This article touches on something that is often overlooked in the first blush of romance. As things progress however, it’s important to take a hard look at how your potential mate will handle illness, marital strife, child raising and finally, suffering. I look to my mother and step-father as an outstanding example of a balanced marriage: In the good times they were strong partners and yet, during times of major difficulties like the blending a family of children ranging in age from 7 – 17 and ultimately, my step-father’s long illness and death a few year ago, they showed tremendous love and commitment to each other. That is a model for me to this day. In the last 5 years of Mark’s life, he was in and out of hospital and steadily declined – something that was incredibly hard on him, as an active and vibrant man, and also so demanding for my mother – while they certainly had their up and down moments, overall they were committed to each other and to comforting each other. I was married for a short time my early 20s to a man who was good looking, rather nice, not too bright but also not a bad guy. I thank God every day that I didn’t have a family with him as he was ultimately not that nice or that good. I learned a lot from that first marriage and have not repeated the same mistakes in my soon to be 25 year marriage to my husband. – Beesha
There is one vital characteristic you should look for in a spouse but unfortunately, it is often forgotten.
“In sickness and in health.”
On two occasions I have said those words with the full confidence that the couple repeating those words actually knew what they meant.
The first occurrence brought a smile to my face. She had endured and marriage was her reward on the other side of illness. Together they have journeyed through the struggles of a serious disease as boyfriend and girlfriend. Now they would be husband and wife. They knew what “in sickness and in health” meant.
The second occurrence brought a tear to my eye. She had weeks to live. The vow renewal was his gift to her. I almost cut the words fearing they might be too painful. But with a crowd gathered I included them as a testimony to all who would hear them say, “in sickness and in health.” They meant it and everyone knew it.
Few people consider sickness and suffering when picking a mate.
They consider how the other person might look in the morning or what bad habits they might have.
They consider what offspring they could produce or what extended family they might bring to the reunion.
Yet few people ever consider what is a vital question — can I suffer with this person?