The Rules

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The Rules

Postby scoobyjude » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:47 pm

Kind of a fluff question. Ok, so I'm going to have to reluctantly re-enter the dating world soon and I have a question for everyone. A "helpful" co-worker gave me the book "The Rules" to read. For those of you that don't know what the book's about, it's a book on how to snare a man and get him to marry you. I know, not exactly women's lib and I really don't think I could follow it but one part did spark my interest. The book said that you shouldn't tell ythe person you're dating that you have or had a serious illness or disease until after they have said they love you. And then it should just be in passing. Now I didn't plan to tell a man on the first date that I have MS but I personally think that they deserve to know before it's gotten that serious. I think it would be devastating for a relationship to end at that point because I wasn't upfront. How do all of you feel? I'd be curious how those with MS and those that love people with MS feel.
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Postby Meegs » Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:55 am

hey Scooby,

this is always such a hard question.

It's not something you want to blurt out on the first date, but at the same time you want to be as open and honest as possible.

I was dx in 2004... since then have been on many dates... but only 2 guys really caught my attention and became a little more than dating. I told each of them as i felt it appropriate. Both were very understanding and 1 of them wanted to learn more about the disease. Now i'm not with either of them, but i certainly don't think the MS had anything to do with it... we just didn't click.

Best of luck... we've all (well us singletons) been there. :)
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Postby jimmylegs » Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:59 am

i'm of the opinion that i would want to know the truth about my potential partner straight up, and they deserve the same courtesy. i got over the nonsense about 'inflicting' myself on someone a while back.
statistically, i suppose there are fewer people out there who are willing to take the idea of ms on, and, of course, i am not a model of successful relationship bliss!
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Postby carolew » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:36 am

I have been there. My opinion is that you have to be honest from the start. I walk with a cane when I am outside so as soon as they ask why, I tell the truth. If I meet on line. I tell them that I walk with a cane right away. This is not a game. If you are trying to build a serious relationship, honesty has to be part of it. But you will have to explain how you have progressed (how fast) and reassure them if possible. The truth, there is nothing like it. ... my two cents.....
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Postby cheerleader » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:05 am

Hey Judie...
Personally, I think the rules is a bunch of garbage. Relationships need to be based on truth and trust, or why bother?
We're all going to get old, sick and eventually die. My husband married me in college 25 years ago, even after meeting my crazy family :)
I still would have married him, even if I knew he had MS. We were just meant to be.
Follow your heart. You'll know when it's the right time to talk about your MS. Good luck getting back in the dating pool....I hope you meet some terrific men!
AC
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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Postby Loobie » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:19 am

Sounds like that book has more of a 'Sex in the City' type approach to relationships. I've found that there really is only one cardinal rule of relationships: honesty. Nothing else really works for me because even if you aren't outright misleading or dishonest, you still aren't on the straight up and up and it's always more uncomfortable when you have to hide anything. It's so much easier when you let a relationship take it's course rather than trying to engineer it. My $0.02 anyway.
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Postby notasperfectasyou » Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:59 am

Functioning relationships are built on honestly.

To me this implies you need a relationship first.

You can't compartmentalize something so unique as "your relationship with your new bestest companion ever" into discrete stages like high school teens.

We are adults and we need to make judgements about the uniqueness of our relationships in recognition of how important and special they are. If you're trying to make this call based on whether what has been said, touched or number of dates, they we're not talking about a unique special relationship, we're talking about a game.

The tension that this topic is about is entirely about the risk of rejection. Today's news is ..... if you're going to get rejected, it's going to happen anyway. You can't make me like okra no matter how much you try to make we want it. Then again it's all grey area.

Ok, let me try again. A relationship grows with time. Over time you share more about yourself and you find that things bring you together or wedge you apart. When would you share your religion? When would you share your political views? When would you share about the child support you pay, your credit card debt or anything else Walberg would ask you on his show.

The moment of truth show is a good analogy because many folks get married with secrets they never intend to share. They never get beyond the $25,000 level and then they wonder why others seem to have million dollar marriages and they don't. Fact is, yes it's a risk that it's game over. But, it's way better than getting stuck in a lousy relationship that lacks intimacy because you could never acheive emotional integrity with your bestest friend ever.

Ken

I follow that with, you need to study the uniqueness of your 21 question relationship and see where MS fits for you. Maybe FOR your relationship it needs to be one of the first 5 questions or maybe it belongs in the ten toughies that come later. It's not about you, it's not about your friend, it's about how well you understand the way you are or are not growing togther.

ps: So I think when Kim told me, I said something like, "what's MS"? Like, how the heck was I supposed to know. She could have told me ADD or PTSD and I wouldn't have known the difference. Maybe I'm dense, but as I see it this MS-thing was important to Kim, she wanted to tell me about it and therefore it was important to me. I think that's how you know you have a relationship - if I can sense that it's important to you and show that's it's therefore important to me, I don't know that the content of the topic really matters so much.
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Postby scoobyjude » Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:52 pm

Thank you all for your respones. My gut told me that honesty was the best policy too but I just think I'm totally clueless on how to approach it. I had been with my boyfriend for 5 years when I had my first big attack and he was great. I thought that we would be together forever but life doesn't always turn out the way you thought it would. I know that this is not going to be easy but the alternative is being alone and I don't want that. If it's my fate, so be it, but I'm gonna try. Petakitty, even though it made me very sad I understand why you said that we're better single but I don't agree and I bet your spouse doesn't either. We deserve love and companionship as much as anyone else. Maybe we have physical limitations or emotional issues but everyone has issues that make relationships difficult. That doesn't mean that they should be alone. I hope that even with my MS some guy still thinks I'm a good catch. I know there are great, understanding guys out there. There are a bunch on this site. Now I just have to hope I can find one. :wink:
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Postby Mike56 » Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:27 pm

I'm not in the dating game anymore, (I've been married to a great woman for almost 32 years). I think you should be honest once things seem to be getting serious. I don't have any problem spilling the beans. When we meet new people, if I start talking stupid or can't keep up with the conversation, I or my wife will say something like "that's just the lesion speaking", and then I'll explain a little about my probable MS. It's not catchy, so people seem to be OK with it, and anyone worth dating on a serious level ought to be OK with it too.
You sound like a great catch to me, you'll find someone to spend your life with, bet on it!
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Postby scoobyjude » Wed Jun 24, 2009 2:01 pm

Thanks Mike. I haven't quite dipped the toe in the water of dating yet but I'm getting close. I know there are understanding guys out there and I hope that it doesn't take me too long to find one. Keeping my fingers crossed.
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Just my 2 cents

Postby Boopieup » Sat Nov 14, 2009 8:38 pm

I too feel that upfront honesty is the best policy. If they (prospectives) are not shallow and really are interested in you or like you a lot, they'll stick around. Actually, it's a really good test to drop that bomb on them. If they run away with their tail between their legs after that tidbit of information, then you didn't want them anyway. It's better to be safe than sorry. A potential person that is a good person needs to see you for you outside the MS even though it could be a major factor later on.

My husband and I got married 1 1/2 years before my diagnosis and had 5 years of dating before that. The fact is that he has stuck with me "in sickness and in health". He's still here after having to deal with my symptoms and my quick downturn. There is a very high divorce rate in MS marriages and he knows that, so he doesn't want to be part of that statistic.
I had asked recently "if he would have gotten with me if I was in a wheelchair when he met me". His answer was probably not. I thanked him for his honesty (as I wanted to slap the holy hell out of him but didn't) That was 11 years ago when he was making these decisions. He said he wouldn't have gotten with a chick with kids back then either who didn't have MS. He did say he would have dated me anyway if I had MS but was still able-bodied. He did say he didn't know about what MS can do. As long as we could f%^& it's all good. Some men are different that's for sure.

This (my MS) has been character building for him. After the honeymoon period ended he acted like the spoiled brat who grumbled at me if I asked him for a simple glass of water. He did get a tiny bit better but would slip up until...Recently, he quit doing that because I threatened him with having someone else (and OMG another man/old boyfriend no less--I was desperate and that was the only ammo I could find) take care of me because I couldn't handle his constant negative-displayed attitude anymore after time and time again asking him to stop. He finally realized that what he's been doing attitude wise was not helping me whatsoever. Maybe it took me pushing his jealousy button to get the quick result, which I hated to do. Maybe it was part my fault too because I could always walk away before my DX and go ride a horse instead of dealing with it.

Lately, he rushed home from work so I wouldn't have to spend 6 hours on the floor. He's my "knight in whining (as he calls it--love his honesty) armor.

The thing is that I'm too tired to deal with BS--love him or not. The sick person really has to take care of themselves 'cause no one else will do it. That's the bottom line.

MS does change a relationship drastically unless both people dig deep and find a way to deal with it and move on.
DX w/ RRMS 2004. Self DX PPMS. I don't sit here feeling sorry for myself; I just sit here. View my Blog--history and current events in my life at
http://boopieupsmsjourney.blogspot.com/
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Postby scoobyjude » Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:37 am

Wow Boopie, it's funny that you happened to re-visit this thread this week. I have had an extremely eventful, stressful week. On Monday out of the blue my ex emailed me after 13 months that he wanted to know if there was any chance that I would ever take him back and could we talk. We had still been kind of communicating up until about 2 months ago when I finally broke off all communication and actually started dating. I think this finally scared him that he was going to lose me forever but I honestly didn't do it for that reason. I was trying to move on and regain some sanity. I still talk to his mom occasinally and she told him that I had already found someone and he was crazy about me. This was technically true but I wasn't really interested in him. It seemed to have quite an effect on him though. There are a lot of issues that will have to be worked through and at this point I don't know if he deserves this second chance but I'm willing to see where it goes. We were together for 9+ yrs and for 8 of them, we were happy and best friends. I think that the whole MS issue is definitely playing into my decision because this man has seen me at my worst and still wants me. He told me that it wouldn't matter if I was in a wheelchair because he is so attracted to my mind that there could never be anyone more beautiful to him. I'm sure it's a little BS but it meant so much to me to hear him say that and it's more effort than I'm used to seeing from him. He has always been supportive and encouraging but sometimes I didn't think he even considered what could happen in the future. I know that the fear of finding someone else who can accept my MS is clouding my judgement some so I am taking things very slowly. He has said everything I've always wanted to hear and now it's time for him to prove it. MS and the future just seem so much scarier alone and I miss having someone to lean on. I know that I am strong enough to go on alone but that's not what I want. Life and relationships are hard enough but throw a chronic illness in there and forget it. Needless to say, I feel exhausted mentally and physically and definitely need to concentrate on what's best for me.
Dxed Jan 2006. Sx since 2002. Rebif since March 2006. "When one door closes, another opens but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us." Alexander Graham Bell
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Postby Boopieup » Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:10 pm

scoobyjude:

I don't read that much, but your thread caught my attention. I am by no means an expert on relationships. I mess up a lot and wonder at times why my husband is still with me. I freak out at times and everyone, including him, is either stupid or the devil. That's hard on anyone especially the loved one/caregiver. After I stop "freak-out mode", I always apologize. It must be true love because he is always so understanding.

I think you are on the right track of doing what's best for you. I was always one to try so hard to do for others. I've finally come to the realization that it's me that is inside this body with MS and no one else. No one else knows what's going on with me, so they really can't help or make me better even though they might try.

Am I selfish? Maybe. I think just about anyone would be with the mill I've been through.

Just make sure that man loves you for you and you'll be alright,
DX w/ RRMS 2004. Self DX PPMS. I don't sit here feeling sorry for myself; I just sit here. View my Blog--history and current events in my life at
http://boopieupsmsjourney.blogspot.com/
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