You know, dealing with a demented parent has given me a chance to reflect on the nature of relationships. I tend to pay much closer attention to the dynamics of a relationship these days: Some people I know have wonderfully nurturing relationships; others, ahem, are not so enviable. Naturally, most of us want to find that special someone, a person who will stick with us through the good times and bad, but I know a few people who really just want another warm “body” in their lives and are willing to sacrifice their own needs and desires simply to keep that person around.
But here’s the problem with getting hitched for all the wrong reasons, or at least this is what I think about—often: if the poo hits the fan, your mate may not want to play caregiver. And even if he or she does stick around through sickness, he or she may not truly be there for you in the way YOU need them.
So, here is what I propose: If you are indeed serious about walking down that aisle, this is the question you must ask yourself and your mate.
**Warning, you may not like the visual picture I am about to present.
“In the event of an illness such as cancer or dementia, and I become incapacitate, will you wipe my ass?”
This is not crude or crass. In fact, this question has already been tested in the field: A girlfriend of mine was counseling a pal about her troubled relationship and actually asked her my question. Needless to say, it gave her something to think about. And the answer to this question is tremendously telling. If you partner looks at you in complete and utter horror and says, “absolutely not,” May I suggest—and mind you, I am no relationship expert—that you reconsider saying “I do.” And if your mate says something like, “don’t worry, we’ll have a nurse take care of that.” Think again. Because unless something changes, *universal health care, universal health care,* such luxuries, like having someone wipe your bum might not be an option.
Think on these things.