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Crohn's Disease Forum » Your Story » Boyfriend of two years with Crohn's disease?


03-31-2013, 09:48 PM   #1
hg27
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Boyfriend of two years with Crohn's disease?

My boyfriend of 2 years was diagnosed with Crohn's disease last year. I try really hard to be supportive and understand the pain he is in, but lately it's been taking some tolls on me. He always wants me to leave after an hour whenever we hang out when before he would want to spend hours with me. He snaps at me all the time and gets mad whenever I bring up how much it hurts me when he tells me to leave. He won't even come over anymore and says that me and my family stress him out too much (I don't even know why; my family is always so kind to him!) And whenever he flares (he's going through a pretty bad one right now) he says so many hurtful things to me. I want to help him and be there for him and I love him so much, but he's been treating me so awfully lately that I'm scared that I won't be able to handle this relationship if it's going to be this way every time he flares. I've tried to talk to him about this on a number of occasions but he just gets mad and tells me to stop because me talking about it causes him pain. I just don't know what to do anymore.
03-31-2013, 10:04 PM   #2
nogutsnoglory
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It sounds like you are really loving and supportive but maybe he is in pain and feels better with some space to deal with it. Maybe he doesn't want you to see him as weak or needy. Let him know you love and support him and ask what you can do for him. If he wants space let that be. The most important thing is to communicate your feelings and let him try to communicate his.
03-31-2013, 10:12 PM   #3
Jim (POPS)
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hg27,
Your boyfriend is not mad at you and he wants to be with you. BUT, sometimes when we have a flair we are mad at everything and just want to climb in a hole. He is so lucky to have someone like you. When he is this way give him some space and let him know that you will support him. Thats about all you can do. As his life has changed yours will also if you chose to stay with him. He would maybe like it if you two would just hang at his house. We don't like to go places when we don't feel good. Remember, all you can do is support him. When he gets mad, hes not made at you, hes mad at the damn crohns.
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03-31-2013, 10:23 PM   #4
ijl
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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hg27,
I agree with Jim. your bf is frustrated from being in pain all the time from this nasty disease. he can also be embarrassed and feel overwhelmed. if it is difficult for you to talk to him, perhaps get a "get well soon" card and write him a letter explaining how you feel, and letting him know that you love him, and you want to be there for him. you can also let him know that if he is more comfortable at home, you are willing to hang with him there. Cook him a chicken soup. it's got many nutrients that can help the gut. Crohn's disease sucks. been suffering myself for 18 years. I've been where your bf is now. I can help you help him. don't let this nasty disease get between you and him, if you really want to be with him.
03-31-2013, 10:25 PM   #5
acc929
 
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Hey girl!

Two words: that sucks. I don't say that to be flippant, but really, that stinks. A lot. We definitely get cranky when we're flaring or when our illnesses start catching up to us - it's totally unavoidable, but that doesn't mean it's an excuse! Crohn's/UC or not, we're social beings in a social world! If we can't treat people right, we shouldn't be in relationships. There are, however, a couple things that might help out here.

Is he taking prednisone? With my Crohn's, I've done a few 2-3 week courses of pred to come off bad flares. Prednisone makes me emotional, but it makes some people positively loopy (not their fault of course!). I always warn my boyfriends when I'm on it and say I'll basically be PMSing for a while. If this is the case, his attitude could be messed up because of his meds. Still frustrating, but it'll be good to know if this is what's up so you can open a dialogue about it.

Is there something he might not be telling you? If he suffers from bad D or abscesses or anything around more "private" regions, he might be reluctant to tell you but also want to beeline out of wherever you guys are hanging out. I know that D isn't a huge issue of mine (esp. after cutting out gluten), but I got pretty creative with ways to use the washroom when around a significant other, regardless of how comfortable I felt with that person in virtually any other situation.

Bottom line, you love him and you want to support him. IBD is a b*t* of a disease, but it doesn't mean that we should get a pass on treating people poorly when we feel sick. He should go to his doctor, etc., but he shouldn't take it out on the people who want to help him most to the extent that he is to you. As a lady with Crohn's, I know that in the dating world, one of the things that is most important to me in a potential significant other is whether I think this person will stick around to support me when I get sick or if they'll run for the door. I honestly haven't met many guys who I can say are that steady, but the one who has been is also the one I can hardly stand to treat like crap, even when I *am* sick. This might sound harsh, but sometimes people (even us sickies) need a reality check and some tough love. Just because your boyfriend is physically ill does not mean he should put your mental health and sense of psychological wellbeing in jeopardy. I also know what it's like to be in a relationship where you don't feel loved, respected, or appreciated, and I'd say it hurts at least as bad as an obstruction.

I hope this helped and that your boyfriend feels better soon. My heart goes out to both of you - sickness is hard on a relationship but it also has potential to build some crazy bionic bond between the two of you. Best of luck
03-31-2013, 10:36 PM   #6
ijl
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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if you want too, maybe it would be helpful for both of you to go to a support group meeting in your area. this will help your bf realize that he isn't fighting a nasty disease alone. it can also help you, since there always are significant others, family members, etc.... that attend these meetings. you can both learn how to cope and deal with the disease. I have gone to many meetings and I've spoken to many many people, and I've learnt so much, it did help. there are also some very good books specifically on crohns and how to deal with the disease. maybe you can go to the doctor with your bf and perhaps you can ask for medical advice from the doctor. I know it's very hard on you, and I feel for you. but I can tell you that being in pain is sooooooooo awful. it overpowers the body. just be there for him. you need to show him you care and want to be there for him, and help him get thru this. if you are with him, and he wants to sleep, cuddle with him. it will show him you love him. if that's not an option, then let him sleep and you go in another room until he wakes up, if its just a nap he is taking.....
if you want to email privately....let me know.
03-31-2013, 11:08 PM   #7
hg27
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Thank you all so much for your advice. I'm glad to hear it from similar perspectives as him! I think I might try giving him some space for a bit. I don't want him to start thinking that I'm the bad guy here. And I'll definitely read more about it to try to understand it better. I hate to sound like I'm the one who's having difficulty when he's the one suffering from such pain. Often when I tell him that what he said hurt me, he says that he's the one dealing with Crohn's and I know nothing about being hurt. On the one hand, I know that it's true, but I also feel that he shouldn't be dismissing my feelings in that way. I hope it passes with the flare. Do you know how long flares can normally last or anyway to help lower the pain of them?
03-31-2013, 11:22 PM   #8
acc929
 
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A regular flare, at least for me, usually lasts anywhere from 12 hours to three days. Anything more than that and you need to go see a doctor if you're in that much pain. Pain management is also available to Crohn's patients. Personally, when I'm in major pain, I don't want anyone to hug, cuddle, or so much as touch me, but it's nice to have calm company to curl up and watch a movie with or something. How we deal with our pain is very personal and all of us should learn how to communicate this to our partners so you are not confused or doubtful. Many of us also experience psychological issues - depression, anxiety - because of our illness. Regardless of whether or not he has Crohn's, pain is pain, be it emotional or physical, and it doesn't make it ok for him to be this dismissive. You sound like a loving, wonderful girl. Remember that and all you have to offer! Hopefully he comes around.
03-31-2013, 11:28 PM   #9
ijl
 
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you are not the bad guy. don't think that way and don't let him think that way either. I'm concerned though, because if you give him "space" he may think you are running away and you don't care or want to help him, be there for him etc.... yes,I know it's a very difficult situation. take my advice though, get a card, write him a note, go to a support group, go to the dr with him. show him u care. being hurt by someone and hurting from pain from a disease are extremely different. I understand you are hurting, and I understand his pain. he is frustrated. what meds is he taking ? some of this can be side effects from meds. every persons disease is different. every flare is different. personally, I've had flares last 2 months other flares 3 years. it really depends on many things.
sometimes a hot bath, heating pad, hot water bottle helps pain. ice sometimes can help too. he needs a strong pain killer. Tylenol isn't going to do the trick or help him the way it seems he is suffering. he shouldn't take Advil or anti inflammatory meds can make the pain worse. does he have an appointment scheduled to see the dr soon ?
he needs you. he won't admit it. he feels like he is burdening u cuz he is sick, and doesn't feel well enough to engage in social activities, go out to dinner etc....
does he live alone ? how old is he ? how old are u ? where do u live ?
I wish I can talk to both of you.
05-08-2013, 12:35 PM   #10
hg27
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Well I started out giving him some space, but then he did just what you said he would. He started to think I didn't love him or wasn't going to be with him when things got tough. But for about the past month and a half, every time he doesn't feel that great, he cancels our plans. It wouldn't be so bad if it didn't happen every other time we had plans. Even when I offer to come out to his house and just relax, he turns me down and actually gets mad at me for suggesting that because it "stresses him out".
This has been happening for a month and every time he says he is in a flare. Do flares have their ups and downs? Because just two days ago he felt good enough to go to the beach and golfing with me, but now all of a sudden his flare is back?
Also, I've tried to talk to him about this so I can understand but every time he gets his back up and either ignores me if I'm not with him or tells me to leave if I am with him. He does this with his family too. He says that nobody understands even though we are all trying.
05-08-2013, 01:11 PM   #11
mccindy
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Hi hg27,
As someone who is going through a flare right now I can hopefully give you some advice from both sides. My husband is like you - very supportive, wants to do whatever he can. When I am not feeling good, I am an isolationist - I don't want to be touched unless I initiate, I don't want to be asked how I'm feeling, and I don't want to try to be social. I'd imagine your bf feels some of that as well. Plus IBD can be such an embarassing condition - if he's having diarrhea, or bleeding, he might be very embarassed about it and not even want to be around anyone when it's happening. When he's feeling good, he'll want your love and attention as usual. Unfortunately, it can feel different every day. For instance, last night I felt great, better than I had in weeks, but today I feel pretty crappy again. I'd wait until he is feeling "up" again, and then try to talk to him about how you feel - that you don't have any intentions of abandoning him, and you want to support him, but that he needs to communicate with you and let you know what his needs are. It takes a while to sort through the feelings of having a chronic, painful condition. He probably feels like he is all alone in going through this, and that no one really knows what it feels like, and maybe even that he's undeserving of your love. Perhaps you could mention this forum to him as well, so he knows he has a resource to reach to, and talk to people who really do understand exactly what he's experiencing. Then he might feel supported enough to come back to you and accept your love and support as well.
05-08-2013, 01:28 PM   #12
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It sounds like your boyfriend is mad at the world right now, which is totally normal when you have a life-changing event. I've known many people that lash out even at the people they love most because their life is not going to be the same and they hurt most of the time when before they felt fine. He may be thinking about you when he says he doesn't want you around, he may feel he's ruining your life. I'm sure he feels bad when he has to cancel plans - and he knows it makes you feel bad too.

I'm sure all of us with chronic illness have gone through this to at least some extent. When we don't feel good, we don't want to bring other people down with us. BUT, like said above, it is not an excuse to be nasty with you all the time.

Maybe show him this website so he knows he's not alone, there are many people going through this. Sometimes talking to people in the same situation helps.
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