30 Days of MD: Interdependence Enhances Our Marriage

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by BNS Staff |

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Photo courtesy of Viola Dwyer

Day 5 of 30

This is Viola Dwyer’s story:

It’s taken me five years of marriage to realize that ours is not like an average person’s marriage. I have spinal muscular atrophy type 2, and my husband, Dan, has a traumatic brain injury that has affected his speech and coordination. I give credit to a lifelong friend who introduced me to him nine years ago.

Dan and I practice, day in and day out, the “art of interdependence.” We rely on each other for various parts of our care. We cannot fulfill all of our care needs for the other, but we do for each other what we are able to do.

This interdependence has only deepened our relationship and motivated us to start a YouTube channel called The Ginchiest, which shares our life experiences with the world. We love to explore our local neighborhood or a country halfway around the world. Because we’ve lived with our disabilities for most of our lives, we understand intimately the frustrations and surprising lessons they have taught us. We understand the pain that comes from being misunderstood, whether that be literally or figuratively, and we possess a greater empathy for others and ourselves.

The truth is no one is truly independent. We’re all interdependent even though society would love to live in denial of this fact. Our interdependence is more blatant than that of the average married couple, but I love the depth that it brings to our marriage. Dan understands me and I understand him, and that is the basis of true love.

Muscular Dystrophy News’ 30 Days of MD campaign will publish one story per day for MD Awareness Month in September. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #30DaysofMD, or read the full series.