The following words came from Dr. Phil’s mouth in a recent episode, and they have stuck with me ever since.
“In a relationship, you can’t be a lover and a caregiver.”
The episode focused on an interabled couple: a young woman named Harley and her boyfriend Chad, who is paraplegic. The show narrowed in on how Chad was unable to get around on his own needs 24-hour care. Dr. Phil shared his opinion on the relationship, saying that Chad’s girlfriend can’t be a lover and a caregiver. He even went further into his ableism, stating that 100 out of 100 times, a relationship will not work if your partner is also your caregiver.
Well, with all due respect, I think you are incorrect, Dr. Phil!
If someone is paraplegic and their partner wants to look after them, who is Dr. Phil to say that they can’t? Who is he to say that 100 out of 100 times, the relationship will not last if your partner is your caregiver? I don’t believe in that “statistic.”
To top it all off, Chad’s girlfriend seemed to agree with Dr. Phil’s statements, which also rubbed me the wrong way.
I am not saying that interabled couples don’t face unusual challenges. Of course, it can be difficult to be a lover and a caregiver. However, the couple should learn and grow together, overcoming the barriers they face.
I believe in love. If you truly love someone and plan to build a future with them then you should be able to look past the flaws that person may have.
I should note that I am not saying that being a paraplegic is a flaw! What I mean is that everyone faces challenges in their relationships. Some obstacles may be more challenging than others, but in every relationship, there is going to be something, and if your partner can’t accept your difficulties, then it’s time to move on. For instance, this young man’s girlfriend agreed with Dr. Phil that she was the “caregiver.” I think she was playing the “caregiver” card as a way to get out of the relationship. But, if she truly loved her boyfriend, she would have stuck up for him and their relationship. Instead, she continued to agree with Dr.Phil’s critical feedback.
I want you to know that
Photo by Max Rovensky on Unsplash