Stephanie-Arrache-familyOn April 6, 2013, I married my amazing husband. On August 13, 2013, I became paralyzed. We are still going strong and celebrating our third year anniversary. This is a shout out to him and to all amazing partners. It’s also encouragement to people out there: Good people do exist in this world!

I met my now-husband when I was 30 years old. I had just graduated from law school and was studying to take the bar. I made it clear to him that studying was the most important thing to me and he would be taking a backseat for a couple months until that horrendous test was over. He was supportive and actually told me he would break up with me if I didn’t pass, as he didn’t date losers. I’m assuming that was a bluff, but I wasn’t willing to test that theory. I passed. And then I ended up getting a job near him. It had only been about two months since we met and I was nervous he’d think I was moving too fast. He was excited that I would be moving closer.

We dated for about a year before we got engaged. We had some ups and downs, as is normal with every relationship. And there was a learning curve. I’m not the easiest person to be around: I like a ton of attention and I get hangry. He likes to be in control of situations and thinks he has advice for everyone. For example, when I moved into my apartment, I had to go to work. He stuck around to help with a few things. When I got home, my whole place was pretty much set up, including pictures and shelves hung. I was mad for about a minute but then realized it was less I had to do.

We had a long engagement: just under a year and a half. So all in all, we were together almost two and a half years before we got married. At this point in our lives, we both knew what we were looking for, but we wanted to make sure we were 100 percent compatible. Well, no one is 100 percent compatible. The way I put it: I wanted to make sure that his flaws were those I could live with and that mine were some he was willing to put up with.

Then came the paralysis. My biggest fear was always that a partner would leave me because of my medical issues. That was before I even knew that paralysis was on the table. I never thought that I would be in a wheelchair. But the hubs was there for me. For the first couple weeks, while he was on summer vacation (he’s a high school teacher) he was with me every single day. And then when he was back at work, he was there as often as he could be. I remember vividly one day when I was exhausted because I hadn’t been able to sleep the night before. When the hubs got there the next morning, he grabbed my hand and sat down next to me. I instantly fell asleep, knowing he was there to take care of me.

More than just taking care of me, he has been there in every way. He helps me in therapy, encourages me to keep trying. He pushes me to try things that would otherwise scare me. He is everything I could have ever hoped for in a partner and more! And now we have a little baby boy who I know will grow up to be just as amazing as his daddy.

So to all of you out there who are worried that they will never find a partner who will accept your medical issues, there are good people out there. Don’t give up hope. And don’t settle for mediocre, when there is excellence in the world. And to my husband, thank you for helping me, encouraging me and loving me, despite all of the challenges this crazy adventure has posed. Happy three year anniversary!