Husband - Harry’s story
My wife Hannah and I met seven years ago. The first few years that we were together, it was a gradual process of learning what support Hannah needed. It is an adjustment that you have to make when someone is physically unable to do things that you would take for granted, like walking a short distance from A to B. It is not just about coming to terms with, but becoming You have to become accustomed to what someone else can do, and adapting your own lifestyle to that as well.
Hannah is the ideas person in our relationship, the one coming up with plans, things we can do. She is the instigator of a lot of the things we do together like travelling. We always have a trip that we are planning.
I do lots of everyday chores around the house, like cooking and laundry, that physically are too much for Hannah, which I don’t mind doing, in the least bit. Also, I don’t want to make Hannah feel like her needs are a burden on me, when they are not. I know that she does want to do those things – she wants to put work in, and contribute as well.
Together we identify things Hannah can do that aren’t physically demanding but play to her strengths. So I try to give Hannah opportunities which I know she is capable of. However, I am not trying to put any pressure on her to do things that she can’t. It’s a balancing act.
As long as you are pushing to do what you want to do, there is happiness and there are proud parents, and a good outcome out of everything that has been thrown at you.
Try to understand how they feel
Harry: Just be patient. You have to try to understand the person’s condition and the way it makes them feel, not just physically but emotionally as well. Have empathy with them.