MS doesn't have to negatively affect marriages...

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 6/1/2008 8:52 AM (GMT -7)   
I know that there are statistics "out there" that suggest that when one partner in a relationship gets MS (or other chronic diseases) that it can negatively affect the length of the relationship (expressed as a high divorce rate).  Somebody recently even asked that question here...this is a paraphrase, but along the lines of " that I've been diagnosed with MS, how much longer will I be married?"
I'm convinced that having a dx of MS (or other chronic illness) certainly can put a strain on a relationship, and certainly can affect what goes on in the course of the marriage.  For example, we specifically made a choice to not have children because we didn't know how MS might affect me, didn't know if I would have been able to care for children, didn't know how MS would impact our ability to earn a living and feed the little hungry that was a decision that affected all our future together.
I also think that if the marriage is already "in trouble", there are already strains and "cracks" in the relationship, then adding the burden of a chronic illness in one partner can "break" the marriage.
But it doesn't seem to me to be an automatic link..."I've got MS; next step is a divorce."  Heck, I've seen people divorce over even less serious things....and others stay together through lots of adverse events.  We (my husband and I) have had job losses, long periods of time of unemployment of one (or once both) of us; a house burn down around us, a house flood out -- twice; serious injuries; deaths of parents; re-locating half-way across the country without having new jobs or a place to live to go to; my having MS and becoming severely disabled..
and yet...after 40 years this day...we're still together.
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3550
   Posted 6/1/2008 9:04 AM (GMT -7)   
My dear Uppitycats,
This is so beautiful.  Congratulations on 40 years!  I too have been so blessed to have a wonderful man in my life and my diagnosis with MS has done nothing to our marriage.  We continue to do just fine and although I am not disabled by it (yet?) I have strong faith in our ability as a couple to adapt and maintain this partnership.  Thanks for reminding us of the fact (again and again!) that MS is not the end of our joy in life and as human beings. 
I appreciate your posts so much.
Gretchen       co-moderator MS board       diagnosed with MS July 2006

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 260
   Posted 6/1/2008 10:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Uppitycats,

Great post and Congratulations on 40 years together to you and your husband !!

Dx MS Dec 06, Started Tysabri March 2008, Baclofen, Cymbalta

mystery reader
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 6/1/2008 4:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Uppitycats!

Congrat's on the 40 years!

Barb/mystery reader
Diagnosed April 2007
Started betaseron --  May 2007 -- experienced allergic reactions after 2 weeks
Started copaxone -- June 2007 -- stopped after 4 1/2 months;experienced  severe 5 IPIR's
Started tysabri -- December 2007
Stopped tysabri -- April 2008 (developed antibodies/severe reactions)

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 343
   Posted 6/1/2008 5:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Uppity, wow, what an awesome testimony to what marriage is really about... congrats on your 40 yrs and all the other marriages who're stronger in spite of this disease. I gotta admit it's put a tremendous strain on our marriage at times but that was especially before the dx came through to explain it.
My hubby really thought alot of my "complaints" were sort of excuses for a lot of my moods, my confusions, my pains, etc etc for all the stuff that goes along with it (especially since I've become practically 'impotent' over the past few years without a clear reason why til now) ... but the dx seem to give it an identity he can understand now.
And oddly enough, since the dx, it's actually drawn us closer together in many more ways. He now realizes there's a real reason for all these physical issues I've been experiencing. He knows that he can't fully understand but he's got a servants heart and now he's able to serve me better.
So I don't see it destroying our marriage but I thank God for giving me him because I know he's not going anywhere no matter what and that in and of itself is a huge source of solace.  
Fear knocked ~ Faith Answered ~ No one was there! :)
 ~ Ephesians 6:13 ~  * ~ Psalm 27:1 ~

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 540
   Posted 6/4/2008 5:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Congratulations!!!!!!!!! That is awesome. We all need to hear the good stories:) My hubby has been great so far. I do think it is important to remember it does affect everyone in the house and I always ask him how he is feeling and coping. It is hard to see a loved one suffer.



Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 6/5/2008 10:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Being diagnosed with MS has significantly impacted my marriage....but in such a POSITIVE way. We are so much closer and stronger than we ever were. It's one of those things that made us look at what we have and really appreciate it...really appreciate each other. It definitely added some stress and strain into our relationship at first. It was a difficult time for both of us, but we had a lot of love and determination. And now we're better than ever. I'm so grateful for this.

I know I kind of sound like a motivational poster, but I believe that if there is love there and if it is strong and two people are committed to each other, then anything can be over come and worked through together.

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/6/2008 12:21 AM (GMT -7)   
I was and am a professional biomedical engineer who caught progressive MS DXD in 1996. My spouse of 16 years, whom I put through school to become an RRT, even hired her at my hospital, worked Administration also, jumped ship so fast it was not funny.
Today My family consist of 2 poodles. To all the spouses that stays there GOD BLESS YOU, however I was not one.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 343
   Posted 6/6/2008 4:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Reading these posts help me appreciate my hubby even moreso, especially since he's my third marriage, he's the rock in our relationship (I tried to walk away about the time all this began not having a clue why I was so roller coaster-ish but positive we weren't meant to stick it out)... and at times I have to admit to feeling guilty for "short changing" him because of this disease and all it's issues.
But he says if it wasn't this, it could be something else or worst... so we deal and it's our faith that we live by not all the fears. I cling to that many many days. :-)
Fear knocked ~ Faith Answered ~ No one was there! :)
 ~ Ephesians 6:13 ~  * ~ Psalm 27:1 ~

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3550
   Posted 6/6/2008 6:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Dear jtdalton,
I am very sorry to learn of both the ending of your marriage and your diagnosis of MS.  I am sure you already now this but let me clear it up for the public, you did not "catch" MS, you developed it.  MS is not a contagious disease.  I am sure you know this but being that this is a public forum and anyone can read it, I wanted to clarify that so it did not confuse others. 
Welcome to the board.
Gretchen       co-moderator MS board       diagnosed with MS July 2006

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 6/6/2008 8:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey jtdalton

Wow...what a sad situation. I'm so sorry friend. I do want to echo Gretchen's thoughts here isn't's something that develops and is dx'd, but not at all a contagious disease. Unfortunately u don't get a notice or any sort of real warning on ms in most cases. U find out u have it and then u find out who is going to stick around. As Uppity said, ms is not usually what ruins a marriage, but maybe just a catalyst to the end. Hang in there and focus on the good things in u'r world. Marriage is a very very difficult thing to manage and make work sometimes. It can be such a joy and so rewarding, but no matter the depth of love there, it's ALWAYS work. As my husband says, it's 100% give... If u'r both giving 100% then u'r both GETTING 100%...i think he's right. In the light of chronic illness...well 100% is hard to give, but then that's when u need to get that 100%.
Co-Moderator, MS Forum
*~*Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.*~*
Things that make u go hummmm......
*I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges.*
*One day without sunshine is*

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