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My boyfriend who has MS broke up with me

My ex boyfriend has MS and we dated for a year. The whole year we dated, he was nothing short of perfect, our relationship was great, we became the closest of friends, practically moved in together, we talked about getting married soon… A lot of people warned me about being with someone with this illness and not wanting that sort of future for me. This was not a discussion I considered even once. When you love someone, you love them through anything - even more so through hard times. Then, suddenly, one day he got very distant and was acting way out of character and mean. By the end of the conversation he said he was meant to be alone and he’s happy alone and broke up with me. We got back that day, but long story short, every couple of weeks for two months this went on - we’d break up, I’d try to talk sense into his head and we’d somehow get back. Eventually once day he was quite steadfast in his decision - broke up, and there was nothing I could do to change his mind.

I was heart broken. After two months he called me again one early morning. Again he said he missed me. I thought he might have sorted himself out. I gave him an ultimatum - if he missed me, life is too short, he should just be with me… He has his whole life ahead of him to sort himself out. We got back, only for him to very cruelly break up again in less than a week (I won’t go I to the details, but it was quite cruelly done). Now we don’t talk at all. What am I missing here?

I thought someone with his illness would want to be with someone, especially for emotional support. I know I would if I were in his shoes. He talks very haphazardly now, and acts a little cuckoo sometimes. Goes on saying he’s meant to be alone. He’s happier alone. Wants to move off to a remote village in South America and buy a piece of land there (very unrealistic). Talks a lot of pseudo-philosophical jargon, and very nonchalantly wonders why I’m so miserable and can’t move on!

This isn’t the guy I knew when I dated him. Really, what am I missing here? I don’t know where to start.

Hi TIVF!
Welcome to the Forum!
I am so sorry to here of your heartbreak with your ex-boyfriend!
I am sure there are people on here that can offer really good advice.
From a male perspective who has been coping with MS for a good number of years I can only offer the following advice:-
I believe your ex may not only be having problems comming to terms with his diagnosis but also the fact that he may
eventually loos his independence completely! (it’s a man thing).
Also he is possibly feeling very unlovable as he probably doesn’t “love himself” at this time.
Maybe he believes he is “doing you a favour” by finishing the relationship.
Cirtain people do have psychlogical problems with the onset of MS lesions in the brain.
I believe there is nothing that can be done if the above is true (maybe someone else knows differently)!

Given your present circumstances I would advise to give him space and even perhaps consider
moving on yourself.
You cannot “make” somone love you, no matter how much you care about / love them!
What ever your decision LOOK AFTER YOU!
Maybe view your ex from a distance for reasurance.

I hope all the above is not “pseudo-psyco” babble I have been in similar situations.

Take Great Care and please try to be happy in which ever direction your future takes you!

Steve.

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I am sorry that the end of this relationship has left you feeling so sad.

If you want him back, your best bet now is probably to walk away with your nose in the air, but you do not sound like the sort of person who is interested in playing those sorts of silly games. But please do not keep on making yourself miserable by keeping on trying to save him from himself (as you perceive it). You see the world through your eyes: he sees the world through his. As Leonard Cohen says, ‘…a man never got a woman back by begging on his knees,’ and he is dead right about that, and it works just the same whatever the combination of genders, I’m afraid.

I hope that you find a way through this painful time as soon as you can.

Alison

Hi, welcome to the forum. I was sorry to read your sad post & pretty much agree with what’s already been said…but I wonder if the break up would have happened anyway, MS or not? Perhaps the MS has been used as an ‘easy’ excuse to finish the relationship.

I can understand that you’re heartboken but now I feel you should distance yourself & work at getting your happiness back. If it was meant to be it will happen…try to be strong, you will have brighter days ahead.

Rosina x

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Thanks Steve! Yours is the most helpful advice and I couldn’t agree more. I’ve always sensed he hasn’t still dealt with the illness yet. He’s always looking for some way to keep escaping into something new. Many say I was that escape for a while last year. We’re not together so I have no other option but to try to move on. It’s hard because the few times we’ve spoken, he says stuff like he doesn’t want to meet me because then he’ll want to get back with me and he knows he’s meant to be alone. It is the person he is.

I obviously find that completely ridiculous and so pointlessly frustrating - everyone is meant to be happy and with someone. These sort of things made me feel for him and get so sad about the situation and for myself at the same time.

I worry about his future and can’t get myself to understand what I think is reckless behaviour on his part. I really wish there was a way to fix this. But I can sense there clearly isn’t.

Hope you stay well and are happy, too.

I get what you mean, Alison. Either way, I don’t have an option in the matter and have to find a way to move on. I just keep thinking if I were in his shoes, I know how complicated and frustrating this illness is, but I’d really want someone to be there for me, too. But I guess each person is different.

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Yeah, it is hard to distinguish between what could be caused by an illness or by general guy jerkiness. That’s also a major frustrating bit in all of this.

So we spoke today. We haven’t in almost a month (since we broke up again). I really feel like he’s lost his grip on reality. He goes on and on about how he’s thought this through and he’s meant to be a loner. He barely gets out of the house anymore. Just work, home, exercise, eat, sleep. He’s asked me not to call or come over, as that makes him want to get back with me and all this is very hard for him, so he’s going to try to get over me over time.

This is SO frustrating and such a waste of time. Why would you wake up one morning and force yourself to get over someone when you didn’t have to?

I really don’t know what will make me get over this situation fast (if ever.)

Hi hun,

There is nothing you can do but to get on with your life - without him. No doubt there will come a time when he no longer wants to be alone but by that time you will probably be with some-one else and if he is happy with that then there is nothing you can do.

Take care hun - you can’t live some-one elses life for them. Just try to be happy in your own.

JBK xx

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I know. I keep thinking he’ll come to his senses sometime, but, at the moment, that time seems like a big question mark.

The thing that scares me the most is that I really worry for him, and I don’t want to find happiness somewhere one day and then have him realise he wants to be with me. The guilt will eat me up. I don’t know why, I keep getting these thoughts and it makes my heart sink.

So true. We all know that really, but it can take age and sad experience for our hearts to learn what our heads already know.

Alison

Been there done that, bought the t shirt. This message sent shivers down the spine. About 12 years ago I was in a relationship when the MS started it’s slow tumble downhill. To say I was frustrated and confused is an understatement and the one thing I did was take it all out on the one person who was closest to me, Laura. My emotions were up and down like a prostitutes underwear and to cut a short story long I decided I would make the decision for us both and finish the relationship as I felt just a tad more than useless. For anyone interested look up “Loss and Change” theory. That explains a bit of what he is going through. I suppose I am trying to say that he has to work this out for himself and, if he goes in the wrong direction, he will look back on this and beat himself up. That said, I agree that you have to look out for you. Life goes on and if he is experiencing what I did he will be wrestling with demons for a good while yet. I know this reply doesn’t help you much but thought I would give you a look from the other side.

Gary

P.S. Laura never agreed with my decision and felt exactly the same as you describe. It is a decision I have always regretted

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I’m awfully sorry, Gary, but thank you for sharing your story. Sadly, it gives me a little strength to hear that I haven’t been the only one in such a situation. It really is hard to watch and, at this point, I can’t bear to walk away and watch him self destruct. I wish there was some magical way I could say the right words or do something that would resonate in his head and make him think clearly. Unfortunately, I’m sure there isn’t.

He keeps saying he’s not worth anyone’s time, he’s meant to only be with himself, no one should be with him - he’s meant to be/happy to be alone. I’m pretty much venting and repeating myself here but I can’t in the real world and this is eating me up. I try really hard not to, but it’s all that plays in my head, all day long.

Hi,

As a man. Were all “b - - t - - d s”

We don’t know how to handle some situations. Were brought up to be the strong one who shows little of his feelings.

TO MUCH HOLLYWOOD !!

At the momment he is still in a bad place and until he gets his head sorted and starts to accept his MS, and thinks it is better to retreat into his dark cave !!

Andy

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This is a tough question, but when do patients start to move forward with their lives and get to a better place with their illness. I’m sorry if my question is insensitive or I’m using the wrong words here, which could end up sounding harsh. I’m just trying to understand this as much as possible to probably get some sort of closure or knowledge to be able to deal with this and try to move on. Maybe I’m just grasping at straws here…

I know it varies from person to person, and everyone is different, but is there some sort of answer for this?

Hi,

I’m sorry to read of your heartbreak. As other’s have said, it sounds as though he is struggling to come to terms with his dx. It’s a difficult time. I was only diagnosed in June and don’t think it has even begun to sink in yet.

There is no hard and fast rule as to when people will start to “move on with their lives”. Unfortunately, as an incurable condition it becomes a part of your life, so there is no moving on from it. Only acceptance. And I am afraid that can take a long time.

If you are asking with a view to wondering if he may want to start the relationship up again once he has begun to accept his diagnosis and are hoping for a time frame as to when this will happen, I’m afraid that’s not an answer anyone will be able to give you.

As you say, everyone is different and there is no right or wrong way to deal with a diagnosis. It is life changing and knowing there is currently no cure is difficult to accept in ways that words cannot begin to explain.

I think for now, the best thing you can do is to take care of yourself and begin to move on as best as you can.

I hope you find your happiness

PG xx

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I feel what you mean, Pandagal. That’s the hard part – I can understand just how difficult it must be for a patient having to deal with this, and at the same time, I probably still don’t understand half the torrid emotions and loss that has to be faced.

I’ve dealt with painful breakups before, but none like this. I don’t think I’ve ever been this helpless and this miserable about being helpless. All that runs through my head is sorrow for him, which makes it harder to let go, and you’re right – at the back of my head I’m probably still hoping for a time frame and hoping for him to have that moment where he wakes up one morning and has sorted it all (so he’s no longer in what I can only think is mental pain and conflict)

Luckily till now, except for his first episode when he was diagnosed, he hasn’t had any episodes or symptoms, except for lack of stamina sometimes lethargy. He was on interferon injections, which he’s completely stopped since May to see what happens to him (and nothing can be said to him - I don’t know if this is a good thing), and he’s not gone to a doctor for over two years. He was urged this winter to go to someone to seek help for these feelings he has, these voices in his head that tell him he’s not supposed to be with someone and is meant to be alone. But he refused and mumbled something about wanting to do something himself.

My heart does go out to him. There is no greater frustration in knowing there’s no cure yet. Last summer he was extremely positive about his illness - believed we live in modern times and we’d obviously have a cure soon, and strongly thought he’s not in such a bad position… in a nutshell he was so extremely positive, it made he so proud of him and made me go forward with this relationship so positively.

I just wish I could have all that back. I’m going in circles…

Hey,

I am so sorry to hear about your break up. I know how he feels… since diagnosis I have thought of breaking up with my partner many times… I feel that I have nothing to offer him now and he could go out with someone normal… the only reason I haven’t done it is because I love him immensely and also feel that I would be single forever without him, because who would want me now? It’s really selfish of me and I feel awful for putting him through it. But then a friend said that I shouldn’t make the choice for him and she was right. There are other reasons that he is with me other than my now limited physical capabilities. But I know what your ex was probably thinking when he made that decision. MS has made me feel like half the person I wad before and I hate it. But if he has made this decision then you have to respect it and get on with your life because he may never see sense and probably feels that he genuinely isn’t good enough for you now.I really hope things go ok.

Jen x

Jen, I just want you (and everyone else here) to know that you’re still normal and most definitely not half the person you were before. All of you are such strong individuals, my heart goes out to you.

That being said, I know how easy it is for me to say these things when I’m not the one going through these changes.

I do feel the same way as your friend - I feel like he shouldn’t be the one making these decisions based on what he thinks is right for me. I get to decide that. I do feel it’s so unfair that he gets to decide and make this decision on his own and I’m supposed to move on and be ok with it. But I guess, what he’s going through is far more unfair in retrospect.

This is just so heavy and keeps going round and round in my head and I’m not ready to stop talking about it yet, or letting go. I just don’t know how to.

We’re supposed to meet for lunch on Sunday. A part of me says I shouldn’t go, I’ll only get hurt. Another part just wants to go and cheer him up and have a good time (maybe it’ll lift his mood). I know I definitely cannot at this point talk sense into him.

Anyone? Any thoughts? Do I meet him? How am I supposed to act if I do? Have I gone completely crazy for asking such a question?

Maybe you should tell him what you just told me… that you are there to support him and that you would like to have a say in his decision if the reason for it is his MS… But you also have to consider that this may not be the reason. If he is depressed then maybe he needs help… I was chronically depressed after my diagnosis and have only started to feel better from taking anti depressants and going to counselling. But it was hard to get up for a long time and this illness makes you feel mentally drained as well as all the physical stuff that is happening. Bear of luck hun xx as the physical stuff. hard hard to get out