When the person with multiple sclerosis (MS) is your spouse, it is quite normal to feel a spectrum of emotions you may be too embarrassed or guilty to admit. Although you, too, vowed to love, honor, and cherish in sickness and in health, you never expected to be put to the test so soon. Now you're worrying if your own life will be dragged down, if your career will be held back, if you'll wind up trapped, burdened, and financially drained. And what's worse, you also feel you should be shot for even letting such selfish thoughts cross your mind. Don't beat yourself up. While you can't only think of "me, me, me," you're certainly entitled to wonder how this is going to affect your personal life. Any extraordinary circumstance such as a chronic illness will trigger such a reaction.
If you've read this book from the beginning to this page, you've already learned that the majority of people with MS have periods of remission, often years at a time, with a return to normal or near normal after each attack. But you've also learned there are no guarantees. Regardless of how educated about the disease you are, the unpredictability of MS can still get to you. It's true that you don't know what's down the road in five or ten years. You also don't know what's down the road for your own health picture in that time period. You may fantasize about another relationship or wish you were married to someone else. That's normal. Right now your partner is wishing he or she could make a trade for another body, too. Think about anything you like. But don't run off and have an affair. Tough this situation out without adding a "triangle" to your problems. And think about this. If you found a new partner, could you be sure he or she would remain the picture of health? No one has any guarantees. (One in four people will get cancer. We'll skip the laundry list of everything else that can happen.)