Do you think that having diabetes has an impact on your marriage?
Financially? Emotionally? Physically?
An article in Diabetes Care talks about a study that was performed on 50 adults ages 20-35. 37 women and 13 men were studied. Of those, 17 were single, 26 were married, and 7 were seperated or divorced. 22 spouses of the 26 married diabetic parents were also studied. Each person was given a set of 35 questions separately and asked to answer.
* 0 adults studied made a decision to stay unmarried due to their disease
* 14 of the 50 studied had decided not to have children
* Those who were diagnosed with diabetes before the age of 9 had a significantly higher rate of marriage than those who were diagnosed later.
* Those diagnosed after age 13 were most likely to choose to remain childless
What were the most surprising results of the study?
Almost everyone studied stated that diabetes played a role in their life and caused friction and financial burdens in their marriage at times. However, the surprising part was that spouses were most often the supportive ones while diabetics and their spouses disagreed as to how much of an impact the disease had on family activities and finances. The spouses often felt that it had a bigger impact on those aspects of their lives than their diabetic spouses.
Is this true?
I would have to say the findings are pretty consistent—at least for my husband and I. Diagnosed at 4 with Type 1, we have children. We also disagree on how much of an impact diabetes has on our marriage. But it's very rare that it has a major impact on our marriage. His lows or highs can be tough when I'm left to take care of children and clean up while he sleeps. I also find that particularily stressful weeks at work for him can cause him to be extra tired on the weekends. Sometimes I can get selfish and wish I was the one napping! I was up all night with the kids. Or I wish he had enough energy to spend with us. We've been away from him all week. We just want to spend time with him! Yes, it can cause me to get grouchy, but I also have to be understanding. When he gets sick it can get stressful too. I remember that one low from five years ago when he got the flu and lost too many fluids too fast and ended up in the hospital for two nights and it causes me to go into worry overdrive. He gets upset and starts calling me "Mom." These little fights can cause us to get upset at each other. Often I see that his diabetes plays a bigger role than he thinks it does. But I can't see it from his end, nor can he see it from mine. So I've got two choices: choose to let it affect our marriage, or choose to not let it affect our marriage and understand we can never step in each other's shoes so why get upset about something we'll never understand in the first place? (Although I am human and do still get upset at times).
What about you?
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