Endometriosis UK

Relationship issues

Hi guys. Not posted anything for a while but I'm lying here wide awake with my mind in overdrive. I'm really worried about my relationship. My boyfriend and I have been together for 5 years, he has recently moved in with me which is huge as he used to work away and we would only see each other every second weekend. Having him here for good now is great in most senses as he used to feel terrible when I was having my bad days with endo cos he was never here. Now he is here, I think he is struggling as he didn't understand just how bad my symptoms are. I am unwell pretty much every day and I find him to be incredibly unsupportive. I took him with me when I went to see the specialist so he could get a further explanation into this condition but it didn't really help. We have no physical relationship due to the pain that I get after intercourse, but now the intimate side is struggling too because I think I am starting to resent him. I split up with him two years ago for a short period of time because I didn't feel any of this was fair on him, but he fought hard to get me back. Because of this, I thought he understood and wanted me anyway, so we worked things out but now I just feel we are two people living in the same house with no real connection anymore, and I'm really struggling with what to do. Talking to him just seems to get us nowhere as he is ok for a couple of days then it reverts back. All I get is "how can you be unwell AGAIN?!" or "stop moaning." I know he loves me but he doesn't seem to want to commit to me and I just feel I am an inconvenience. I know it can't be easy for him and I am insecure about it all, but short of going to couples therapy I don't know where to go from here. I'm so sorry about this long rant!

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I really feel for you as my ex husband had that sort of attitude too. Although he never said a word he just went out and left me when I was feeling really poorly and didn't bat an eyelid. I lost 4 babies had several laps and hospital admissions with endo so I was unwell the majority of the time. I also have severe migraine.

After 15 years together I finally accepted he didn't love me and this was not my fault I had endo. We are divorced now. I realised that if you love someone their pain is your pain you want to be there and help you care about what happens. He couldn't away quick enough and made me feel a complete failure when I had to stop work for a couple of years as I was so unwell.

Don't mean to sound harsh but caring about each other and support have to be top of the list for me - I asked myself how would I act if he were ill? I know if I loved someone with all my heart and they were ill I would do everything in my power to help and support them isn't that what "love" is? I would say that to your boyfriend and make it clear endo is NOT your fault you didn't ask for this and it's bad enough suffering with it without the hostility from your other half

Sending you a big hug as I've been there and done that and if you're not careful a man like that can make you feel worthless. Yes it's inconvenient at times and disappointing when your other half is poorly a lot but that's life we all suffer illness at some point and he will too - maybe he needs reminding that

Sorry for long rant your post hit a nerve with me and some men's attitude to endo makes me very angry! How would he like it


Thank you so much for your reply. I am so sorry that your ex husband treated you like that, you are very brave to have battled through losing the babies and all of the surgery without his help. My other half tried his best to understand when we got together, but I went from having mild symptoms and being a fun, happy girlfriend to being miserable and probably borderline depressed. But he won't talk to me about it, takes any chance he can get to disappear down south to his mums for the weekend to go out with his mates ( I almost had to get taken to A & E a few weeks ago through the night and he was in Spain....). I have tried time and time again to explain how I feel and that it is not my fault, I said that I gave him a get out when I ended things and he knew what he was getting when he came back. During our separation I found comfort in an old friend - he is a male nurse so was much more understanding - and although nothing happened between us it just felt so nice to have someone care about me. I stayed over at his house several times and quite often I would wake up crying on his sofa in pain and he would come through and just hold me and sit with me all night. I thought I had a better thing with my other half so went back to him as I missed him terribly but I am now starting to realise that I may have made a huge mistake. He's so great in many senses, I would just love for him to look after me a bit better. You are so amazing to have stood up for yourself, how are you doing just now? Again I'm so sorry for my rant! Xxx


It's very hard to make the decision to end it. Mine was a little easier as when I was losing a baby at 4 months and v poorly in hospital they rang him in late eve and said can you come in your wife's poorly needs you etc. He said no. He had been drinking. He rolled over went to sleep and left me and didn't even contact my mum and dad to go in his place no text no call nothing. Next morning he arrived at 9 am and said I didn't understand how HE felt. Yes unbelievable isn't it. I never forgave him or forgot as it was his pattern. I was scared to end but when my dad died I became mums Carer with dementia. He made it clear he resented it all so I told him to go and not come back and he went. I later found out a few months after I sold the house he moved in with the widow next door and her two kids!! It almost put me off men for life but luckily I have remarried to a kind caring man (that make nurse sounds so caring too) I'm now in Peri menopause and endo has calmed a lot but my migraines are still as bad as ever. We all have our cross to bear but people who are lucky enough not to have suffered with much seem very cold and uncaring - until it's them. If you want my advice I would ask him to leave if he can't support you - don't wait 15 years like me.

I'm always here if you need a chat or rant. I've been through a lot and know how hard havung endo is. Huge hugs.

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Oh my God, what an absolute tosser! Excuse my French. I can't believe he just left you like that, what a horrible excuse of a man! I'm so happy that you have found love with someone deserving of you! My boyfriend isn't as bad as that but when I was in having the laparoscopy last year he didn't come in to visit me (funnily enough the male nurse did even though I wasn't one of his patients.....) and he didn't do anything around the house while I was off my feet. Yes I think you are right, he needs an ultimatum. He's back tonight so I think we need a long chat. You know where I am if you ever need a rant too lol xxx


Yep my sentiments exactly! He was also no good when I had laps and went home saying "well you were 3 hours last time I can't wait around"!! As if I can help how long I was in theatre. It was always all about him. I would contact the male nurse he sounds lovely. Do let me know how the ultimatum goes. Stand firm. Remember it could just as easily be him that's the poorly one. Will be thinking of you. X



Sorry to hear about the problems you're having with your boyfriend. When you are dealing with a miserable and unpredictable disease like Endo, then having some additional aggro on top of it is definitely NOT what you need.

Still, I'm NOT going to jump to conclusions regarding the nature, and state, of your relationship. Whilst some people might jump to the conclusion that your boyfriend is being "awful", it's important to bear in mind the fact that there are TWO sides to every story - and none of us know HIS side. Yes, he does sound somewhat ignorant and insensitive at times; however, you also state that after you split up in the past, he fought really hard to win you back (which gives off the message that he DOES care, and is VERY keen to be with you).

I'm going to say a few things, here, that are based upon personal experience and observation. Now, they may be spot on; or they may be way off the mark, and completely irrelevant in your case... THAT is for YOU to decide. My suggestion is that you read, consider what I say - and then take from it anything that may be useful to you, plus discard the rest!

First out... remember that few people have a good understanding of Endo. It is not a disease that many people have even heard of. It is definitely not talked about much; which means that there are lots of myths and mistaken beliefs circulating. Lack of general understanding means that some people can be ignorant regarding Endo, and make insensitive remarks because they simply DO NOT understand what you are dealing with. I have Endo myself, and have definitely come into contact with many people of this type. If faced with one, the best thing you can do is try to educate them concerning Endo, by encouraging talking, asking questions, or providing them with information. Some people can change to become more understanding and supportive once they know exactly what you are having to deal with.

Now, it seems to me that YOU have tried to educate and inform your boyfriend about Endo. He comes to appointments with you. Perhaps you could take that as a start - a sign that he is trying to understand? Trying to be there for you? Some blokes wold not bother at all (Endo being a "woman's thing", and all that!).

Relationships are never easy things - despite what some people might claim (usually people who are full of B*S*!!). The truth is that relationships require work - after all, you are two humans and humans are not perfect. They can make mistakes, misinterpret each other, hide things, forget things... This can become increasingly the case when something places a strain on the relationship. In your case, Endo is placing a strain on things.

Be aware that we all react to stresses and strains - to problems - in different ways. We all have our own coping mechanisms. YOU are coping with your Endo as best you can. However, it is still having an impact - you say that you feel unwell a lot, and that you have a lot of pain (sex is a no-go because of this). You also say you resent your boyfriend. Clearly, you are finding that living with pain and other Endo symptoms is a struggle. The fact that you experience pain has meant that you have ceased doing things that otherwise you would do. This may not be deliberate - something you willingly choose - but it is a survival mechanism. You cope with pain by restricting certain activities.

Now, consider your boyfriend's perspective. He is also trying to cope as best he can. Perhaps he really struggles with having to see you in pain a lot? Perhaps he is concerned that a lack of physical intimacy means you love him less? Perhaps he wonders if you still find him attractive? There is a chance that he has all sort of doubts and questions of his own, and may well be second-guessing you. Some people tend to "tread on eggshells" when they don't quite know how best to help somebody that they care for out. Your boyfriend may be the sort of person who feels useless, or impotent, when he can apparently do little to help. I mean - DOES he think he can help you in any way? DOES he do things that make you feel better at times? OR does he come across as frustrated and powerless?

Perhaps the FIRST, and MOST IMPORTANT, thing you BOTH need to discuss and be clear about is your own, and each-other's perspective. Sometimes, when you are dealing with a problem, perspective sort of gets lost. Could you make some quality time to talk? I'm not saying it HAS to be couple's counselling - HOW you choose to do it is up to you - but conversation that involves getting a hold of perspective is important. Maybe you could also do things to help focus your own perspective? Have you actually spent time looking at WHY you chose to live together? WHY you are still together? Could you list pros and cons of being in this relationship? And, if you did, would there be more pros, or more cons? Maybe it's about a need to do things together that you both still enjoy and that make you happy - things that are NOT about Endo, and take your minds off Endo?

Yes... Endo can put a strain on a relationship. BUT the relationship is NOT simply all about Endo. It is about SO MUCH MORE. Maybe it's time to re-evaluate and get back in touch with the SO MUCH MORE that your relationship should be about? And... if your Endo is causing such pain and problems that it really is getting in the way of all this... then maybe it's time to have an appointment with the Doctor/Gynae that gets all of this out into the open? Explain the impact that your symptoms are having - because maybe you need to find a treatment option that alleviates these symptoms so you and your boyfriend can begin to get on with your lives again?

Remember - Endo affects YOUR BODY, and YOU know your body best. Any treatment you have should be what suits YOU, and YOUR lifestyle most appropriately. The aim is to be able to live your life as fully as you can, irrespective of Endo. If it is getting in the way, then perhaps this is a sign that any treatment you are having does not work for YOU?

Apologies for the lengthy reply - but I hope there is food for thought here.

Best wishes, E. x


By the way...

It probably DOES NOT help perspective to be comparing your boyfriend to another guy! Much as you may feel a need for support and comfort, I kind of think it may complicate things somewhat to go running to another bloke (male nurse, or whatever!) when you don't get what you want from your boyfriend. This is not deliberately intended to sound judgmental; rather, to highlight the fact that when there is potentially another guy on the scene, matters get more complicated. There is the endless temptation to compare the two men - even if you tell yourself that this does not happen. True, being in a relationship does not stop us having friends of the opposite sex! However, it is always best to be clear as to whether you see them just as friends, or whether you are hoping for the potential of "something more". If the latter - then might your boyfriend suspect?

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