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Cerebral Palsy Message Board

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I am married to an incredibly handsome, wonderful man with spastic quadriplegia. He's charming, intelligent, and witty. When I first told my parents we were getting married, my mom was scared (and ignorant--she never listened to my explanations about CP). My dad was pretty comfortable because he had already met Patrick and liked him. Patrick's personality won out, and now my mom adores him, too (didn't take her too long to like him, either!). My sister thinks we're sweet together, my brother-in-law is ignorant, but we don't get along with him to begin with anyway. The rest of the family, even my somewhat picky and old-fashioned grandmother, eventually came to really love Patrick. Before my grandmother died, she made it clear to Patrick that she loved him and accepted him, and he viewed her as his own grandmother--just like one of the family.

I know not everyone is lucky enough to have a loving family like mine is, but my advice is to let people get to know your sweetheart and personality wins over. Anybody who isn't swayed by a loving personality and can't see why you fell in love is someone who is not worth your time and effort, very honestly. :)

Everyone I know loves Patrick. I have been a support to him by building him up to others; he has helped me overcome my own shyness an insecurities (I am non-disabled).

A few things about marrying someone with a disability, from my own experience:

1. The disabled person will most likely lose any gov't benefits. Patrick lost everything--Medicaid, Medicare, etc. thanks to my "high-paying" teaching job. It is contingent on how much money you earn, not whether or not you have health insurance. Patrick and I were extremely lucky that I have such good insurance.

2. You will get stupid stares and face ignorance. We both get them. I like to kiss Patrick whenever nosy people stare at us. It usually makes them turn away. :)

3. People have actually thought I was my husband's mother, and I'm 31/he's 30!!! Do I LOOK like I'm old enough to be his mom??? Ugh!

4. Love is worth FAR MORE than public reactions. Yes, you'll deal with ignorance. Far too many people will also go, "Aw! You're a saint for marrying someone with CP." That really ticks me off, too, because I gain just as much from marriage as Patrick does! The next time someone says that, I'm going to tell them, "Yeah, the sex is great." :)

Good luck! I hope all works out for you! It would be really neat to know another married couple where someone has CP! :)


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