For Better Or For Worse: The Real Story

By YourTango

For Better Or For Worse: The Real Story
An author talks about caring for her brain-damaged husband.

You say you don't think it's a sacrifice, but you are sacrificing what you like and would rather do. Would you say on the ultimate level, it is a sacrifice?
I can't use the word sacrifice, since I don’t think I'm giving up anything of myself. I know he would do it if the situation were reversed. Scott is completely dependant on me, which means that I'm dependant on him, because if he needs me I can't be elsewhere. It’s a mutual dependency. Caring for somebody disabled is an interference with the life you might have if you weren’t a caregiver, and sometimes if feels like a burden, but that's not a sacrifice.

What did you learn from writing your story?
There is nothing so wonderful as a really deep long term commitment. I've been married three times. I've had many, many affairs. I've embraced the sexual revolution and the feminist revolution. But permanent deep love is one of the best things there is. My book is a story about embracing what is, not what could be not what was, not what might be, but what is. Anything else is kind of a waste of time. Regret is a waste. Feeling sorry for yourself is an interruption of a nicely flowing life. So the big lesson I learned is that it is possible to embrace what is.


For more from Alix Kates Shulman, check out Tango's video interview: True Love, Caring for My Sick Husband.

Click here to purchase Shulman's book, To Love What Is: A Marriage Transformed.