Relationships can be hard work. They require unwavering amounts of attention, maintenance and commitment. And though they can come in all different shapes and sizes, all bonds have their share of ups and downs and all-arounds that can drive people crazy. It’s the process of weeding out the beneficial, encouraging relationships from the negative, toxic kinds that is so important. Yes, relationships can be hard work. But making sure you’re putting the effort into the ones that are rewarding and worth your time is the difference.
You’ll find that some relationships can be draining while others are uplifting. This makes it incredibly important to recognize good qualities vs challenges the relationship brings. It’s expected that many relationships demand dedication, time, and the appropriate care to flourish. It can be said that the disease of MS requires much of these same qualities too. A relationship with MS is not a bond entered by choice. But it can serve as a good basis for knowing what’s healthy vs unhealthy in a relationship.
MS likes to weasel in and get in the way of relationships sometimes. It has a mind of its own, a differing agenda and likes to demand attention – all attention. MS can sort of mimic a toxic relationship, so it’s good to notice and call out these traits to avoid draining connections in the future. MS can be greedy and selfish. It can try to tear down your spirit and diminish positive affirmations. MS can try to change your perspective of how you see yourself and tell you no much of the time. It can be strenuous and exhausting and not give anything in return. Though you may take care of your MS it does not necessarily take care of you. It’s in these ways and others that MS can sometimes be a billboard for what a healthy relationship does not look like.
Don’t get me wrong, many individuals living with MS work through the issues brought on by the disease. They find something positive as a result that they may not have found before their diagnosis. A change caused by the disease could lead to a new passion or interest and enlighten perspective. MS didn’t have these intentions for its targets, but choices were made to deflect its goals.
MS can have never-ending expectations, and demands a lot of the time. It’s crucial to immerse yourself in relationships and connections that exude positivity rather than drain you of your sanity and essence. It’s hard to pick and choose relations sometimes, this is true. But if you can make the mindful decision for yourself, when able, to enter and remain in relationships that raise you up instead of bringing you down, do it.
Relationships and MS – MS Awareness Month Activities
To continue the conversation about Relationships and MS during MS Awareness Month, MSAA will be offering the following events:
- Tuesday, March 5, 2019 from 8:00 – 9:00 pm Eastern we will be hosting a free live webinar, “Intimacy and Family Planning with MS,” featuring licensed marriage and family therapist Kimberly Castelo.
- Tuesday, March 12, 2019 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm Eastern MSAA will be hosting a live Ask Me Anything (AMA) program with Kimberly Castelo.
- Listen to MSAA’s inaugural podcast, Exploring Relationships, featuring psychologist Miriam Franco. Sign up to receive email updates when this podcast is available.
Thank you for this wonderful article about how MS affects relationships. It is so true that they are hard work, plus take time and effort. Being positive creates the most important part of any relationship. With MS as part of the equation, the difficulty becomes compounded. Solutions are discovered as we dialogue to work them out together.
Thank you so much for your kind words, Judith! You are absolutely right, communication is key to working out issues as a pair, and while MS can generate additional obstacles, it’s important to recognize this and work together. Thank you again for reaching out! Take care! Angel
I am currently in a relationship with a partner who has MS. I am reaching out trying to find support for myself and have some questions answered.
Thank you for reaching out to the MSAA, Julie. We would be happy to try and offer additional information and resources for your questions. You can get in touch with MSAA’s Helpline directly, https://mymsaa.org/msaa-help/helpline-chat/, and for peer support you can connect with others through MSAA’s online forum, My MSAA Community, https://mymsaa.org/msaa-community/my-msaa-community-forum. You can also reach out directly via email to MSQuestions@mymsaa.org. On our website we also have publications, videos and podcasts with information about relationships and MS, http://www.mymsaa.org. Please feel free to connect and reach out as needed. Thank you and take care. Angel, MSAA Client Services Specialist