Whoever said marriage is easy, didn’t marry a Cabe 😉. Actually, I have never heard anyone utter the words, “marriage is easy”… It the exact opposite. There are only two couples out there that I suspect easily cohabitate… 1) My sister, Alexis (the real-life Mary Poppins) and her husband, Johan. And 2) Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell. 💓 (I know because I follow them on instagram).
So, marriage is hard in an ideal world. When couples have a special needs child, marriage is even harder. Statistics show that the typical divorce rate of 50% jumps to between 80% and 90% for couples who have a child with special needs. ERICH AND I ARE NOT DIVORCING! We are, in fact, finding a way to get our groove back. It is a lot more difficult than taking a first-class vacation to Jamaica… Our war with cancer has drained us. We are fatigued from the battle but finding ways to rejuvenate ourselves and our relationship. 2017 has been kind to us and has brought indulgences that are helping to bring us back together: couples counseling and exercise!
Because Brooks’ health has been more stable, we have been able to start meeting weekly with a couples’ counselor. Our therapist is fantastic… (Although we were so hopeless we suspected even a garbage man could have helped us.) My Bae** and I speak different languages. We need a translator. We often times are saying the same thing when we get into a fight; we just can’t understand the other’s sentence structure. 😏 Usually, our minor miscommunications become heated exchanges in a matter of minutes…
We can find a way to disagree on almost anything. Take for example “acceptable television programming for the boys.” (Erich thinks it’s okay for the kids to watch children’s television shows as long as they were made prior to 1975, yet modern shows like Little Einsteins are horrific! He also is okay with them watching anything that features Tom Selleck and thinks the helicopter scene from Apocalypse Now is necessary and educational…) We really do come different planets and both planets are explosive! Sometimes, I think he can’t understand me because I’m not talking loudly enough. Meanwhile, Erich likes to punctuate his sentences with the exclamation door slam! There have been times when I have had to restrain myself from calling him mom to tell on him. 😁
Somehow our therapist is able to understand us both and make necessary translations. When we leave his office, each of us feels like we’ve won. Our number one lesson so far is that most of our arguments happen because we are not really listening but rather waiting for our turn to talk. (Of course, in the back of all our necessary sentences lies fear of some sort.)
Another extravagance we have recently incorporated is EXERCISE!! Not fancy gym time… Erich and I turn on YouTube and workout in our living room. We workout together! Surprisingly, when we make a point to do this at the same time, a special bonding is created. We seem to be a more cohesive unit. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to start treating my body with some favor again. Max and Brooks sometimes join in with the workouts too (somewhat). Brooks can barely lift the 2 and 1/2 pound dumbbells but he gives adorable effort. Mostly the boys just us as jungle-gyms while we are trying to do our exercises. We are all enjoying the healthier glow of our household!!
We have been through hell and back. The war is not over but the battlefield is so much gentler. This kinder world is letting us wage our own important battle on stress. So we are attacking the stress from both the physical and mental side. We are living life again (cautiously and with a lot of sanitizer). We are completely off-beat but at least getting back to in-sync.
💓Rebecca Louis 💓
7 minute work out – https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/the-scientific-7-minute-workout/?_r=0
7 minute is simple, quick and really tones and conditions.