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My husband suffers so much disappointment due to my illness, but he would never say that, or even show it. I know and can see that it is true, though. When we first met, I would drive from Seattle to Los Angeles by myself to visit him. I haven’t driven a car in the last eight months. My husband and friends drive, or I take the bus or walk whenever I have to go out.

Cupcakes and humor.

When we first started dating, I would fly (even overseas) by myself. Now, when we travel we have to plan the trip around certain times of day (less anxiety), and we have to pack and prepare in ways to try to make the trip as pleasant and as smooth as possible. I almost always am overcome by anxiety at some point in every trip (usually at the airport and on the airplane).

Cupcakes and humor.

I was once so independent compared to how I am now. I was once so social and active. Now, we spend a lot of energy to make sure that my life is as stress-free as possible to keep symptoms at a minimum. I stay at home and have very little stress or interactions during the day. I even limit what I post on social media to avoid confrontation with others (stress).

Cupcakes and humor.

I know my husband would enjoy socializing more, but I will rarely agree to go with him (isolating socially is a real symptom of schizophrenia and one that has increased in me every year). There is so much my husband enjoys that he has given up to help provide me with the kind of environment I need to give me the most symptom-free existence.

Cupcakes and humor.

For all the sacrifices my husband makes, I try to be a supportive partner when I can. Once a month my husband asks me to make cupcakes because he has taken it upon himself to celebrate the birthdays of everyone in his office. My husband reminds me on the last Monday of every month, “If you feel up to it tomorrow, can you please make cupcakes?” It wouldn’t matter if I were suffering from my worst symptoms I would try not to let him down by having the kitchen counter free of the little cakes that help him lift the morale of his coworkers. It is so little to ask of me. In the past six years, I have never once let him down.

Cupcakes and humor.

When I am comfortable, I make up random songs and sing them constantly. I am a terrible dancer, but I love to shake a little booty with absolutely no sense of rhythm while walking from one room to the other in the house. I love to tell a lively story about anything and everything. To make this simple, I love to see my husband break into a belly laugh or at least a big smile, and no one can do that to him the way I can. So yes, it is the simple ingredients that hold even strained marriages together. May I suggest Cupcakes and humor?