Could you date or even marry someone with a disability?

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toinena

Senior Member
Mar 10, 2017
2,044
340
83
#1
In my mind my disability is the biggest obstacle for me when talking about dating. My body is not deformed, but my muscles are getting weaker. I still walk some, but need a electrical wheelchair to get around to do my things. And my dog. And some help at home, too. From being active in playing, walking, dancing, skiing I have become overweight due to that I can't move around as I used to. So I blame my Muscular Dystrophy for both making me unattractive and fat. I hate my MD and I hate my body. But still I long for someone to love and being loved. It is a natural thing to long for, but can I actually blame anyone for not falling for me? Would I my self fall for someone with a disability? One said to me he would be a pervert if he would fancy a woman like me. Those words have been stuck with me for years.

I have had a crush on a man with a disability. It was fine that the man was sitting in a wheelchair. But it didn't lead to anything. Was it because we both knew we rather wanted an able bodied person? I am not sure. Perhaps it was because we both were uncomfortable with our bodies and abilities.

And what is a disability, anyway? Brain injuries, mental issues, traumatic past experiences, light autism, ADHD, illnesses of many kinds. Who is the most disabled one? The one sitting in a wheelchair, or the person having a less visible one?

For me a disability wouldn't ruin the fact that a person is Godly, kind, clever, patient, not abusive, non smoker and a fun person to be with, and if we both have feeling for each other, why shouldn't we date or even marry?
 

Lighthearted

Senior Member
Oct 17, 2016
1,013
68
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#2
I know what you're talking about. ??????
 

Stranger36147

Senior Member
Jun 13, 2015
695
41
28
#3
I think if I said no, I would be a hypocrite because I would hope someone would be with me even though I am somewhat disabled myself.

I wear a prosthesis because I was born with only half a leg. I also have difficulty learning or understanding certain things and I have a speech impediment.

A lot of people want to keep their distance from me because I make them uncomfortable with how "different" I am.

Despite my issues, maybe I could find someone who loves me with all my faults or just looks past all those things.
 

Ugly

Senior Member
Apr 19, 2011
20,526
523
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#4
I wouldn't give a flat no, but I find it unlikely. With myself having various health issues being with someone else experiencing disabilities seems daunting and worrying to me.
I don't find it hypocritical because I am considering the needs of each of us and how well, or poorly, those needs can each be met with the given shortcomings.

Also knowing yourself and how you handle things matters. I have long suffered depression. The depression allows me to frustrate easily at times. If I frequently became frustrated dealing with another's disabilities that would be no benefit to either of us.

I think knowing what the disability was, how we would each be affected and how well I would or would not be at dealing with it all factors in. Not to mention they would have to draw the same conclusions.
Because of so many variables and potential issues I likely would avoid it.
When I was healthier I thought about it. I bounced back and forth on the subject. But much of that was, again, due to my personality and less about having a problem with someone with disabilities. I guess I was ok with the idea, but not confident I would do well handling it.
 

Lighthearted

Senior Member
Oct 17, 2016
1,013
68
48
#5
Galatians 6:2 bear one another's burdens and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
Yes, I would.
It's not about me. It's about Him. I must decrease, He must increase.
 
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Tinuviel

Senior Member
Jun 6, 2015
4,760
257
83
#6
I personally would find it very difficult. Not so much because I don't think I could handle it, but because I myself have been most revoltingly healthy all my life, and I feel like I am constantly hurting those who are more disabled than I am. I just don't understand, and half the time I don't even think about what I'm saying. So in that way...I just don't know.
 

toinena

Senior Member
Mar 10, 2017
2,044
340
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#7
In one way I admit it is an unfair question. You don't really now before you are in the situation of falling for someone. I had the same thing with violinists (I repeat myself), bearded and colored men. But I have found myself falling for persons I never would have thought of falling for.

I appreciate your honesty, though. It is never the first choice to fall for a disabled. I was hanging out with someone and he believed strongly I was going to be healed. We prayed for it together, and it felt like God was in it. I felt a warmth in my legs, they even moved on their own or by God in ways I am not able to do by myself. Anyway. I didn't get healed. He lost his patience and left. Clearly he couldn't love me the way I am, but he might have loved me if God healed me. Who knows?

I guess I wanted to provoke people to think with this thread. How tolerant and open minded are we really? Would you say no thanks to God if he lead a disabled person your way? There are many threads here in the singles' where people state what they look for in a future spouse. And most of the bullet points don't exclude people with disabilities. But still... I wonder. How deep runs our tolerance, really?
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
4,870
395
83
#8
Toinena, thanks for the thought-provoking question! :)

Some thoughts that come to mind, not fully processed yet...

For me personally, it would depend on the woman as an individual, her character and walk with God, and the particular disability. Would her disability be an immediate hindrance to me? Would I have to change my lifestyle radically to adapt? Does she require significant extra care that I would have to shoulder? Is it something I could "get past"? Would she encourage me to do some things I enjoy that she simply cannot do?

Most men I know are wired as providers and protectors. That's God-given, but can be corrupted into a rescuer or "hero" complex, wherein a man seeks to derive self-worth or validation from "rescuing" and caring for those he perceives as less able. That isn't romantic love, but a warped form of idolatry, and it usually fails when the crisis (or initial 'honeymoon') is over. It's something I need to be cautious about, as I see that vulnerability in myself.
 
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PennEd

Senior Member
Apr 22, 2013
4,898
415
83
#9
In my mind my disability is the biggest obstacle for me when talking about dating. My body is not deformed, but my muscles are getting weaker. I still walk some, but need a electrical wheelchair to get around to do my things. And my dog. And some help at home, too. From being active in playing, walking, dancing, skiing I have become overweight due to that I can't move around as I used to. So I blame my Muscular Dystrophy for both making me unattractive and fat. I hate my MD and I hate my body. But still I long for someone to love and being loved. It is a natural thing to long for, but can I actually blame anyone for not falling for me? Would I my self fall for someone with a disability? One said to me he would be a pervert if he would fancy a woman like me. Those words have been stuck with me for years.

I have had a crush on a man with a disability. It was fine that the man was sitting in a wheelchair. But it didn't lead to anything. Was it because we both knew we rather wanted an able bodied person? I am not sure. Perhaps it was because we both were uncomfortable with our bodies and abilities.

And what is a disability, anyway? Brain injuries, mental issues, traumatic past experiences, light autism, ADHD, illnesses of many kinds. Who is the most disabled one? The one sitting in a wheelchair, or the person having a less visible one?

For me a disability wouldn't ruin the fact that a person is Godly, kind, clever, patient, not abusive, non smoker and a fun person to be with, and if we both have feeling for each other, why shouldn't we date or even marry?
I am so terribly sorry you had to hear those hurtful words, and am incredibly impressed with the grace in which you handle not only words like that, but your disability as whole. Your heart is truly beautiful, and you give so much of it to us here. Thank You!

Holy Father, please uplift Your Beautiful daughter in mind and Spirit. You know her needs and wishes before she even thinks them. Put in her life people that are worthy of her. In Jesus Name I pray.
 

toinena

Senior Member
Mar 10, 2017
2,044
340
83
#10
Toinena, thanks for the thought-provoking question! :)

Some thoughts that come to mind, not fully processed yet...

For me personally, it would depend on the woman as an individual, her character and walk with God, and the particular disability. Would her disability be an immediate hindrance to me? Would I have to change my lifestyle radically to adapt? Does she require significant extra care that I would have to shoulder? Is it something I could "get past"? Would she encourage me to do some things I enjoy that she simply cannot do?

Most men I know are wired as providers and protectors. That's God-given, but can be corrupted into a rescuer or "hero" complex, wherein a man seeks to derive self-worth or validation from "rescuing" and caring for those he perceives as less able. That isn't romantic love, but a warped form of idolatry, and it usually fails when the crisis (or initial 'honeymoon') is over. It's something I need to be cautious about, as I see that vulnerability in myself.
Your answer made me think, too.

Because the fact is I need help. But I don't think I would like the husband being a carer for me more than what is expected in any other marriage. And as a provider, well. I make a decent income myself, so I guess that is not necessary, but I think it would be good for the balance in the marriage if the husband did earn more than me and should of course be the head of the household.

I live in a welfare state, and I get the care i need from the authorities so that I can live an active and quite normal life. I like to do things myself, and I like doing things, like cooking or knitting, for others. I might be disabled, but I am quite capable at the things I do manage. I wouldn't rely or demand from a spouse to be my caretaker. That would be a strain to any marriage. Both for the able bodied and for the disabled.

I wouldn't like to be in a relation where I am loved because I can be cared for. That would easily lead to abuse and control. On the other hand, it is good to have the privacy and not having outside persons in the house 24/7, so I guess it is a balance here. And I will never need 24/7 care, anyway. Or at least I pray that it will never come so far.

I guess I would like, like all people, to be seen and loved for the person I am. For my intellect, my faith, my love in Christ, my humor, my personality. The disability shouldn't define me. And perhaps true love can bare over with the fact that I am in this body.
 

toinena

Senior Member
Mar 10, 2017
2,044
340
83
#11
I am so terribly sorry you had to hear those hurtful words, and am incredibly impressed with the grace in which you handle not only words like that, but your disability as whole. Your heart is truly beautiful, and you give so much of it to us here. Thank You!

Holy Father, please uplift Your Beautiful daughter in mind and Spirit. You know her needs and wishes before she even thinks them. Put in her life people that are worthy of her. In Jesus Name I pray.
You really touched my heart and I am all tears. Thank you for your kind words and prayer. It is truly appreciated.
 
Y

Yahweh_is_gracious

Guest
#12
I don't think I could do it.

Having to take on the responsibilities that I have over the last 5 years, I've seen the glaring flaws in my character as a care-giver. Daily I have to spend a lot of energy just trying to keep a grip on myself, and to exacerbate it with additional responsibilities caring for another person's basic needs is just asking too much of me most days.
 

Magenta

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2015
23,391
1,335
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#13
I dated a man in a wheelchair, who was convinced his disability would be too much of a burden for me, and probably anyone... despite how much I cared about him. I think he had resigned himself to being alone for the rest of his life, which was kind of sad, but then, maybe he knew better than I did, for he had lived with his paraplegia for decades. Just thinking about it now I remember him telling me his disability was caused from an automobile accident while he was hitch-hiking. It brings a smile to my face to remember him :) He was quite a nice guy... and a very good singer :D
 

Magenta

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2015
23,391
1,335
113
#14
“Deny your weakness, and you will never realize God's strength in you.”

Do you ever listen to Joni Eariksen Tada?

“Sometimes God allows what he hates to accomplish what he loves.”

“Heartache forces us to embrace God out of desperate, urgent need. God is never closer than when your heart is aching.”

“There is nothing that moves a loving father's soul quite like his child's cry.”

“...we will stand amazed to see the topside of the tapestry and how God beautifully embroidered each circumstance into a pattern for our good and His glory.”

“He has chosen not to heal me, but to hold me. The more intense the pain, the closer His embrace.”

“Maybe the truly handicapped people are the ones that don't need God as much.”

“Contentment ... has an internal quietness of heart that gladly submits to God in all circumstances.”

“The Psalms wrap nouns and verbs around our pain better than any other book.”

“Jesus went without comfort so that you might have it. He postponed joy so that you might share in it. He willingly chose isolation so that you might never be alone in your hurt and sorrow. He had no real fellowship so that fellowship might be yours, this moment. This alone is enough cause for great gratitude!”

“Suffering provides the gym equipment on which my faith can be exercised.”

“Only God is capable of telling us what our rights and needs are. You have to surrender that right to Him.”

“Here at our ministry we refuse to present a picture of “gentle Jesus, meek and mild,” a portrait that tugs at your sentiments or pulls at your heartstrings. That’s because we deal with so many people who suffer, and when you’re hurting hard, you’re neither helped nor inspired by a syrupy picture of the Lord, like those sugary, sentimental images many of us grew up with. You know what I mean? Jesus with His hair parted down the middle, surrounded by cherubic children and bluebirds. Come on. Admit it: When your heart is being wrung out like a sponge, when you feel like Morton’s salt is being poured into your wounded soul, you don’t want a thin, pale, emotional Jesus who relates only to lambs and birds and babies. You want a warrior Jesus. You want a battlefield Jesus. You want his rigorous and robust gospel to command your sensibilities to stand at attention. To be honest, many of the sentimental hymns and gospel songs of our heritage don’t do much to hone that image. One of the favorite words of hymn writers in days gone by was sweet. It’s a term that down’t have the edge on it that it once did. When you’re in a dark place, when lions surround you, when you need strong help to rescue you from impossibility, you don’t want “sweet.” You don’t want faded pastels and honeyed softness. You want mighty. You want the strong arm an unshakable grip of God who will not let you go — no matter what.”
 

maxwel

Senior Member
Apr 18, 2013
7,411
522
113
#15
I think the problem with this question is the question itself.

God knows what he's doing, and God knows what he has planned for YOU.
If you have a disability, it doesn't matter how most people feel, and it doesn't matter what most people would do.
The only thing that matters is what God has planned for you.
If God wants you to have a spouse, well, is he capable of providing that, and preparing a person's heart?
Of course.

I'm not disabled, not unless you consider my personality, lol.
But we're all sinners, and it's a miracle when God allows ANY of us to marry.

I never worry about finding "that special someone";
I only worry about being a good enough person for her when I meet her.

I just worry about working on me.
 

G00WZ

Senior Member
May 16, 2014
620
29
28
#16
I would say for me, i could depending on the person, anyone who ever existed had some type of malfunction. I remember a long time ago when i was in school still, i liked this one girl who had cancer and she would always come to school with literally different hat every day, sometimes she would just take it off, no shame or anything.. She embraced her baldness, and that was one of the many qualities i liked about her. If she had been overly self conscious over her flaws i probably
wouldn't have been interested.
 
A

Amazing-Grace

Guest
#17
What is more important, a physical disability or someone who doesn't know God which is a bigger disability in my view.
 

toinena

Senior Member
Mar 10, 2017
2,044
340
83
#18
I think the problem with this question is the question itself.

God knows what he's doing, and God knows what he has planned for YOU.
If you have a disability, it doesn't matter how most people feel, and it doesn't matter what most people would do.
The only thing that matters is what God has planned for you.
If God wants you to have a spouse, well, is he capable of providing that, and preparing a person's heart?
Of course.

I'm not disabled, not unless you consider my personality, lol.
But we're all sinners, and it's a miracle when God allows ANY of us to marry.

I never worry about finding "that special someone";
I only worry about being a good enough person for her when I meet her.

I just worry about working on me.
On a certain level I agree. I know God will give me the ability to do the work He has planned for me. And I know He can provide for me with a husband if that is needed. And I do feel it is needed if we are to enter big tribulations. I think no one can cope with mayhem alone. And I can't help but feeling incomplete without a spouse. I seek God, and the more I ask Him to prepare me for a life alone, the more I see that my heart longs for a man to be by my side.
 

Magenta

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2015
23,391
1,335
113
#19


We are all a work in progress...
 

toinena

Senior Member
Mar 10, 2017
2,044
340
83
#20
“Deny your weakness, and you will never realize God's strength in you.”

Do you ever listen to Joni Eariksen Tada?

“Sometimes God allows what he hates to accomplish what he loves.”

“Heartache forces us to embrace God out of desperate, urgent need. God is never closer than when your heart is aching.”

“There is nothing that moves a loving father's soul quite like his child's cry.”

“...we will stand amazed to see the topside of the tapestry and how God beautifully embroidered each circumstance into a pattern for our good and His glory.”

“He has chosen not to heal me, but to hold me. The more intense the pain, the closer His embrace.”

“Maybe the truly handicapped people are the ones that don't need God as much.”

“Contentment ... has an internal quietness of heart that gladly submits to God in all circumstances.”

“The Psalms wrap nouns and verbs around our pain better than any other book.”

“Jesus went without comfort so that you might have it. He postponed joy so that you might share in it. He willingly chose isolation so that you might never be alone in your hurt and sorrow. He had no real fellowship so that fellowship might be yours, this moment. This alone is enough cause for great gratitude!”

“Suffering provides the gym equipment on which my faith can be exercised.”

“Only God is capable of telling us what our rights and needs are. You have to surrender that right to Him.”

“Here at our ministry we refuse to present a picture of “gentle Jesus, meek and mild,” a portrait that tugs at your sentiments or pulls at your heartstrings. That’s because we deal with so many people who suffer, and when you’re hurting hard, you’re neither helped nor inspired by a syrupy picture of the Lord, like those sugary, sentimental images many of us grew up with. You know what I mean? Jesus with His hair parted down the middle, surrounded by cherubic children and bluebirds. Come on. Admit it: When your heart is being wrung out like a sponge, when you feel like Morton’s salt is being poured into your wounded soul, you don’t want a thin, pale, emotional Jesus who relates only to lambs and birds and babies. You want a warrior Jesus. You want a battlefield Jesus. You want his rigorous and robust gospel to command your sensibilities to stand at attention. To be honest, many of the sentimental hymns and gospel songs of our heritage don’t do much to hone that image. One of the favorite words of hymn writers in days gone by was sweet. It’s a term that down’t have the edge on it that it once did. When you’re in a dark place, when lions surround you, when you need strong help to rescue you from impossibility, you don’t want “sweet.” You don’t want faded pastels and honeyed softness. You want mighty. You want the strong arm an unshakable grip of God who will not let you go — no matter what.”
I have read some of Joni Earekson Tada's books and visited her website, watched videos etc. I have somehow mixed feelings about her ministry. I know I should accept the disability and carry the cross given to me. But I do believe, and I need to believe, that this illness is not from God, and that He is more than able to heal me. And I believe He will. Perhaps it is not today or tomorrow, but at least when I come home to Him in Heaven, I will. I am afraid to belong to the disability pride movement, because I just can't be proud of the result of a fallen world which I see my illness as a result of.