After a series of unfortunate events, Kristen Mae — a mum-of-two from Florida — was informed that her husband had a critical medical condition. Before the diagnosis, however, she thought he was just being, well... a jerk. And that's putting it lightly.
For months, even years, her husband had stormed around the house, angry and on edge at all times. Poor Mae finally said she'd had it; she was ready to give him an ultimatum.
"Either admit you have an anger problem and get help, or I will leave you," Mae wrote in a furious letter she planned to give him, which she recalled in a post on ScaryMommy.com.
Those are pretty strong words, but Mae had a good reason to write them. For months, she had been afraid to leave her kids alone with their father, but her breaking point had come after what she called a "nuclear argument" about the garage door being left open. Apparently, her husband had a "thing" about doors being left open — and he took his frustration about it too far.
"He was yelling at both her [his own mother] and me, furious and stomping, nostrils flaring," she wrote. Mae — perhaps rightfully so — accused him of being insane.
That argument was the final argument of many that forced Mae to write her furious letter. Mae claims the two argued for years. At one point, she was scared to leave him alone with their kids.
"How had I managed to marry such an angry, volatile person?" Mae wondered. "How had I chosen this man to be the father of my children? I felt stupid for not seeing these traits before marrying him, for allowing that kind of rage into my life, into my children's lives."
But on the morning Mae planned to give him the letter, she received a text from her husband with three frightening words: "I have diabetes." He had just been to the doctor for the first time in years to get blood work done.
When Mae read the message, she immediately put the letter down, shocked. Her husband was physically fit, only 39 years old, and an average weight. He didn't fit the "profile" of someone with type 2 diabetes. And even though everyone one on his mum's side had been diagnosed, it didn't occur to her that her husband might have diabetes as well.
She began Googling the symptoms, which include (but are not limited to) excessive thirst, increased hunger, weight loss, and fatigue.
"My husband had many of them," she wrote. "Symptoms that had been right under our noses and yet had creeped up on us so gradually, we hadn't seen them."
Mae said he would drive her "absolutely bonkers" whenever the two went on a road trip because of his need to constantly swill down water.
"We'd have to stop every 20 minutes so he could use the restroom, adding hours to already long trips to visit family in another state," she wrote. "At restaurants, he would drink five full soft drinks over the course of the meal. I'd joke that one of his legs must be hollow, but I was privately disgusted by what I deemed to be his gluttony."
She also said he had "ferocious, immediate hunger," and would get angry whenever he hadn't eaten. He'd also lost a good amount of weight, which Mae had dismissed as unfair that "men lose weight so much easier than women."
Despite the troubling months she'd been through, Mae vowed to support her husband.
"I plastered on a sympathetic smile and hugged him, cried with him," she wrote. "I researched diabetes diets, bought books on Amazon. Purged our pantry of pasta, white rice, cake mixes. Increased our vegetable consumption."
Not long after he was on his medication, eating better, and exercising more, Mae said something amazing happened: "The man I married began to reappear."
"I hadn't even noticed he'd been taken from me, because diabetes had stolen him so gradually," she wrote. "Diabetes had changed him from a calm, rational person into someone who was tired, irritable, and angry."
The moral of the story? If you notice your spouse acting out of character for long periods of time, have him make a doctor's appointment. While diabetes caused the distress in this couple's life, other medical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis or even brain tumors, can cause dramatic mood and behaviour changes.
We're so glad Mae is sharing her scary — yet important — message with others.
This article first appeared on Woman's World.
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