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I can't go on with husband with MS anymore

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    I can't go on with husband with MS anymore

    I have been going back and forth for a long time trying to decide if he husband is a selfish jerk, or if it's a result of MS related issues(mostly pain).I don't know what to do anymore. He starts fights over nothing, constantly. He's irrational, and can't remember things he said 5 minutes ago, which makes for an extremely frustrating fight! He escalates, and escalates every little thing to the point where our fights drag out for days.

    He's refuses to stop disrespecting me long enough to have a conversation to discuss things. He'll just be sarcastic and say something like "yeah yeah it's all my fault, blame me again" and we get no where. I have given up everything in my life to care for this man. I push myself as far as I can on a daily basis to make sure he doesn't have to lift a finger.I understand he can't take me to dinner(pain), or movies, etc, but I just want to be loved and treated with respect.

    When we are fighting he will say stupid things about our daughter, that I know he does"nt mean and will completely ignore her at time.How do I let that continue? I can't leave him, I love him, he is the father or my daughter, and he could"nt take care of himself to be honest.

    I have lived like this for 7 years now. Every single special event in that time has been ruined by some stupid irrational fight. It is not effecting holidays, parties, etc for my daughter. I get so upset I have panic attacks and can't physically keep it together enough to leave with her.

    I feel stuck, lonely, depressed and lost. Yes I know that sounds like depression, but it's also situational depression and It's not an option to see a counselor(he refuses to go), I have no one to watch my daughter and I"ve tried to find ones who will come to our home.

    This was just my rant, I have no one else to talk to. Thanks for listening

    **Post broken into paragraphs by Moderator for easier reading. Many people with MS have visual difficulties that prevent them from reading large blocks of print.**

    Hi mswife:
    Your husband won't go to counseling, so let's forget about him for a minute. Have you considered how damaging it is to your daughter for her to see you and your husband living this way? Have you considered how damaging it is to your daughter for her to have your husband say mean things about her and to her and ignore her at other times?

    It sounds like your daughter needs help in dealing with so much family strife at such an impressionable time in her life. I think any adult who grew up in such an unhappy household will tell you it damaged them for life. AND it sounds like you would benefit from counseling to find out why you're allowing yourself to continue to be so disrespected and allow your daughter to be in such a situation. A good therapist will help both you and your daughter release some stress and to develop some coping strategies. And by doing that you can give your daughter a good role model of what a confident and healthy woman acts like. Your doctor and your daughter's pediatrician can give you referrals to mental health professionals to help you.

    As for your husband, it's impossible to have a rational conversation with someone who isn't rational. He may be sick and irrational, but he will continue to treat you and your daughter badly as long as you let him. Making sure he doesn't have to lift a finger to do anything may be part of the problem -- it surely hasn't been part of the solution.

    Is your husband seeing a neurologist for his MS issues? Does he have a GP he sees for anything? Often, when a person is out of control, they aren't taking care of the health issues that put them in that position. At a minimum, it's time to evaluate how to get his pain issues under control. If your husband won't discuss his health issues with you, you won't be out of line to tell his doctors about his pain and irrationality and ask them to intervene. If you're too afraid to do that because you think your husband will retaliate against you, then your situation is so far out of hand that you must get help for yourself and your daughter immediately!

    My heart breaks for your whole family. But allowing yourself to remain stuck, lonely, depressed and lost doesn't help anyone. So please get yourself and your daughter into counseling ASAP. Right now you may only be seeing the problems that may come with trying to do that. But you also have to consider the lifelong effects for both of you of not doing that. You've taken the first step by reaching out here. I wish your family all the best.


      You are in my prayers. This sounds like my parents situation where my dad's on the ugly side of Parkinson's with dementia. As his caregiver, my mom is going crazy.

      Have you brought this up to his neurologist or PCP? I wonder what they would recommend.

      When he becomes confrontational, have you considered refusing to engage? Both you and your daughter leave him alone. Sort of disciplining him that if ya don't behave nicely, no one will play with you. Then he can stew all alone.

      This could be a way of controlling you, by picking a fight and enjoying how you react and defend yourself. He is not entitled to abuse you just because he has a medical condition.

      Was he a different person before MS? If it were me, I would threaten him with an ultimatum if he doesn't shape up, but that's me.
      Dx: 2/3/12. 6-8 lesions right medulla/cervical spine. GLATIRAMER ACETATE 40 mg 1/19, medical marijuana 1/18. Modafinil 7/18, Women's multivitamin, Caltrate + D3, Iron, Vitamin C, Super B Complex, Probiotics, Magnesium, Biotin.


        Originally posted by mswife333 View Post
        I get so upset I have panic attacks and can't physically keep it together enough to leave with her.
        Oh, yes you can. This is a cop out. Plain and simple.

        Allowing a little 7-year old girl go through all of this is wrong. If you want to be a victim, that is your choice, however, your little girl does not have that choice. She relies on you to do what is right. You need to protect her, be a good role model and either change or remove her from this unhealthy environment.

        If you don't think she is not a witness to you and your husbands behavior, then you are wrong. If you think your little girl has not heard the hateful things her Dad says about are wrong. She probably loves her Dad, but he "ignores" her.

        Just because someone has MS, does not give them the right to be disrespectful and abusive, and yes this is abuse. Who cares if he can't take care of himself, who cares if he is in pain, who cares if he is depressed. He won't help himself.

        Call a relative, doctor, social services, anyone, but please get some help.



          Be careful that if you leave, he may get custody visits and then your daughter will be stuck with him alone. Order of Protection! Call child protective services, who knows, maybe he will have to leave the home due to his abuse.
          Dx: 2/3/12. 6-8 lesions right medulla/cervical spine. GLATIRAMER ACETATE 40 mg 1/19, medical marijuana 1/18. Modafinil 7/18, Women's multivitamin, Caltrate + D3, Iron, Vitamin C, Super B Complex, Probiotics, Magnesium, Biotin.


            I think both Katie and redwings have provided you with some very sound advice. Even if your husband won't go to counseling you still can and should. You can't change him, you can only help yourself. Loving him does not mean you have to sacrifice everything to him.

            I think some tough love might be appropriate here. His MS does not give him the right to treat you- and your daughter- like this. You both need help- think about what she's learning through example of how a man should treat a woman and what a woman should expect.

            None of this is to say you can't come here and vent- you sure can, no one is judging you. Please just don't let the venting be the only thing you do.
            Diagnosed June 2011, Avonex 7/11-12/11

            "We don't describe the world we see, we see the world we describe"


              Same Story

              Boy can I relate. My DH (diagnosed in 1997 before I knew him) has the same mood swings. We don't have kids because of his MS, but he ignores the dog and keeps me at a distance. I wonder if anyone knows if ignoring or pushing people away is typical in most MSers or not. I would love to know if this is normal and how to try to live with it.

              I have found many ways to deal with my husband's moods. I do not do everything for him. I do a lot, but I have limits. I will do the laundry, but he has to get it in the basket. I will make dinner 99% of the time, but if he has the energy he does the dishes during the day. I ask him for help when I think he might have a bit of energy.

              Our fights also go in circles. I try not to engage. I try to simply listen and be empathetic, while still making my feelings heard. Our counselor is extremely helpful. Definitely get to counseling, if only for yourself and your daughter.

              I also try to do things with my dog that he can't do. Our dog is really like my child. I will take her for hikes or just lay down and watch a movie with her. These small moments really help.


                Oh the things we do....

                I agree with everyone else that has posted. Nothing warrants being treated so badly. It sounds like he is angry with the world and is taking it out on you and your daughter. If he was like this prior to the dx then he just isn't a nice person. If after the dx then he's in a state of depression. You MUST get some help, you cannot do this alone. I would contact his doc and explain the situation and see if the doc wouldn't recommend he see someone. I went through a period with my dh a few years ago. I went to a neuro appt. with him and the doc asked how he was behaving, I flat out told her he was not nice.

                My dh is open to making our marraige work and he know things (at that time) were in a very bad place. There were way too many fights and the words divorce kept coming out of my mouth. I think he finally realized that we needed to learn how to work through things. We found a great psychologist that he started with and I came in a few weeks later. We have been seeing her every six or so weeks for several years. I can see such a difference when too much time goes by between visits. We have hit many rough patches since but have been able to work through them together. I HIGHLY recommend you talk to someone, if nothing else they can give you guidance on how to approach the subject of him seeking help.

                The fact that you do everything is another problem. He needs to do things for himself, he isn't going to have much self worth if he isn't allowed (or possibly forced) to do things that he should be able to do. My dh is only 42 and has had to deal with too many medical issues, MS being only 1 of them. I sometimes have to step back and try to understand where he is at that very moment in order not to get upset. Doesn't always work but we've learned to deal with both of our ups and downs.

                Take care of yourself so you can take care of you daughter and husband. My heart goes out to you, as my mother always says to me, "you have to stay strong for you and your family". The only way that will happen is if you help yourself first!


                  I agree with everything being said here.

                  I think it is very selfless of you to do everything for your husband BUT if it is causing you so much stress then you need to back off that. For one thing, I can tell that you really love him but it is getting to a point where it is becoming a burden to you. You are also not acting out of love for yourself by handling everything. You are only human and only capable of so much.

                  As some of the others have mentioned, get help through his doctor/neuro. I would recommend some neuropsychological assessment/counseling as well in order to figure out the best ways that your husband can function and deal with whatever deficits that the MS might have left him with.

                  I also recommend counseling for both yourself and your daughter because at her age, she is going to be far too impressionable and wonder what ''love'' really means which is dangerous for her development, if she really doesn't understand.

                  Your family is in my prayers. Peace be with you.
                  Dx RRMS 2008/Avonex 02/2012
                  PhD candidate, Epidemiology


                    Wow! Can I relate. My husband was diagnosed with MS last year after having symptoms that we now know to be from MS for 5 years before that. He is more cognitively impaired than physically which has caused him to act out, not understand, etc and he alienated him self from the rest of us even before the diagnosis.

                    I have 5 kids ranging in age from 10 to almost 23. Each one deals with the situation in his/her own way, but it is the most difficult for the youngest two.

                    My 10 year old was not yet 5 when my husband started ignoring him and he went through a very rough patch where he needed Mommy all the time. He went to therapy and was on anti-anxiety meds for a while. He also needed a shadow in school. But since the diagnosis...when we finally were able to explain things..he is doing much better. If you ask him about his Dad now, he will tell you that Daddy's brain is like a computer..and it's offline. Somehow that makes it easier for him to understand that my husband is not trying to upset him on purpose, but it's the disease that is causing him to act a certain way.

                    Unfortunately, it's not as easy for my 14 yr old daughter. She gets very worried when there is yelling or fighting and it is affecting her in school. She gets counseling at school and is seeing someone privately, which is helping a little. I also have to reassure her that everything is alright.

                    My older boys deal with it in their own ways. They were lucky enough that when they were young my husband was a healthy, hands-on father and they are old enough to understand more of the situation.

                    I, too, have had celebrations and events ruined by my husband. And I don't always handle things properly. I have come to terms with the fact that this is my life....but it kills me that my children are being hurt by it. I constantly feel overwhelmed and alone. I also understand that what my husband says and does is coming from his condition (if it weren't..he'd be out of here) but although it makes it slightly better, it doesn't make it hurt any less.


                      Thank you all for the replies and advice. I am writing tonight, after another ruined holiday for my daughter. Her Easter wasn't ruined. I took her to everything was suppose to do, but her daddy wasn't there to see any of it because of a stupid fight where again, he thought I said something that I didn't.

                      I don't understand why so many people are dealing with this, and no one has an explanition or offer help for those suffering. I honestly can't imagaine what it's like for my husband to feel as though he is constantly being blamed for everything, and has no idea why. I really believe hears the things he thinks he hears, feels that things which are meaningless are worth fighting over for days, that the way he thinks rational, when it's clearly not. I honestly don't know how he can still function at work.

                      The one thing I heard that really hit me was, I don't want my daughter(who is one and a half not 7) to think this is the way a man should treat a woman, or vice versa. This is not how a marriage should be, and I would never ever ever want her to be in one like this. I will not leave my husband. I won't do it. Like someone else said, he would have been gone long ago if I didn't know that my husband is burried somewhere under all this disease.

                      I guess I am willing to scarifice myself, and my life if that;s what it takes. I will be here for him until the day I die. I meant my vows-for better or for worse, in good times and bad, till death do us part. I will keep that promise. I will scarifice everything I have including my happiness. Please dont reply and tell me otherwise. I do however agree, that I should never scarifice anything of my daughters. I won't let that happen anymore.



                        Boy do I relate to the significance of wedding vows. I have been thinking the exact same thing recently. I meant what I said on our wedding day too. I also am willing to give up a lot to be with my DH with MS. I also know that I can be happy even if he is not. I can....
                        • Take myself out for ice cream
                        • Watch a movie at night when he is too tired
                        • Make us something nicer for dinner if we can't go out
                        • Write in a journal
                        • Do something creative just for me
                        • Garden
                        • Exercise

                        I find that there are so many ways I can be truly happy and not feel upset with him. I have been able to honestly feel this way even if we are arguing.



                          I can so relate to this post. I am actually really hard to get along with, so I can't complain too much. I can be impatient, rude, unforgiving, lazy. I use my DH's inabilities as an excuse for doing less than I can or should be doing. I am trying to do better and do more.

                          Remember our DH is SCARED. But so are we.

                          I agree with the poster who said it's important that we spouses take care of ourselves, to be able to give our best to our DH. A walk, a drink with a girlfriend. This helps. And if our DH can't do the parenting, then we need to, cheerfully.

                          And TRY not to engage in the spats. What good do they do? Just laugh it off and move on. This is hard.

                          I try to be loving and kind, but the relationship has changed. He used to be the one who took care of me. This is hard.

                          I will come back to this thread. It is helpful to me. THanks to you all.


                            Thank you so much for your insight - that indeed, the family members need "treatment" too when somebody is diagnosed.

                            I'm hoping to get into a post-graduate program with public health to help MS patients - which as you pointed out aren't limited to those with brain lesions.

                            Again, thanks so much I pray that your husband will find peace in spite of the MS.
                            Dx RRMS 2008/Avonex 02/2012
                            PhD candidate, Epidemiology


                              How are you?

                              Hello MSwife33. I just read your thread and I felt compelled to find out how you're doing. I am in the same boat as you and I'm curious to know how you are coping.

                              Sending you prayer, love and light!