MS and Marriage

First let me make sure you know we both (Zine and I) added input to this entry before publishing.  So no worries, we are well aware of what is in this post before you are!  :o)   It’s been edited more times than any post has been edited I’m sure!!  

When difficult situations arise, our marriages become an open target.  For some reason, when we are stressed, who gets the brunt of our stress…our mates!!!  Who are we the crabbiest with…our mates!  Who do we have absolutely no patience with…our mates!  So no wonder when difficult situations arise, a side problem is the difficult place it can leave a marriage.

So yes, the stress has taken a toll in our marriage.  But I think it just shows we are human!  And we are not perfect!

For me (Zine),  the losses in regards to MS have led me to isolation.  My logic has been and still is some, that no one would desire to experience pain of loss.  My loss.  That logic seems sound, caring, loving, sacrificial even.  The truth is that logic is a terrible lie that I battle on a daily basis.  Sometimes hourly basis!  That lie isolates me from others including Karen.  Another marriage struggle we have experienced is that I often have had no emotional capacity to support Karen.  Which I know leaves her feeling even further isolated.  For me, learning to live with someone who desires to live with me in my pain is a difficult lesson.  (Differential Equations was easier.)  

For me (Karen), I have felt pushed aside, disrespected, unappreciated, not valued on way more times than I care to count! I have struggled with feeling alone a lot!  And even in marriage, it often feels very alone.  It feels we are fighting the same battle but we’re doing it alone. There have been moments when marriage has been nothing but pure sweetness through some of these days.  But others, I am just glad that I made it through the day…(without killing him)!

We have been at this MS battle for 5 years now, so we’ve had lots of practice in salvaging a marriage. 
We’ve grieved a lot of things already that God designed for marriage.   We’ve had lots of counseling and are in need of a lot more I’m sure!  But there is one thing that keeps coming to my mind as it relates to marriage.  Often we think our spouses should be our God.  Or at least I (Karen) feel that way.  “I have a need so buddy you are supposed to meet it.  You are my husband after all!”  But what happens when my spouse is hurting deeply and literally has nothing to give… I feel rejection, disrespect, unimportant, etc.  In return, it causes me to become defensive and angry because my spouse is not meeting my needs!  Sounds a bit selfish when I say it like that!!  But what God keeps telling me is that Zine Smith is not supposed to be God in my life. Amazing to me how I continually get that mixed up and place that huge amount of stress on Zine to be my ultimate need meeter.

We are both learning that we need Jesus in our lives, but we also need other people in our lives too.  We got married and all of a sudden didn’t need anyone else.  Our love would be all we need to carry us through.  I’m sure we are not the only newly married couple who believed that thought process!!  If you knew us in our earlier years, we did EVERYTHING together.  We were inseparable.  Even after two children, we went and did everything together!  And we didn’t need anyone to help us do anything.  We took care of everything ourselves!!  So a hard fact for us to learn, but we are VERY slowly learning, we need other people walking beside each of us so that we have safe people to share our hearts with and to help bear our burden.  This has been a challenge for both of us.  Sharing our true hearts with others is not an easy task for either of us.  Stretched way beyond our comfort zones for sure when we share our intimate thoughts!

We hope that sharing just a tid bit of our married life with you, you will understand that whatever stressful situation you find yourself in, please know it will affect your marriage!!  You shall not be alone in that boat!  But be encouraged, if we can continue to be married and live under one roof…you can too!!  We even like each other some days!  Our marriage relationship does look a lot different than we expected but that’s okay!  We might have had unrealistic expectations anyway!!  So if you’re struggling in your marriage, ask God to show you what lies you are believing about your relationship or your spouse.  Ask God to give you the desire to love your spouse well despite the hurt and pain in your own heart!  And in those places of your heart that you feel your spouse needs to come to you and apologize, just give those hurts to God and ask Him to heal them!  Don’t hold them over your spouse’s head!  God has the greatest power to bring healing in your heart!  And He is big enough to do just that!  We’ve watched Him do that in our lives.

But just to clarify…we would much rather focus on these carefree days of our lives…

than these chemo ridden, cath changing, MS raging days!


Wife of 20+ years. Mom to 3 children. Love sharing my life with weary hearts so that we can know the One who is Good, who is in Control, and Whose strength is made perfect in our weaknesses.