New to this and need advise

Thanks in advance for taking time to read this. I would really appreciate some advice. I met the love of my life last year (neither of us could believe our luck in middle age!). In April this year, following what appeared to be a brief illness, he was diagnosed with MS. It took him a month to see me and tell me and I can’t imagine how hard that must have been for him. It doesn’t change how I feel about him one bit. Unfortunately, he has had a very rough time of it and I can tell that he has periods when he is very depressed, which I fully understand. When he isn’t too well or is very low, he completely isolates himself. We hardly see each other (not my choice) although we text or email on almost a daily basis. I can understand that he doesn’t want me to see him struggling and I know he is finding it hard to come to terms with the diagnosis. He does at least tell me now when he is very tired or feeling low which is progress.I don’t know what to do to help. I am completely lost and have begun feeling very low and upset myself which in the long run won’t help either of us. We spoke about marriage earlier in the year but never again since he became quite depressed. I am convinced he thinks or even believes that I will leave him. I won’t and I have told him this many times. I know he is not getting help for the depression. I have spent the last 6 months learning as much as I can about MS. All I want to do is support him but I don’t know how. I have to respect his need for distance when he isn’t himself because he is that type of person. I fear also that in some mis-guided way, he thinks he is protecting me. I don’t know what to do. I know it is a lot for him to come to terms with and perhaps 7 months isn’t that long. How do I convince him that I won’t run away when he needs me most? Am I approaching things in the wrong way. He shuts me out 75 percent of the time. I know that’s his choice but I worry about him so much from an emotional and mental perspective as well as physical. I would welcome any insight that anyone might be able to offer. Thank you.

Hello and welcome, Sorry to hear you’re having a tough time. Just wanted to explain that it took me about 3 years to stop being an ostrich about MS and to talk about it - and that was even with my husband, and we’ve been together 20 years this year. Have you thought about writing a letter to your partner? It will give you the chance to draft your thoughts and explain your feelings fully. It will also give him a chance to absorb your feelings more fully before responding. I know how tough it is for him; that said he needs to treat you fairly and not leave you in limbo 75% of the time. Just a thought. Hope it helps. Ann xx

hi beryl

(lovely name, my mum was a beryl and it means a precious stone).

i really hope your partner comes out of his shell soon.

when he does, perhaps you could ask him if you could BOTH go to a ms therapy centre.

these are brilliant places, a good place to have coffee, cake and a good chat.

they offer very reasonably priced therapies, including hyper barric oxygen therapy.

quite often one partner goes into the oxygen tank whilst the spouse has a massage.

maybe you could set a target to have a good, open talk in the new year.

have the best christmas possible

carole xx

Thank you Ann and Carole. I will follow your advice. I think writing to him is a very good idea and maybe I can suggest the therapy centre at the same time. On the rare occasions that we actually spend time together, he refuses to discuss ms. My Mum is terminally ill and my teenage daughter was recently diagnosed with two separate chronic diseases and I do think also that he doesn’t want to add to things. He once said that he didn’t want to be a burden but actually shutting me out is worse :frowning:

Thanks so much for listening (well …reading…)

Beryl xx