8 Hours to a lifetime of relationship satisfaction

Dr. Gayle Klaybor gave a workshop on April 25 for the MS Society. This intensive workshop focused on practical skills for enhancing communication in a marriage, teaching listening skills, and providing a forum for couples to explore how to improve their marriages. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that affects the central nervous system CNS:the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. The damage caused by MS creates lesions or “scars” that can be seen on your brain and spinal cord. The process of developing lesions is called “sclerosis.” So, MS actually means “many scars.”

Who gets MS?

* 2.5 million people around the world have MS
* Approximately 400,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with MS
* More than twice as many women as men have MS
* Most people are aged between 20 and 50 years when they are diagnosed with MS
* MS is more common in people of Northern European descent, but anyone can get MS

From: Multiplesclerosiscentral.com

1. Balance

Your spouse may not fully understand what is like to have multiple sclerosis, but the major life changes involved affect you both. While you bear the physical brunt of MS, you both have to deal with the emotional toll, the financial impact, and role changes. My own life changed with such great speed that my head is still spinning five years later. I try to never lose sight of the fact that Jake was every bit as blindsided as I was.

2. Communication

Unless he is so fortunate as to possess telepathic abilities, he is not a mind reader. Make the effort to share your deepest thoughts and feelings with him. If you are experiencing depression or fatigue, and you don’t tell him, he just may miss the signs. If you need extra assistance… ask. We can’t expect our loved ones to get inside our heads and accommodate for our needs on their own. We’ve got to communicate with them.

3. Understanding

MS is a huge issue in both your lives, but it is not the only issue. Don’t forget to ask him how his day is going and how he’s feeling. Take the time to find out what’s on his mind today… besides MS. Show that you care about his hope and fears. Don’t assume he knows.

4. Appreciation

Don’t fall into the trap of taking him for granted. Just because he always does the grocery shopping, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t tell him how much you appreciate it once in awhile. We tend to dispense with the niceties with the people we love the most. That’s a mistake.

5. Romance

Romance is good for the soul. Without it, you might as well just be roomates. Under no circumstances should you let romance slide. MS can make things more difficult, but there’s no reason to let it take the romance, too. Cuddle up on the sofa together… light some candles… play soft music… you know where to go from there.

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Dr. Mike Klaybor

Dr. Mike Klaybor

Dr. Mike Klaybor brings thirty years of experience in practicing counseling psychology with individuals and couples. His approach is cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. Specific specialties include; anxiety and stress management, chronic pain & chronic illness management, depression, substance abuse evaluations, employee assistance and executive coaching for workplace performance and leadership.