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Readers Respond: How has MS affected your marriage?

Responses: 122


Updated November 25, 2008

From the article: Marriage and MS
Marriage comes with challenges. Having multiple sclerosis (MS) or being married to someone with MS can certainly impact a marriage. Spouses of people with MS may find themselves in a caretaking role some of the time. People with MS may not able to do some of the things that they would like – they may not be as active as they hoped, they may have to limit parental duties due to fatigue or other symptoms and they may find that sex requires more effort than anticipated. Despite all of these factors, some marriages flourish in the face of MS and others flounder. Share your story of how MS has affected your marriage.

Bf with MS

He is intelligent,mannered,well- educated,socially active yet very private individual.Diagnosed about 3 years ago (and "we" are about "4 months old"). Nothing severe, he told me gently, lightly, asking for discretion.But the moment he told me it started to make sense. All his "symptoms" connected under one name. His inexplicable anxieties, his lack of patience, his fury, his obsessive behaviors, in part with compulsive disorders, his "standing on the edge of depression" position I recognized.Everything. His continuous questions, his demands of controlling me, his lack of confidence, his abusive attempts of separating me from my family & friends make me think I might not want a common future. I respect those who decided to walk into this, but I, an independent woman of...more of a feminist upbringing, cannot imagine myself in this role his requesting me to play.I... would truly appreciate an advice on how to walk out of this gracefully,without any resentment. This is too much for me.
—Guest Grace

Wanting to marry my girl who has ms

I've been in love with this amazing girl for over two years now. She was diagnosed a couple of years prior to us getting involved. She was upfront about having ms in the beginning, she also stated she wasn't looking for anything serious or a commitment. Her feelings changed throughout our time together, telling me she loves me and hinting about marriage, a house together, a future together...But then things changed and now she is set on us not being together because she doesn't want to be a burden to me if her ms progresses. I am fully aware of what could be in store, but I am truly in love with her and I have no qualms about spending my life with her and being together forever. I know that I cannot change her mind alone and probably only over time will she possibly change her mind. She officially broke up with me several weeks ago while I'm away on a job. But, we still talk very often and when I come back on weekends we hang out most of the time together. I hope she comes to marry me.
—Guest Just Ed


I remember being digaeosnd with MS..I too felt like my world had ended..But the truth is , it's just begun !I am a 50Yr old F..I have had MS many years..I have been on betaseron for 8 years and I am thriving on it ! I still work full time and lead an active life with my Grand babiesMy best suggestions are to research the disease modifying drugs.They all have their own advantages and disadvantages.It's up to you and your Neurologist to decide which is best for your needs and lifestyles.Eat right..Keep active ! I love yoga , it helps with tight muscles and balance issues.Watch your alcohol intake and just in general be good to yourself..I treat myself to a massage now and then.I wont fib to you..life with MS isn't always easy,but for the most part..It's really not that bad ! and on days when I am feeling down, I just remember the words of a very wise 3 yr old I know.. Pull up your big girl panties and get over it !A positive attitude will really make the difference Was this answer helpful?
—Guest FALFgnhf

Marriage, MS, fears

Questions., GF has MS dx w/i past year. She's 28. I'm older and wiser but been with her for 4 years, didn't have MS while we were dating, and dx'd after about 3.5 years. I never once thought -- Run Run Now. I told her I'm there for the duration. I love her deeply and try to do what I can to comfort her during her bad times. Question is this, things were GREAT then all of a sudden we broke up, her call, I was devastated. She kept telling me that she wasn't sick when we met, didn't know about the future, and was afraid that I'd bail if things got bad. I dont know what to say, words are words, cannot predict the future, but I had no intention of bailing. Is this common for partner with MS to shut out and push the other away. Things were great then BAM -- Not happy, dont know why, hate everything. Dont know what to do, dont want to give up. Tells me she needs space to work things out. Is she running? Any suggestions would be appreciated. We lived together for 4 yrs. GREAT

dramatic change

Met and began living with girl in '95 same year I was diagnosed witn M S. I spoke with her about it. The long term cronc, progressive possibilitys." Its. Okay well make out fine" Married and pregnant in '02. Second child in '05 I am now in a wheelchair and often unable to take part in family activities. My wife has recently filed for divorce. So with the upcoming load of paper work and trips to the courthouse this will be the activity the whole family gets to feel apart of. Better days ahead.
—Guest Chris

MS Possibility

Maybe it's premature to be posting, but my wife is convinced she has MS. I admit it would explain her ailments of the last 10 years. The 3rd doctor now is taking her seriously and doing extensive tests. Now that it looks like things might be more serious and not just early menopause I have started going to appointments with her and studying MS. I thought she was merely a bit tired and in a little pain (her family is known for neck and back pain) but didn't realize she was understandably rather depressed about the possibility of MS and glad she finally said something to me. We talk all the time and I was surprised to hear and learn how many symptoms she has had and how severe they were that she had never told me about. Ladies don't assume we men know what's going on, be sure to say something.
—Guest David

In the Past

20 years of marriage ended 1 1/2 years after my diagnosis. I don't want to sound bitter but I wonder if my minister ex-husband slept with the chickee in the choir before or after I told him I had MS. After the private investigator showed me the DVD of him and chickee, I filed for divorce. I have been "husband free" for the last 2 years. Divorce and MS seem to go hand in hand. In sickness and in health? Whoooee. I am on disability now but at least I am free of that narcisistic opportunist.

My husband is sooooo wonderful

I was dx in 2003. Now Im on wheelchair. We are married for 21 years. I don't work. All my med expences he looks after. Our sex life is nonexistent. He does lots of Internet searches on ms and tells me any news on the disease. He was the one who told me about gluten free diet. I didnt follow this advice. Only when a dr. Advised did I start the diet. But he did not get mad at me. He makes my each day go by so happily. Everyday I thank my stars for being married to such a wonderful man.
—Guest Guest

i ended it

i was dxd 6 years ago with ms. My marriage wasnt great but we plodded on.But in time my ex started treaitng me ,very subtlely, as tho i was ..basically..stupid.after a long time of trying to make it work it was me, the one with ms, who decided to end the marriage.I didnt know what i wanted but i knew what i didnt want, so i put things in motion & finally left my ex after 24 years of marriage. i regret causing my 3 sons hurt but they are fine grown young men now. i do not regret leaving. In fact, getting ms gave me my guts back & no i would rather not have ms but then again, getting ms made me back into the person i was in a way..before a bad marriage changed me.for which, strange as it sounds, i am grateful. : )
—Guest Ellen

I'm so sorry

Nearly all these stories are bad, im so sorry for you all. I was diagnosed 2.5 years ago and whilst my husband has his moments on the whole he is great. I work pt time, restrict diet and exercise - crossfit. It all works, maybe if I got sick he'd be awful like some of yours. I pray that I stay well. I do stuff I don't always feel like (sex) to keep the peace at times - does that count?
—Guest Robyn

not married but happily commited

My boyfriend and I had only been dating 8 months when I got ill. It took 5 months of many tests and doctor visits before i finally was diagnosed. When I first found out I had MS, i was devistated. I told my guy that he didn't sign on for this...he's still young and has a small child...he didn't deserve this "sentence"...told him to run...He told me I was still the same person he fell in love with...he was staying. Two years later...we are still together. He has been there holding my hand, having my back...there has been tough times for us like any couple...mainly because I feel like I am sometimes not the woman anymore he deserves....he stays! He gave me my very first Copaxone shot when I couldn't bring myself to do it...he rubs my head and legs when I have spasms. He tells me to sit and relax when I just want to keep moving...I don't like to be a burden on him or at least to me, feel like I am a burden. MS is not just my disease..it is his also. I will forever love this Man.
—Guest gail

My marriage and MS

First of all, my heart goes out to those of you who are struggling with MS. I am 49 and was diagnosed at 46. I am married to a wonderful man and will be celebrating 26 years of marriage in May. I do not take that for granted. I suffered a severe exacertation and was laid up for 6 months. This caused depression and suicidal thoughts. After reading many accounts of MS ravaged relationships, I focused on my marriage because I was afraid my husband would leave me. Having MS sucks and it defines me on many levels but I still try to make my marriage a priority. I suffer with sexual dysfunction, memory loss, optic nueritis, pain, and incontinance, among other things and my family is understanding to a point but I also understand that they can't fully appreciate my situation until they have walked in my shoes. Unfortunately, disease is one of those things that bring out our true colors. Find someone to share your burden with you. A support group helped me. I wish you all the best!

Ms ruined my marriage

I have been married 20 years & have 3 boys. Shortly after being diagnosed he was supportive. 4 years later he is mean & resentful. He gives me injections I have tried to self inject. Still work & raise 3 boys. Always tired but still interested in sex. I think I will be better off without him.
—Guest Laura

I am so lucky

Having read all your responses I feel so sad for anyone who has been rejected or is suffering because of MS, I have had MS for 34years but still drive, work from home, very part-time, I walk 3kms with my husband 3-4 times a week, he married me 18ys ago knowing I had MS at that time I was working full-time as an Accountant and running 8kms a day, the symtoms have increased lately so I now walk with a walking frame, when I could not run anymore I took on another challenge, I completed my Masters Degree in Commerce/Accounting three years ago, through all of this my husband has been nothing but supportive, I am so lucky although MS is such a frustrating disease which robs you of even simple things like tying shoelaces. I have started on a new drug "Fampyra" which helps with walking so far has reduced the numbness and possibly helped with walking, but only been on it for 2months so don't know yet if it will work. the downside $600 per month. I emphathise with everyone and wish you all well.
—Guest Jan

His denial

Was diagnosed in '07 and that's when I started to notice his talking in his sleep. Kept hearing him say a word but couldn't make it out until last year. He was repeating a woman's name over and over again, that he loved her. He denies he is seeing anyone. I thought this happened to some women when they were diagnosed, but not all I was wrong.
—Guest Nicki
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