Looking for some fresh content? One of the ways I have helped spread the word about Rest Ministries is to write a number of articles, all of which are available to reprint for free. You can use these anywhere, such as your blog, newsletter (for church or support group, or whatever…), ezine, web site or more. Thank you for helping us by freely using the articles. Just add the footer at the end!
Romantic Ideas for Chronically Ill Women to Romance Her Husband
by Lisa Copen
The words "hot and bothered" may spark images of twisted sheets and breathlessly reaching out to the one you love for most people. But if you have a chronic illness, "hot" likely refers to a thyroid condition, night sweats, or a heating pad on high. "Bothered" is everything else that happens in bed. Like achy joints that pop when you roll over, a cat that insists on sleeping on your leg, or a spouse who snores through thunder and lightening. Romance may be hard to find in your home!
Nearly 1 in 2 people live with a chronic illness in the U.S. which means that a lot of marriages are disrupted by this uninvited third party of illness, often including mental illness as well. Seventy-five percent of marriages end in divorce. But romantic ideas don’t have to be used just on Valentine’s Day.
So, how can you add back some of that spark? I’ve got some romantic ideas that will tell your hubby "I love you" even when you are in chronic pain.
Make an effort. Stop with the excuses. "I’m tired, I don’t feel good. I am in so much pain." I’ve said them all. Guess what? You’ll probably always be tired. Put on some music, sit back and relax. You’re in pain? If you can push past some of the physical pain you’ll soon be distracted and forget at least a good part of it.
Make romance a priority in your house! Rather than cleaning your house all day and mopping those floors, take a nap so that you have some quality time with your spouse that night. Make sure he feels valued and important and not just "one more thing to take care of."
Do whatever it takes to be enthusiastic for your romantic evening. If you go out for a nice dinner, don’t tell him over the menu, "I actually feel pretty sick, so I don’t know what to eat. I really am going out just as a favor for you." (That’s won’t turn your loved one on in the least!) Even if your romance is just dinner out, enjoy talking about some dreams you still have or what your hopes are for the future. Avoid talking about your illness or how it could change them all at the drop of a hat.
Even if you don’t have the gift of writing poetry, do something that tells your spouse how much you appreciate him. Cover a page with sentences of things you appreciate and love using different colored markers. Make up a mini-photo albumn.
Think of all of the thing you notice your spouse does that is never done with complaint and write them down with a bit thank you at the bottom. Does he take out the garbage, get you medicine in the middle of the night, bathe your child without complaint, or even clean out the litter box? Write these out or type tehm in fun fonts as something for him to treasure.
Women, get over feeling self-conscious and buy some underwear that doesn’t look like your grandmother’s.
Ask your teen how to use that text message feature on your cell phone and send him a message that will make him look twice at who sent it to him! Go for it and be romantic, especially if it’s the kind of thing you’d never usually do or say.
Design some simple home-made coupons for something he would enjoy but typically wouldn’t do because he feel he needs to take care of you or just spend time with you. For example, "Good for 5 guilt-free hours with your friends watching baseball." Don’t even make him feel badly for doing things you can’t do like taking a hike or going for a roller coaster ride.
Perfect marriages will never exist, but a even a marriage that has an illness can be a huge blessing and not just a state of survival. Romance comes in many ways. I remember loving my husband more than ever the night I couldn’t not move because of a rheumatoid arthritis flare. I "slept" sitting on the couch and he spent the night on the floor beside the couch to comfort me every time I screamed from the pain.
Love comes in many forms. One of the books I’ve bought all the couples in my life is "Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, the Respect He Desperately Needs" by Emerson Eggerichs. Men often feel loved when they are respected, women want to feel loved. Usually we are offering our spouse what we wan’t, not what they need. Being aware of all of the little things we do each day that give one another love and respect, add up to romance when you least expect it.
Get an instant download of 200 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend from "Beyond Casseroles" by Lisa Copen when you subscribe to HopeNotes invisible illness ezine at Rest Ministries. Lisa is the coordinator of National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week and founder of Rest Ministries, Inc.