This is my first time to this forum, so forgive me if I am either posting in the wrong place, or shouldn't be posting here at all.
I am a boyfriend of a woman who has been living with MS for 12 years now. We began dating almost 9 years ago, so since about our third date (she says she didn't want to scare me off by telling me right away) I have known about the ups and downs that come with the disease. She does have RRMS so there are plenty of each. At first I knew nothing about MS, but after she told me I read every book I could find, website I could search for, etc, until I felt like I had all of the information needed to help her along the way. After I found out what it was, how it manifested itself and how to be a caregiver, I found that there was nothing I could hope for more in my life than to help her with her journey through her life. Our life. And right away we were tested. About 6 months after dating she had a sever episode where she was forced to quit her job, couldn't see for a few weeks, walk for a few months, etc. Every morning I would call her and ask her how she felt that day. Can't feel arms. Eyeballs won't stop spinning in my head. Whatever it was that day, I made sure to visit her at her parent's house to cheer her up. If she could open her eyes, I would take her to the movies. If she couldn't, I made us dinner and we just sat on her bed and talked about how terrible it was at that moment, but how, no matter how it felt at the moment, it would get better. After that first episode she has been doing very well. She got on her current treatment and is not having any major issues. Day to day stuff, but nothing that puts her out of commission for days or weeks at a time. Well, fast forward to last month. I found out she has been cheating on me with a guy from her work. She hid it at first, or course, but there were too many signs. strange texts int he middle of the night. Calls that she didn't take because "we're watching TV, I don't want to interrupt". Then it really hit me when she was texting her brother a lot while I was driving us somewhere. They were planning a vacation together. Well, in the middle of this, her brother texted me asked if we wanted to have dinner together. I asked why he didn't just ask her himself since they were texting and he said he had not talked to her in weeks. She confessed. They had been flirting for weeks, and doing "more" for a while also. She says she does it because he is "new and exciting". But the part that bothers me most is she said that right now she feels great and wants to go out and do all the things she couldn't do when she was younger. I asked if she wanted to grow old with this other guy, and she said that it was just fun. Nothing long term, but wouldn't stop either. I asked her what was so bad about our life together, and her response was "nothing, but I just feel trapped". What happened? She continues to see this guy on the side. Nothing physical, just inappropriate pictures and VERY flirty texts.
Even now, a month later, I still cannot see myself not being her companion through life. I still wake up every morning and make her lunch because I know she won't be able to because of the time it takes her to shower and get ready for work. Every evening I make dinner because she always cuts herself, burns herself, or something worse when she tries to cook. Everything I do is either for the family (2 dogs and 3 cats) or to make her life easier. I have been told that I should stop doing some of these things because it makes her feel less independent, but I asked her and she said it stresses her out if I don't at least offer to help, so I do. I never do anything without asking if she needs me to do it that day.
Do you think there is any hope that what we are going through is in any way normal for someone living with MS, and their significant other?