t h e w o r l d o f i n v i s i b l e i l l n e s s


bigstock-A-man-carrying-a-pretty-blond--27817625 (1)Twenty seven years ago, when David and I first married, among the things I heard him say was that he wanted “an independent woman” as a wife. To someone like me, who has m.s. and who learned in childhood that playing “the victim” was the way to being loved, that description of “independent” was scary. Not because of working, because I always have, but from the standpoint of not being loved.

Over the years, I’ve come to learn that David’s definition of “independent” was far from what I had thought. Assumptions are relationship killers; being a psychotherapist doesn’t always help what’s personal. But worrying about it and trying to deny my disease because of my assumptions about “independence” led me to a surprising conclusion. I am independent when I accept responsibility for my health – maintaining it or mistreating it.

I was really mistreating our marriage by not practicing self-care as I couldn’t possibly be a good partner if I was sick.

I gave David the burden of my progressive disease instead of doing what I could about it myself. That included all of those self-care things I’m lousy at, like not overdoing it, slowing down, and treating myself well, like eating more than 2 cookies and a cup of coffee for breakfast.  And especially treating my psychotherapy clients better than I treat myself.

David gives me unwavering physical and emotional support, even though he’s stopped trying, bless his heart, to save me from myself. I never listened, anyway.

In the process of leaving me to my own devices David’s unwittingly given me the best, and most terrifying gift of all:  the responsibility for being myself. 

This first appeared in’s “Connections”as The Best Gift David Ever Gave Me, which was also published as a blog in 2012. Kathe Skinner is a Relationship Coach with over 17 years experience as a Marriage & Family Therapist.  She lives in Colorado with David and their two hooligan cats, Petey and Lucy.
copyright, 2012 Kathe Skinner

Categories: Effect of invisible (hidden) disability on relationship

11 replies

  1. I blog frequently and I genuinely appreciate your content.
    The article has truly peaked my interest. I’m going to bookmark your website and keep checking for new details about once a week. I subscribed to your Feed too.

  2. Awesome blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?

    I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress
    or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused .. Any recommendations? Bless you!

    • Cathy, thanks so much for your kind words… you know how us writers are; always hungry for approval! Hope you like my blogging well enough to share it with your friends. Thanks, in advance…

      As to how best to start blogging, go for free. No sense in spending $$ as you’re learning what you want and how you want it. WordPress has been problem-free for me and user-friendly enough for a dinosaur like me!

      Best advice? When you write, be yourself…

  3. Howdy, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam feedback?
    If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can recommend?

    I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any help is very much appreciated.

  4. Apprrciate this post. Will try it out.

  5. Hello! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok.
    I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

  6. My spouse and I stumbled over here from a different web page
    and thought I might check things out. I like what I see so i
    am just following you. Look forward to looking over your
    web page repeatedly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.