Why I Married Someone In A Wheelchair
Today, I share an article from a very handsome guest blogger. Yes, my amazing husband felt compelled to write this article for you. I’m so fortunate to have this man in my life!
Written by Doug Michaels:
Believe it or not there have been some individuals who have expressed surprise that I could be happily married to a woman in a wheelchair. My first inclination is to be upset at their ignorance. But I now realize that by helping others know more about how my relationship with my wife came about, they might gain valuable insight into their own relationships and the challenges every couple must face.
Now, if you are not familiar with how Tasha and I met, let me just give you the abbreviated version. In late 2011 I had half-heartedly placed a profile up on ChristianMingle. God led me to tlovely99’s profile on December 20. Tasha’s beauty captivated me; her honesty captured me. There were two things she brought out in her profile that revealed her heart: the fact that she was in a wheelchair, and she loved God and desired someone who felt the same. I was so impressed that she didn’t hide her injury or faith. She was the only one I sent a “smile” to during my evening search.
Over the months and now years that have followed, there have been some who have wondered why I would initiate a relationship with someone in a wheelchair. Honestly I never gave much thought initially to what it would be like to date someone in a wheelchair, as I had never before considered that scenario. Being 36 years old I’d like to think that I was a bit more mature than 10 years prior. I had been through several failed relationships and attempts at dating, so my main concern was more about being hurt or disappointed again. Just like any other couple early in their relationship, when Tasha and I connected and began to email, I tried to find out as much about her as I could. During our early phone conversations I asked questions, a few at a time usually. Not personally knowing anyone in a wheelchair I wasn’t sure how much I should ask, and if there were any questions just too taboo to ponder at this stage. I quickly discovered, however, that Tasha was an open book when it came to revealing information.
While some of my questions naturally revolved around her accident and wheelchair, other questions were not unlike those anyone would ask when embarking on a new relationship, including desires, hopes and dreams for the future. From my perspective, our dating and subsequent relationship did not hinge on her answers; we were just getting to know each other.
After over a month of emails and phone calls, we decided to meet in person. I’d be lying if I said how others might view us as a couple didn’t initially cross my mind. Heck, I used to wonder what people thought of some of my outfits, or shoes, or hairstyle. After being on television for a decade, however, I had reached a certain level of immunity when it came to caring what other people thought. Over the years I had been ridiculed a number of times for my chosen profession, as well as rebuked for some decisions that I had made; I had developed a thicker skin because of it. All I knew was that nothing was going to stop me from having a great first date with Tasha.
The fact that we got along so well over the computer and phone encouraged me, and really removed any sense of nervousness that I had. Tasha arrived late – nearly 15 minutes – for a fleeting moment I wondering if I might be stood up! But it didn’t seem like her nature to do that, so I was confident that she’d show. Admittedly I had been through a number of first dates over the years so I wasn’t about to drive my expectations through the roof. I simply wanted to have fun. Within 15 minutes of her arrival any sign of tenseness for either of us had vanished. Quality conversation, great hot chocolate (we met at Caribou coffee), and tasty pizza with this stunning beauty were the highlights of our date. She even gave me a lift over to the pizza place, showing me how she drives. It was a perfect, pressure-free date. Future dates continued to go well and we had so much fun together, any lingering fears that I had were gone.
So for those who are still wondering about Tasha’s wheelchair and how it affects our relationship, I would like to share what her wheelchair signifies to me… A mode of transportation (and at times when I’m lugging three pieces of luggage at the airport, an enviable mode of transportation). That’s it. Tasha’s wheelchair doesn’t make her any less of a woman. Yes, there are a few things she isn’t able to do, but she is so stunningly gorgeous that I’ve never noticed anything different about her. Her eyes are breathtaking, her heart is huge, and her personality is delightful. Would carrying out some tasks take a little more effort or planning? Yes. Was I going to let that dictate a future with this lady? No.
I’m thankful that God has opened my eyes to many things in these past four years of journeying with Him; one of those things is to not let other’s reactions dictate my relationship with my wife. Whenever I was curious about something, I asked. This actually prevented fear from setting in. I knew that it would be a learning process as we went and I wouldn’t know all the answers right away, but it has been fun to grow together. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing!