are not tempted to repeat our past mistakes, is as necessary as any aid to the disabled.
Well spouses have often discovered that their friends and relatives, despite their closeness to the situation, often don’t realize the tremendous emotional impact living with chronic illness has on the family. With the best intentions, suggestions, ideas and criticism are offered, based on the non-experience of those with healthy families. Even when the good intentioned get a taste of the difficulties, it is sometimes not enough for them to then identify and understand what the family of the chronically ill must face on a constant basis.
Over the past two weeks I have shared letters from a therapist and a well spouse. Both of the letters gave personal insights into the process of losing hope, how we react when that happens and some ways of coping when test scores, diagnosis and just simple repetitive behavior indicate that change for the better is impossible.
I’ve read your last few articles on psycho-neurological testing (Oct.8-22) with interest. As a therapist who has counseled couples dealing with chronic illness, I’d like to give you another perspective.
Your articles on the Neuro-Psychological Testing were right on (October 8-22). My husband underwent testing twice and your articles explained it things exactly the way they were. Besides the test, we also tried therapy.
Very often when we can’t face our big hurts or big loses we focus on the little ones. We can discuss those. We can cry over the small loses, be angry at the smaller hurts even though it may look trite and sound ridiculous to others.
Over the last two weeks we have been discussing one way in which well spouses can determine whether behavior displayed by their ill partners is caused by their illness or is a way they have chosen to act. We have focused on Psycho-Neurological testing, what it can tell us, as well as its pros and cons.
Last week I discussed a question that haunts many well spouses: not knowing if the difficult and often inappropriate behavior frequently displayed by their partners are caused by the disease and therefore not-controllable, or if the behavior is a choice the spouse makes and can therefore be changed. This doubt can be the source of much frustration and many marital disagreements. One way of alleviating this doubt is by having a psycho- neurological work up done. But that path is not so simple.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/more-responses-on-the-topic-of-chronic-illness-and-shidduchim-2/2009/06/17/
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