Yes, but not all couples are at the same point. The disease has driven some of them apart. Sometimes there is anger, because they can no longer realize certain projects together. Moreover, the problems in the relationship that existed before the disease do not disappear with it!
Other couples, however, tell me that they are even closer than before, that they manage to adapt to their new situation. They form a team when confronted with the disease, with the common enemy. They fight together and stay in love.
Where it is really difficult is when the couple is faced with a neurocognitive disease. The caregiver-lover reconciliation disappears, and the caregiver has to deal with ambiguous grief, as these testimonies demonstrate: “The person in front of me is not the one I married, I don’t recognize them anymore, I’m not attracted to them anymore,” “I don’t know if I want to invest my time and energy in this person anymore, I don’t know if I’m really in love anymore” or “The way he is now, I would never have married him, he’s not the kind of person I’m interested in!” Sometimes the situation is a bit more pleasant, as in the case of one lady who said that her husband, who had become much more romantic, had started courting her like never before!
In the workshop, we ensure that we don’t make couples feel guilty. It is all very well to remain in love, but for some it is neither easy nor possible. We have to accept these realities, listen to them and learn from them.