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    Help - Girlfriend with MS

    My girlfriend has MS.. we say we're 3 months away from combining our families and moving in. Which should feel great and help us both out financially.


    I have a hard time with "spoons". A common cycle--we have an absolutely wonderful week and weekend--and then she's almost non-communicative for days. When I call her on that--and only then--she'll reveal she's in pain with low spoons. Terrible and great days both take spoons. She says admitting she's not 100% and low on spoons also takes spoons. The semi-silences make me feel a bit anxious, but more I feel like I have a sometimes best friend.


    This week I came to her place feeling sick. Her legs ached--due to MS and other things--so I gave them a deep rub. It felt funny not being fussed over when I was sick, but snuggling up and making her feel better felt good. When I asked, she came with me to the store to buy medicine.


    The following day it gets strange. I texted her 4-6x including a couple hints I wasn't better. I got 2 replies, only one wishing "Hopefully you feel better." With previous girlfriends I'd get calls, asked how I am, offers to help, or online ordering of dinner.


    I texted, "<name>, when I'm not feeling well, I like it when my partner checks in on me." Which she took as a complaint that she failed to meet my needs yet again. She used the word "burden". She worries about becoming a burden.


    I don't have family to turn to. I dropped the 2-3 close female friends I had because our relationships were "flirty" when I realized this lady was my soulmate. My remaining friends I don't talk to about this, because she's met them and she's a private person, especially about symptoms. She wouldn't want them to know about these issues.


    Moving in would make some things easier. Not everything. After all, she has an ex-husband because of fatigue. And a chronic progressive disease could progress.


    Am I crazy to be moving in? The SMART thing would seem to be finding a partner who can give in equal measure to what they receive. But I love her. She's uniquely strong, adventurous, and determined. When she has spoons, or when I can lend some, we're so happy. Our Facebook feeds are full of all our exploits.


    Is your partner your best friend? How do you get your needs met when their spoons are low? Who do you talk to about MS challenges and unmet needs?

    #2
    Hi Ron,
    Welcome.
    I have checked your post over the last few days hoping some one more eloquent than myself would reply.
    Am having more trouble forming cohesive thoughts so just didn't want you to think your queries were being disregarded.

    You don't seem to have my problem at all. Your post was very well thought out and eloquent.
    So good that it makes me wonder if you were using typing your post as a way of sorting your concerns?

    Yes my husband is my best friend but i also need others in my life. I love him to bits but there are times when he's not what i need. And can i just also say that to give a person the responsibility of YOUR happiness can be a burden.
    Sometimes its also a burden to discuss illnesses of any type it can feel like thats all there is to life.

    I sympathise with you about not having your needs met in this regard but you may have to come to terms with it moving forward.
    Often i feel that if others expect my sympathy in regard to a head cold its kind of like talking to some one whose just had their leg amputated compared to a mossie bite. Its unfair but thats how i feel.
    Another thing is i constantly worry about worrying those i care about so i try not to discuss my daily pains, symptoms with them but because these are such a big part of our lives it can result in others feeling a bit left out.
    I hope i have made some sense and been of some help,
    caroline.

    Comment


      #3
      Hi CaliforniaRon

      Originally posted by CaliforniaRon View Post
      Moving in would make some things easier. Not everything. After all, she has an ex-husband because of fatigue. And a chronic progressive disease could progress.

      Am I crazy to be moving in? The SMART thing would seem to be finding a partner who can give in equal measure to what they receive. But I love her. She's uniquely strong, adventurous, and determined. When she has spoons, or when I can lend some, we're so happy. Our Facebook feeds are full of all our exploits.
      I may not be interpreting this correctly, but it seems like you may be having some doubts? It would not be unusual to ponder these things.

      Perhaps setting aside time to have a good, honest, heart to heart with each other would be beneficial.

      Wishing you both all the best.

      Take Care
      Last edited by KoKo; 08-28-2018, 05:48 PM.
      PPMS for 22 years (dx 1998)
      ~ Worrying will not take away tomorrow's troubles ~ But it will take away today's peace. ~

      Comment


        #4
        Hi CaliforniaRon,

        I've typed and retyped and quoted and deleted many responses to your post!

        I am curious, how long have you known/been together with her and was she diagnosed previously or during your relationship?

        Originally posted by CaliforniaRon View Post
        Am I crazy to be moving in? The SMART thing would seem to be finding a partner who can give in equal measure to what they receive. But I love her. She's uniquely strong, adventurous, and determined. When she has spoons, or when I can lend some, we're so happy. Our Facebook feeds are full of all our exploits.


        Is your partner your best friend? How do you get your needs met when their spoons are low? Who do you talk to about MS challenges and unmet needs?
        There are many underlying issues that I would address before moving in. Most of which are based on communication and expectations.

        She apparently needs space and quiet when she is not feeling well. This leads you to feel anxious, shut-out and lonely. I would discuss this with her. This is not something that is a one-time, I'm not feeling great, I'll call you when I'm feeling better type of deal. If she's not willing to let you in because she's worried that she'll be a burden, or if you're not willing to understand that she needs space and time during those periods, then this is going to be a vicious circle that just keeps going and will eventually make you both miserable. You both need to come to an agreement of something that works for both of you. This will only be amplified when you move in together--your expectation is that you would see her more often and not be shut out as easily. Her method of withdrawing is going to be more difficult with you there.

        Her lack of empathy when you were not feeling well was a problem for you. You mentioned in your previous relationships that you felt more nurtured and cared for. As Caroline pointed out, sometimes it's hard for those with MS to be sympathetic to others for more "minor" things when we are dealing with "major" things. But some people are also more nurturing and empathetic than others. That's just life. Have you seen her be empathetic and nurturing? Is it something that tends to come naturally or that she is capable of? Are you going to continue to feel neglected and overlooked when you are ill or upset or in need of emotional support? Just because you don't have a chronic illness, doesn't mean that your needs for nurturing and empathy are not valid. Just understand that at times, it may be more difficult for her to extend that. But it should not be entirely absent.

        True, deep and lasting relationships can weather the fantastic times, as well as the low, dark times. My husband is my best friend. We've been through a lot in the last 17 years we've been together. There have been times when he was unable to give 100% to the relationship, so I gave 150% to get us through. And vice versa. There is never equal measure--there never will be in any relationship.

        I talk to my friends, I come here, I talk to coworkers and they all help round out my life. I can't depend on my husband to meet all my needs. It's truly impossible for any one person to do that. But when I have unmet needs that I feel my husband should be meeting, I talk to him about it. And in turn, when he feels that there are needs that I should be meeting, he discusses it with me.

        So, to answer your question about moving in--while only YOU and SHE can truly answer that, IMHO, I don't believe you should until you are able to be happy during the times of "low spoons" as well as the good times.

        Good luck whatever you decide!

        Comment

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