web site hit counter In Sickness and in Health: Love, Disability, and a Quest to Understand the Perils and Pleasures of Interabled Romance - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

In Sickness and in Health: Love, Disability, and a Quest to Understand the Perils and Pleasures of Interabled Romance

Availability: Ready to download

A frank, humorous exploration of interabled dating, love, and marriage Ben Mattlin's wife, ML, recalls falling in love with his confidence and sheer determination. On one of their earliest dates, he persuaded her to ride on his lap in his wheelchair on their way home from an Elvis Costello concert. Thirty years later, they still travel like this from time to time, undaunted A frank, humorous exploration of interabled dating, love, and marriage Ben Mattlin's wife, ML, recalls falling in love with his confidence and sheer determination. On one of their earliest dates, he persuaded her to ride on his lap in his wheelchair on their way home from an Elvis Costello concert. Thirty years later, they still travel like this from time to time, undaunted by the curious stares following them down the street. But In Sickness and in Health is more than an "inspiring" story of how a man born with spinal muscular atrophy--a congenital and incurable neuromuscular condition--survived childhood, graduated from Harvard, married an able-bodied woman, built a family with two daughters and a cat and a turtle, established a successful career in journalism, and lived happily ever after. As Mattlin considers the many times his relationship has been met with surprise or speculation by outsiders--those who consider his wife a "saint" or him just plain "lucky" for finding love--he issues a challenge to readers: why should the idea of an "interabled" couple be regarded as either tragic or noble? Through conversations with more than a dozen other couples of varying abilities, ethnic backgrounds, and orientations, Mattlin sets out to understand whether these pairings are as unusual as onlookers seem to think. Reflecting on his own experience he wonders: How do people balance the stresses of personal-care help with the thrill of romance? Is it possible that the very things that appear to be insurmountable obstacles to a successful relationship--the financial burdens, the physical differences, the added element of an especially uncertain future--could be the building blocks of an enviable level of intimacy and communication that other couples could only dream of? We meet Shane Burcaw, a twenty-three-year-old writer, who offers a glimpse of his first forays into dating with a disability. There's Rachelle Friedman, the "paralyzed bride," as the media refers to her, and her husband, discussing the joys and challenges of a new marriage and a growing family. And Christina Crosby and her partner, Janet Jakobsen, reflect on how Crosby's disabling accident called for them to renegotiate their roles and expectations in their long-term relationship. What emerges is a candid glimpse into the challenges and joys of interabled love--from the first blush of sexual awakening to commitment and marriage and through to widowhood.


Compare

A frank, humorous exploration of interabled dating, love, and marriage Ben Mattlin's wife, ML, recalls falling in love with his confidence and sheer determination. On one of their earliest dates, he persuaded her to ride on his lap in his wheelchair on their way home from an Elvis Costello concert. Thirty years later, they still travel like this from time to time, undaunted A frank, humorous exploration of interabled dating, love, and marriage Ben Mattlin's wife, ML, recalls falling in love with his confidence and sheer determination. On one of their earliest dates, he persuaded her to ride on his lap in his wheelchair on their way home from an Elvis Costello concert. Thirty years later, they still travel like this from time to time, undaunted by the curious stares following them down the street. But In Sickness and in Health is more than an "inspiring" story of how a man born with spinal muscular atrophy--a congenital and incurable neuromuscular condition--survived childhood, graduated from Harvard, married an able-bodied woman, built a family with two daughters and a cat and a turtle, established a successful career in journalism, and lived happily ever after. As Mattlin considers the many times his relationship has been met with surprise or speculation by outsiders--those who consider his wife a "saint" or him just plain "lucky" for finding love--he issues a challenge to readers: why should the idea of an "interabled" couple be regarded as either tragic or noble? Through conversations with more than a dozen other couples of varying abilities, ethnic backgrounds, and orientations, Mattlin sets out to understand whether these pairings are as unusual as onlookers seem to think. Reflecting on his own experience he wonders: How do people balance the stresses of personal-care help with the thrill of romance? Is it possible that the very things that appear to be insurmountable obstacles to a successful relationship--the financial burdens, the physical differences, the added element of an especially uncertain future--could be the building blocks of an enviable level of intimacy and communication that other couples could only dream of? We meet Shane Burcaw, a twenty-three-year-old writer, who offers a glimpse of his first forays into dating with a disability. There's Rachelle Friedman, the "paralyzed bride," as the media refers to her, and her husband, discussing the joys and challenges of a new marriage and a growing family. And Christina Crosby and her partner, Janet Jakobsen, reflect on how Crosby's disabling accident called for them to renegotiate their roles and expectations in their long-term relationship. What emerges is a candid glimpse into the challenges and joys of interabled love--from the first blush of sexual awakening to commitment and marriage and through to widowhood.

30 review for In Sickness and in Health: Love, Disability, and a Quest to Understand the Perils and Pleasures of Interabled Romance

  1. 5 out of 5

    Miri

    I was really excited to read this book. It's relatively rare to find writing about disability from the perspective of people with disabilities, and this book covers a topic I've never read an entire book about: relationships between people with disabilities and their non-disabled partners. However, this book turned out to be an enigma. Despite the fact that he is a professional journalist, Ben Mattlin is...not a good interviewer. At least, not in this context. There is simply too much of him in t I was really excited to read this book. It's relatively rare to find writing about disability from the perspective of people with disabilities, and this book covers a topic I've never read an entire book about: relationships between people with disabilities and their non-disabled partners. However, this book turned out to be an enigma. Despite the fact that he is a professional journalist, Ben Mattlin is...not a good interviewer. At least, not in this context. There is simply too much of him in the text, by which I mean that even apart from the chapter he dedicates to discussing his own marriage, the entire book is peppered with his reactions to every interview response uttered by his interviewees, and these responses are often skeptical and sometimes downright condescending. He relates just about everything to his own experience, often in an envious or disbelieving way. The most egregious example of this happens in the last chapter, which is an extremely touching portrait of a (non-disabled) woman reflecting on her late husband, who was a prominent disability activist and a quadriplegic. Mattlin becomes so jealous of the man as he's described by his wife that he ultimately dismisses this as "the reminiscences of a widow wearing rose-colored glasses." Yikes. YIKES. (And it's not like Mattlin lacks for venues in which to discuss his own life and thoughts and feelings! He has also published a memoir.) Mattlin seems to literally approach each interview with a predisposition to disbelief and challenge everything he's told. When he hears positive things he's (as he himself describes it) "skeptical"; when he hears negative things he seems to assume that his interviewees are insufficiently woke and have internalized ableism. Many of his questions start with "But--," "Don't you--," and so on. It would probably be an appropriate way to interview, for instance, a Trump White House official. It's a downright bizarre and insensitive way to interview people with disabilities and their partners about their own experiences. Maybe he's concerned that he's getting sugarcoated responses. Sure, but that's a problem familiar to every beginner journalist. You're supposed to establish trust with your interviewees so that they feel comfortable speaking openly. At first I thought that perhaps he just couldn't find enough people who are sufficiently comfortable with that, but at the end he mentions that he had so many volunteers he had to turn many of them down! This Washington Post review pretty much sums up many of my thoughts on this frustrating book: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entert... I think that if you can ignore Mattlin's often totally-unnecessary commentary, this book is worth a read because the people he profiles are so thoughtful and honest. But still, yikes.

  2. 4 out of 5

    QOH

    This is one of the best relationship books I've ever read--for anyone, interabled or not. While the book describes numerous couples in which a disability was either there from the beginning or occurred during the relationship, the key to the survival of the relationship seems to be in the commitment of the parties. (It goes without saying, but things change drastically over time: you don't have one marriage so much as you have multiple marriages to the same person, all of which are a bit differe This is one of the best relationship books I've ever read--for anyone, interabled or not. While the book describes numerous couples in which a disability was either there from the beginning or occurred during the relationship, the key to the survival of the relationship seems to be in the commitment of the parties. (It goes without saying, but things change drastically over time: you don't have one marriage so much as you have multiple marriages to the same person, all of which are a bit different. Sometimes the differences are physical and sometimes they're mental, but you have to find peace with them all to keep going.) My perspective is that I've been married 25 years; in that time, we've had to deal with numerous (usually) invisible disabilities. This leads to handwringing. If I suffer 10-15 debilitating migraines a month but manage to get some things done, is it disabling? If I've dealt with depression and anxiety my entire life and it gets better and worse, but I somehow manage to get through it, is it disabling? My conclusion is yes, because I'm not living the life I could otherwise; there's so much I wish I could do but can't. Is that true of everyone? We all wish we could do more, so...I don't know. Hence the handwringing. I wish everyone could read this book. I'd learned from interabled couple friends about just how hard it is in the US to manage carers and government benefits, but I don't think I truly had a handle on it until I read In Sickness and In Health. Highly recommended.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jestina Ricci

    Mattlin shares the stories of interabled couples that he meets through interviews. Most of the stories have a common theme: that interabled relationships tend to be closer and more dynamic than relationships between able bodied couples. Throughout some of the interviews, he polices the language of how disabled people view their own disabilities and makes some incredibly insensitive statements about young people with disabilities, stating that young people aren’t concerned nowadays with disabilit Mattlin shares the stories of interabled couples that he meets through interviews. Most of the stories have a common theme: that interabled relationships tend to be closer and more dynamic than relationships between able bodied couples. Throughout some of the interviews, he polices the language of how disabled people view their own disabilities and makes some incredibly insensitive statements about young people with disabilities, stating that young people aren’t concerned nowadays with disability activism but only if they’ll ever find someone to have sex with. His interviews also tended to highlight wealthy professionals with disabilities, leaving a void for accounts of the majority of the disabled population that struggles to have accessible living spaces, let alone paid attendants. I don’t believe this book was a fair representation of what interabled romance truly looks like for the majority of us.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This is a topic that comes up frequently enough where I work that I was happy to see a book discussing it. I've worked with people with all the conditions described, but I highly appreciate the way the author makes the medical information understandable and relatable. I learned more about the difference in experience between someone with a congenital disability (e.g. SMA) vs can acquired disability (e.g. SCI), a topic I've only explored a little. I'd be interested to hear a TBI perspective. The This is a topic that comes up frequently enough where I work that I was happy to see a book discussing it. I've worked with people with all the conditions described, but I highly appreciate the way the author makes the medical information understandable and relatable. I learned more about the difference in experience between someone with a congenital disability (e.g. SMA) vs can acquired disability (e.g. SCI), a topic I've only explored a little. I'd be interested to hear a TBI perspective. The narrative linked the vignettes smoothly, which is rare in this format. I also enjoyed the level and of writing throughout; it's clear the author enjoys writing and is not just writing a book because someone said his experience would make a good story. I hope this book will find a wide audience among both able-bodied and disabled individuals.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bookworm

    Author Mattlin, who has spinal muscular atrophy, takes the reader through the stories of interabled romance: the joys, the trials, the highs and the lows of couples where one is able-bodied and the other is disabled. From raising a family to the perceptions of outsiders to the financial costs to the decisions they make, Mattlin strives to give the reader the stories of these couples that is beyond the "inspiration porn" or other awful tropes the media sometimes uses. Divided into 3 parts the book Author Mattlin, who has spinal muscular atrophy, takes the reader through the stories of interabled romance: the joys, the trials, the highs and the lows of couples where one is able-bodied and the other is disabled. From raising a family to the perceptions of outsiders to the financial costs to the decisions they make, Mattlin strives to give the reader the stories of these couples that is beyond the "inspiration porn" or other awful tropes the media sometimes uses. Divided into 3 parts the book looks at various couples of a variety of backgrounds, ethnicities, abilities and orientations. Most of these individuals are just regular people who you might now: your neighbor, a relative, your co-worker, a fellow member of your Meetup group, a classmate, etc. Through a series of essays we get glimpses of each couple and their lives. I have to say, I'm disappointed. I was looking forward to the book and did find it very informative. This is definitely an area I don't know a lot of about and did learn a lot. And I definitely want to read more of these stories and hope we get more. But I found the writing really pedestrian. I found the review in 'The Washington Post' very helpful since it reflected some of the concerns I had. The tone and snark wasn't a bother but the constant telling-style was. I also have to give a bit of a side-eye to the chapter on John and Alison. The John here is John Hockenberry, who was accused by several women of sexual harassment and inappropriate touching. To be fair these allegations came out after the book was written, but the WP reviewer is right that Mattlin does seem a little star-struck (and that is made clear in the text). I'm not saying Mattlin knew and I'm not sure what he/the publisher should (or could) have done but I just felt a bit skeptical with that chapter. But as I don't share the experiences of these individuals I did appreciate overall what the book was trying to do. Glad I borrowed it from the library and would recommend that method if you're interested.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Reading an advance copy of this book was a privilege. Remember when people only associated with others of their own race, attending school and socializing only with their own “kind”? Mixed relationships were rare. Well, until the law and society mandated that disabled people be permitted access to the outside world, including obtaining an appropriate public education with non-disabled students, they were hidden away, rarely had peers who weren't similarly disabled or had romantic relationships wit Reading an advance copy of this book was a privilege. Remember when people only associated with others of their own race, attending school and socializing only with their own “kind”? Mixed relationships were rare. Well, until the law and society mandated that disabled people be permitted access to the outside world, including obtaining an appropriate public education with non-disabled students, they were hidden away, rarely had peers who weren't similarly disabled or had romantic relationships with those without disabling conditions. Ben Mattlin is a financial writer who has spinal muscular atrophy, a condition requiring he use a wheelchair and other adaptive technology, and also requires extra assistance from others. His family acknowledged his special needs while insisting that he live in the mainstream, not the shadows, as chronicled in his book Miracle Boy Grows Up: How the Disability Rights Revolution Saved My Sanity. He attended a “regular” school, beginning in the 1960's, and did marry someone without a disability, with whom he has two children. Partially in response to the curious and inappropriate inquiries of others as to their romantic and sexual life, he has compiled the narratives of several such “interabled couples” [Mattlin's term], starting with himself and his wife. The reader has the opportunity to learn about a variety of such relationships, as Mattlin's skill at exposition isn't limited to his writings on financial matters. Because he's writing as a participant as well as an observer, Mattlin never falls into the trap of seeing a non-disabled person as a "saint", or a disabled person as an "inspiration". Everyone is just living their lives as best they can. He injects just the right amount of humor throughout, and the reader will almost believe s/he's met the subjects and that the writer is a friend, too. This is a book which any interabled couple considering a life together could purchase for both worried families. Too bad it isn't coming out until after Christmas.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Jonsson

    Compilation of stories about able bodied people who love disabled people. Love comes in all forms and ways.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    In his new book Ben Mattlin addresses inter-abled relationships in all their complexity and normalcy, fighting the idea that interabled couples are either tragic or noble. The book consists of fourteen interviews with inter-abled couples, including himself and his wife Mary Lois, which should create quite an objective picture of the "perils and pleasures" of interabled relationships. The text is however crowded with Mattlin’s presence, him thinking, realizing, mentioning, pointing out, suggestin In his new book Ben Mattlin addresses inter-abled relationships in all their complexity and normalcy, fighting the idea that interabled couples are either tragic or noble. The book consists of fourteen interviews with inter-abled couples, including himself and his wife Mary Lois, which should create quite an objective picture of the "perils and pleasures" of interabled relationships. The text is however crowded with Mattlin’s presence, him thinking, realizing, mentioning, pointing out, suggesting, … in such a scale that you could hardly call the discussed cases interviews. There is also very little space left for the reader to form their own opinion. Which, in my opinion, is a missed opportunity.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I received a copy from Beacon Press in a giveaway. Time to leave my honest review! Wow, I just put the book down. I loved it! I myself am in a hearing-deaf relationship (I'm the hearing half), which is what drew me to this book about inter-abled romance. To be honest, I did not know much about SMA before picking up this book, and I have to say, the author does a marvelous job describing it in scientific detail as well as his experience. Each chapter consisted of stories/interview of disabled peop I received a copy from Beacon Press in a giveaway. Time to leave my honest review! Wow, I just put the book down. I loved it! I myself am in a hearing-deaf relationship (I'm the hearing half), which is what drew me to this book about inter-abled romance. To be honest, I did not know much about SMA before picking up this book, and I have to say, the author does a marvelous job describing it in scientific detail as well as his experience. Each chapter consisted of stories/interview of disabled people (if they were single) or inter-abled couples (one disabled, other able-bodied). Ben also related his own life experiences as a disabled man, being married to a non-disabled woman. I learned a lot!

  10. 4 out of 5

    CoffeeTimeRomance andMore

    I love to expand my horizons by reading books from different genres. I must say this is the first book I went into reading for understanding and instead found a new point of interview through the lives of fascinating people. Mr. Mattlin tackles a subject some would find difficult but asks the questions which provide the biggest impact on the readers. I love how the romance of interabled couples is discussed and the emphasis on how both parties in the relationship choose to stay and no one consid I love to expand my horizons by reading books from different genres. I must say this is the first book I went into reading for understanding and instead found a new point of interview through the lives of fascinating people. Mr. Mattlin tackles a subject some would find difficult but asks the questions which provide the biggest impact on the readers. I love how the romance of interabled couples is discussed and the emphasis on how both parties in the relationship choose to stay and no one considers themselves heroes. If you are a romantic at heart then read about Ben and ML, Felicia and Juan, War Veteran Jared and wife Alisha, and the many other couples who have their own story to tell. I highly recommend the writing of Mr. Mattlin not only because it explores true romance and love, but also because the voices of the individuals can teach the world to stop looking at people and pitying them because they are different. Delane Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More Delane Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More Full Review @ Coffee Time Romance & More

  11. 4 out of 5

    zeroizme

    I received an advance reading copy of this book from Beacon Press via a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you for the opportunity to read and review. Honest, conversational accounts regarding the lives and relationships of interabled couples: trials endured, joys celebrated and everything in-between. This book provides intimate insight, introducing readers to new perspectives and situations that they may not otherwise have the opportunity to encounter and thus, gain a knowledge and understanding of, in I received an advance reading copy of this book from Beacon Press via a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you for the opportunity to read and review. Honest, conversational accounts regarding the lives and relationships of interabled couples: trials endured, joys celebrated and everything in-between. This book provides intimate insight, introducing readers to new perspectives and situations that they may not otherwise have the opportunity to encounter and thus, gain a knowledge and understanding of, in their personal lives. A warm thank you to the author, his wife and all of the couples interviewed for putting their stories out into the world and creating a better informed, more compassionate society.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    I picked this up mostly based on knowing some interabled (as the author calls them) couples. The author has used a wheelchair most of his life, and his wife does not. He compares their experiences to those of other interabled couples, including topics like romance, kids, travel, personal care, finances, and aging. Some couples have always had one partner with a disability, and for some the disability occurred during their relationship. Although each couple faces their own unique challenges, the I picked this up mostly based on knowing some interabled (as the author calls them) couples. The author has used a wheelchair most of his life, and his wife does not. He compares their experiences to those of other interabled couples, including topics like romance, kids, travel, personal care, finances, and aging. Some couples have always had one partner with a disability, and for some the disability occurred during their relationship. Although each couple faces their own unique challenges, the author uses this to help prove the point that ALL couples face unique challenges and that we are all more alike than different. Overall I liked it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Justine Myers

    Ben Mattlin is a dynamic and witty narrator throughout the book. I appreciated the openness of the various people telling their stories, and the weaving of tales of love with the necessities of care for those with disabilities and how people’s everyday lives/health are managed. I easily and quickly read through the first 2/3 of the book, but by that point it became a bit redundant so getting to the end took more effort. Still, it was a worthwhile read and a good start to learning about interabled Ben Mattlin is a dynamic and witty narrator throughout the book. I appreciated the openness of the various people telling their stories, and the weaving of tales of love with the necessities of care for those with disabilities and how people’s everyday lives/health are managed. I easily and quickly read through the first 2/3 of the book, but by that point it became a bit redundant so getting to the end took more effort. Still, it was a worthwhile read and a good start to learning about interabled relationships.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jane Night

    This book is a series of interviews with couples where one member has a disability. They talked about things such as how the disability effects the relationship as well as how the able-bodied person does or doesn't take on caregiver roles. I thought this was interesting but would have enjoyed seeing a wider variety of disabilities. The majority of the couples featured had a member in a wheelchair. This book is a series of interviews with couples where one member has a disability. They talked about things such as how the disability effects the relationship as well as how the able-bodied person does or doesn't take on caregiver roles. I thought this was interesting but would have enjoyed seeing a wider variety of disabilities. The majority of the couples featured had a member in a wheelchair.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Carly

    Really nice read, and made me think more about how I interact with my patients. Parts were sometimes judge-y, like saying the husband with two hip replacements and busted shoulders was not really disabled (although he considered himself to be so, and at another part of the book, notes that disability is a mind frame)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    Will continue reading the rest of this novel -starting from Part 3 of the 3 part divided novel- on a later date.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Colleenish

    This was a quick, interesting need. As much as I work with people who have disabilities, there's much I'm not aware of and prejedices I haven't unpacked. This was a quick, interesting need. As much as I work with people who have disabilities, there's much I'm not aware of and prejedices I haven't unpacked.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I didn't love the first-person perspective and speculation on others' relationships. I did enjoy the look at how couples communicate and move through the world. I didn't love the first-person perspective and speculation on others' relationships. I did enjoy the look at how couples communicate and move through the world.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Phyllis Searles

    I’d recommend it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Celeste

    This book was exactly what I was looking for. Again, Goodreads has provided the book that I wanted, and enjoyed. It was relevant to my needs.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laxman Keshava

    The tone of the book is pretty much a conversation between the reader and the author. That's all I can say about it. On a personal note, the stories of real life interabled couples are eye opening, bittersweet and end with hard hitting lessons. The tone of the book is pretty much a conversation between the reader and the author. That's all I can say about it. On a personal note, the stories of real life interabled couples are eye opening, bittersweet and end with hard hitting lessons.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ramona Porter

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ben

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carol

  25. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte Russell

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sam

  27. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kumoshi

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Bialek

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tamar

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.