For Better; For Worse
We said For Better; For Worse. Saying these words means our love and relationship does not depend on external factors, situations or circumstances. It is Unconditional Love. When you say I do, to someone who has Epilepsy, it is even more meaningful. Every relationship begins with fears, anxiety and stress. Imagine these emotional challenges when combined with the diagnosis of Epilepsy. When making this forever commitment, it means that you are willing to accept the responsibility of loving, caring, accepting change and being flexible in your daily lives. This takes work, knowledge and hands-on support.
Education… become educated about the needs of your spouse. Learn what type of Epilepsy is involved: tonic-clonic seizures is when a person loses consciousness and falls or is confused. If you know what is “normal” to your spouse, you will quickly identify what is happening and how you can best help. Learn what types of medications are being prescribed and taken. Learn what may be a trigger for the seizures: this could be flashing lights, patterns, lack of sleep, stress, alcohol, and failure to take medications. Most importantly, you will need to learn Seizure First Aid . You can find information via the internet and libraries, your local Epilepsy organization, support groups, your spouse’s doctor, and message boards.
Support…As you learn more about Epilepsy, you’ll be able to provide much needed support. Take the time to listen to what their needs are; lift them up (physically and emotionally) when needed and let them be when they want to stand on their own. Make sure all medications are being taken as directed. Consider what activities you’re doing that may increase the chance of a seizure. Recognize the onset of a seizure and be prepared to care for them. Remember to seek the support of friends and family, as well as Epilepsy organizations, such as Epilepsy Alliance Florida.
Being a part of someone’s life always includes a certain amount of care. In any relationship you become responsible to help maintain your partner’s heart, mind and spirit. This is true of all relationships and perhaps more important when a partner has Epilepsy. Intimacy and sharing is the key to a successful and meaningful relationship. Find new ways to show each other you love. Learn the language of love. Gain new experiences to help discover what is important to you and to your partner. Attend events and support group meetings together. Stay connected and don’t become isolated where you both might feel you are alone.
Keep looking for support until you find it—from medical practitioners, from friends, from your community. Remember to support each other as well, because you’re in it together. A person capable of integrating Epilepsy into their identity tends to be emotionally healthy. Epilepsy becomes the norm and becomes part of love, life and our relationship, For Better.
Commitment is a mindset . . . an attitude . . . a way of thinking that will enable you and your spouse to navigate through the still waters and the storms of a marriage relationship. Charles Swindoll (Strike the Original Match) compares working on marriage to remodeling a house:
It takes longer than you planned
It costs more than you figured
It is messier than you anticipated
It requires greater determination than you expected
Sometimes the only thing that keeps us going is hope!
Good Therapy (2016) https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/life-from-drivers-seat-when-your-partner-has-epilepsy-1114165
The Good Book Blog (2011) https://www.biola.edu/blogs/good-book-blog/2011/commitment-what-is-the-meaning-of-for-better-or-for-worse
EpilespyU (2019) https://epilepsyu.com/epilepsy-and-dating-what-to-know-when-you-date-a-person-with-epilepsy/
Epilepsy – Sympton – NHS (2017) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/epilepsy/symptoms/