Recently an acquaintance relayed an assumption they’d formed about relationships, in particular those where one party suffered from terminal illness.
They opined, that under those circumstances the partnership would be one of unrelenting cordiality.
After all your relationship together is on borrowed time; how could you possibly argue anymore?
Their presumption being, despite the patient and family being under terrible strain at times, your remaining time together should be free from marital disharmony.
As the partner of the sufferer, how could you reconcile your feelings of guilt (after the inevitable happens) if not 100% supportive of their plight throughout?
They proffered a cancer sufferer should not have to contend with the additional strain of spousal arguments. In particular when they’ve had to contend with chemotherapy, scans, endoscopies, X-Rays, lumbar punctures, daily/monthly treatments and hundreds of hours in hospital waiting rooms.
Not to mention the further stress the sufferer endures being a ‘ticking timebomb’ (as my wife Karen dubs herself).
In a utopian world that would be the case. Although you could argue, in a utopian world the sufferer wouldn’t have cancer in the first place.
Unfortunately, we don’t live in that utopian world. Humans are all flawed to a varying extent, displaying peccadilloes, foibles, quirks, weaknesses and times of over-reaction.
Through this weakness, we’ve all seen ‘Ladies Bottoms – The Movie’……. Oh you haven’t! …… I’ll move on swiftly, after I’ve sacked my researchers!
Arguments are definitely the exception, not the rule. However no matter how hard you attempt to keep calm, I defy any partnership dealing with these circumstances for any longevity (over 6 years in our case) to remain confrontation free throughout.
For example, Karen and I had a disagreement last night. It wasn’t about anything significant, other than discussing online password security, in particular whether “Do you like almonds?” was a robust additional security question
This escalated into a discussion about almonds, during which I learned from my courageous wife the multiple benefits of this healthy source of food.
Reading from an online source on her laptop she advised me:-
“In addition to healthy fats and vitamin E, a quarter-cup of almonds contains 62 mg of magnesium plus 162 mg of potassium. Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, the same type of health-promoting fats as are found in olive oil, which have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease.”
Things were fairly amicable until I told Karen “A high-fat food that’s good for your health? That sounds like an oxymoron!”
At this point she thought I’d just insulted her and growled back at me “Don’t you call me a moron!”, left the table and stormed upstairs to watch Coronation Street on TV.
After a poor sleep the previous night, I was not in a mood to be conciliatory at the time so let her be.
When I woke this morning, I felt really bad about yesterday’s bust up so I decided to offer Karen an olive branch at breakfast…… She said it was surprisingly tasty, but would have preferred Weetabix topped with almonds.