Multiple Sclerosis (MS) can wreak havoc on our lives indiscriminately. You’re living your life, minding your own business, then BOOM, you’re smacked with the life-changing diagnosis. It’s a scary feeling, not knowing if or how your particular type of MS will progress.
Read about it: WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF MS?
Some would argue that having an emotional support system is equally, if not more important. Speaking from experience, I would absolutely agree.
However, as obvious as it would seem to draw closer to your loved ones, your natural reaction may be to distance yourself. Unintentionally, you may become so engrossed with taking control of your health, that you may lose your grip on your significant other. You might even feel disconnected, rationalizing that he/she doesn’t understand what you’re going through. And you’re right; how could they?
The danger in that thought process, though, is that it only pushes you away from him/her and into the arms of self-pity and sorrow.
One thing I know to be true about MS is that whatever you are thinking effects how you feel.
It’s as if this disease becomes your mistress/lover, telling you all the things you want to hear and co-signing all of your fears. “Your life is over.” “You’ll never be able to do that again.” “No one will want to be around you.”
Instead of drowning in tears and finding comfort in the pillow talk from the “MiSses” or “MiSter”, you must fight to survive, enjoy living, and keep the lines of communication open.
SURVIVING MARRIAGE WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS
1. Openly express your fears.
2. Acknowledge your mates fears.
3. Express appreciation for support.
4. Allow your mate to grieve in the way that suits THEM.
5. Keep mate informed of necessary appointments and what you will need from them within reason.
1. Shut down and isolate yourself.
2. Disregard how MS is affecting your mate or belittle their feelings.
3. Demand more from your mate than they are able to give. Remember that he/she needs to keep living, too.
4. Compare your way of coping to your mate and be overly critical.
5. Expect your mate to be available on demand.
Always remember, You have MS. It does NOT have you. Don’t let MS ruin your relationship(s).