I have been dating someone with MS for the last 6 months. As time goes on, he shares more about the disease and is more open about what is going on with his symptoms. I have my own personal insecurities about relationships, which creates frustration for him. He feels that i dont dully understand what he is going through, and that he cannot help the way his symptoms affect him, but that his feelings for me have not changed. I'm trying to be more understanding. I worry about what the future holds for him, and us. Has anyone ever dated and eventually married an individual with the disease, and if so how do you cope knowing how uncertain the future is? How do you find ways to support the person?
Is there an issue you have that they may have to learn to be patient with and compassionate about? Does this person seem like they would stay by your side regardless of an issue you could develop over time?
Relationships can get difficult when any disease, like MS, becomes a reality. But its a reality we must all face. We all have issues, some medical, some others, but eventually our shortcomings will always test the ones we love.
So, I recommend trying to be very patient. Always look for the good in them and what good they bring out in you. This will help the relationship through the trial of a disease.
As my mother is developing multiple sclerosis, we are needing to help her more and more. With my busy life it can test my patience as well, from time to time. But I love them and with an illness, all the more I feel I should be showing love.
This is what I have been feeling on the matter. So I hope by sharing, it can help.
Take care of you and yours.
Relationships...Relationships with MS in the house....grrrr....no EASY answers there!! Sharing insecurities give them less power as we attempt to walk through each and every one. If you're like me you probably hope that you & your "life partner"...other half, could get your hands on your copy of "MS for Dummies" book tailored special just for me (you) and my (your) unpredictable life!! Sure would be easier with step by step instructions to read. Silly thought huh?? God i wish i had a crystal ball...then i would have planned this life of mine all out "better". Guess all i can do today is be grateful for the luxury problem of having a significant other because doing life alone sometimes is just plain lonely in an ever and always changing world!!
I am the one with MS.
I was upfront about that when I met my (now) husband almost 7 years ago. I wasn't convinced for years that he truly understood what he was getting into. It may be that your partner is testing you, trying to tell you the worst early so that if you leave him, better sooner then later. I was (am) painfully aware of what I can't offer him, the things I can't do with him. For a long time, I kept thinking he could do better, find a healthy mate, live a full life. What is it about me that makes him love me so? I still don't know. But I am deeply grateful he has chosen to make this journey with me and I tell him all the time how much I appreciate what he does for me. It is my responsibility to make sure he knows I don't ever take him for granted and that I don't blame him for what this illness is doing to me.
One of the things I really love about my husband is that he lets me talk about my MS without trying to fix it. He can't and I know that. He would if he could. Sometimes I just need to talk and I love that he lets me without pity or judgement.
You can't truly understand what he's going through and you shouldn't have to. To understand you'd have to also be sick and there's not a one of us who'd wish that upon you. The journey of MS is deeply personal.
My husband has now seen some of the worst of what this illness can do and he has held me while I cry.
Let him talk. You can't fix it. He just needs to be heard.
Time will tell I find you are willing to make this journey with him. Sometimes I think my husband and I are the lucky ones. When we said our vows, for better or for worse, we knew exactly what we meant. I think too often people say the words without feeling their true meaning. I've heard too many stories of people who's spouses left them when they were diagnosed. At least you know from the start the uncertainties we all face but are often willfully ignorant of. You can decide how far you want to go with this man. He may test you, tell you the worst to see if you'll leave.
Stacy10, thank you for your very fine words, the love shines through. maria
Well said. You two are amazing. My husband and I have both gone through ordeals and it really did test the "in sickness and health" vows that we said so long ago. Sometimes, I wonder why when my MS goes through a rough patch, he stays, and I feel very lucky that he does.
This is Steve with the National MS Society.
I'm glad you found this site to connect with others that may have some insight based off of personal experience with a similar situation. I did want to provide you the following link that will take you to a workbook our organization provides to help navigate the complexities of being in a relationship in which one of the individuals has been diagnosed with MS. I hope the information is helpful.
Best of luck to you and your partner and please do not hesitate to contact us again here, or via phone at 1-800-344-4867.