In Sickness as In Health Cover image

What happens when illness strikes?

When you fell in love, what were you thinking? Perhaps you weren’t thinking very much at all, because you were swept away by passion, romance, chemistry, and the promise of a joyful future with your loved one by your side. You and your partner may have pledged privately, or in front of witnesses, to love and honor each other “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.” In all likelihood, however, neither of you gave much thought to the “for worse” or “in sickness” parts of that loving contract. And who could blame you? When you’re in love and in life, why imagine darker possibilities?

When one of you gets sick or injured, two lives are dislocated.

However, things do not always go as we plan. One day, amid the comforting chaos of daily life, something may happen—or perhaps something has already happened: A frightening diagnosis, a sudden injury, or the unexpected deterioration of a chronic condition. Your world falls off its axis. You and your partner must adapt your relationship to this new reality:

  • How do you make space for the illness without letting the illness take over your lives?
  • Who takes care of whom now? How do you manage when your roles shift from those of equal partners to patient and caregiver?
  • How do you hold onto love -- emotionally and physically?
  • How do you deal with the maze of medical, legal, and financial decisions?
  • What about home care? Or nursing home?
  • And, most importantly, how do you find comfort and hope?

In Sickness As In Health is a guide for couples living at the intersection of illness, love, and obligation

Authors, Barbara Kivowitz and Roanne Weisman

Barbara Kivowitz (left) and Roanne Weisman.
Photo credit: Michael Krigsman

You will meet:

  • Couples who share their stories of living with illness
  • Experts who offer advice about how to cope well

In Sickness As In Health will help you find yourselves again and grow stronger, individually and as a couple. As one expert told us, “There is no false hope. There is only hope.” And in that hope you will find help, and even healing.