Long term relationship struggling since diagnosis

Hi all,

I’m early 30s, been with my partner for 8 years and I was diagnosed towards the end of last year.
My partner has never been particularly emotionally supportive, I think he struggles to understand things he doesn’t go through himself and fortunately for him hasn’t had many difficult situations in his life.

However since my diagnosis other than initial conversations about how this could change things and him trying to be supportive at the start, he sort of acts like everything’s fine and has carried on as normal. I also have to explicitly tell him when I’m feeling fatigued or struggling because he doesn’t pick up on it and in a conversation the other say told me I’d been “off” with him for the last year…. think everyones a bit “off” when trying to process a diagnosis :melting_face:

I still carry the mental load for our home (housework, admin etc) and still trying to progress in my career so I think I’m now growing resentful. I also feel like my mind has shifted in what I’d prioritise in a relationship, care, support, compassion, emotional intelligence so I feel like I’m reassessing everything. However I also know I’m struggling with depression and anxiety and have been just as critical of my friendships recently and don’t know if it’s just me having an existential crisis or if our relationship is breaking down. (or both)

I guess I’d like to know has anyone else gone through this after diagnosis causing mind frames and priorities to change and what did you do in that situation?

Thank you :two_hearts:

Well, he has one now.

I think there is a fine line between giving each other space to process difficult feelings in his/her own way, and explicitly supporting one another in the project of dealing with this as a team.

I think each couple has to find their own balance, and it’s trial and error. Nobody is telepathic, and things can be misunderstood or misinterpreted very easily on both sides, and that’s OK: it’s always a work in progress.

I hope that you find a way through that works for you both.

Hi there and yes I , and probably all couples have gone through this to some degree and in one way or another.

Im at the other end of adulthood (just turned 70) and was diagnosed some 18 years ago.

I think that a diagnosis of MS and any similar life changing conditions kind of upends absolutely everything and it takes some months to even begin to come to terms with it. It’s a lot to ‘process’ ! You say you struggle with anxiety / depression- I’m a great believer in ‘counselling’, have you thought about getting some counselling sessions? This might help you work through and come to terms with the diagnosis of MS and what it means for you. I would concentrate on yourself first - build up your emotional and mental strength. Having MS does require some considerable personal strength and resilience and yes it changed my outlook and priorities ! Take care of yourself and then start dealing with the aspects of your relationship.

I didn’t use counselling when first diagnosed but have used it since then and it’s useful.

As far as the relationship side of things go, I had been with my girlfriend for just 3 years when I was diagnosed. She was a nurse and knew a bit about MS.

My aunt had quite bad MS and I knew what might happen to me. So, I told my girlfriend that I would quite understand if she wanted to end things and would hold no animosity, grudges etc. Very pleased to say she stayed and we just celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. From time to time and mainly on my initiative we did sit down and discuss what MS could mean for me and her. I do still have to remind her of my limitations and am quite direct but careful and considered in this. Have to be quite objective about some things and their consequences/ implications. Although she was a nurse ( now retired) and knew a bit about MS I did and still do have to go through a process of ‘educating’ her - teaching her about the various symptoms and limits that MS causes ( there is a bit of a balance to strike - I’m wary of going on too much and sounding like ‘poor little me’ but will say ‘ sorry I can’t do that, it’s beyond me , run out of energy etc.

So, in short , I would concentrate on me first , get some counselling or the ears of any good friends ( counselling is best!). Work through things for yourself and then begin to discuss long term implications with your partner , what you each want in life and your relationship etc.

Stay strong . Wishing you all the best and very happy to discuss, answer any questions etc

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Dear @rlb
Sorry to read of the breakdown of your long term relationship.

Although I’ve no real experience of long term relationships myself, I can only empathise with the gradual breakdown of the career and working life.

I feel my body has now slowed to a snail’s pace and is mirrored in my working life, I very much doubt if a future employer would ever take me on if they knew of this fact. :snail:

Unfortunately, this is the nature of multiple sclerosis, but I will wish you all the best with whatever the future holds.

Oh God, i know how you feel. It is a lot to take in, then.your career (to be honest your lucky there, 20 years as a software tester and then just cast aside as if disposable). So things going for you, job - tick, partner - tick. Now, it will also be very daunting for him as well. Silly question have you told him how his indifference is making you feel? I mean as a bloke i just ignore it as much as possible. Had MS for 20 years i think. The point i sm trying to make is he is not a mind reader

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