What to do when your wife has endometriosis?
So, what to do when your wife has endometriosis?
When your wife has endometriosis not only is the one who is affected but your life is also impacted by it. She suffers from severe abdominal pain, brain fog, fatigue, anemia, anxiety, and depression. All of this will affect your life too. Endometriosis has an impact on both of you together.
Endometriosis is not easy to deal with, but it’s worth remembering, that for every chronically ill person, there is an army of those who support them.
There are treatments for endometriosis that can relieve some symptoms, but it is important to be aware that they have limitations and even some disadvantages.
Painkillers give side effects, hormones mess with her mind, repetitive surgeries leave scars, not only physical but also psychological.
Male partners find it hard to understand what their partner is going through. They struggle to spell “endometriosis” let alone understand it. So if your wife has endometriosis, you may find yourself in a similar position.
You may wonder how your partner’s period pain can be so bad that she has to often cancel her plans, or why she can’t cope with her period pain like other women do.
The answer is simple – if she has endometriosis, her period pain is far worse than the period pain of other women. It may be invisible but it’s real.
So how to explain endometriosis pain to a guy?
How to explain endometriosis pain to a guy?
This is a very important question. You know why your partner’s period pain is much worse than the period pain of other women, but you don’t suffer endometriosis yourself so you don’t know how it feels, right?
I also wondered how to explain endometriosis pain to a guy until my wife explained it to me… She said something along the lines of:
“Darling, imagine your testicles being squeezed in a vice. This vice tightens within each minute to the point you feel like you are going to faint. Imagine having it attached to your balls for 10, 15, maybe 30 minutes. How would that make you feel?”
Yes, it will eventually let go and you will feel a nice relief, but soon you will come to realize that your relief is temporary. When the vice tightens again, you begin to think of getting rid of the pain but it doesn’t go away.
It seems like never-ending torture but that’s not it – there’s more – not only it isn’t over, there are additional issues!
On top of the vice squeezing your testicles, the pain radiates to your back, your legs, and your stomach.
The latter causes gastric problems such as heartburn and acid reflux. That, in addition, causes you to feel sick and not want to eat, which you can’t because of the acid buildup burning your insides.
Endometriosis is an invisible illness that no one believes in. Think about it, if no one believed you, how would you react?
So, that was my wife’s response to the question of how to explain endometriosis pain to a guy.
What are endometriosis symptoms?
Your wife has endometriosis, so let’s not skip the very explanation – what endometriosis is?
You may have already heard that endometriosis is a medical condition where the tissue that is similar to the one of the womb grows in other parts of the body. These growths are also called endometrial implants or endometrial lesions.
In the same way as the lining of the womb, they build up and are shed every month during your partner’s period, but unlike a period, this tissue cannot leave her body, creating inflammation and scars.
About 10% of women have endometriosis. This may or may not cause symptoms. Every woman is unique and should be assessed as an individual.
Many doctors treat women like a number in the system knowing that what kind of symptoms they have depends on where the endometrial implants are and how bad the inflammation is.
So what are endometriosis symptoms?
Some women hardly have any symptoms and pain, other women suffer excruciating painful symptoms. Endometriosis may grow on ovaries and fallopian tubes, on the bladder or bowel.
Some women get constipation, other women experience fertility problems. Endometriosis symptoms vary.
Coping when your wife has endometriosis is hard.
The reason why you don’t know what to do when your wife has endometriosis is that nobody talks about it from your point of view.
Let’s face it guys, you see tons of websites dedicated to women who suffer from endometriosis but have you seen anyone who writes about it from your perspective?
Chances are, I’m pretty alone here…
For this reason, I started Worry Head, dedicating my life to guiding men through the challenges that endometriosis brings.
Your wife has endometriosis, but you are in this together.
It’s important that you get the information on how endometriosis impacts you as a couple, so you can take steps to ensure that both of you have a chance for a fairly normal relationship.
There are plenty of sources for your wife, there are plenty of sources for you as a couple, but it is so difficult to find information solely about your struggles. It’s hard when your wife has endometriosis because there’s ofter more to it…
My wife has more than stage IV deep infiltrating endometriosis. She also has fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. But these conditions caused her to develop anxiety, OCD, depression.
Her depression led her to suicidal thoughts and attempts. My wife asked me to divorce her on a handful of occasions for (as she said) the sake of my happiness.
She felt like a burden, she felt like she stopped me from living fully. And even though I felt that way, I never told her.
This allowed her to cope, and in return, allowed me to cope better too. But I was always very open with her about my needs, and you have to be too. This is what can help you cope when your wife has endometriosis.
What to do when your wife has endometriosis?
Here’s what you can do when your wife has endometriosis:
Be there for her when she needs you because no amount of painkillers, hormones, or surgical procedures will make her life easier long-term, you can!
Severe abdominal pain and cramping will force your partner to make changes in everyday life. She may sometimes end up having to cancel her or your plans, with either your friends or even more important appointments.
Be understanding of that. Your plans will often change and they are going to change last minute.
She will definitely have problems sleeping, quite often she might feel tired, extremely weak, and less able to cope with stress than she normally would.
Don’t complain about sleepless nights, she has that on top of the pain and other symptoms. You can always catch up on your sleep, she can’t do it as easy as you.
My wife used to regularly stay home from work because of her pain. That made her feel guilty towards her colleagues. The pressure at work might increase for your wife as well as it did for mine.
But her absences also affected my work as I had to take time off too in order to take care of her during flare-ups or suicidal thoughts she felt when her endometriosis pain was excruciating and she couldn’t cope anymore.
Advocate for her, fight for her.
Only when I organized a meeting with her boss she was taken seriously, similarly, when I began to attend her doctor and hospital appointments, my wife was believed.
Supporting her in such ways seems like a lot of work for you, but believe me, you save yourself a lot of heartaches doing so.
I attended my wife’s endometriosis group sessions to keep her company, I noticed there were no men present. No brothers, boyfriends, fathers, or husbands were showing support to women in their lives.
It made me feel special, my wife felt special and appreciated by me. It was a nice feeling for both of us, yet pretty upsetting for the other women.
Even at the public endometriosis webinars, I have met only 4 maybe 5 men in a place filled with hundreds of women who suffered from this chronic disease.
But there is more that you can do to cope better when your wife has endometriosis. I give you 27 tips that helped my own relationship, including:
- Understand her condition.
- Accept you can’t erase her pain.
- Discuss sexuality with her.
- Support her in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet.
- Plan ahead, write things down if you have to. I found it very useful.
- Help her with a holistic approach, such as CBD oils and balms, meditation, mindfulness.
- Keep her in a stress-free environment.
- Challenge negative people, take vacations, fight for her.
- Give her space to do pilates and to practice breathing techniques.
- Communication is a must!
- Do what needs to be done, not what you think you should do.
- If she wants to talk to you about death, listen.
- Don’t hide the fact that you’re unhappy.
- Understand that “cheering her up” may backfire!
- Realize that what you cook may not be helpful.
- Except for the unexpected.
- Take all the medical guidelines with a pinch of salt.
- Talk to your loved one about what’s happening.
- Discuss the practical things…
- Find someone for you to talk to.
- Take care of yourself.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
- Let your wife cry…
- Be strong in front of her.
- Always believe in her!
- Learn to be more patient.
- Don’t become her carer.
When your wife has endometriosis, the marriage becomes a little bit wobbly, but you can save it with help of resources such as the one I wrote with my wife, “Endo-Tool, Endometriosis for Men” e-Book.
I give you the whole 1st chapter absolutely FREE! It contains 20 pages filled with a lot of value, including:
- What is endometriosis?
- What are the symptoms?
- What causes endometriosis?
- What does endometriosis look like?
- What are the stages?
- What are the types?
- What is adenomyosis and how is it related to endometriosis?
- Why do some women develop severe endo and others don’t?
- Does endometriosis cause infertility?
- How is endometriosis diagnosed?
- Do types and stages affect the treatment?
- Recurrence of endometriosis after excision surgery.
Get FREE “Endo-Tool”
Endometriosis for Men e-Book
Because the main symptom of endometriosis is pain during or after sex. Her pain reduces your wife’s desire to have sex. Many women who experience pain during or after sex try to avoid it. My one did.
They often feel bad about doing it, and as my wife did at the beginning, she simply got on with it despite the pain because she didn’t want to disappoint me and lose me.
M felt afraid that I might feel rejected by her or even leave her if she doesn’t have sex with me.
As her partner, it’s easy to feel a little rejected or dissatisfied, especially, if you don’t understand why she doesn’t want to have sex. Knowing that sex is painful for her might make you feel guilty or uncomfortable. That’s how I felt. Sex can easily become an issue within relationships.
There is a high endometriosis divorce rate, men leave women for that particular reason. But there’s more to it. Not being able to get pregnant often adds to the burden.
Endometriosis is a disease that both of you will have to deal with together, however, with mutual understanding of each other’s situations, you can overcome these challenges.
Remember that treatment may help your wife relieve her symptoms of endometriosis, but it can also be very distressing.
She will find it helpful if you take her seriously and understand how much endometriosis impacts her life.
But do not forget about yourself. There is no need for you, as her husband, to completely ignore your own desires and needs. It can take you some time to process and understand it, but it can be done.
Your feelings of anger, despair, non-acceptance, helplessness, even feeling resentful are normal.
With time, you are going to manage to face the new situation and find ways to live with this insidious chronic condition. Although you may not be directly affected by her endometriosis, you will have to share the burden of the effects it has on your life together.
It is important to find out how much support you would like to have yourself, but also give her that support too. Because it is very important not to ignore your own problems and feelings when your wife has endometriosis.
Men avoid talking about these things because they are worried that it may cause their partner even more distress.
Care for each other and being honest are key to shaping your lives in a way that focuses on the positive and fulfilling aspects of your marriage rather than on endometriosis and its consequences.
Some of the information I’ve given here can be found in this source, but I based it mainly on my personal experience with my wife.
Remembering that your partner’s struggles are real she cannot forget that your challenges are also real. As long as you communicate with each other and discuss all the issues that arise, you will find it easier to cope. You can help your partner by offering her a fantastic book that I cannot recommend enough!
This book dives deep into the whole topic of using a vast range of safe natural therapies and nutrition to help manage endometriosis.
Sending you all my best!
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…