I would really appreciate some advice as my marriage has broken down
My wife was diagnosed with relapsing/remitting MS approximately 4 years ago now. Initially, she was diagnosed with optical neuritis and has lost a signficant amount of vision in her one eye. This as you can imagine was a massive shock to us all but my wife who has been a perfect wife and amazing mother, has never once felt sorry for herself and to be honest has kept a lot of her worries and some of the buzzing and pains she gets to herself, I am sure to stop us worrying. She just gets on with her life managing her MS sympthoms in the best way she can.
When she was diagnosed, she didn’t feel sorry for herself but there was a noticeable change in her attitude to life, quite understandably so. However, some of the changes in her personality since diagnosis I feel have been contributory to our marriage finally breaking down about a month ago. Please note - there are many other underlying issues in our relationship that we have had to contend on top of my wifes MS and these are more likely to have been the main cause but I won’t go into them. The reason I am posting this note is because I want to try and find some answers. I DO NOT want to use my wifes MS as an excuse or justification for our issues
As I mentioned above, I did see a change in her personality.
Firstly an obsession with running and trying to keep fit. In fact, she would get very frustrated if she couldn’t go out running and this put a strain on our relationship as I would get jealous because I wasn’t involved with the running club.She had such a zest for life, that MS would not beat her and I personally I thought she was overdoing it. If she could go out running 7 days a week she would. She wants to throw herself out of an aeroplane and do as much as she can which I totally understand but I felt was not included in these plans
Secondly, I noticed a slight selfishness in her attitude towards the whole family. Running started to take priority over things that she would normally have done.
Thirdly, my wife has always wanted a happy family life but she suddenly started to show signs of independence, often telling me that she would be alright on her own and I am sure she was secretly pining for this life of being able to run as and when she wanted to without worrying about me and the children. I began to feel clingy, needful trying to reassure myself that she was happy and I think she begrudgingly started to spend more time with me doing the activities together as a partnership
Fourthly, my wifes labido has always been very low, ever since I first met her 27 years ago. Over the past 4 years I feel that she has only been intimate with me for me and not her. This has been quite obvious but I have always put it down to a low sex drive. Prior to diagnosis, we always had a good sex life but only because I initiated it but she was responsive and it could be passionate at times. Since MS, it has become more mundane and recently she told me that she hasn’t enjoyed it for quite a while and only does it to keep me happy
Another noticeable trait is a harder exterior to get through to. Previously before her MS was diagnosed she had an emotional side which I see rarely nowadays. In fact she has hardened and become colder as a person. Again I not sure if this is because she needs to be stronger due to the MS?
So really what I want to know are these common traits in a person diagnosed with MS and has anyone else experienced similar? Do these ring a bell? The sudden independent way of thinkg, increased selfishness, lack of sexual interest and claiming to have fallen out of love because of it, colder and harder, obsessive behaviour to beat the condition etc.
We are currently living apart and as I previously mentioned there are other underlying issues to the split of which I have admitted to causing and these have plagued us throughout our 21 years of marriage. But I suppose I saying that I have taken the blame for them but would like to know if I can be vindicated a little knowing some of the issues above are common MS issues
Thanks for listening
Unfortunately, as a family we had a number of other issues to contend with at the time of her diagnosis, including financial worries, redundancy, the loss of her father a few years before, the responsibility of looking after her mother, a son who has a heart condition, a husband suffering from depression… the list goes on. Rather than support my wife when she was diagnosed, I am so ashamed to admit that I was not there for her as I should have been and this led to me pushing my wife into a relationship with another man who could provide the comfort she needed and she left me about 2 years ago. However, after a brief time away she came back to me as she told me she loved me so understandably I took her back as I could not blame her for this as it was my depression and mood that pushed her away
Anyway, our relationship improved but many of the underlying issues I described above continued and in fact got worse. These are underlying issues outside of both our control