Recently my wife was diagnosed with a very serious, very complicated to fix, 60% likely to come out decently after 2-3 years of surgery.... never before seen in medical textbooks or even between 2 different well known and respected physicians in town problem (colo-rectal related issues).
It was a sudden shock and unexpected news when what has been 'dealt with' inside of her recently made itself unbearable and required emergency medical intervention and some very... very heavy doses of hydrocodone (popularly abused pain meds) to control the pain.
So.... This is on the heels of our fifth child in 7.5 years of marriage being born with 3 months of bed rest mandated to prevent her from being too premature.
i am blessed enough to have a work from home job (I'm a computer engineer) that pays well. And its got the insurance to cover the surgeries. What is not as fortunate is we are not well off enough to afford a full time live in maid and I have to actually work and be unavailable during the day.
This has oddly... been the simplest, easiest hurdle in our marriage to date. Needless to say, sex is out of the question and has been for months because of the pregnancy. SO ... for you younger pups out there (i'm 39, she's 24), yes, its possible to live without it and sometimes even in marriage we are called to celibacy.
It has deepened our love for one another tremendously and we are a stronger married couple for it.
What stinks... is that we have not been able to attend mass regularly at all for months now because of the bed rest and now she's virtually bed ridden now and certainly couldn't stand sitting on a hard bench for 1 hour of a mass coupled with kids to control (our kids are 7, 5, 3,1, and 1 month old - girl,boy,boy,boy,girl).
However still we are deeply religious and although excused from mass (yes, trust me, we are), this is the 1st time i'm going to have to call the church and ask for a priest to come out and see us for reconciliation and for someone to bring communion to the home.
We're probably not going to be back in church for 2-6 months once surgeries start on her.
Love your spouses hard, folks. Don't fight over petty stuff. It can all change in an afternoon and very quickly.