Should I marry a diabetic?

That, like the decision to marry at all, has ultimately to be your own decision, as you undoubtedly well know. The probable reason for asking this is that you're concerned about the problems your potential mate's diabetes might cause in the future.

It's wise to think about these possible problems now rather than later. As diabetes teaching nurse, Diane Victor, said to a young man who was complaining about some aspect of his wife's diabetes and shirking his responsibility for helping to deal with it, "Look, you knew she was diabetic when you married her. You signed on for the duration. Shape up."

Diabetes is never problem free, as we've made clear in this blog and as you have probably already personally observed if you have a close relationship with a diabetic. Diabetes care takes time, time you would prefer to spend on more entertaining activities. Diabetes care takes money, money you would prefer to spend on other things. Diabetes can make having children more difficult, hazardous, and again more expensive than normal. And diabetes if not cared for properly and controlled, eventually can cause debilitating complications and an earlier death.

But all of this doesn't mean you should give back (or take back) the engagement ring. Marriage is full of risks. You could marry a flawless specimen bearing a doctor's certificate of perfect health and the day after your wedding he or she or even you could get in an accident that paralyzed everything south of the earlobes. We have a friend whose apparently healthy wife developed multiple sclerosis in the first year they were married.

There are no guarantees in life. When you get married, the old "for better or for worse; in sickness and in health" still holds true. Realistically considered, diabetes, if well controlled, is one of the lesser worses and healthier sicknesses, and knowing about it in advance gives you a chance to learn and prepare and adjust.

In the final analysis we believe that love conquers all. By this we don't mean the short lived romantic love that turns your mind to irrational (but delicious) mush. No, we're referring to the enduring, day to day growing love that comes from living through and living with problems together and helping each other play out whatever hands you may be dealt, trying to turn a losing game into a winning one.


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