A Love Letter to All Supportive Spouses

My Dear Supportive Spouse,

I can’t imagine how much harder my life would be without you. Living with rheumatoid arthritis, my days are hard enough as it is. The pain and fatigue can make it so difficult to do the activities and tasks I want to do, and can prevent me from doing some things altogether. Yet, when I think of how much more challenging life would be without all the support and love you provide, it’s immediately clear how lucky I am; unlucky in health, but lucky for having you.

There are so many times when you step in and help me. Without your assistance I would be far less productive, and far more overwhelmed and overloaded. You give me the opportunity to rest when I need it, and the reassurance I need to take advantage of that offered opportunity. I often feel like a burden, as I wish I could do everything independently and I hate adding my to-dos to your load. Yet, this guilt is self-generated, as you are never the one to make me feel anything less than completely worth your time and energy. You always rise to the occasion in supporting me, and the quest for improvement in my health is just as important to you as it is to me.

The support you provide is critically important during my darkest times. When RA is wreaking havoc on my life, disrupting plans, disconnecting me from others, preventing me from even resting comfortably or sleeping, it’s hard to stay positive. Sometimes I feel discouraged, frustrated, hopeless, angry, or depressed, yet I do not feel isolated because of you. Even though you don’t know exactly what it is I am feeling, you are always there to cheer me on, to remind me of how strong I am, to help me see that I can get through the seemingly impossible moments, to banish any thoughts that I am unloveable.

Not everyone is as fortunate in a partner as I am. Some people with chronic health issues find that when they most need their spouse, no help is to be found. The “in sickness and in health” portion of their wedding vows are pretty words to say on a happy day, rather than a solemn vow to help their partner in the hardest of times. Too many people find themselves divorced instead of supported, ignored instead of assisted, belittled instead of validated. There are so many individuals who deserve to have the compassion and kindness in their lives that you bestow daily on me.

I thank you with my whole heart for being a true partner, through the good times and the bad. Nothing conveys love more than your support during the worst of times. While I sometimes wonder how I’ll get through a day, your loving kindness keeps me from wondering how I’ll get through this life. We’ve weathered many hard times together, and reflecting on that gives me strength for the hard times ahead. I know that I can get through anything as long as I have you by my side. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

With all my love,

Your spouse with RA

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