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Letter to My Spouse/Partner

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Dear ___________:

First, let me thank you for sticking with me, on good days and bad. There are days when I think that you would be better off if you left me, but I pray that you won't.

Chances are, when we met me I was fairly young and healthy. I am sure you envisioned our life together much differently than the one we are living today.

I feel a constant need to apologize for the turn our life has taken, while knowing I have nothing to apologize for. I did not seek out this disease, it sought me out, then it saw fit to take over my life without asking. In doing so, it took over your life as well.

I want to thank you for living on take-out pizza and re-heated left overs, without complaining.

I want to thank you for wearing a twenty year old t-shirt that should have been turned into a rag years ago, because I was unable to help with the laundry.

I want to thank you for the countless hours you have spent in waiting rooms as I endured yet another doctor visit or lab test.

I need you to understand that on days that I am sitting in a comfortable chair, wrapped in a heat pack, I am not feeling pampered, nor am I enjoying it. I am hating every minute of it!

If I sound crabby or snap at you it is because I feel helpless, depressed and angry over the fact that I am sitting in a chair, watching you take up the slack and do tasks that I should be helping with.

If I snap it is because I have a lump in my stomach and my clenched jaws ache as I watch you put away clean dishes, drive the kids to a play date or vacuum the house. As you go about your day I watch and experience guilt, shame, anger and depression. I agonize over the fact that I may not be able to make enough money to help the family.

My mind is healthy and filled with the things I want to do, the way I want to live my life with you. My body dictates what I am able to do and the two constantly battle for domination.

I thank you for putting up with my mood swings as I deal with these feelings.

I think the worst thing to deal with at times is when I crush your hopes.Those days when we have planned an outing with friends or family. I can tell you are looking forward to the interaction with other people as a couple. Then the pain sets in, or a headache forms, or my legs won't work. I have to tell you, once again, that I am unable to attend the function. I watch you put on a brave face and say things like, "thats ok, you come first."

Knowing that this is the tenth time I had to cancel a social obligation in a year I am crushed and depressed.

I need you to know that I am aware of the sacrifices you make for me, for us. You have been dealt a hand you did not bargain for. Many people would run screaming into the night and never looking back.

 I want to thank you for being there for me. My biggest hope is for a cure so that we can live our lives as they were meant to be lived. Until then, know that I love you and appreciate you.

Love _______

(This letter was written as a birthday gift to my husband of twenty-five years. After I printed it off I thought that other may want something like this to share with a loved one in their own life. Please feel free to print this and change the wording to suit your own relationship.)

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