Living with a chronic illness – openness and acceptance strengthen the partnership.
Chronic diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS) often mean huge changes in daily life. MS is an autoimmune disease: certain immune cells mistakenly target the body’s own cells or tissue.
The attack causes inflammation in the brain and / or spinal cord. They cause the many symptoms of multiple sclerosis. But those affected don’t just have to learn to live with it. As a result of the illness, challenges for their relationships with other people often arise. Blogger Alexandra Leyer (30, Instagram: @wunderflecken), who was diagnosed with MS 9 years ago, also experienced this.
Alexandra has gone through a long process of changes as a result of the illness. This related to their own body feeling, their sexuality and their partnerships. At the time of diagnosis, Alexandra had a partner but was not ready to share her illness with him. She didn’t want to deal with MS herself, but the physical effects of her MS made her unable to avoid it. Her fate and the associated restrictions made her angry and sad at first.
When dating after breaking up with her boyfriend, she often chose not to mention MS – especially when she assumed the date wouldn’t turn out to be more serious. Her fear of showing herself vulnerable and making herself vulnerable was too great.
That only changed after she began to live more consciously and deal with the question of who she actually is. “Yoga was an unbelievable game changer because it brought me into contact with my emotions and my body,” says Alexandra.
By dealing with herself, she was able to begin to accept MS as part of her new life. So she decided to mention her illness on a dating platform right from the start.
She met a man who had already dealt with the diagnosis based on her dating profile. The first date consisted of many questions – questions about MS. What was strange to her at first turned out to be the right way to go: open communication.
The subject of sexuality also changed for her as a result of her illness: Her physical limitations had an impact on her sensation of pleasure and on her body feeling. When she opens up to a man today, she does so with more dedication because she has learned to act consciously – and to listen to what is good for her body.
Alex made love with MS because she was able to accept her illness – being at peace with yourself and your body can change a lot. More about MS and Alexandra’s experiences in dealing with the disease can be found at www.bei-ms.de.
Text: Anne Essers