Love, Blind Sighted


      "My wife is blind. I said to this guy I had just met. We were exchanging pleasantries about our families and as soon as these words came out of my mouth, I could see that look come over his face; eyes opening just a little wider, his lips curving into one of those polite little smiles that you know is forced. And you know they are doing some rapid thinking, maybe have already decided on some things. Sometimes when I see this it makes me angry and sometimes I would just like to tell them the whole beautiful story. I'd start with the first time I met her; it was love at first sight. We met at a mutual friend's wedding. I sat down next to her. I had two full plates of food I was planning to eat. She helped me get all my things settled. We talked and talked. We really hit it off. It wasn't until an hour or so into the conversation did I realize there was something different about how her eyes tracked what was going on around her. Then it was left to no doubt when she stood up and said, "I'm going off to the ladies' room." And pulled out a telescoping long
white cane and left without asking for any assistance.

       Later I asked her if she wanted to leave the wedding and go out for a drink. We ended up in a small neighborhood bar near her apartment. There we talked and talked until they closed down the bar, then I took her home.

       At her apartment I walked her to her door. In the front room she turned on the lights. It was a dimmer switch and she dialed them up to their brightest. "You'll probably like the light." she said and the increased illumination revealed an attractive, well kept living room. It was then that I kissed her for the first time and turned the lights way down and said, "I think turning the lights and my vision down where I can only partially see you, we can say that I have just entered your world."

       Reaching behind me she dialed the lights completely off making it totally dark, I could not see at all and she said, "Honey, I'm not partially sighted, I am totally blind. So yes, welcome to my world." And she kissed me. We've shared our worlds ever since and we’re still in love.

       But man, why would I have to explain?


e-mail responses to

**1. Here are some thoughts from my sighted friend. Corey, NABS

Thank you for sending me this post. I loved reading it! I guess I've never
really thought about all the stereotypes that float around in today's
society about people that are visually impaired, blind, etc. I've never
been one to stereotype. I prefer to get to know a person from the inside
out, that's why talking with you on the phone and email has been so fun and

As for my thoughts on a sighted individual marrying someone who's not, I
think that it's the best of both worlds! I mean, the sighted individual can
describe and help the blind person experience the world, while the blind
person can help the sighted individual to see things in new perspectives and
open up their mind to a whole new world.

Lisa ACB-L

**2. I have a rebuttal to this:

"As for my thoughts on a sighted individual marrying someone who's not, I
think that it's the best of both worlds! I mean, the sighted individual can
describe and help the blind person experience the world, while the blind
person can help the sighted individual to see things in new perspectives and
open up their mind to a whole new world."

Didn't she just stereotype? She implied from what I am reading here that
(1) blind people need someone to "describe and help the blind person
experience the world," and (2) that the sighted need somebody to "help the
sighted individual to see things in new perspectives and open up their mind
to a whole new world."

What I'm driving at here is that she is saying that without such a
relationship, all sighted people are narrow and closed minded, while blind
people do not discover, or explore the worlds around them. This may exist
for quite a few people, in which her statement would be correct, but it
certainly doesn't apply to all sighted or blind individuals. While her
intentions were good (to reject stereotypes, and show that a relationship
between a sighted and blind individual could work,) she unintentionally
upheld some stereotypes, and her reasoning is full of fallacies because it
is based on those same stereotypes that she tried to reject.

*Please note Corey that I'm not trying to start a flame war, just expressing
my opinion. I am also not trying to bash you or your friend in anyway. It
is simply an opinion, and you can either accept it, or reject it.

Take Care,
Matt ACB-L

**3. This is a beautiful essay I really enjoyed reading it.

Rachel E. Rosenbaum AERnet

**4. I loved your story, please send me a link to your web site.
I will share your story with my friends in the NFB-RI.
I know a young blind woman who is almost (soon to be engaged) to a sighted man, I thought of her when I read your story.

Thank you in advance, Fredericka

**5. I can relate to this story. I met my wife and never realized that she was blind. All I knew was, she was pretty and intelligent and unlike most people
I had met, both male and females alike; she did not seem to be offended because I was not White. In fact, she liked that I was not White. I never realized
that she was Asian for that matter. I had not been attracted to "brown skinned" women. But she was different. Her eyes sparkled, her hair was silky,
her skin golden brown. Her face and body was that of a model. She was uncomfortable with her blindness as I was uncomfortable about my race and age.
Today, I forget she is blind. I forget she is younger than me. I could care less about either of our races. We are a couple.
I find myself telling others about my wife. I have also seen the reaction of people when I say she is blind. We do not get the offers to "come over
and met the family" kind of invitations. I can see the look of some people as they recoil and seem at a loss for words. Most people will give that
"hidden pity" look. There are also those, who will look at me and think, I chose her because I could not get anyone else better. As there are some
will look at my wife, and think; she could not get a decent White man, so she settled for a Black man. Finally, there are those who say to me " well
at least you have each other", pat me on the back and walk away.
Like the man in this story, I felt a need to prove my wife is "normal" like any other woman. I felt as I had to make a excuse or justification why
I chose a blind woman for my wife. My wife is petite, my wife is sexy, my wife can't see a thing. I found myself being embarrassed to admit that my
wife was blind. However, when I got sick one day and almost died, it was this blind woman who knew more than all the doctors did, and I am alive today
to write this story. I am no longer ashamed of my wife's blindness. I am 100 per cent sure of the woman I chose to love, loves me. I am proud of my
wife, it took me 9 years to stop making excuses or telling " warm stories" to win over skeptical people. Now I just say my wife is blind, nothing more.

John Minnesota USA

**6. Could you tell me how I can be subscribed to your e-mail listserv

I absolutely loved the provoker. I am a blind man and find myself
struggling to believe that anyone would find me as a sexual being. The
story was absolutely wonderful. It made me want to cry.

Andre Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

**7. I am married to a blind man and I see this reaction all too often. We've been married for 22 years and I must admit, I still get this

negative reaction within myself when ever I experience that reaction. I wish I could put it to rest. But, I know my husband is also having to put up with these reactions from people too, so I guess this makes me better to understand his feelings of being treated different. This is not a good feeling, it does not make me feel closer to my husband, it is the other things we share that do that, he is a wonderful person and I love him.

Betty Boston USA

**8. 1970 was a good year as well, for getting hitched. My wife is sighted and still can spot any imperfections in this hill billy from a great distance,
even when she is in Indiana and I am in Tennessee.
She has had problems in the past dealing with those who stare at a blind man, but she handles such folks these days by staring back.
I learned from one rehab councilor that the divorce rate with blind folks is higher than in the general population. I have never attempted to verify
her statements, but the difficulties we face from time to time can be tough to resolve, but I plan to continue to give my wife, Sue, the thrills of bringing
to light new defects. with respect to this country boy
which need attention.
Having a two year old grandson who has no defects that my wife has discovered, has cemented our relationship even more and I am quite sure that we
will remain united for the long haul. Just to keep her on her toes, I introduce her as my first wife to new friends.

Yours Truly,
Clifford Wilson ACB-L

**9. This was an interesting thought-provoker. I find it hard to believe that someone could sit with a totally blind person for over an hour and
not realize
she was blind. Even a blind person who does a good job "faking" eye contact is still not going to have exact eye contact. On the other hand, maybe the
guy was so enthralled with her that he didn't notice. I know I've had the experience that people haven't noticed my blindness right away. I do find it
interesting that more blind men seem to be married to sighted women than blind women being married to sighted men. (I'm not saying there's anything wrong
with two blind people marrying, I'm talking about the blind/sighted combination here.) Several of my blind friends and I have speculated about this and
we think it is because our culture has taught men that they need someone to take care of them and blind women are perceived as not being able to do that.
I think sighted men wonder if we can cook, care for children, etc. On the other hand, our culture has taught women that they are to be nurturing caretakers.
Sighted women may feel they can take that role with a husband who is blind. Keep in mind that I do not agree with these sentiments, I'm simply stating
the way a lot of people seem to see things. Just something to ponder.

Kathy McGillivray Minnesota USA

**10. That's a sweet, lovely story.

Charles Innes NFB Writers listserv

**11. Hopefully, the story will also draw thought provoking comments. I recall how
I met my husband. This definitely brought back memories.

Lori Stayer NFB Writers listserv

**12. Thanks for sharing the lovely story with us. I found it charming and

Sharon NFB Writers listserv

**13. My marriage is the opposite of this one in the story: My husband is the
one who is blind, I am the one who is "sighted". But in actuality, he is
the one with the greater vision. From the first day I met him, it was
truly love at first "sight", or I could even say, "love at first
touch". He has opened to me a myriad of worlds I never noticed before he
came into my life.
We could be going out on a walk, and he would notice a bird's song, or a
scent of baking bread wafting on the air, or the smell of rain coming. So
many things that I didn't notice, me being busy looking around--using my
20/20 sight--and when I stopped and noticed what he did, my world was
richer. He filled my days with the beauty all around us that those who are
"sighted" miss constantly because we are not paying attention to what is
truly around us.
Entering into his world was the greatest gift I was ever given.

Ruth Anne Wheeler Oak Lawn, IL USA

**14. I like this story. I'm into romance. I'd like to know to why he should have to explain why he fell in love with her. Is that even possible? Love defied
any explanation. Who knows why people fall in love with each other. He's a man and she's a woman.


**15. I am married to a sighted man. We have been together for almost eight years
and I have learned through the ups and downs of the relationship that it
isn't the blind-sighted issue that we have problems with, but rather just
the day-to-day things that all couples agree or disagree about. Actually,
once he got over his initial nervousness, he really didn't have a problem
with my blindness. He continues to be very accepting and treats me great!!!

What I've noticed is I get this reaction from others when I'm with him. The
reaction is also similar when I am with sighted friends. People seem to
portray the attitude, "She (meaning me) is so lucky to have you for a
friend--husband, etc." They seem to think that someone is doing me a huge
favor to be friends with me! That can get annoying. Thanks for the nice

Sherri Brun, Vice-President
National Federation of the Blind, greater Orlando Chapter,
Medical Transcriptionist,

**16. Boy is this a wonderfully beautiful love story!!! I like how the couple brought their two worlds together--he taking her to the small bar for a drink
and conversation and she dimming the lights down low to nothing at her apartment leading into a nice, passionate kiss. I think that this is how all love stories between a couple in which one is disabled and the other is not should be. Actually, I think that this is how all love stories in real life should
be, not just in a short story or romance novel. However, it doesn't always start out like this.
I've dated both sighted and blind men. From my personal experiences before John and I met, there was always the usual conversation about blindness,
raising a family, the possibility of the children being blind as well, and being able to care for children as a blind person. Yes, there was some of that
conversation between John and I, but disability did not take precedence over our relationship or the care and responsibility for children. When he and
I first met on my way home from the university campus one evening, I invited him up to my apartment for dinner. We sat and talked about our backgrounds
and families all evening until 9:00 a.m. If there was any talk about my blindness, it only lasted a minute; I don't remember. Any conversations we had
about the reality of our disabilities, our relationship, caring for children, etc. occurred throughout our relationship instead of all at the beginning.
I think that the main reason why our hitting it off started out quite differently from with my previous dates was because I didn't feel as though my blindness
and his spinal cord injury should take precedence over anything else. I felt that if a relationship was going to work out, it will no matter the costs
and/or rewards. This has always been my philosophy upon entering any date and relationship.
Taking this a step further, when we go places and meet people, our disabilities don't take precedence. It's not until people who have observed us from
a distance with how we manage ask us how we do it that he mentions my blindness or I mention his spinal cord injury. Just as in the narrative and as John
mentioned in his response to this thought provoker, we get the "you poor thing" or "oh my God!" look to which we go into the whole explanation of our capabilities
and how we help each other. As we often tell people, "John is my eyes and I'm his legs", which seems to be the most comprehensible to people.
While I think that couples in which both or one partner is disabled should discuss their disability (disabilities), I don't think that it should take
precedence in any relationship. The disability, or disabilities, are there but they should remain as just a characteristic of the person; just a matter
of fact. Yes, some people may say that you should start out conversations with your blindness as the main topic, but I think that it all depends on the
person. When people approach you as a couple, neither one should have to make excuses or resort to telling thei rlove stories unless people really want
to know. Besides, when so-called ordinary couples walk down the street, they don't stop to make excuses for the other or get into their live story, so
why should disabled couples have to do that.


**17. In looking through the other responses to this thought-provoker, Resp. 13 caught my attention, as it reminded me of John. Like Resp. 13, John had never
really took notice of the sounds of birds or smells of different things until I came along and was pointing out what I was noticing when we would go for
walks. Now that we live in a much quieter environment of a much smaller and more rural town, we not only can hear the well-known calls different birds
make, but we also hear the lesser-known calls they make, which John and I point out to each other. Moreover, there are times when he'll hear a different-sounding
bird before I do and he'll ask or point it out to me. In all this becoming aware of other things through other senses other than sight, John's learned
more about how to deal with people other than just going by visual cues by paying closer attention to how someone really reads him based on the tone of
voice the speaker is using--whether they are being sincere or insincere.
Combining all the five senses together between the two of us, I'll describe the birds or squirrels I hear outside in our backyard while he describes
what he sees them doing. Likewise, when we're meeting new people or talking to those we know already, he'll privately ask me for an opinion about the
person--whether they're being sincere or insincere--based on what I heard the person say or didn't say or how they said what they said while I'll ask him
for his visual opinion.


**18. The story about the man with the blind wife was indeed thought-provoking.
What repulses me is that the other guy would react that way. I mean, it's not like blindness is some sort of contagion. (In other words, it's not "catchy.")
It seems to me that the sighted man is fortunate to have found a blind woman to marry. Why? Because having a blind wife is good for him. He must think,
"She has extra needs that a sighted person wouldn't have."
Now, please don't misunderstand me. I am well aware that blind people insist upon maintaining the greatest possible level of independence. Yet there must
be some kind of added burden. I wouldn't know the specifics, but logic dictates this.
The man's heart would be strengthened by such a relationship. He is forced to think, "If there's something she can't do, then I must be that much more selfless
and sacrificing, if I must make up the difference."
I am reminded of an old saying: "Character is what you do in the dark." She can't see him. He knows that. Yet, if he truly loves her, he would not dare
betray her trust, even if it is possible to get away with it. But, knowing that he does have her trust must fill his heart with great joy and peace.
That man is blessed to have her.


**19. I am currently in a relationship with a tall, dark and handsome blind man. I met him 6 months ago, and fell in love instantly. I am sighted. I remember when he asked me out, one of the things he asked, was if I have an issue with him being blind, I remember not even thinking about what to answer, my answer just slipped out and I said "No". And up to this day, it has never been an issue. He is such a wonderful man, he is a lawyer, has his own practice, and it is doing very well. We go sailing almost every second weekend on his yacht. We go on game drives with his 4x4 every other weekend, or go quad biking, or go watch sport matches or just barbeque (Yes, you got it, we live in Africa). He is the best cook I have ever seen, I sometimes feel guilty for not helping out (being the women, and all), but he loves it so much, I just let him be. He does everything for himself, he does not use a cane, does not have a guide dog (although he loves dogs), he does use guided walking, or sometimes when I am late for something, I drop him off at the lift to the flat, and he gets there by himself. He has such a electric personality, that everybody loves him. He has the most loyal friends. I think it is because, we treat him no different than anyone else, and if someone tried, they will soon see, that he is not that "different" from other people as they thought. Well, anyway, I wrote you this mail, to let you know, that I am so proud of him, and I have the utmost respect for him, because he has all the qualities I look for in a man! Regards


**20. Update - Miele


Just an update on the previous mail I sent you under "Love, Blind, Sighted". My tall dark and handsome man asked me to marry him, we are getting married in December! I am so happy and fortunate to have him in my life! Anyway, just wanted to share that with you guys. Have a great day!