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How MS Can Affect Relationships

By Daryl H. Bryant (441 words)
Posted in Living with MS on November 3, 2016

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How MS Can Affect Relationships

Every person experiences MS differently, and every couple is unique. MS can affect relationships, but whether or not it will impact your relationship depends on a number of factors, including specific diagnoses, individual symptoms, personal circumstances, and personalities. Still, there are a number of key areas that may be affected by MS.

Read on to learn more about how MS can affect relationships.

How MS Can Affect Daily Living

In most relationships, the couple works together to determine the best division of roles. Maybe one of your cooks, but the other one does the dishes. Or one mows the grass, but the other one does the laundry. Each division of responsibility is unique, but MS can affect all of them. When one partner experiences symptoms that keep him or her from doing what they used to, responsibilities may need to change. Divvying up daily tasks is less cut and dry when one partner has MS, and chores may need to change over time.

How MS Can Affect Your Roles

This isn’t the case with all couples, but some people with MS require quite a bit of help to combat their symptoms. You started out as partners and lovers, and MS can make you feel more like a parent and child or caregiver and patient. The helping partner may begin to feel trapped or resentful. The partner with MS may feel helpless or depressed. Something as simple as not being able to drive yourself to the grocery store can dramatically affect a couple. It’s important that the helping partner reassures the partner with MS that they are happy to help. Likewise, the partner with MS should be respectful of his or her partner’s need for alone time where possible.

How MS Can Affect Intimacy

We’ve addressed this in a previous post, but MS can cause challenges to your intimacy. It may affect the body’s sexual responses, including vaginal lubrication, erection, and sensation. Just as importantly, the other shifts in your relationship may lead to difficulty communicating or connecting. Individuals may struggle to feel sexy or desired if they feel like a burden on their loved one. The most important thing you can do to protect your relationship from the negative challenges of MS is to communication with one another openly about your needs and desires. Together, you can combat MS without blaming each other.

MS doesn’t have to cause problems in your relationship. As a matter of fact, many couples find that they grow closer to one another as they tackle difficult challenges like MS as a team. What do you do to keep your relationship healthy? Share in the comments.

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