Long Term Relationship

I’ve been on a long term relationship - 8 years to be more precise, out of which 3 have been as engaged. I was diagnosed with MS in Dec 2012 and since then I can’t help but think that it has affected (furher) my relationship.

I am unsure as to whether it is down to me and my outlook on life, my fiancee’s worries and her perceived lack of attention from my side to mundane worries or the fact that she expects me to be 100% (who I was pre MS). Worth saying that I remain minimally free from any MS side effects thus far.

She seems to want to battle irrelevant fights - way of getting attention, because I don’t worry as much? I don’t know… all I know is that I don’t want to fight pointless battles.

Anyone feeling the same?


Tell me about it bud! I was in a relationship for 18 years, got dx at the end of last year and in May she dumped me saying it was nothing to do with my MS but in reality I couldn’t do what she wanted me to do because of my MS. Hope you get it sorted out because it’s hard doing this on your own.

Sorry to hear about that… It must have been a really though situation to overcome. It’s certainly within one’s nature to query the sequence of events and wonder if there are in effect any links between ‘knowing MS is around’ and a change of dynamics in the relationship. I wonder if partners ever open up as to how they feel about it (?)

Sorry to hear about that… It must have been a really though situation to overcome. It’s certainly within one’s nature to query the sequence of events and wonder if there are in effect any links between ‘knowing MS is around’ and a change of dynamics in the relationship. I wonder if partners ever open up as to how they feel about it (?)

Hi Ivan

Relationships can be tricky even at the best of times, but bringing MS into the equation can really take its toll. That’s not to say it’s impossible, but you really need to work hard at the relationship. I’ve been married just over 6 years, and it can be really hard - we really have to think about the meaning of the vows we took (better or worse, in sickness or health)! One of the things that my missus finds hard is that, in many ways, she has to choose to live a disabled life. For example, things like the fact that we can’t go to the beach or walking in the hills because I use a wheelchair.

But like I say, it’s not impossible, and you need to have clear, honest communication. And you also need to know you’ll both feel different things at different things at different times, and you’ll both need time to grieve the loss of your old life, and also grieve the possible loss of hopes & desires for the future (her wanting to have little arguments may well be part of that grieving process, for example getting angry - it’s not wrong, it’s perfectly normal, but you need to find healthy ways to vent that frustration rather than having fights).

There’s also a challenge for yourself to know that having MS doesn’t mean life is over. So although the hopes & desires you have for the future may not happen now, that’s not to say you can’t have any future - you just need to change what those hopes & desires are. There’s all kinds of things you can do. And that’s probably a key thing for any relationship to keep it healthy - being able to go & have experiences, both as individuals & as a couple, that will bring energy and life into the relationship.

That all felt like a bit of a ramble, but I hope at least some of it was useful! But like I say, it will be tough, but it can also be good, if you’re both willing to work it through.


Ivan, if you look for a thread titled From Bad To Worse in the PPMS forum, the situation’s documented there. I was told it was nothing to do with my MS but whether I believe that or not, I do believe it was a significant factor. I do find it hard having someone to help me all the time domestically to not at all. She claimed she left as she wasn’t happy with the relationship but she doesn’t have this disability.

Hi Ivan

The effect on those close to us of MS should not be underestimated. It is life changing for all concerned.

Obviously each relationship is different. However, you both may find counselling helpful, your GP or MS nurse can refer you for this.

It is early days for you both and you will still be coming to terms with the diagnosis.

Good Luck to you both


As Annie says, you may find couselling helpful or the number for the MS helpline is at the bottom of this page.

hi ivan

i understand you not wanting to fight pointless battles.

its called self preservation, well in my case i do know that stress makes my symptoms worse.

also the fatigue monster means we have to use our spoons wisely.

have you told her about the spoon theory? if not you should google it, its really good for explaining one aspect of this disease.

good luck

carole x

Many thanks for your comments.

Whilst counselling may indeed prove useful (always seems to be short lived), there is nothing like hearing other peoples’ experiences to put things into context.

Dan, I have to say that your words around the grieving process make all the sense - I guess it would be perfectly natural for her to go through that process… Likewise, Carole I do identify myself in the self preservation element you mentioned and the spoons analogy is surely an interesting and lovely one :slight_smile:

Its early days as Anne says but one cannot help but think alike Mr Grumpy, that MS is on the way.

We’ll see…in any case, it has been much appreciated to hear about your experiences! Here and there, an identification element arises and does help to bring a long term perspective :slight_smile:

Ivan x


I can only add my experiences and hope its relevant and helps!

I have been married for 19 years now and the last 18months have been horrendous for my family and myself. Ms sucks and i agree with the others that it is indeed a grieving process element.

I have had my bad days and the good, but the best thing was reading about sex and ms ( appologies for being blunt now!) I read that ms’ers are the best in bed. I laughed so hard that i peed myself haha. But on showing my hubby this article he actually agreed and said we have been having the best sex since my symptoms started than ever in our whole relationship! Now i didn’t know whether to punch him or kiss him but he explained that because of all the symptoms i have been spicing things up for him!

He explained that i have been more adventurous and experimental in finding what works and stops me from collapsing on him and (this has made it easier for me and him!) apart from being totally numb down there, for a few weeks only (ahem!), it has been a wonderful time learning for both of us and it has brought us so much closer!

So…on that very private note…ms has made things brighter even tho some days suck and are very hard physically and mentally…i wanted to say that there are always wonderful times to be had inbetween and my family have all been helping me as much as poss and this makes me smile every day! The sun always shines in our house and i take great comfort in the fact that i am still able to make my whole family smile in one way or another! Even if laughing so hard makes them laugh with me! Oh and there are plenty of gimp/ms jokes in our house hahaha

Hope if nothing else it proves that regardless of what ms throws at you, you can make your life good !

Flippin eck Dan! That was deep, thought provoking and really well put together. You should be a relate counsellor!

luv Pollx

Hi, here`s my two pennarth…

been married over 41 years now. My MS like problems entered our lives 15 years ago.

I was always independent, a go-getter…hardly afraid of owt.

Hubby was dependable, patient and kind.

Life is very different now.

I depend on him for a helluva lot. He has quite severe RA to contend with.

We have 3 carers coming in to give him a bit of a break…plus 1 sleepover. But theres still many, many hours when its just me and him…and a poorly poodle!

It`s a difficult life, but one we both want to keep, or should that be the 3 of us!

Sometimes, less said is definitely soonest mended, in our case. But boy! Do I have some arguments in my head!


What wise words Dan has I’ve been with my partner for three years. I’m a wheelchair user much of the time. The first ‘big’ ms thing he had to get his head around was me having to be catheterised and eventually I got an SPC! It’s not easy, I feel guilty that I can’t do many of the household jobs like cooking and cleaning. Planning holidays mean making sure there is a wet room…the list is endless. I guess it’s a bit easier for him as he doesn’t know me any differently, the challenge will come when new things happen. Communicate, communicate, communicate. And this means by both sides of the partnership. My partner will chuckle if he reads this because I’m not always very good at this! I’m a stubborn, bloody minded Yorkshire woman, say no more! I hate feeling like a stuck record saying I’m having a ‘neurological’ day but if I don’t say and try to push on through it, I get past it and he feels guilty for pushing me too hard and it ends up a horrid angry mess. My motto is never go to bed on angy words, they make the bed very uncomfortable. Sara x

Hi Ivan

I am the same I hate being around people who moan , however this is not easy at time as hubbys family can moan for britain, I know it has caused a lot of issues between us but being in their company every week is ‘painful’ my husband says he knows a lot about disability , his family have a high level of it, but he doesnt understand mine a lot of the time he works away and he asks what i have been up to. he doesnt understand that i have limited energy so dont do to much but like you dont care to use my precious energy carng about minor things



I have been married for 26 years , but I know I am not the person I was then