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a family that survived a lot

My husband and I, like so many other couples before us, stood at the altar in our wedding gowns a few months ago, full of delight, and pledged to love each other forever “in sickness and in health, to be true to one another in good times and bad.” In those wonderful moments, it felt easy to keep my vow and stand by and love my husband no matter what life threw at us. My husband and I, on the other hand, have no idea how illness and the challenges that come with it can jeopardize our wedding vows. We have no more control over illness than we do over a natural disaster, but even in the face of the most destructive storm, we are encouraged to dig in and deepen our love. In many ways, we can’t prepare for the unexpected, but we can learn from more experienced couples and draw strength from their bravery and love when their vows are tested. Five wonderful married women have decided to share their hard-won wisdom with Verily after caring for their suffering spouses and seeing their marriages through illness, years in the hospital, and chemo treatment. I was interested in learning more. “In the face of adversity, how has your marriage become stronger?” This is what they had to say about it. When I asked these women about their marriages during times of sickness, I expected to hear a lot about major duties like managing all of the finances, household details, and doctor’s appointments. While these ladies did all of these things, they all said that the most important thing was their presence and support during their husbands’ illnesses.

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