After 4 years of keeping it a secret I told my partner the truth about my chronic cirrhosis

Four years ago after nearly losing my life to a heavy bleed and vomiting blood and being diagnosed with chronic liver disease I decided to keep it to myself. My friends and family knew I was seriously ill but they think I have fully recovered. I've been with my partner 17 years and the past few years have been difficult and he's become more of a friend than a lover. This year we've had sex once and he thinks it's acceptable. I spent the last week in bed sleeping with depression and had no motivation to do anything. Today he asked if I was drinking again as I've become distant and vacant. I told him I want a normal relationship and want to be happy with the time I have left. I didn't think about what I'd said until it was too late and I told him I'm very ill. We both had a cry and I said if he wants to leave I'd understand. He said he'd stand by me and now understands why I get so tired and unmotivated. He's agreed to not tell anyone apart from his Mum. In a way it's a relief he knows the truth but I'm still upset at how unemotional he's been and treats me like a friend. Have I done the right thing telling him?

6 Replies

  • Hi, personally, although I don't speak from personal experience, I think it's better you're honest with each other about how you feel.

    Have you thought about asking your GP to refer you for CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)?

    It can be very effective in helping people with diagnoses that have a profound effect on daily living: It's all about coping strategies.

  • I think its best you told him. You are both about to go through a lot. I would focus on getting well and be glad he was willing to help me. Good luck

  • Of course you have, honesty is the right policy. Living with big secrets is hard and would take its toll. Your partner was already suspecting things and by telling the truth you will have put his mind at ease. Ask your GP for a referral for the pair of you to have counseling and use what energy you have to go on adventures and enjoy the life you have to share


    Please check him out.

  • Hi there. First, it's good you told him. It's best not to be alone.

    I'm not a doctor, but, have you considered the idea that his distance might be due to how you've been acting? Many of us don't feel sexual with this illness.

    Even if that's not the case, partners know or can feel retain things, especially after 17 years.

    You probably suffer from depression, and there have to be days it's obvious you must be hiding something. And this illness is huge. Imagine what he must think, what you might be hiding?

    If a partner cannot trust you, of course he will be distant, and not want to be sexual.

    I'm not trying to hurt you..but this seems to be an obvious answer. I don't care how good of an actress you one is that good.

    Please consider this when it comes to your own feeling in the matter.

    If your no longer interested, than maybe you should be the one to leave? After all, it would be cruel to put something through all this if there's no love left on your part.

    All that being said...I wish you the best of luck and health!

    Cheering you not!


  • I think it's good you told him. You can't keep that to yourself.

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