IBD and Relationships (Repost)

In the spirit of World IBD Month and my busy schedule, I have been reposting my old posts.  Today, I will be reposting my post about relationships.  Keep in mind that I am a guy so this is from a man’s view.  I know women have their own thoughts which may vary. 

I have seen a lot of questions and discussions about this topic.  Crohn’s Disease is such a private and sometimes gross disease.  Many people ask “When in a relationship should I tell my partner that I have Crohn’s?”  On top of this, I hear “How do I tell my partner I don’t feel sexy/want to have sex?”  For women, in my opinion, this is easier to deal with than men.

First let’s tackle the first question.  A lot of people feel ashamed about having IBD.  Whether it is Colitis or Crohn’s, a lot of people don’t want to talk about it for feel that people will look at them differently.  When it comes to dating, this is a real big issue.  I know women don’t want a guy to know because they don’t want to disgust them or turn them off.  When you first start dating, for a woman, they want to feel and look sexy.  But what about a guy’s view?  What does it say to a women when a guy has to go to the bathroom 5 times during a date.  The first thought might be, “He’s doing drugs”.  Another thought is, “Maybe he doesn’t like me and is calling another woman”.   Truth is guys have the same thoughts and feelings as women.  We want to look good also.  We want to feel strong in a woman’s presence.  Most guys want to be able to take control and treat a woman right.  We can’t do that if we are in pain or running to the bathroom.  We can’t do it if we are constantly feeling sick.

So I say, as far as telling that new person, tell them right away.  It is a lot to deal with, but a lot of times IBD will run our love life so let them get used to it.  I wouldn’t tell them when I first meet the person, but talk to them on the first date.  Let them know that if you have to run to the bathroom..it isn’t their fault.  Let the other person know you want to be there to talk to them but you have to leave for a brief moment.  If you’re a guy and your want to look strong, then telling the truth is being strong.  Opening up to a woman is being strong.  Honesty is the best policy.  It will help strengthen the relationship.

Now, if the other person gets scared at this and runs..well then it really wasn’t meant to be.  You should know if the other person can handle your disease right away.  Now I don’t think you have to tell your whole life story with the disease on the first date.  Just let your partner know what they can expect.  You can go into details another time.

Now, later on in the relationship (or marriage) IBD and sex will come up.  There will be times you won’t want to have sex because of the symptoms.  Again…be open and honest.  If you’re having sex, then you should be in a place in the relationship where your partner knows your disease and can understand it a little.  Let your partner know it isn’t their fault that you don’t want to have sex.  For a guy this is rough since we are made to look like sex addicts…like we want sex 24/7/365.  Truth is, there are plenty of times we don’t want to have sex.  There are times our arse hurts and is sore.  We might be sick to our stomach.  We might have joint pains.  None of this is going to make us want sex.  And these symptoms can last for days and weeks.  That is why I say be open and honest with your partner.  If you aren’t having sex for weeks, and you don’t talk about, your partner may wonder what is wrong.  They may feel like you aren’t attracted to them anymore or worse…is having an affair.  Let your know partner know it isn’t them.

So, overall..be open and honest.  Don’t be ashamed of your disease.  You are going to have it the rest of your life.  Let your partner into your life and let them know that they are in the relationship with both you and your disease.  I have found that overall, if the person can’t handle it…they aren’t worth being with anyways.

The Health Activist’s Writers Month Challenge – Day 14 Spread the Love

Thank a few of your fellow Health Activists for what they have done. Call them out by name or twitter handle. Share your love.

This is more of a repeat of day 4.  I have talked about resources then and linked up to a lot of great sites.  I have talked previously about some of the people who are inspirational to me.  I have mentioned many people over the past year.  But in the spirit of this challenge, I will do it again.  Some of these names may seem very familiar.  Some might be new to you.  What I do want to say though is not everyone I mention will have IBD.  Most will, but there have been some inspiring people who have other illnesses.

Sara Ringer – http://www.inflamed-and-untamed.com/ –  @Sara_Ringer

Kelly Fricke – youtube.com/user/Kellbear2…   –  @SickGirlDiary

 Amanda Kasper – http://stopthinkingstartwriting.blogspot.com –    @Akasper513

Adam Scheuer – http://www.ihaveuc.com/ –   @IhaveUC

Marisa Troy – http://keepingthingsinsideisbadformyhealth.wordpress.com/ –   @MarisaTroy

Brian Greenberg – http://www.intenseintestines.org/  –  @BrianIIF

Sean Ahrens – http://crohnology.com/ – @seanahrens

Wade S – http://wadeszworld.tumblr.com  –   @WadeszWorld

Sarah Choueiry – thecrohnsjourneyfoundation.org  –  @SarahChoueiry

Michael A Weiss – http://www.hospitalpatient.com  – @hospitalpatient

Jackie Z – http://www.bloodpooptears.com – @JackieZimm

Ryan Stevens – http://www.crohnsguy.com/ – @ryan_crohnsguy

Alyssa Zeldenrust – loveformutantguts.wordpress.com  – @UnstuffedAlyssa

Charis Kirk – http://fullfrontalostomy.com/ – @OstomyLife

Julie – http://www.semicolongirl.com/ – @SemiColonGirl

Sharon Saeed – https://www.facebook.com/groups/ibdjourneys/  and also http://www.ibdjourneys.com/

Ok, so I know I will probably piss some people off, but this list can go on forever.  If I didn’t add you, I am sorry.  It is no reflection on you.  In fact, I probably just couldn’t think of everyone, so if you would like me to add you, send me an email to aguywithcrohns@gmail.com with your info and I will review it.  If I like it, and I most likely will, I can always add you onto the list.

Advice For A Terrific Life

I was going through an old blog I was doing and I found this post that I made.  I am sure I copied it from someone else..but I thought it was nice and I wanted to repost it here. 

  1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
  2. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
  3. Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
  4. When you say, ‘I love you,’ mean it.
  5. When you say, ‘I’m sorry,’ look the person in the eye.
  6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
  7. Believe in love at first sight.
  8. Never laugh at anyone’s dreams. People who don’t have dreams don’t have much.
  9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it’s the only way to live life completely.
  10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name-calling.
  11. Don’t judge people by their relatives.
  12. Talk slowly but think quickly.
  13. When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and ask, ‘Why do you want to know?’
  14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  15. Say ‘bless you’ when you hear someone sneeze.
  16. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
  17. Remember the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.
  18. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
  19. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  20. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
  21. Spend some time alone.