the green eyed monster?

Hi there, compared to most M.S issues I have a relatively minor problem just now but it’s causing me to be very jealous and frustrated which is stressful and I would love honest opinions, maybe I’ll realise I’m over-reacting.

I’ve had R.R.M.S for 17 years. For the first four years I had serious symptoms and have quite significant permanent damage that causes mobility problems, but with chemotherapy and daily copaxone injections I’ve been relapse free for 12 years. My wife and I are very close but she has always been impatient and demanding and has never understood the nature of M.S fatigue or how difficult it can be to stay on top of things emotionally.

We always went hillwalking when I was healthy and she still takes the kids for long walks in the countryside, so when our kids made new friends and they started tagging along it was more fun for them. Then their parents started arranging to go too and that was fine, although my wife found it a little awkward. The mother then dropped out and now my wife has been going on the walks with the father and the kids.

I don’t know him as he’s never been interested in talking or chit chat with me but is friendly and chatty with my wife. I said I’m just not comfortable with this situation as it feels like a day out for them rather than a kids playdate. My wife freaked out and started screaming that I was putting her in an impossible situation.

I asked her to tell me how she would feel if the roles were reversed and she got really angry again, she became really upset and accused me of not trusting her. She still refuses to answer the question, which irritates me as I know she is a jealous person who would never accept this scenario.

I’ve kept my cool but this is becoming a weekly event and she knows I’m not happy. I’ve said I’ll just tell the guy I don’t know him that well and I’m not comfortable with it but she became angry again and said it would make her look bad.

So we’re stuck with her in a rage and me feeling jealous and frustrated.

Hi, to be honest I wouldn’t be happy either, I’ve had spms for the past 13.5yrs and can’t do much walking now, I do have a scooter which is great, I personally think she’s being unfair, it can’t be nice knowing you can’t do it with her and the kids, but another man can, I do wonder what his wife thinks ? Do you have a scooter, if not would you consider getting one and then maybe think about joining them ? I don’t do it very often, but when I do join my hubby and our little dog it makes me feel so much better. Good luck love, chin up and I really hope she comes around.

Jean x

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I agree with greenhouse - I would hate it to be honest. It’s one of the things that I absolutely miss the most, getting out into the countryside for walks - I literally dream about it, so if my husband was out walking with another woman - even with the children I would be mad as hell! Sounds like she is over-reacting a bit too, wbhat you are feeling is understandable and only to beexpected she is heapling yet another problem on you by making you feel .like you are being unreasonable.

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Yep, I agree with the others who replied to you.

Youre being left out of something that families should do together......ok youre not up to it, but your missus refuses to see how it`s making you feel.

A very awkward one for you…but she should consider you more.

Boudsx

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I don’t quite know what to think about this situation. Would you feel the same if your wife was going for walks with another woman? Are your children (and the man’s children) still going on these walks? Is it exactly the same situation as if she were meeting this chap (and their kids presumably) for cups of coffee?

My husband and I don’t have children, so the same situation wouldn’t arise. However, he does go out for walks with a male friend. Just as he goes for cycle rides with another male friend. He has also been for walks with a good friend of mine when she visits.

I can’t join him for walks on the South Downs, or walks on the seafront in certain areas. We do go out to the bit of seafront that I can get to, just the two of us, or with friend(s).

I can imagine you are perhaps feeling a bit threatened by your wife’s friendship with this man. But honestly, if you do in fact trust your wife and don’t suspect anything is happening between this man and your wife, I can’t see that there’s anything to be envious of. Apart from the ability to go for long country walks with your family. That is something I wish I could do with my husband and friends.

Maybe the two of you need to try to let go of any animosity, try to get past your envy and sit down together and calmly discuss why you are feeling so threatened?

Best of luck.

Sue

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Thanks for the reply. My instinct always tells me just to get awkward situations dealt with straight away but my wifes reaction made me think twice and now I’m wondering if I should just ignore it now. My wife knows how I feel so I expect her to try and avoid walks where he’s the only adult and I’ll let it slide if it can’t be avoided.

I can get around with my elbow crutches and the car so I’ve never bothered with a scooter or electric bike, I just accept that long walks are out, but we travel around the countryside every weekend and are always a busy family.

Thanks for the reply. I think she overreacted. My wife was shaking with anger and crying when I tried to tell her I wasn’t happy and wanted to say something to the guy. I was taken aback as It didn’t seem like a huge problem compared to everyday problems everyone has.

Thanks for the reply. I totally agree with everything you said.

Hi, thanks for the reply. It’s a weird one for me. It seems like it really should be nothing but my gut is telling me that it’s just not acceptable and that there is no way I’d go for long walks with another woman If the roles were reversed.

It it was a woman going I would have absolutely no problem at all. When his wife was going I had no problems at all. I’m feeling jealous but I don’t feel inferior in any way to this guy.

If they were taking the kids to the park for a playdate or having a coffee as the kids played it wouldn’t bother me.

I do trust my wife but I think the dynamic when it’s just a man and a woman is very different, especially out in the amazing area we live in. Even though the kids are a constant distraction, they’re still sharing a lot of nice experiences together and it’s only natural you would form a bond with someone. That seems risky to me.

Thanks everyone for the replies. Reading them and thinking about things has really cleared my mind.

Hi again, glad you sound to have got a better handle on things.

You know when we are disabled and cant do the things we did or want to do, some of us can feel envious and insecure about it.

Hopefully our loved ones realise this, but as they are not in our shoes, we cant reaaly blame them.

A similar type of situation happens to me quite often…my grandchildren come to visit and go into the playing field opposite our house, to fly a kite, or walk the dog or just run around. I have to watch from our lounge window. I cant get into the field as the gates are inaccessible to me.

Life`s tough at times. But keep at it love.

Boudsx

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Just a thought. Something you may not realise is that many (most) women are afraid of walking out in the wider countryside by themselves, and will only do it in the company of another adult. Has she ventured more widely since she joined up walking with the other family?

That the mother has now dropped out of the walks shows she obviously does not distrust her husband, doesn’t sense an issue with it, or she’d still be out walking or would have stopped him! Your wife may feel more relaxed out walking with another adult, and that it gives her more freedom of where she can walk, and another adult to help should an accident happen.

For many people, walking during Covid times is one of the most effective ways of keeping mentally sane during these social distancing times. So many of our normal activities that help us relax have been curtailed, and normal social interactions with others greatly reduced. These walks might be the thing that is keeping your wife going. Maybe the thought of it ending was why she reacted badly. In these Covid days it could be hard to find another woman with or without family to go for walks, and to trust to observe Covid safety.

We are in funny times. Most people are on edge because our lives have changed so much with Covid 19. We’re confined far more to our homes, so those times where we can get out, and times when we can just chat may now be vital valves to release ‘cabin pressure’.

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Hi, thanks for responding, it’s my first time ever posting on a forum of any kind and it’s been nice reading other people’s views. My wife has been hillwalking and hiking as a habit for 20 years, with me and now the kids and many times on her own. She knows the area and the people very well. On wether the guys wife minds the situation, I can’t be sure although when I met her after the first time she had to drop out she instantly made a point of saying that she had missed out on the walk too. It was interesting the way she said it but also, my wife hadn’t mentioned it to me at this point. I like that you wrote that if she had an issue she would have stopped him. Obviously everyone should respect their partners freedom to spend time alone or with friends and I do that but this situation really touched a nerve. My wife’s reaction seemed so over the top, then to deny she would have an issue if the roles were reversed really surprised me as we’ve been together a long time and she has shown her jealous side for much, much less.

Quite honestly, Anon, if I were your wife, I would be hopping mad as well. MS has deprived her of her husband’s company on walks, and a lot more besides in terms of how you and she hoped and expected that your lives would turn out. The person married to the one with MS has so much adjustment to make a decent life for her/himself and try to do so with as little complaint and with as good a grace as he/she can muster. And that’s what she’d doing in this small way, and now she’s being accused (practically) of parking the kids with a bag of crisps and a bottle of Fanta while she and her fancy man flirt (or worse) behind the bushes! I mean, how would you feel in her shoes?

You are absolutely right about the corrosive effects of the ‘green-eyed monster’ - it is a damaging and dangerous force. If there is no trust, there’s no point, really. Please do be careful.

Good luck.

Alison

p.s. Hill walking was our thing too, and I miss those lovely holidays and those lovely walks together so much, and so does he. MS sucks.

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Thanks for the response. You’ve put an image in my head that really wasn’t there before, haha, and hopefully it doesn’t stay long. I didn’t sign up and write my original post to have everyone agree with me but you’re off the mark. I’ve scrapped and fought every day for 17 years to try and minimise the effect that M.S has on our lives and I never complain. We’ve both worked hard and we’ve built a great life together. I’ve never accused her of anything apart from being a hypocrite on this issue.

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Am I the only one thinking you have the right to feel jealous? I’m curious as to why the other woman, his wife, dropped out? Did she not like your wife? Feel threatened maybe? Is she having the same conversation with her husband that you had with your wife?

I’m a believer in going with your instincts. It may well be an innocent walk around and nobody intent on anything untoward happening. However, things do happen. Nobody ever sets out to hurt anyone but when someone needs a shoulder to cry on it’s easy to see that shoulder as someone wonderful, who “, understands”.

Be aware of the situation and any unusual things around you. Just wait and see…

Try not to interrogate her or the children and fuel an already volitile situation. Sorry if I’ve not responded positively like others have. I’ve been on both sides of the fence many years ago. Long before my ms.

In your OP you say your wife doesn’t understand the nature of your m.s.and you say you have a great life together - there’s some contradiction here.

Surely the question is why is your wife doing something that distresses you - my guess is this issue is the tip of an iceberg.

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Hi, thanks for responding. I think there might be a similar conversation happening there. As mature adults we’re not supposed to get jealous, it’s something we think of kids and teenagers being too immature to deal with but I wonder how often people suppress jealousy and seemingly irrational, unfounded suspicions only to sleepwalk into big problems. Having said that I’m absolutely positive there’s no potential problem here. I’m thinking that my wife refusing to admit how she would feel if the roles were reversed is the root of my problem and I hope she will avoid walks in the future when it’s just the two of them. I think some people deny that there’s a different dynamic at play when a woman and a man spend time together and that it’s just the same as friends of the same sex. That may be the case sometimes but I’d say it’s much more common that one or both people will harbour or develop romantic feelings at some point. Probably the man more often than not haha. We’ve talked and argued and we’ve still not “officially” resolved the issue but I really don’t feel like I’ve been Pressuring her, I feel I’ve been quite cool about it, luckily I’m certain the kids have absolutely no idea we’ve had issues.

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Oh,oh. That sounds ominous hehehe. Being Impatient and demanding is just part of my wife’s personality. I don’t think of it as a bad thing and there’s just no way to describe M.S fatigue to someone or anything for them to compare it to. Perhaps an M.S fatigue simulator would increase understanding for partners of people with M.S.

Forgive me, I’ve just watched Strictly so the Strictly Curse comes to mind! I don’t believe many of the relationships formed on that show were ever intended at the outset, but it is a fact that when sharing the regular company of another over a period of time, bonds do sometimes form, intended or not. But when that is the case, there is ‘usually’ something already missing/wanting in their lives or the feeling that ‘the grass is greener’ which we all know, is rarely the case.

However, the issue I would take most umbrage with here is ‘hypocrisy’. My pet hate in all relationships!

I believe that you should treat each other as equals for relationships to work. When it comes to many matters of the heart you shouldn’t have an understanding/rule/guide (call it what you will) for one, that doesn’t apply to the other (unless obviously, this is something you’ve BOTH agreed to through open discussion), doing so IS what causes the bad feeling/resentment/jealousy/mistrust.

So I’d advise a chat about the inequality of views in the relationship now rather than focusing on the man. Try to have an open, honest conversation about the love and the heart and the feelings, and how to keep your relationship equal, rather than about mistrust and jealousy and each putting your proverbial foot down. Try to get on the same page with what is or isn’t acceptable to each other in an equal and balanced way.

The only way forward is … communicate, communicate, communicate!

All the best x