Important relationships take effort and energy — even without the challenges of MS. While MS does pose some additional adversities, it can also enrich relationships and bring people closer together.
The first step in figuring out how to deal with MS in your personal interactions is to recognize that the disease affects all of you — whether you have the disease or care about someone who does.
The next step is to decide whom you want to tell about the MS and what you want them to understand about it.
And the third step is to look for ways to make room for MS in your personal and professional relationships without giving it more time, attention, and energy than it really needs.
Deciding to disclose …or not
Telling others about your MS may be the first thing you want to do — or the last. No two people feel exactly the same about disclosing their MS to others. Keeping in mind that once the information is out there, you can’t take it back, the key is figuring out when disclosure is in your best interest and when it is not.
When one person in a couple is affected by MS, the other person lives with it as well. To keep your relationship healthy and balanced, it’s important to make sure that both of you stay on the giving and receiving end of the relationship, in spite of whatever changes MS may bring. Learn how to manage MS as team and enhance your communication and intimacy.
Parenting when you have MS
Caring for someone else (and yourself!)
Caring for someone with a chronic illness like MS can be deeply satisfying. Spouses and partners, family, and friends can be drawn more closely together by their shared concerns and collaborative efforts. But caregiving (.pdf) can also be physically and emotionally exhausting, particularly for the primary caregiver. Remember that your own health and well-being is essential to your ability to care for someone else. Read more about carepartners and access resources.