Dear Future Wife of a Man with Cerebral Palsy

Dear Future Wife of a Man with Cerebral Palsy

Last week I wrote a column directed to husbands with wives who have cerebral palsy. This week I want to switch the roles and address wives with husbands who have cerebral palsy. Even though I’m not a man, I have dated men with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. I’m also a wife, so I hope I have an idea of what a man would like his wife to understand.

Dear Future Wife of a Man With Cerebral Palsy:

I want to congratulate you on finding your Mr. Right. I hope he’s the one you are in love with, can make you laugh, trust and have common goals. I hope you have a great marriage, but I’d like to offer you some advice pertaining to cerebral palsy in your marriage. No, cerebral palsy shouldn’t be the main focus, but cerebral palsy is very much real.

I have a hunch that when you became interested in your future husband you did plenty of research on his disability. I’m happy because knowledge is power, but it can be overwhelming and sometimes misleading. For example, I just Googled “husbands with disabilities ” to research this column. To my dismay, I found only doom and gloom, and even wives justifying cheating on their husbands because of having a disability. No, no, no!

I’m here to tell you that marrying someone who has a disability is just as awesome as marrying a guy without one. However, if he has a disability, he also will bring to the table terrific problem-solving skills, success stories, a desire to help you because he might need help, too, from time to time, or daily. He will love you the same way any man would. Marrying a man with a disability isn’t tragic. It’s called life, and we all have unique challenges; disability is just one.

Cerebral palsy is a disability that can be extremely frustrating because your muscles make decisions for you. The amazing part is that people who have cerebral palsy do a tremendous job in compensating limitations and figuring out how to do what we want to do. By now, your husband-to-be knows his body better than anyone. He knows what to do, and he knows what and how he needs help. The last thing he wants is someone to tell him he’s wrong, or tell him how to handle his disability. He needs you to listen to what he’s telling you.

A common theme with talking to husbands who have disabilities is this: They are looking for a wife, friend and lover. They aren’t looking for a mother, nurse or therapist. Yes, the husband might need assistance, but that’s not why he is marrying you. He needs you to be yourself and everything else falls into place.

Like women, men with cerebral palsy also want their independence. If they can do something, even if it takes a bit longer, give them the time. Men like to be needed and a contributor to the family. If you have children, let him take care of them to the best of his abilities. Work as a team together to discover the right balance.

Arguments will happen, but do it with respect and dignity. Never use his disability against him. If you do, that is just not appropriate or respectful. A disability is nothing he has control over and isn’t his fault.

Your future husband wants the person he fell in love with. He wants to be loved and give love. He wants to be treated with respect, dignity and love. You already fell in love with him — cerebral palsy and all — so just continue communicating, having fun and obtaining goals.


  1. Abby says:

    This is just what I wanted to see, I have a boyfriend who has cerebral palsy & we’ve been dating for a year. I fell in love with him over and over & I admit our past arguments were lacking of respect but we always find to fix things & stay together. I hope I get used to everything about him which already am. I hope myself will be more patient & understanding.

  2. Erica says:

    I truly thank you with all my heart for writing this letter. I have married the love of my life who has cerebral palsy and it both been a beautiful and rough journey. We have been together for almost 2 yrs (married a few months) and like the young lady who previously commented above, I also fall in love with over and over again. He has taught me great lessons about life and living with a disability especially the moral lesson of living lofe in spite of the odds. Only thing I struggle with his constant attitude and his inability to treat me with more respect and a benefit of a doubt jist as I do always for him. Hpw can I deal woth thw constant mood changes he has without disrespecting him or treating the situation unfairly.


  3. Lia says:

    This was very reassuring to read and I’m so glad I found this article. My boyfriend has a milder version of CP effecting his balance and sometimes fine motor skills. I love him and continue to fall for him over and over again. After being together for a while now, I see a life with him. My issue is focused on my family supporting my choice to be with him. Is there anything I can do since they believe it’s too much for me, even though I love him?
    Thank you

  4. kathleen kurtz says:

    I just wanted to say first and foremost, all of you ladies are extremely special and loving.
    My fiancé also has cerebral palsy and he is a very strong and independent person. He doesn’t want me to be his mommy or nurse, but his wife.
    It is a new adventure for both of us in many ways. I have to try to understand his disability, so there is a lot of questions. He has to adjust having someone in his life that is wanting to be around for it all and never leave.
    I saw this article and it gave me some hope.

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