Metaphors for Marriage When You Have Chronic and Mental Illness

I once heard a foolish preacher tell a bunch of teenagers, of all people, at a youth rally that marriage is like a fragile baby bird. Maybe this is true if the couple is neurotypical and teenagers, but the analogies that come to my mind are a bit more dramatic and dangerous. My husband is on the spectrum, and I have PTSD, among other issues on top of my chronic pain. Everyday life in our marriage feels more like an action movie sometimes than sweet little delicate birds.

With that information, here are my metaphors for marriage:

1. Marriage is a trip to MordorĀ  and each of you takes turns being Frodo or Sam.

2. Marriage is a trip to get the soul stone but you figure out a way that neither of you dies (because love) and you both agree to enchant some regular rock there to bring back to the Avengers ( because one of you has magic powers and one of you is a rogue).

3. Marriage is that 80’s song The Promise. Everyday. And you’re in the closing Napoleon Dynamite scene with the tetherball that features that song.

Can anyone else think of other analogies?


After all, love is a battlefield.

Honeymoon Glamping

The small cabina on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica where I honeymooned with Bear.
Literal tent bathroom.

My honeymoon to Puntarenas, Costa Rica was my first time out of the country. I know, I know. I’m not a modern woman. But I never had the cash to fly, not to mention airports gave me anxiety poos.

I was formally diagnosed with full-on lupus three days before my wedding and four days before my honeymoon. Bear booked a rustic resort in the jungle on the beach in Costa Rica in early July, before I had my first bad pain flare. We still believed we could do anything, and we still can!

The honeymoon really was proof of that.

By “rustic”, I didn’t really know what he meant. I grew up camping with friends and family. Surely he knew that honeymoons were luxurious and romantic. But I was wrong. Wrong about that, I was.

We strolled up to our beachfront cabina and I noticed there was a tent attached to it, then the size of the cabina. Entering the cabina I would say it was about a foot around three sides of a queen size bed.

For many people this would be the ultimate relationship test, and I must say we passed it with flying colors.

Not that it was never rocky, two people being in such cramped quarters, but we had fun with it. But the biggest lesson I learned about marriage started here:

A big fat turd lie I grew up believing was that men are the head of the household and therefore must be relied upon, thus they know everything. This is a horrible, nasty lie because men are human beings who can get pick pocketed on a tourist boat, screamed at on an airplane, and have meltdowns in the middle of the pacific ocean. You, as a woman generally fully in tune with your magnanimous faults and very aware of how dangerous the world is, run security on his ass and he runs intel on your emotional and physical needs. This is how you get out of the safest Latin American country alive laughing and having fun.

I had to grow up a lot on the honeymoon because I realized I had the right, and the responsibility, to keep my sweet husband out of danger because my dangerdar was higher tuned than his. I wasn’t supposed to be a help-meet lamb in the kitchen as I may have consciously or subconsciously led to believe, I was actually his security guard. He was, on the other hand, responsible for getting my needs met when I couldn’t walk for more than ten minutes, requesting wheelchairs at airports (seriously go team here), and being a great travel nurse.

But these lessons were ultimately all laughable and fun. They’ll make great stories down the line and anyone who volunteers friendship will hear about them. My next few blog posts will be about the honeymoon and its depth, as I process it and get over jet lag.

I hope you all had happy holidays, whether you were at home or by the sea, or at home by the sea.

May you all have giggles and light.