Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » Partners, Family, Friends & Caregivers » I tried talking to my girlfriend about her Crohn's. Didn't go the way I thought it would.

03-18-2013, 11:55 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2013
I tried talking to my girlfriend about her Crohn's. Didn't go the way I thought it would.

A few weeks ago I asked my girlfriend if she would talk to me about her crohn's disease. She said she was fine with sharing, but she quickly insisted that she was only sick when she was younger and she's feeling a lot better now. It ended there and we didn't talk about it any more. My intention was to reassure her that her Crohn's didn't bother me whatsoever, but that part never made it into our conversation. I'm wondering if I should just leave it at that or if I should bring it up again this week. I don't want to put her on the spot or anything (it seemed like she just wanted to change the subject), but it's really important to me that I tell her how I feel. I want to stay with her more than anything and I would hate it if she felt that she would be a burden to me in the future. What do you suppose I should do?

Thanks everyone <3

Side note: I'm not really sure what she means when she says she's feeling better now. I've noticed times when she is feeling sick and she seems to use the restroom a lot. Can this still mean she is in remission? Do you think she is just saying that to prevent me from being worried?
03-19-2013, 12:25 AM   #2
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Ozboz's Avatar
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Hey mate i always say if you cant say it out loud say it in a nice sms card or letter has usually worked for me with women in the past and they usually appreciate a nice card with flowers just write how you feel in the card or whatever i used to do this when i dated but ive been single for 5 years but hopefully i can date again soon
03-19-2013, 12:34 AM   #3
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Seems like you two haven't been together for very long (been around 3 months now according to your first post) so it can take a while to share personal information in a relationship. Best way to prove to someone that you care is through your actions. Be there for her when she's sick, be understanding when she says she doesn't feel up to doing something, be a shoulder to cry on etc.

If you constantly bring it up unprovoked then she may start wondering if it really is ok and may very well still find the topic embarrassing (we don't really have the best dinner conversation type symptoms). Sharing something like this takes time so I wouldn't force it personally especially since she's clearly avoiding the topic.

I don't know her past and I don't know if she actively sees a GI doc or not or if she's taking medication etc. So none of us can say whether or not she's in remission.
Diagnosis: Crohn's in 1991 at age 9
Surgeries: 1 Small Bowel Resection in 1999; Central IV in 1991-92
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03-19-2013, 03:15 AM   #4
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I've been married for 13 years, so might be a little different than what you're looking into. But, when we started dating I believe that I may have waited about a couple of months till I shared with my husband. I was in remission at the time and didn't have any symptoms until after we got engaged. But, I've never been terribly shy about my IBD.

Unfortunately, I don't have any real advice or solutions. Just patience and a shoulder to lean on as Jennifer mentioned. Good luck & take care. Xxxx
Ulcerative Colitis/IBD 1996, Iritis 2001, Ulcerative Proctitis 2013, Indeterminate Colitis 2016, Remission 2017, Hand Eczema

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03-20-2013, 11:52 AM   #5
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I would agree with the others, something like this is isn't always easy to discuss probably because you're talking about your bowel habits and some people don't like to do that. I really don't care these days, because I can't afford to be shy about it, but some people aren't that open about it.

However, I think its wonderful that you're ready to be supportive to her because when she's really poorly she's going to really need it. I hope things go well for you
03-20-2013, 02:53 PM   #6
Jmrogers4's Avatar
Like Jennifer says, show here through your actions. If you notice she is in and out of the bathroom a lot a movie night at home is a great option.
She may talk to you eventually but it may be something she never shares the nitty gritty details about but because of your past actions she will know that you will support her whether she is feeling good or feeling bad.

Mom to Jack (18) dx Crohn's 2/2010
Remicade - started 1/9/14; 7.5ml/kg every 6 weeks
Past meds: Imuran/Azathioprine; allopurinol; methotrexate; LDN; Prednisone; Apriso; Pentasa; EEN

Husband dx Crohn's 3/1993
currently none due to liver issues
03-21-2013, 08:50 AM   #7
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I think how comfortable someone is with talking about Crohn's is a very individual thing, just as every relationship is different. Everyone with Crohn's will feel differently about talking about it with a partner. You'll mostly have to just do your best at assessing how your girlfriend is feeling, and remember there is no perfect way to go about it.

Maybe you could just let her know that if she ever wants to talk about it, you're willing to listen and support her? Then leave it to her to decide when she'd like to talk and what aspects of having Crohn's she'd like to discuss.

Learning about Crohn's may help you as well, as you can get an idea of what she may be experiencing. Forums like this one are helpful, as they don't just provide you with information about Crohn's disease, but about how it feels to live with as well. In many of the posts here members discuss the emotional issues involved with this disease.

Side note: I'm not really sure what she means when she says she's feeling better now. I've noticed times when she is feeling sick and she seems to use the restroom a lot. Can this still mean she is in remission? Do you think she is just saying that to prevent me from being worried?
Sometimes some symptoms seem to persist even when someone is technically in remission (when test results are normal). Even if she's not in remission now, it may be that by saying she's feeling "better"she means she feels better than she did when she was younger. That wouldn't necessarily mean she has no symptoms now, just that they're not as bad as they've been in the past.

But I don't think anyone else can tell you whether instead she said this because she doesn't want you worrying or because she doesn't want to talk about it. You'll have to wait until she's ready to talk with you. Try not to second guess her thoughts and feelings. Only she can tell you what she meant. I think the longer you're together and the more you get to know each other generally, the more comfortable she'll feel discussing Crohn's with you, so you may just have to give her some time.
03-21-2013, 03:59 PM   #8
Ya noy
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^ that.

There could be any number of reasons she doesn't want to talk it, including that she very well might be in remission, as she told you.

My husband never did, and still never really has, although he was never diagnosed with anything more specific than chronic colitis. It's not that he's embarrassed or afraid of becoming a burden, he just doesn't want to. If he talks about it, then he has to think about it, and there's many other things he'd rather concentrate his thoughts and conversation on. That's all.
03-21-2013, 04:10 PM   #9
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When my son is feeling well he doesn't want to talk about crohn's either. He is getting a break from his disease and doesn't want to be reminded of it.

I think it is awesome that you brought it up and let her know how you feel. But I would give her some time and let her bring it up next.
Mom of Johnny
Dx Oct 11 2011 Crohns disease
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05-26-2013, 06:12 AM   #10
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i wish there was an agreed button like the thanks/hug ones. i would have used it alot here. think that is a lot of good advice. i really opened up when i was ready to and about the aspects i wanted to.
05-26-2013, 05:30 PM   #11
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yeah this is a tough one. I agree bringing it up kind of turns it into an issue when the whole point you are trying to make is that it isn't one.

Also I do remember my boyfriend asking me lots of questions about my illeostomy bag when we first got together (he was just curious of course) but I kind of wanted to say to him 'i don't ask you how you go to the toilet now do I?'

My advice is wait for the green light...if she starts talking. "Listen". And try not to say stupid 'boy' things.

Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » Partners, Family, Friends & Caregivers » I tried talking to my girlfriend about her Crohn's. Didn't go the way I thought it would.
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