Is my partner in denial about my MS diagnosis or is he just that critical?

Hi guys, I’m new to all of this… Have been diagnosed with RRMS for a month now and have been trying to stay positive but partner is so critical about the things that I do or don’t do now. My memory has been pretty badly affected and my thought process is different too… I’m much much slower and feel like a bit of a dummy most days. Get things wrong, forget important information, have absolutely no sense of direction - get lost sometimes just going to the shop or end up trapsing up and down supermarket Isles trying to find the milk section and just can’t seem to find it until I ask a member of staff. Along with all of this, I a extremely clumsy. I’ve broken quite a lot of my partners belongings - totally by accident! When I do, he gets really mad with me and says things like, “I’ve had that for 10 years and then you come along and break it!” It makes me so sad… really makes me feel ashamed of myself and like I just want to curl up in a corner and never raise my head again since I’ll probably break something else. He criticises me when I ask for directions in the car because I can’t remember where to go and teases me for not paying attention for forgetting names of places we’ve been. Sometimes I think, I feel bad enough without him making me feel worse about it and that I should just leave. But, because I’ve been unable to work for the last 3 months, my savings are depleted and I no longer have a job - they were being difficult about my returning to work so I left - so I have no money/means to go live alone somewhere. I do think he cares for me but that unforgiving streak of his really has made me think twice about whether we’re right for each other? Seams like, I need someone who’s more understanding of the fact that I have this illness and maybe he needs someone who’s not sometimes ‘impaired’. I can understand that he’s maybe trying to cope with this new diagnosis too but he acts like I do all of these things deliberately and I am so sick fed up with having to explain myself time and time again. What is it that he doesn’t understand about the part of me having MS and that these are all symptoms I don’t want to have?? Sorry if this post was a bit ‘ranty’, like I said, I don’t usually talk to people about my issues but I am at the end of my tether. Has anyone else had issues like this with their partners? Love, me xx

Hi Just me…

so sorry you find yourself here with this evil diagnosis. Has your partner only been behaving this way since you were told you have MS? Sounds like you’ve had the symptoms for a while and it might be that he’s scared? Have you been referred to an MS nurse yet? They should be able to support you with this, though I haven’t seen mine yet so am just speculating! There may be more info on here on relationships and the memory stuff is pretty common. No doubt others will be along soon with better advice, as I’m fairly new to this too

Julia x

hi just me

i have been with my husband for 35 years, was diagnosed 8 years ago.

at first he was embarrassed by my clumsiness, irritated by my slowness, amused by my forgetfulness but we scraped through.

now it seems to me that he has taken on the role of long suffering partner and i don’t like that.

i understand how you must be feeling.

a little phrase that sees me through is F.I.S.H. (F**k It shit happens)

carole x

Hi Julia, Thanks for replying to my post. I have seen the MS Nurse once and she was so nice but a little scatter brained so I just ended up more confused tbh… or maybe I just wasn’t understanding her. Finding it difficult to tell whether it’s ‘them or me’ sometimes if you know what I mean. He has always been a bit of a perfectionist I guess but it never affected me before because I was quite independent and active that he never had much to criticise. But now it’s different. Because I don’t have any income, he’s had to pay for everything himself and of course I feel so bad about it but, he brings it up a lot and I almost feel like he’s accusing me of being lazy and not wanting to work… he says if things don’t improve by September then we need to have a rethink about staying together because he can’t keep paying for everything… I don’t know how to answer that xx

Hi catwomanCarole58, Thanks for replying to my post. FISH sounds like the best way to go forward with this condition certainly! It’s so frustrating when people keep saying “stay positive” and you do but then your partner/husband drags you down every time. I’m sorry for your situation. Just the other day, my partner and I fell out (a regular occurence these days) and he actually said he wished it was the other way around because it’s easier for me! Because he would love all this time off work and not have to worry about paying bills… I couldn’t believe my ears. Then whenever we have a disagreement- usually because I’ve broken something he goes off to talk to his family about how frustrating it all is for him. Don’t you ever get fed up with your husband being that way towards you? You didn’t ask for this. And all they seam to think of is how it’s affecting them… They don’t even have MS, they just happen to be with someone who is living with it. Hope things can improve for you or you can keep up the FISH response xx


I think it’s very hard to be the partner of a person diagnosed with MS. Almost as difficult as being the one with it, just in different ways. They tend to see you as a different person to begin with, but a month isn’t a very long time for either of you to have got used to the new reality you live with.

And given the chance, it may be that he will get to see that you haven’t changed. As there is now a wide variety of DMDs (assuming you have got relapsing remitting MS rather than progressive), it may be that you never become any more disabled, and you learn coping mechanisms for your brain fog and ongoing cognitive problems.

For you, it probably seems like a lot longer than a month, because you’ve had symptoms for longer. But for him, the actual diagnosis was probably a big shock. Rather than you having symptoms that there is a resolution to, ie something curable, suddenly you become a person with an incurable, progressive disease.

He not only has to get used to you having a neurological disease, he also has to consider ‘do I want to’, or even ‘can I, be the long term partner of a person with MS’. Obviously you don’t get the choice, you’re stuck with it, but if he wants to bail on you and your relationship, he probably needs to do it before you get any worse. And whatever he does, if he’s thinking like this, it’s probably making him feel like a pretty shitty person.

And of course, the person he’s subconsciously angry with, is you. Because you are the cause of the change. Whether you could help it or not, you have altered.

Don’t forget as well, that it would be a lot easier for him if you were to throw in the towel on your relationship. Even if the reason you did is that he has changed towards you.

But before either of you do anything irrevocable, perhaps you need to actually talk about it. Obviously, men aren’t very good (typically) at ‘talking about relationships’, but, for the sake of the love that you have had for each other, and maybe still have, you could try.


There is much that I do not like the sound of here.

The thing I like least is your feeling that you are out of options and couldn’t leave if you wanted to. I think that is your main priority here. If you possibly can, get back to work. Once you have secured enough financial independence, then you can decide whether to take him or leave him alone. There is far too much of a power-imbalance in the relationship just now, or so it seems to me, and that really does tend to bring out the worst in people.


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Hi, I’m biting my lip here, on your behalf. And what’s so chuffin special about September being a deadline.

September1st is only a couple of days away!! What on earth are you supposed to do in 2 days? Will you suddenly be rid of MS and be able to earn a wage again?

I’m sorry, but this man is way out of order treating and talking to you this way!

Having an incurable, very debilitating condition is hard enough without your nearest and dearest turning on you.

If he can’t get over the way your health has changed, through no fault of your own and he walks.,.then he’s done you a favour!


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Agree, Poll.

This kind of situation is a real test of character, and I’m afraid that, on the basis of what the OP has shared on here, the Other Half scores a big fat fail. You find out what people are made of when life gets tough - don’t you? - and the news isn’t always good, unfortunately.