Going from MS to MRS.

Donna Sullivan
Written by
Donna Sullivan

Congratulations!

You are a bride or bride-to-be, embarking on a shiny new life with the partner of your dreams. Between the excitement and stress of planning your wedding and all of that hot romance, it is easy to understand why that first year of marriage can sometimes feel a little less than happily ever after. Is making that transition from single to married any different because you live with multiple sclerosis? Perhaps.

Here are a few points to consider that may help you prepare for your new role as a MRS. living with MS:

Caution, Merge Ahead

Merging your life and entire identity with someone else is a journey, it just doesn’t happen overnight. Now you are a couple living with a chronic illness. You must navigate the needs of you, your partner AND your MS. (It’s an unwanted threesome for sure!) Social demands and family obligations can place a lot of undo stress on newlyweds. As Mrs., your absence may now be more noticeable. How comfortable is your spouse creating a social smokescreen for you when you need it, or attending a work function alone? How would you like to handle this situation if it comes up? Talk about it, find out.

Define Your Needs

As a person living with MS, you sometimes have to put your own needs first and tend to yourself. Whether it is carving out time to exercise, meditate, or taking that afternoon nap, it’s not being selfish or lazy, it is just a necessary reality. Identifying what you need to best manage your health on a daily basis is a good way to set expectations up front. Hopefully this will prevent you from ever having to explain or defend that afternoon nap on days when the house is a mess or your to-do list is overflowing. After all, you can’t really be sick or feeling badly, because you look so good, right? (Ugh!)

Plan for the Unknown

How in-depth have you talked about managing the nitty-gritty necessary details of your home life? Who cooks? Who cleans? And what about that growing pile of laundry? Do you agree on what can give if you are tired or not feeling up to task? Do you have a support system or have you ever talked about which friends or family members you would (or wouldn’t) reach out to for assistance or support? The more proactively you discuss the what-if’s and how-are-we-gonna’s, the less stressful it will be to execute the plan if needed.

Establish MS Ground Rules in Your Relationship

There may be days you need to talk about your MS or share information about your condition, there may be times when it is the last thing that you want to do. The same goes for your spouse or partner. This is now also their MS too. How do you feel about them sharing information about your condition with in-laws or family members? When do you want them to help, or give you space? Setting ground rules for communication can foster better understanding and strengthen your union.

These conversations may be difficult to start, but are often easier to have proactively as opposed to in crisis-mode. Managing the impact your MS has on your relationship is ONE way to help keep the honeymoon going! We will leave the other ways up to you. 

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