And so they continued on, volunteering at church, celebrating anniversaries, occasionally trying couples therapy and car-pooling their growing son and daughter; and they felt gratitude for those children and fondness for each other alongside bouts of stomach-gnawing dissatisfaction; Elizabeth picked up some work in project management she could do from home, and Daniel commuted, and they quibbled over whether it was time to mow the lawn.And then, one day in August 2013, when she was 44 and Daniel was 47, Elizabeth learned she had Parkinson’s disease.It was both an outlandish idea and, to him, a totally rational one.

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Exercise — which the doctor recommended, to slow the onset — became a mission, an act of defiance and a source of physical pleasure.

She joined a hiking group, fighting off fear with new friends, new physicality.

One seismic shift in a marriage often drives another.

In the fall of 2015, Elizabeth met a man at a Parkinson’s fund-raiser.

He started to think of the ring as if it were radioactive, an object burning holes in his flesh.

A month into the marriage, he took it off and never got around to replacing it.hen Daniel and Elizabeth married in 1993, they found it was easy enough to choose a ring for her, but there were far fewer choices for him.Daniel, then a 27-year-old who worked in information technology, decided to design one himself, requesting that tiny stones be placed in a gold band, like planets orbiting in a solar system.Occasionally, when he decided the answer was yes, and he felt some vital part of himself dwindling, Daniel would think about a radical possibility: opening up their marriage to other relationships.He would poke around on the internet and read about other couples’ arrangements.They had two children, and he pointed out that having the second did not detract from how much they loved the first one. “It is not finite.” He was not surprised when Elizabeth rejected the idea; he had mostly raised it as a way of communicating the urgency of his needs.