Family and relationships

MS can strain a relationship. But we can help you make it stronger.

MS shouldn’t stand in the way of any meaningful relationship. Yes, it can add complications, but by talking openly to those close to you about any issues that arise, and thinking ahead, these complications can be overcome.

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Thanks to my partner, relatives, friends, and colleagues, it’s easier for me to live this life with MS.

Steffi B

Steffi B

Here, we provide you with tools and information to help with problems you might face with your MS and relationships, marriage, sex, and more.

And if you can’t find everything you need, you may also find support groups helpful, to talk to those going through the same things as you.

Every person is unique, and no two people will experience MS in the same way. How MS affects you, and those around you, will depend on not just your symptoms but also your individual circumstances, your personality, and your outlook.

MS can interfere with your emotions and intimacy and can affect the workings of family life, but there are ways to help overcome these issues:

  • Extra emotions. Stress. Anxiety. Doubt. Fear. MS can deliver them all, and more. Be defiant. The more that you, your partner, friends, and family learn to deal with any unexpected emotions brought on by MS, the better you’ll cope. Head to the Mental Health page to get advice and help with dealing with your emotions and how to keep on top of your mental wellbeing.
  • Intimacy. Sexual dysfunction is common for people living with MS. One study found that around 80% of people experienced intimacy issues related to their MS.5 When MS enters the bedroom, it can make things awkward and can take a toll on your wellbeing and relationship. To help make sure the moment isn’t lost, go to our MS and sex page to learn more about how to deal with these issues.
  • Family roles. What if one half of the ‘double act’ can’t perform; who will look after the kids? Or do the school run? Do you know how to switch on the vacuum cleaner…? Do you even know where it is? It won’t be the most exciting chat you have, but it’s important to take the time to plan for days like these.

For more information on how to overcome the effects MS has on family life, see the links from MS patient organisations below:

All relationships take work, and when you add MS into the mix, it can bring some entirely unique complications. But living with MS shouldn’t stop you from having meaningful relationships.

Having MS in your life can upset the dynamics of a relationship, so it’s important to seek the right advice and support if you need it. Maintaining a constant dialogue with those close to you means that you can manage your MS, together. We provide some tips on how to do this, below:

  • MS doesn’t just affect you, it also affects your friends and family. Remember to make time for them, and find out how they’re feeling.
  • If your family is finding it difficult to understand your diagnosis, ask for support from your healthcare team. To see what’s available, see the useful links below.
  • Your children might worry if something seems different. When you’re ready, talk to them about MS, and your MS.

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I can say that MS has welded us even closer together and will not separate us. There are 3 of us in our marriage: my husband, me, and MS.



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The best support for me has been my family and friends. My partner is the most supportive person in my life and has helped me through some of my darkest times. He drives me to my appointments and MRIs. He is the shoulder I cry on, and the ear that never tires of listening to me.


Living with MS since 2012

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In short, when managing MS in a relationship, it’s important to talk to those close to you to help them understand what you’re going through.

Useful links for more support

For more support on family and MS, visit the National MS Society website, where there’s also useful advice on how to talk to children about MS.

If you feel your friends and family need more advice, you can also find support for them from the MS Society here.

Articles on relationships and family to read next.

Helpful information on what the effects of MS could mean to your relationships and family.

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MS can affect your mental health. We can use our minds to help stop this.

You’re not facing this alone. Find real experiences from people living with MS, and information on dealing with how MS can affect your mental health here.

MS can leave you speechless. We’ll show you ways to be heard.

Sometimes, being listened to is the best form of support. We can help you find it.