What I want you to know about being married to someone with a physical disability

What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here.  Today’s guest post is by written by an anonymous writer.

My husband was born with Spina Bifida. He endured many, many surgeries and doctor visits as a child, but still managed to have a normal childhood. With the support of braces on his feet, he was able to run and play like any other boy. He played football and basketball and scared the life out of his momma by jumping off stuff he shouldn't have been. His condition progressed later on in life and is now paralyzed below the knee. He now gets around with the help of crutches and amazes me every day.

I want you to look past his physical limitations and see him for the amazing man he is. He is loving, supportive, hilarious, extremely intelligent, independent, creative and successful. Although he is sometimes limited to what he can do, he doesn't let that stop him. He helps me around the house with as much as he can - washing dishes after I've cooked dinner, folding the clothes I've washed, or scrubbing toilets and bath tubs (Hello, dream husband!). He encourages me every day to pursue my dreams, and works hard to support our family so that I can do just that. He is an incredible example of a godly man and husband to other men around him.

I want you to toss aside the assumption that because he has a physical disability, he must have a mental disability as well. I can't tell you how many times people have looked over his head and asked me "Does he need a wheelchair?" or "Does he need help getting to his seat?". My response is always, "I don't know. Why don't you ask him?". He is fully capable of understanding you and answering your questions. He made straight A's and was in all honors classes in high school, and graduated from college with honors. He has a great job managing the marketing department for the company he works for and does very well at it.There is no need to talk down to him or around him. I believe that these people mean well, but their assuming that he is not able to answer their question comes across as ignorance.

I want you to know that it is not always easy to be married to someone with a disability (but let's be real - marriage in and of itself isn't always easy!). There are things most people wouldn't give much thought to, but we have to sit down and plan out all of the logistics- like catching a flight. Hauling our luggage and getting through security was interesting, but we've got our system down now. Our life looks a little bit different than most, but it is such a rich one. We work through the tough times together, and laugh through the good ones. I feel so blessed to be on this adventure with such a wonderful man. 

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