Surely many of us have experienced some difficulties in reconciling our disease with ourselves and the relationship we have with our family. It’s a difficult thing to deal with, especially as endometriosis is not the friendliest partner to us.
Adela-psychologist and #endowarrior-offers you tips and tricks to manage your couple life in a co-working experience with endometriosis:
I will try to address as many of your pain related concerns as possible and provide you with some advice on how to handle them effectively.
I have come across many rather difficult cases where unfortunately there were no ways out, so I will try to show you how to avoid getting into irreversible situations.
Unfortunately, from the moment we start experience pain and bad conditions, the problems in the couple, family, workplace and society start as well. Worse is that by the time we have a diagnosis and know what we are struggling with, it can take a long time and this is where the frustration and the thought of “what is wrong with me?” comes in.
Then after we have been diagnosed, financial problems arise, because unfortunately in many countries there is no system of state reimbursement for our disease and, for everything we do (consultations, investigations, tests, medication, operations), we have to pay on our own and hence other discussions in the family, with our partner.
Because we experience pain during the sexual contact as well as bleeding and anxiety as a result, our disease also causes us to lose our sexual appetite and become estranged from our partners.
Actually, I think this is the biggest issue we face. Even though we wish it wasn’t so and we love our partner and want to be with him, we physically aren’t able to, because instead of enjoying the experience, we are tense, anxious and in pain. How can we feel good when every move hurts and how can we not be anxious when we don’t want to show that we are hurt?
Emotionally, we feel guilty, misunderstood, angry, and don’t understand what is happening to us.
The truth is if we don’t understand what’s going on with us, why do we expect our partner to understand? Don’t you think it would be easier for us and for him if we had a discussion in which we explain what is going on, what we feel and stop hiding our pain? It’s very important that when the pain comes into our lives we don’t hide and we talk to our partner about everything that’s troubling us, so that he understands what we’re going through.
Another important thing is that if we are willing (and he is willing) what we should do is to involve him in everything meaning informing him about the disease, telling him about our doctor appointment and how we feel. Men sometimes need to feel that they can protect and help us and it will definitely help him to better understand what we are going through. Moreover, we are a couple for better or for worse, right? So we need to stop hiding our pain and talk about it.
The issue of having a child also arises in a marriage since, even if we don’t already have one, we certainly desire one. In this situation, endometriosis isn’t very helpful; on the contrary, it holds back our plans.
As I told you before, I did three in vitro fertilizations. I let my husband inform himself and research everything about this procedure and all that it involves. I did this because I wanted him to feel involved in the whole process and in addition to that, I got away from some extra stress. So he did everything perfectly from an information point of view.
I know it’s a hard road and that sometimes unfortunately it leads nowhere. We are hit by failure, heartache, lost dreams and lost money… but I firmly believe that if we take this road together it’s easier and we can help each other. I unfortunately lost an IVF pregnancy at 14 weeks and the other two IVF’s failed, it was terrible, but we have to understand that not only we lost or failed but he did too. Our partner feels a very big pain as well, because we didn’t succeed or that we can’t have a child. Sometimes I think it is worse for them because they have no control. They would like to help us and they don’t know how, they feel unable to support us and it is even harder for them and for us if we reject them. So, I advise you to be a team until the end and you will see that it is easier done in two.
What I’m really trying to say is that, if we involve our partner in this whole endometriosis journey, it will be easier. They will probably understand what we’re going through and be supportive because they’ll know what it’s all about. I know that unfortunately there are cases where some partners run away and we can’t control that, but I firmly believe that whoever is meant to be with us on this journey will be with us regardless of the “ups and downs”, as my husband says.
So girls, stop hiding your pain, don’t let it control your relationship and speak up, cry if you feel and let your partner protect and help you. Knowing that he can help you will also be useful to him.
ONE PLUS ONE IS WE! Don’t forget that!