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In Love With A Man With MS

I am 54 years old and in love with a man who has had MS since 2006. He is 51 and lives with his overprotective, overly religious parents. We are a gay couple. They do not allow him to visit me 45 minutes drive away, but they do allow me to take him out for lunch once a week. He is very religious himself and on some levels feels like he still has issues with being gay. It’s unclear.

He abused alcohol as a young man in his twenties and had to go to rehab. He repeats jokes and song parodies over and over. His former boyfriend told me that he was doing this long before the MS diagnosis.

I love him dearly, but he seems completely devoted to his mother and only does what she says. He is not allowed to have privacy. His bedroom door must be open at all times-it’s always been this way. He even sleeps in the same bed he had as a child. She keeps him a child. The father is VERY passive, like Gary. The mother literally dominates every area of their lives. I’ve become friends with her to get closer to Gary. One has to do this to have any kind of relationship with him.

I do believe he loves me. He calls me once a day at night and when his parents aren’t home. He’s embarrassed to say “I love you” to me in front of them. He vows and declares he’s not ashamed of me, though it took him almost three years to have me meet his parents.

We exchanged rings in 2013 and I would like to marry him, but he said he would have to live with his parents and they can never know…….

He is on tecfidera now. He was on the shots, Avonex when I met him. He was on ampyra, but his mother almost didn’t give it to him because she had read it caused loose bowels and she said “I’m not cleaning that up!” This was during the time last winter when he could hardly walk. I had to take care of my late husband after his stroke for years before he died in 2006. I had to clean him up, change his diaper, etc. It made me mad that she withheld his medicine for a month. The neurologist’s nurses finally convinced her to give him the med and he got better. She and he both believe in Jesus curing him.

He’s doing better on the Tecfidera. She delayed him going on that for awhile, but I went online and allayed her fears by reading the Q & A section of a site on the drug.

It’s just frustrating loving someone and not being able to be a part of their life or help with his care. He goes to the neurologist Wednesday, but I’m not allowed to go with him.

I have a ring on my finger saying he belongs to me, but he belongs to her and the way he acts I think he wants to belong to her. He keeps promising me things will change, but they don’t. When I ask him to confront his mom he says “I’m chickenshit honey”.

I’ll always be here for him. He knows that. I think that gives him comfort.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Tony author
    5 years ago

    To answer your question Laura, yes, he’s on disability now, for the past year. When I met him in late 2011 he was working full time at the u-scan it section of a grocery store chain here. He can still walk, but slowly. Yes, he’s happy being their little boy. He promises to call me during the day and doesn’t. One time I was visiting and he left the bedroom with me to go sit with his dad on the sofa in the den……no tv on, no talking between them-he’d rather keep his dad company than me… just breaks my heart. He has guys constantly coming on to him online because of his great looks. I’ve never had that kind of attention. He can easily replace me if I go. There are guys lined up to take my place. I just think of all the time, money, heartache I’ve spent on this man and for what? The ex said the same thing to me–you spend all this time, money and your feelings are REAL, unlike his childlike/fantasy view of things.

    Thanks for your comment Rick. I wish you and yours all the best.

    Honestly, this scenario has led me to drink again. I’ve lost my parents, my late husband in 2006…..this relationship is just too painful for me. I don’t want anyone but Gary, but being involved with him totally kills one’s spirit. He says all the right words, but zero action to back up those words 🙁

  • BaltoRic
    5 years ago


    Thanks for sharing your story. My husband and I have been together for 20 years (married legally 2 yrs ago). I have MS too and know that Gary is so lucky to have you in his life. My husband and I can’t imagine life without each other. MS and sexual orientation do not define us to our family or our community. Being good people who care for each other are what matters most.

    I can only guess that people in his parents’ generation have different beliefs. I do hope this new year gets better for the both of you.

    – Rick

  • Laura Kolaczkowski
    5 years ago

    Tony, There are so many obstacles in the way of this relationship but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue your heart. But it’s hard to allow a marriage to mature if you are not able to spend quality time with the other person. You don’t say, but I would imagine that Gary is not only emotionally dependent and reliant on his mother, but also needs her and dad for the financial support. You don’t mention if he is able to work or is receiving some sort of disability benefits, especially in light of his diminished mental capacities if he continues to think more childlike and his MS. There are so many details that we don’t have to allow us to see the larger picture. It sounds like you are in a real three-way relationship with Gary and his mother. As tough as it is to say, if I were Dear Abby or Ann Landers and asked to give advice, I think the message Gary is sending is pretty clear and was reinforced by his ex of twelve years. Gary must on many levels like his life the way it is and you might have to either accept that and your relationship as it is, or move on. It’s admirable that you are not concerned/frightened by his MS but that also shouldn’t keep you there and not saying goodbye and moving on. I’m sorry you are in this spot and perhaps speaking with a professional counselor would be useful to sort this out.
    best to you, Laura

  • Tony author
    5 years ago

    Thank you MUCH Kim and Cathy for your comments. I keep telling him that love is an ACTION word. I give all the love and get very little back from him in return. He says all the lovely words we all long to hear “I love you with all my heart and soul honey. I’d die for you” and I respond with, so get in the car with me and come home” and he’ll say “touche” as if to say “you caught me in my BS”. I made friends with his ex and he told me he felt sorry for him for twelve years and finally got tired of giving love and getting very little back. I honestly don’t think he can help it. He’s an absolutely GORGEOUS man-physically quite stunning. But, he has this wonderful heart that has never been cultivated. He’s very witty, compassionate, kind, loving, sweet, smart and has GREAT charisma and a loud, booming voice. He commands attention when he speaks, but he thinks like a child. It’s as if he never grew up. The ex thinks it’s the years of alcohol and drug abuse in his twenties. I love him with all my heart and soul. I do feel that God gave me this great love for him, but it feels hopeless now that I’ll ever be loved the way most of want and need to be loved. I’ve been his for three years now. I have a ring saying he belongs to me and I DO think my heart does indeed belong to him, but his physical presence belongs to her, the mother. oh, well, thank you for letting me vent. It helps 🙂

  • Kim Dolce moderator
    5 years ago

    Hi Tony,

    I echo Cathy’s thoughts and wish you the best for this challenging relationship with Gary. You seem pretty grounded in the reality of your situation, and that awareness undoubtedly helps keep your expectations in check.

    I hope things can change for the better very soon. Gary is very lucky to have your love, your patience and understanding. Your needs, wishes and happiness are equally important, and as Cathy said, remember that always.

    I do hope we hear from you again, Tony. Thanks so much for sharing your personal life with us, it’s such a gift.


  • Cathy Chester moderator
    5 years ago


    Thank you for writing this sad yet loving post about someone you dearly love. My heart aches for you.

    Love can be difficult enough without all of the obstacles you obviously face with Gary and his family. The only advice I have to give is not exactly advice but more of a cheering section for you, because you obviously have a pure and loving heart that pours through every word.

    I hope things will change for all of you. Sometimes they take time. I hope you hang in there, but also take good care of yourself because you are important and add great value to the world. Remember that always, and please keep us posted.

    I do hope 2015 is a good year for you and Gary.
    Best always,

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