My Wedding Vow Blues

(Picture taken in Santorini, Greece in 2011 where we got engaged)

My husband, Kim and I got married five years ago on May 1, 2015. We had been engaged since 2011 and my husband was very familiar with what I went through in caring for my Mom when she had Alzheimer’s disease. She died in 2012.

When we got married we said the old familiar wedding vows “for better or worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part”. Virtually every couples says these vows, and my guess it is more ceremoniously rather than they really consider what these words truly mean and what they are committing to.

Kim is a great guy, but I think he got more than he bargained for when he married me. Who would have known that four years after we got married I would be diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s? He of course had an inkling this could happen because it does run in my family, but who thinks it is going to happen to them? Honestly, I spend a lot of time contemplating the fact that I am ruining his life with this diagnosis……..this burden. When I get sad and upset, he assures me that it’s going to be ok, he is going to be there for me until the end and that he loves me and is committed to me. I know this and believe it with my whole heart. But it doesn’t seem fair. He doesn’t deserve this burden. He says he knows without a doubt, that if the tables were turned I would do the same thing and take care of him the same way I did my Mom. He is 1000% correct. I would. I just don’t want him to have to do it and sacrifice some of the good quality years he has left taking care of me.

As my Mom’s disease progressed she used to tell me “Kell, just throw me in the garbage can, don’t worry about me….go on and live your life”. I used to get angry at her for how ludicrous this sounds. I know she didn’t literally mean “throw her in the garbage can” but she didn’t want me to feel burdened by taking care of her. I now know how she feels.

Please pray for my husband and I as we learn how to navigate this disease and figure out our way forward.

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8 thoughts on “My Wedding Vow Blues

  1. Oh Kelly,I don’t think that your husband is sorry for one minute.You are a beautiful kind strong woman.None of us have any idea what life is going to throw at us,especially now.Just hang on tight and love each other now.Sending love and prayers…Glenda

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    1. Thank you, Glenda. I know I need to get better at just living in the moment and letting God handle my worry. You offer very sound advice and I truly appreciate it.

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  2. I will pray for you and your husband.
    Each day can be a rollercoaster. There is no “normal” day. It’s like our husbands wake up to a different wife every day. Rare is the man who stays committed to this life. I have one of those rare husbands too.
    I feel the same feelings you do. I carry the same guilt. It has colored mine and my husband’s relationship for 24 years.
    I’m so sorry that these feelings are a part of your world too. It’s sometimes difficult to put them away in the card catalog of our brains and not dwell on them regularly. I encourage you to put away the guilt that you feel and enjoy the love and togetherness that our rare marriages provide us. Set a time limit on those feelings and put them away when time us up.
    Blessings to you and your husband.

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    1. That is excellent advice, Melissa. I think sometimes I dwell on it too much. It seems to bother me much more than it does him. He hates when I get sad and upset. Thank you for writing. I appreciate it.

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  3. Boy does that hit home. I was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder in my early 30’s ( I’m now 54)I suspect i had it many years before. When i think back to all the hell and hurt I caused my husband and family it just sickens me. At the age of 48 I was diagnosed with early onset dementia. They say the cause of my dementia is from my extended use of my bipolar meds, mainly my lithium (25 + years ) along with others bipolar meds I’m on. The Dr.s thought they would be able to hold or slow my dementia down back when I was diagnosed. Instead, it’ s progressed faster than they ever thought it would.
    Kelly, reading your story was like reading my own book. All your thoughts and feelings I’m right there with you. That my husband didn’t leave me 20 years ago is a miracle. I tryed and tryed to tell my husband to find someone better and more loving. On and on i went. He just kept telling me he loved me and wasn’t going anywhere ❤ I’m so blessed to have him !
    One of my biggest heart aches is possibly not
    rembering my family and my grandbabies 💧
    Just a note :
    We have no known mental illness or dementia/ alzheimers in our family or extended family.
    Kelly, it really breaks my heart and brings tears to my eyes to know there’s no cure for all of us sufferers. I’ll be praying for you…

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    1. Lisa, thank you for writing. I am so sorry to hear about what you have had to deal with. I’m glad you have a strong support system in your husband, as do I. We seem to have a lot of uncommon (some good and some bad). Stay healthy and safe. God Bless.

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  4. Beautiful. And scary. In my book, I have a Chapter titled, “If You Learn Nothing Else…”. The Chapter has ONE sentence, “Don’t try to take this journey alone”. You are doing a remarkable job sharing your journey with others and are blessed at the support you have from your husband. For better or worse….and for better.

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