“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:15-17 NIV
I was surprised when Debbie asked me at dinner while she was visiting if I could write a blog about being a husband with a wife who has TS (Turners Syndrome). I never thought that anyone would want to know my opinion, but the dinner conversation proved otherwise. Everyone at the table stopped and listened to what I was about to say.
In my mind, there isn’t a difference between being married to a TS woman versus a non-TS woman. Being married is being married. Anyone who currently is married, or has been, knows what I mean. It’s a choice that each person makes every day. I choose to be married to my wife, and the fact that she has TS makes no difference to me.
Admittedly however, there are some things that I have to deal with that might not be evident in other non-TS marriages. The main issue that underlies everything is that of self-image and self-esteem. Turners Syndrome is sometimes characterized by physical traits which make the TS woman unique. This uniqueness is usually played out as being different in our materialistic and ‘looks’ oriented world. Due to this fact, many TS women view themselves with this same worldly view, and subsequently, have a poor self-image. This poor self-image can manifest into low self-esteem and even depression. A husband has to know this going into the relationship, and be there for his wife. Words of encouragement cannot be used enough. Being there to help cope, listen to, and be a shoulder to cry on is a must and a husband of a TS woman has to be ready for it.
Another hurdle of a TS husband is the inability of your spouse to bear children. Again, in the end this falls back to the self-image issue. Due to the fact that my wife can’t give birth to our child, she feels inadequate as a wife, and even felt it necessary to apologize for not being able to give me a child. This again is a worldly view, and one that’s ingrained into women from a very young age: you’re defined in this world by being a mother. Don’t get me wrong here; I’m not trying to downplay the biological clock that is inside every woman. As far as my role, I had to be OK with potentially not being a father, and not passing on my name via blood; a man’s version of the biological clock. But again, if I wanted to be with my wife, this was a hurdle that had to be jumped. In the end, it was easy to hurdle, after I got over my own selfishness. I realized that I’d give up anything to be with my wife, including natural-born children.
I like TUSSUS’ motto for husbands; “Silent Strength”. It sums up quaintly what it means to be a husband, especially one whose wife has TS.
Vinnie, Husband to Emily
Fort Wayne, IN
Vinnie and Emily Markowski at Barnes and Noble for Debbie’ book signing in Fort Wayne, IN.