It takes a man of great character to be worthy of a relationship with someone who has chronic illness, pain and trauma. Yes, I said that sentence correctly. There are many chronically ill people who desire healthy relationships through the journey of unhealthy bodies. Instead of looking at it like, “who would ever choose me,” what about “what man is worthy of standing up to my disease?”
What makes a person with disease less worthy or less valuable than a healthy person? Nothing, absolutely nothing can take away from our value as a human being, not even disease or the most horrific trauma.
The road of chronic illness is a tough one, no getting around it. What if you find yourself with a long-term illness, with pain and with trauma in your life; Does that make you unworthy of a healthy relationship? Of course not. We are still human beings.
World War II comes to my mind as I think this out. This is a simple way to see value in all human beings. Beyond ethnicity, there were others who lost their lives simply because of a category they were placed in. Handicap people, chronically ill people, people with all kinds of diseases were singled out as unworthy to live. As you sit in bed unable to take care of all of your own needs, do you truly feel that any person has the right to declare another unworthy of life due to ones level of health? Probably not.
Same holds true for children. It is easy to see that no child should not be cared for or not given a chance at life. I cared for my chronically ill child for over 10 years and never once had the thought that his life was not worth any of what I did for him. It never crossed my mind until years later when I became so ill that I was treated with disdain and started to see this from others perspectives. I will never accept that a person with disease or trauma is less worthy than any other human because of that disease or trauma.
We have value far deeper than our health. Whether we are treated with the basic human respect that healthy people are treated, we are worthy of basic human relationships. Sometimes the first step is figuring that out for ourselves before we can expect it from others.
All disease is troubling and sometimes horrific causing all kinds of problems in relationships. Lyme is notorious for causing burdens that linger for years; financially, emotionally, physically, relationally, and spiritually. It can suck the life out of a relationship or it can keep a single person from feeling worthy of a healthy relationship.
This is a long hard road, no doubt about it. Either a man will run and hide from the difficulties or he will be there to stand by your side and even hold you up at times. Just like you would do for him.
This is where a man of character steps up and is not intimidated by the disease, the challenges and the unknown of what the trauma and the illness may bring.
As I was writing to someone about this subject I thought I would make it public without the person’s name:
“Finding the same value we see in “healthy” people, in ourselves, is the only way I have been able to make any determination about any relationship as I have walked through this for decades. YOU have tremendous value. Your value is just as important as any man’s. Any man worth having will step up and love you for YOU regardless of disease. Would you step up for the man you love even though he had cancer?? Of course you would. The disease does not define who we are. It should not be the measure of love. It does not take away our value as a human being. Life is filled with obstacles, Lyme is only one of many. Love includes walking through obstacles together. Always thinking the problem is the Lyme, I personally think is wrong. A person of character loves the other, for better for worse, in sickness and in health. YOU have incredible value, with or without Lyme. As lonely as we get, even as desperate as we get at times, no man should ever make you feel less of a person than his equal. I feel very strongly that you do not lose sight of your immeasurable value.” ~ Maribeth Baxter, HHC
Please do not settle because you feel unworthy of a good man to walk through this with you. I know how hard it is to be single and lonely along with endless health and trauma issues. Sometimes it is better to remain alone. I choke on that as I say it because I know how crazy terrible difficult that is. It can feel like walking alone through hell at times. We all want someone when we are going through crisis.
If you choose the wrong man out of any reason due to your lack of self-worth, you will have even more challenges to face. Not sure that would be worth it.
We all have to weigh our circumstances for ourselves and make the best choice possible. Sometimes it is the best bad choice possible. Sometimes we can hold out for the right man at the right time. Regardless of your choices in the past, be kind to yourself. See your value and see that you are worthy of help, kindness, support and love because you are a human being.
And for goodness sake, when a man of character does come along, feel worthy. You have much to offer him as well, regardless of disease and trauma. I am amazed at how many ill women turn down good men because they do not feel worthy. YOU ARE WORTHY.
Men, you are just as worthy of a good woman when you are ill.
Your disease, your pain, your trauma do not define who you are as a human being.
How have your choices with men helped or hurt your situation? Can you see your value?
Maribeth Baxter, MBEC
Donations are accepted to serve others on their chronic illness journey. Maribeth Baxter, MBEC provides voluntary certified health coaching services to the financially limited during their time of crisis.