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Newly diagnosed husband won't communicate

New poster here. My husband was diagnosed with RRMS last November. Since his diagnosis he has not shown any emotion at all. He won’t talk about it in any capacity. He’s never been much of a communicator but now there’s nothing. I’ve suggested counselling but he shut that down immediately. It is destroying our relationship. He is a very different person to the one before diagnosis. I understand it’s hard but unless he will talk how can we get through this? Does anyone have any advice to get someone to open up? I’m at breaking point and crying constantly. Lockdown is exacerbating the situation. Thank you

Hi there. Oh chuck…what an awful situation…the lockdown only makes it worse.

I`ve had MS for 22 years and in the very early stages, my hubby wouldnt talk about it. I got some great free literature from the MS Society…but hubby said I was reading myself into it.

Have a look at their list of literature and see if any of it might help you.

Getting a quiet man to open up is so hard, I know.

Boudsx

Hi , what I’m going to say now is from personal experience, I’m not going to sugar coat but you must bare in mind M.S is a difficult disease to diagnose due to massive variation in symptoms and the effects they have on an individual, so what one person has experienced could be a lot different from what your experience will be .

My wife was diagnosed with RR M.S about 16 years ago , at first we didn’t really know anything about M.S we did some basic research online that gave us more questions than answers tbh. My wife went through the same kind of stage you have described your husband to be in at the moment. It took time , discussions, arguments ,crying ,shouting the lot . My wife was angry that she had got this disease in maybe the same way your husband will be but I confused it with something else , I thought she was angry and shutting me out because she had the disease and how it would affect her life but the truth is by researching the internet on the wrong sites she had seen all the horror stories and all the worst case scenario and it was breaking her inside thinking that me and the kids would have to go through it with her. As I said I’m only speaking from personal experience but it’s possible your husband is doing the same kind of thing , in his way if he pushes you away now you won’t be hurt as much with what’s to come in the future?

It takes time to process for your husband and for you , take baby steps , reassure him that you got married for a reason , reassure him of the reasons you are with him and most importantly reassure him that no matter what he isn’t getting rid of you so he might as well deal with this with you because your not going anywhere!!

It’s going to be tough theres going to be really bad days BUT theres also going to be great days, funny days , hurt your sides laughing days , happy days and most importantly days were M.S isn’t even mentioned because it hasn’t made a blind bit of difference to your day. I’m sure you will both get to the better days soon , just take each day as it comes , and remember you and your husband have to write your own story no one has the exact same outcome from this disease so do things your way .

Good luck x

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Very well put Bigmart. Hope you and your wife are ok.

Boudsx

My husband was diagnosed with SPMS 14 years ago. Was exactly the same. Sadly 24 years later and 3 x unsuccessful attempts to take his life sadly his mental health has continued to deteriorate. He has received numerous support from adult mental health, to no avail. He frequently shuts down and moves to the spare room, avoids me in the house and spends time isolating in his workshop. His mobilith has massively declined but more concerning is his mental health, difficulty processing information, having conversations and understanding. His memory is most worrying and this too has led to what I believe is his serious depression. It’s a tough road as a carer. I now have no expectation that this behaviour will change. My husband is 64. I’m not sure all is MS in his case, he has a narcissus personality disorder, behaviour symptoms are similar to dementia and brain damage. He was a successful career man, earning good money, travelling all over the world until he had some major relapse that had further investigation. It’s not much fun trying to care for him. If you are young and your husband won’t engage now I’d consider your options before it gets worse. We all only have one life!

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A lot of us “boys” internalise (which looks like shut down) because we are overwhelmed by the potential enormity of diagnosis. When I find myself doing this I try to break things down into smaller bits that I can do something about.

If your husband is aware of how upset you are and is not doing something about it he needs a chat with himself or some of his blunter friends. When I am being foolish, I have friends who will tell me in no uncertain terms.

I hope he starts to communicate soon (bearing in mind the communication involves listening as well as talking)

Good luck

M

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Nice of you to comment Monaco. Friends have given up making suggestions. Family are close behind. I’m not sure, actually I’m pretty certain it’s not just MS that is the problem. My husband has always been quite difficult and easily self obsessed. Has over the years received mental health support from various highly qualified professionals. He has never been able to fully engage and feel like he is a special man. It’s just getting harder and harder to find a reason to stay together. His lack of gratitude and respect for anyone or indeed anything I do, which is pretty much everything is beyond my ability to relate to. He no longer sees one of his consultants as last time he delivered a few home thoughts to him and was tbh fairly blunt. When I have a direct conversation he can’t acknowledge that his behaviour is unacceptable. Think it’s called self pitying or narcissistic personality disorder. I’m running out of reasons to put up with it.

When my wife was sort of diagnosed in 2001 she didn’t want to know what was going to happen in her future. I wanted her to meet people who had MS, but she felt that going to drop ins was going to show her what might happen to her. I still joined the MS society as I was curious and willing to learn. we never talked about her MS as at the time she wasn’t fully diagnosed until 2012. (her old consultant had written in her notes she had MS. Her MS nurse told her in 2012)
I got her to join me at a drop-in and she is still going as from that point she has met people who are like her and like to talk. she has accepted that she has MS.
So don’t force him, just allow him to take time and accept his diagnosis.
Get one of his friends to talk to him, and tell him he’s still the same man before the diagnosis.