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Twitter19 04-08-2010 08:29 PM

In love with someone with CP
I started volunteering to help out someone at my college who has CP, as a scribe for homework.
Well, we have been working together for about a year now, and we've both somehow completely fallen in love with each other. While it seems a bit soon now, we are even thinking about getting engaged.
However, everyone who knows has a problem with us.
Firstly because there is quite an age difference, 18 years. Also because people assume that either she's taking advantage of me (ie as a caregiver) or I'm taking advantage of her (ie because she's disabled, has a learning disability). People assume that she doesn't know what she's getting into as far as a relationship and possibly marriage are concerned because she has a learning disability. But the thing is, even though she's physically disabled and has a learning disability she's smart. A lot of people assume she isn't because she has a speech impediment. She's in college with me, and does college level work.
I don't know how to tell people that we're in a relationship without it being a big issue, because of the above perceptions. I can't help who I fell in love with, but no one seems to get that. I'm kinda hoping someone here will.
We really love each other. We've been through a lot together just over the past year and it's only made us closer.
I don't know how to make people understand. Does anyone have any suggestions?

CindyM99 04-08-2010 08:40 PM

Re: In love with someone with CP
Why does anyone else have to understand? It's not their life, it's yours. I don't care if your disabled or not, it's irrelevant, same advice still applies. I personally don't care about age difference either, if it works for both of you, great. And ITA, if she's doing college level work she knows exactly what the deal is, and I'll assume you do too.

WMCR2001 05-17-2010 05:07 PM

Re: In love with someone with CP
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! :)


sunnie1 06-18-2010 03:19 PM

Re: In love with someone with CP
Hi I love this forum as a means to communicate. I saw your posting and wanted to encourage you. I am a firm believer that age does not matter in matters of love. There is an age gap beteen my spouse and I. And I have cp. At first, those around us had unfounded concerns too. But we fell in love and took the plunge! We've let our commitment to each other do our talking for us. Those around us don't question our love any more. I encourage you two to just go for it! GOD BLESS:)

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