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Boyfriend with MS wants to end our relationship

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    Boyfriend with MS wants to end our relationship

    We've been together for a year now and it has been 8 months since his dx. It's been a rough 8 months to say the least but I said from the moment he was dx that I was here for him. Now he is having a depressive episode, likely triggered by MS symptoms and some other things going on, and he has decided that it's best we break up bc he doesn't want to "take me down with him". I respect him saying that and think it's very un-selfish of him, but it's not what I want. I can't imagine not being with him and being their for him through all of this. I guess I am looking for advice on weather I should keep trying to stay with him or do what he is suggesting and leave

    I can guess that he feels "guilty"....I have MS and when I met by boyfriend, I told him about it and feel as though there are times I keep him from doing what he "could" do if he had a person that was healthier.....I suspect your boyfriend is thinking what I was and probably cares for you so much that he thinks wanting "better" for you means without him - please let him know that your love for him is about who he is on the inside and the outside is just a bonus plan - those were the words directly from my boyfriend that made a difference for me. We have been together for 4 years now and are in our 40's. Hope this helps and best of luck to both you and your boyfriend.


      It's a tough position without a perfect answer. I am going to be brutally honest with you hoping you fully understand what you are asking for. Many times guys need time and space when dealing with difficult circumstances. What exactly is his position? Is he done and you are trying to keep the relationship going? Are you hoping once his "depression" ends that he'll change his mind and come back?

      During traditional marriage vows you recite the "in sickness and health" and "til death do us part," but you aren't married. Marriage is difficult enough for two healthy individuals without having a chronic illness. So while it is possible for you to have a good life together, it certainly isn't without considerable challenges. Many MS people live close to the poverty line because we might lose our ability to work and also have significant medical expenses. Our spouses often end up doing the bulk of the parenting, house work and everything else because we are often excessively fatigued. It's admirable that you want to "stand by your man," but being a caregiver for MS is TOUGH, TOUGH, TOUGH.

      I'm not sure how old you are, but hitching your wagon to a busted horse may not be the most prudent decision you make. Have you talked to your parents or friends about your situation? What was their advice? I see a picture of you in 5 years singing Garth Brooks "Unanswered Prayers." All that being said, I was diagnosed 6 months after getting married. We were both in our 40s and we are making it work, but there are daily struggles that have to be dealt with.
      I wish you well and hope you will update us on your situation.


        I can relate to Marco's busted horse analogy for sure. I have been with my now-fiance for a little under five years, and I was diagnosed about three and a half years into the relationship.

        As much as I know that I didn't ask for MS, I am still wrestling with the guilt of him potentially being my caretaker. I did think a great deal about leaving him after my diagnosis, and I did distance myself from him a bit just to settle things in my mind and such.

        Do I wish I would have left him now? No. Even though I am still able to work part time and have minimal disability, I am glad I have him to help with injections when needed, or to take me to appointments/etc. since I don't drive, or to take my garbage out (my dumpster is down a pretty steep hill that I can't handle). And even though it seems like nothing to him, it is the world to me, and I still feel guilty. So imagine how I'd feel if it got to a point where I needed his help bathing, dressing, feeding, etc.

        Just take the time to really think this through. Being a caretaker would probably be the most difficult thing you undertake in life. It is not for the faint of heart. Even people who think they are strong enough to handle it can crack under the pressure. Best of luck to you!
        Diagnosed with RRMS on 3/15/2013...beware the ides of March!
        Rebif from 5/2013 - 09/2014.
        Gilenya since 11/2014.
        Also taking vitamin D3, fish oil, magnesium, and B12.
        EDSS 3.


          Thanks you all so much for your wonderful insight. It's been a rough 8 months for sure and I know it's just the beginning. Perhaps it is time for both him and I to back away and really think of what is best, for both of us. We live together currently so this may just mean living separately for awhile. I really wish he would get help and talk to someone about his depression - I know this isn't a cure, but a step in the right direction I believe. Regardless, I still want him in my life; I'm not ready to give up


            Is he on a DMD? The interferons (Avonex, Betaseron, Extavia, Rebif) are known to cause depression. Might be something to discuss with his neuro.
            Diagnosed with RRMS on 3/15/2013...beware the ides of March!
            Rebif from 5/2013 - 09/2014.
            Gilenya since 11/2014.
            Also taking vitamin D3, fish oil, magnesium, and B12.
            EDSS 3.


              It's complicated I think.

              I have given my SO an out when things get bad (for me, it's not if, but when). I'd rather him leave and us still be friends than him stay and get overwhelmed and resent the situation (natural reactions IMHO). He doesn't like the "out" but he knows it's there.

              Neither one of us signed up for this and there is no reason for us both to suffer, so I have given him the choice. I don't say this as a depressed person. Quite the opposite! When I started accepting my disease, I started to realize that I don't have to be scared of being alone.

              Anyway, I hope that your BF can get some help with this all.


                yeh, all the above.

                He needs time alone to sort things out for himself.

                You should consider therapist to help you put things in perspective. It is not going to be an easy future and no one can forecast the future of his progression or even never another symptom.

                Everything is up in the air and uncertain for him. Let him sort all that out and give him the time alone, you both need.

                Definitely, go live with your parents or whatever you need to do.

                MS is a life sentence for both in a relationship. If he becomes bed bound by 40, are you in it for another 30 years? really sorry this MonSter has entered your lives. Good luck and please let us know, how it turns out.

                Everyone here, will be there for you and support you and answer questions, welcome to the right place.

                In fact, there are posts and threads here that express how most of us feel about marriage and MS..i'll look for alink.

                a list of titles of threads with people already in your situation..just years down the road with MS.





                  Here's some food for thought... may or may not help you, I'm not sure how old you both are.

                  My DH is 52, I'm 48. We've been together for 16 years, married for 3. I'm the MSer, was dx in 2005. I've always offered him the "get out of jail free" card, if my MS became too difficult to live with.

                  As it turns out, MS is the only thing wrong with me (I know, it's a BIG thing to be wrong). He is way more unhealthy than I am!!

                  RRMS 2005, Copaxone since 2007
                  "I hope to be the person my dog thinks I am."


                    Let it be

                    Dear Marie,
                    Your devotion and loyalty to your boyfriend is a lovely thing. It must be hard to see such strong feelings reflected back as your boyfriend's willingness to let the relationship go, and even more in his depressed state of mind about his own future.

                    I took the liberty of reading many of your other posts on this forum about your concern for him and your efforts to inspire him to a full life in spite of MS. These are good intentions, but here's something to think about:

                    It appears you have fallen in love with an unemployed man who has been diagnosed with a progressive, disabling disease. You have moved in with him at just the time he may feel his life is coming to a stop. Your posts about efforts to get him searching for a new job, to cheer him up, to urge him into therapy show how involved you are with helping him. But (I know for me) the intentions others press on me sometimes feel more like expectations than help. He is still grieving. And each person grieves in his own way and in his own time.

                    You may be pushing him where he is not ready to go, a commitment to a relationship when he can hardly think what he needs to do to commit himself to his new MS self. And with MS, this self will always be changing. It's a journey. All your concern and efforts may just remind him of a future in which he might disappoint you.

                    It may be a time for you to take a step back, to take less responsibility for him and show him that you are strong enough to give him freedom just to live, just to work through this in his own time. Work on your own journey, as an example of someone who lives with love, loyalty, and independence.

                    You can still love him. And it does not mean you need to enable any self-pity that comes with his depression. I have discovered that I cannot change another person, that I can only change my response to them.

                    Stay lifted,
                    "Life is short, and we have but little time to gladden the hearts of those who travel with us; so let us be swift to love, and make haste to be kind."
-Henri Amiel