Relationships are in crisis with endometriosis! Helping female partners with endometriosis.
A silent crisis…
There’s a silent crisis among women who suffer from endometriosis, however, no one ever talks about their partners. No one talks about men and this is why relationships are in crisis with endometriosis.
I’m a husband behind a chronically ill woman who suffers from stage IV deep infiltrating endometriosis, which is an advanced, rare type.
Everyone talks about the number of women suffering from chronic pain and illnesses like endometriosis, but there is also a legion of partners who support them and sacrifice their own life for them.
I’m one of these men, and I can openly tell you – I experience plenty of emotions, such as loss, grief, guilt, sadness, frustration, anger, loneliness.
I share over a decade of my personal experience to help people understand how men of women with endo feel. Endometriosis is a brutal condition that can break even the strongest of relationships.
Being a partner of an endometriosis sufferer is nothing in comparison to the actual suffering, but understanding our point of view will help you understand why relationships are in crisis with endometriosis and even prevent the breakdown of your own.
So why relationships are in crisis with endometriosis?
Because men, in particular, are absolutely rubbish at talking about their emotions. This isn’t helpful as communication is the most important component of any successful relationship, especially one with a chronic illness.
An understanding that your partner isn’t alone can help them feel less isolated, which is the first line of helping your partner with endometriosis.
On the other hand, the second thing is open and honest listening to each other. Women need to understand what their male partners feel, who have to state their own needs.
Communication is the key between both – sufferers and supporters.
Endometriosis is a very misunderstood chronic condition, I have no words to describe how it feels because I am not a woman. As a man, I will NEVER understand what my wife and other women feel.
When relationships are in crisis with endometriosis, the first thing men need to realize is that they cannot “fix” their partner’s health but what they can do is change their approach to their support. We are wired to fix things. That’s what we do, period.
But when it comes to someone’s health, we cannot fix it, no matter how much we try.
Women, on the other hand, need to understand that we are wired that way, that we can get impatient and useless not knowing what to do. We have no tools to fix you, but we need time to change. You have to allow us time.
This insidious disease gets to the core of male-female relations. Women are from Venus and men are from Mars. Women express their emotions, it doesn’t come easy to men.
Menstruation is alien to men. They cannot spell “endometriosis”, let alone understand it. Endo is invisible, in most males’ eyes it’s just another “female problem”. They don’t get involved in something they don’t understand.
I know it sounds cowardly, and frankly, it is.
Men need to men-up!
My wife doesn’t only suffer from endometriosis, she also has fibromyalgia. Yes, the one that Lady Gaga suffers from.
Between her endometriosis and fibromyalgia flare-ups, chronic pain rarely leaves her body. Chronic illness impacts mental health, let alone two chronic conditions.
Suffering from multimorbidity means an enormous impact on emotions.
My wife suffers from general anxiety, panic disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive disorder, and depression. She often has suicidal thoughts, she tried to commit to it in the past. She also asked me to divorce her on a few occasions.
What did I do?
I sucked it up like a man and stayed by her side!
Moving on over a decade, I love my wife even more than before. Is it because I feel sorry for her? Maybe. But is it because she deserves a fairly normal life and a chance for a relationship and love? Definitely yes!
Men need to stop being useless couch potatoes. They need to men-up!
I can be tough on them because I am one of them, and if I manage to have a happy marriage with a woman with multiple chronic illnesses, anyone can support a woman with one condition.
My heart goes to those men who truly care for their women, they deserve a pat on the back. But those cowards who leave their women at the lowest point of their life, don’t deserve my respect.
They can judge me as much as they like, I honestly couldn’t care less. More men need to take action in spreading awareness of this insidious disease.
Relationships are in crisis with endometriosis, we need to break that pattern gents, and help our ladies more.
When your partner suffers…
Endometriosis struck my relationship when I got married to M. You may be in a similar position or not. But regardless of having a spouse, fiance, or girlfriend, when your partner suffers, it can be extremely challenging for both of you.
You’re a couple, who at some stage met and fell in love. At that moment, her pain was probably at a low or controlled level, maybe she didn’t have one yet. Some women with endometriosis don’t experience pain.
At the time you couldn’t see if she was suffering, she probably hides her pain today too trying to keep your relationship as normal as she possibly can.
Today, she most likely hides her pain too. But it plays with her emotions, it plays with yours too. This thing is invisible…
This is yet another reminder of why relationships are in crisis with endometriosis. Because pain is invisible to those who don’t experience it.
Partners often don’t believe the invisible symptoms. Even her chronic fatigue caused by the constant battle with pain seems invisible to you. How do you know she doesn’t fake it? Well, you don’t.
This is where trust is very important. By believing in her you show that you’ve got her back, that you’re going to be there for her when she needs you the most. That itself actually helps to lower her pain.
When your partner suffers she is not seeking attention but understanding and your need to believe.
The only evidence that can be visibly obvious, is bloating, commonly called an “endo-belly”, which makes your partner look pregnant. However, it’s just inflammation.
When your partner suffers from her symptoms feel isolated and embarrassed.
Endometriosis is something that never leaves her body, there is no cure, and the management of symptoms varies from woman to woman.
Please be understanding for your partner, do your best to help break the vicious cycle of pain and emotions.
Endometriosis vs cancer.
Judge me if you like, but I’ve seen women in my family die from cancer, survive cancer, and the closest woman to mine has an advanced stage IV of deep infiltrating endometriosis.
I’ve seen it all, and here’s what I’ve learned…
Endometriosis seems worse than cancer. Cancer is curable or the person dies. Either way, cancer patients get eventually relief. When it comes to endometriosis:
- There is no cure, no relief, no end.
- Endometriosis spreads just like cancer.
- Endometriosis is as painful as cancer.
- Untreated, endometriosis spreads to other organs.
- Regardless of the surgery, in most cases, it comes back.
- It lowers the quality of life, making women’s diets restricted.
- Endometriosis gives a high risk of infertility.
- Gives gastric problems and severe anemia.
- It erases sex life and intimacy, affecting many relationships.
- Affects not only a woman but those who support her.
- Untreated, endometriosis can change into cancer.
I’ve seen my wife countless times lying on the floor, crying, kicking her legs, scratching walls in excruciating, stabbing pain, looking like she was possessed, in and out of consciousness.
A year after her surgery, she’s in pain again. This never ends, it keeps coming back.
After the operation, she may seem like she’s fit and happy again, but she will never do her job as a full-time dancer again. Even though this energetic, sexy girl I’ve met is back for a while, and it seems like we can move forward, we almost forget that endo has no cure.
It will be back.
What can you do?
You feel as if cancer came in and stole her from you, it took away her mind, wrecked her body. If you possibly could physically fix her, you would. But you can’t.
How can you cope with that? What can you do?
The answer is short – two things – communicate with her and push through the challenges ahead!
Do what she does and share. Be honest with her, be honest with yourself.
And always remember why you love her. Remember how you met, and why you got together. Remember what it means to be a man and a partner to her. Use your male mental strength and calm her when she needs it.
Relationship or marriage, it’s for better and worse.
But never forget to be grateful for what you have. People always take a notice of little things when something drastic happens in their lives. It already did, but not to you per se but to her.
Appreciate your own health, you’re blessed to have it. When you wake up tomorrow and open your eyes, that’s all you need to be happy. You have everything you need on that pillow.
And remember, you are not amongst men who lost their partner forever. Imagine how much would they give to hold her hair, to kiss, to feel them again?
There will be moments of doubt, but there will be many moments of joy too! Your lives aren’t over!
Cherish and live in those little moments of happiness. Show her how much you love her with your care, understanding, and your patience. Give as many good moments to her as you can.
It’ll make you both feel better.
Hi, I’m Lucjan! The reason why I decided to create this blog was my beautiful wife, who experienced a lot of pain in life, but also the lack of information about endometriosis and fibromyalgia for men…