Welcome back! I'm glad you made it over to my blog this week because I have a special treat for you. One of my good friends and colleagues from the diabetes blog world, David Edelman, wrote a blog this week that struck a nerve with many people. The post was entitled, "Married to Diabetes: A Husband's Perspective." I think it received so many comments for a couple of reasons-
1) Women with diabetes rarely have the opportunity to hear the innermost thoughts and feelings of our partners because a) our partners feel guilty sharing them with us and b) we're too scared to ask our partners how they feel and what they think about being married to a woman with diabetes because we're scared the reponse may be something we don't want to hear.
2) Men are not usually as open and honest about their feelings as David was. Often, it's because feelings and emotions are somewhat foreign to them or at least, they are taught that they should be. It's very refreshing to see a man own his feelings/emotions!
As you may or may not be aware, David is the husband of Elizabth Edelman and they are the brains behind Diabetes Daily. David is also on the Planning Committee for The Partner's Perspective Program (that will be held simultaneous to the 2012 Weekend for Women Conference) along with Alex Munoz, husband of Sysy Morales, the brain behind The Girl's Guide to Diabetes; and my huband, Chris Barnes. Pretty awesome team, heh?!? Can you imagine your husband sharing any of the feelings/emotions David does in the article below? To read more of David's work, visit Diabeetes Daily. Next week...you'll hear from Alex, Sysy's husband.
Married to Diabetes: A Husband's Perspective
by David Edelman
I am married to a beautiful woman with type 1 diabetes. On many days, diabetes has churned the waters in our relationship.
I’ve argued with low blood sugars and lost. What woman can be responsible for being snippy when her blood sugar’s at 35 mg/dl (2 mmol/L)? I’ve watched date night get canceled by an all day high. My empathy for Elizabeth is spiked with a little anger. But how can I talk about my frustration at diabetes when it’s a trifle next to the boulder that Elizabeth carries? These feelings sit inside me. They fester. I try to be strong.
On difficult days, frustration boils over.
Other times I don’t know what to say. I lie there in bed while she has low blood sugar and struggles. I see how much it’s hurting her, how hard it is for her, how bad she feels. I want her to know that I see it, and it tears me up, and I wish there was a way I could share that burden. But instead I say I’m sorry.
The last thing she wants is pity.
I’ve learned a lot about diabetes helping develop Diabetes Daily over the last six years. Yet when it comes to my own relationship with the most important person in my life, I still get it wrong too often.
The challenges faced by those who care about someone with diabetes are rarely discussed. It ends up hurting both the person with diabetes and the person without it. So this year, let’s start a dialogue about ways that people with diabetes and their loved ones can support each other better.
I invite any loved ones who would like to talk about their experiences to get in touch or to write about it on your own site and share a link. I also encourage couples to attend the 2012 National DiabetesSisters Conference in Raleigh, NC this May. There will be a session specifically for those without diabetes to talk about issues like this.
So what can we do to better support each other?