11-09-2011, 04:35 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Chicago Suburbs, Illinois
I need some advice

I was dating this guy for six months. It wasn't too serious, but we were exclusive and I loved to be around him. He has crohns, and has had it for quite a while (over ten years). Recently, he has begun getting really sick again. Shortly after after he became sick, he told me that we should just be friends. That was a few weeks ago, and we still talk every single day, although we don't hang out, and he even commented once that "I get too sick to want to be with anyone". I'm really happy to still have him in my life as a friend, but the thing is that I really like him a lot. It's difficult to just be friends, although it's better than not having him at all. I understand, or try to understand, where he is coming from... but I guess the problem is that I really can't fully understand. I want to be able to be there for him through this and I really want to continue in the relationship that we had. I haven't told him this, because I don't know if I even should. I just don't know what to do, and any sugestions or advice would be much appreciated.
11-09-2011, 05:32 PM   #2
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Cat-a-Tonic's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

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There are a few possibilities here and it's also possible that it's a combination of these things. It's possible that feeling ill/being in pain all day is killing his libido or his desire to be romantic in any way. It's also possible that he doesn't want you to see how bad his illness can get. His illness may be messing with his moods and emotions and maybe he doesn't want you to be on the receiving end of anger, tears, etc. He may be embarassed - nobody wants to talk about stuff like diarrhea, anal fissures, fistulas, abcesses, hemorrhoids, etc - I barely can bring myself to talk about that stuff with my doctor, let alone with my husband! And, it's also possible that being ill is exhausting him to the point where he needs to concentrate on himself and his health and cannot even imagine trying to keep a relationship going right now.

My advice is, don't give up on him - be a friend, be there for him. Read through some of the posts on this forum to get a better idea of what he may be going through (perhaps let him know about this forum too) and just try to be as supportive as you can.

Here's a link that you might find interesting. It's the Spoon Theory, an essay written about what it's like to live with a chronic illness. I hope it helps you understand a little bit better what it's like to live with an illness like this.

Stand by your friend, even if nothing romantic happens. You've made a great first step by coming here and asking for help and info.
11-09-2011, 07:56 PM   #3
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xJillx's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Pennsylvania

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Hi and welcome! When I am not feeling well, I tend to pull away from my husband. I don't know why. I guess I feel a little inadequate, like I am a broken person. Dealing with a chronic illness can take a toll on the confidence. So, perhaps your ex is going through something similar.

So, all I can suggest is to continue to be there for him and I don't think it would hurt to let him know how you honestly feel. Tell him you don't care that he has Crohn's and that if he isn't well, you'd be happy just chatting on the phone or staying in watching movies; you just want to be around him. Love and support is key.

Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease - July 2010
Diagnosis of Crohn's Disease Retracted - October 2011

I am still sick and so confused...
11-09-2011, 10:11 PM   #4
Crohn's 35
Inactive Account
Join Date: Oct 2009
Hi there It is great that you are here so that tells us you do care about him. I agree with CAT and Jill, if you really care for him be there, tell him you wont abandon him. He could be testing you, or he is just letting you go because I have to tell you this disease is hard on us to deal with let alone someone dealing with it on a daily basis.

I have a supportive husband who is always there for me and I know I am here because of him. It has been a hard road for me and your bf has been there and knows what it entails. He doesnt want to hold you back either. No one wants pity but support and knowledge goes a long way. I agree with Jill love and support is crucial, just watching tv so he is near a bathroom too.

hope we can help you help him. Keep us posted how you are both doing!
01-08-2012, 01:48 AM   #5
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Chicago Suburbs, Illinois
Thought I'd give you guys a quick update. We are back together and have been doing great! Thanks for the advice. I check out this forum a lot, even still, because there's so much to learn and I want to be as informed as possible so that I am able to help him as much as I can. Overall there isn't much I can do, but at least I can understand a little bit better so that I can be supportive. Thanks again!
01-08-2012, 12:52 PM   #6
New Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Thought I'd give you guys a quick update. We are back together and have been doing great! Thanks for the advice. I check out this forum a lot, even still, because there's so much to learn and I want to be as informed as possible so that I am able to help him as much as I can. Overall there isn't much I can do, but at least I can understand a little bit better so that I can be supportive. Thanks again!
We need more people like you in this world!!! God bless you.
01-10-2012, 10:22 PM   #7
Senior Member
SdN's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
This sounds like one lucky guy A similar story... I developed my first Crohn's symptoms just a few weeks after I started dating my current girlfriend. We've been together for over 2 years now and now that I look back on it my life would have been horrible without having her there for me during that time. I'm truly thankful for her.
Diagnosed with Crohn's September 2009

50mg Imuran - Jun 2010
increased to 150mg Imuran - Jan 2011
5mg/kg Remicade every 8 weeks - Mar 2011
stopped Imuran - Aug 2011
7.5mg/kg Remicade every 8 weeks - Nov 2011
Remicade is still working - Nov 2014
Colonoscopy shows no Crohn's! - Dec 2014

Current meds - 7.5mg/kg Remicade
01-21-2012, 05:39 AM   #8
New Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Alberta
I dont want to take this post away from you but im kind of on the other end of the same situation. I recently had a talk with my girlfriend of the last year and a half and shes been saying that I dont seem to be really into the relationship anymore. For the last 2 and a half-3 months Ive been quite sick (Crohns), the sickest Ive felt in my 3 years of being diagnosed and 6+ years of symptoms. I tried to explain that I just havent been feeling well. I decided, after reading another post in the support section, that I would send her a link. Ive never been good at explaining how I'm feeling, in regards to the illness, but I do think posts like this one can help a lot.
01-21-2012, 08:14 AM   #9
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Johnnysmom's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

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You know as much as this illness takes things away, it gives things too. You all are the most understanding, wonderful group of people. In a marriage or a relationship I can't think of anything more important that the qualities I see in all the caring people on this forum. I hope you are all appreciated for the wonderful people you are and the beauty that can come from traveling a difficult road with someone. That's what life is all about.
Mom of Johnny
Dx Oct 11 2011 Crohns disease
Prednisone done 12/30/11
6mp 50mg every day
Allopurinol 50mg -discontinued per new G.I. on 11/01/12
Multi Vitamin
Vitamin D3 1000mg
01-21-2012, 11:52 PM   #10
Join Date: Jan 2012
I am soo happy to here you are back with him. You obviously love him and it really shows. He is very lucky to have you. I know from my brother and his suffering he had a girlfriend that would come sit with him everyday and literally just be there for him. She understood his disease and what this would entail for them both. They hardly ever went anywhere due to the fact that he had to be near a bathroom at all times and even on a good day just the fear he might have to go would cause it to happen. My brother would tell me he didn't want her around all the time because of the embarrassment of having to go to the bathroom all the time and also the tubes hanging out of him and sometimes the oder that would be present was enough for him to say "Just leave me alone". But eventually he just didn't care anymore and she was around through it all. Also I do know that ejaculation was very painful for him and it would get his stomach upset for days afterword so the temptation of her just being there was hard on him too. So just wanted to share my brothers story with you. Good luck and God Bless. As you can see the wonderful people on here will be here to support you in any way!
02-29-2012, 03:09 AM   #11
New Member
Join Date: Feb 2012
Thank you thank you thank you for everyone's postings. Exactly what I had questions about myself. Cat-a-Tonic, the link for the spoon theory, spot on. When you research Crohn's online, wikipedia and all the other sites don't explain what this short article made so crystal clear in a simple explanation. It's only been a year, and this will be the first time I'm seeing the effects Crohn's has on my boyfriend. Understandable also from reading these support forum postings why the "are you sure you want to stick around or still be with me, knowing I have this and what it means for you" discussion has surfaced recently for us.

I love him and I'm not going anywhere. This forum has provided me a bit more education and back up I needed to better verbalize that or express that to him. True, I may not be able to do anything myself for him(which is hard to admit), but to continue letting him know I'm here, I'm not leaving, and that I fully support him in whatever he needs.... I'm happy to see some success stories out there. Also glad to see I'm not the only one who is learning and looking for advice.
04-25-2012, 07:41 PM   #12
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Chicago Suburbs, Illinois
InitialLoss, I'm sorry about how you are feeling. Just be open and tell her. Either she'll be supportive and understanding, or else she really isn't the right girl for you. I empathize with your situation, because I feel like you just described me and my boyfriend. Lately I feel like he's not really into the relationship anymore, and I'm not sure if it's truly that, or if it's just because he's really sick right now. I know that if he were to open up and tell me that it's just the sickness and he is still just as interested in the relationship as he was before, I would understand and feel less insecure about us. I hope that things work out with your girlfriend and that she can be the kind of supportive that you need.

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