Managing endometriosis

Hey,

I'm new to this forum, but not new to the effects that endometriosis has on my partner.

Basically guys I am after some support/ words of wisdom with managing endo. My partner at a given time of the month suffers particularly badly with the symptoms of endo, namely, affecting her mood.

I have so far never really been able to manage this very well, and at times it has put a lot of strain on the relationship. I am more than aware of the support she needs, but my strengths are few, and up to press I have never been able to manage this mood change.

We have a little girl now, and for the sake of her and our family, I really want to be able to support my partner, and not add more tension to an already sensitive time, by not managing the situation correctly.

Please, if you have some sound advice, links to websites, news feeds, journals, blogs anything that could help, I would be most grateful.

Thanks a lot and best wishes.

4 Replies

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  • Firstly I think its so lovely that you are seeking this help to support your partner. Endo does put a huge strain on relationships at times and my husband and I are no exception to that. He has said he often feels helpless and hates to see me in pain, I can get snappy with him which isn't fair. Everyone is different but all I really want from him when I'm bad is a hug and offer of a hot water bottle! Its the simple things sometimes. I can't really offer much advice apart from being a good listener, I personally often find I just want to rant about this cruel illness but once its off my chest I feel better. Well done for already being so supportive, she's obviously a lucky lady x

  • Hello, I've read out your question to my husband; he nodded in recognition and asked me to respond! In regards to my mood swings, specifically when I'm snappy/irritable he says he 'tolerates and shuts up'. Sometimes I can't control my emotions and bless him, I will moan or complain about something that (in my eyes) he hasn't done right. He's not a submissive man but will never confront me when I'm like this. Families don't always get along and there's been times when I have criticised his family- again, he lets me rant and is very placid. He knows this type of behaviour is out of character for me- after my rants I usually end up in tears (partly out of guilt that I've shouted at him) and that's when he envelopes me in a hug and gets me a cup of tea. When I've been in pain he checks on me; I can be curled up on the settee and he'll pop his head round the door every half an hour and ask if I need anything. He can't cook but he'll always offer to nip to the local takeaway or run to the local shops. My husband isn't a pushover but he recognises that my body controls my moods to some extent- he says it's not my fault. I love my husband with all my heart and I have such respect towards the way he handles the situation. He gets very angry about the lack of research into this disease and felt helpless. He has bought books about the disease, most of which have a 'partners/family' section which helped him validate what he was feeling. He also raises money for Endo research and is busy organising a sponsored parachute jump- he says being pro-active like this works for him. I personally think that you are a very caring and loving partner- you're actively reaching out for advice to help provide the right support for your partner. There's numerous posts on here about partners that are unsupportive and dismissive of this disease; I suffer from infertility and I used to fret that my husband might walk away...a lesser man might have. I salute you and I can say from personal experience that having a wonderful husband has gotten me through some very dark days. You might not think you're helping much, but just by sticking by her, you are. 😀X

  • The fact you have written this post speaks volumes. A lot of men don't understand, don't attempt to understand, and worse case scenario walk away. The fact you are trying to understand what is a very complex disease is a credit to you. I've suffered with endo for 15years, 5 of which I've been with my current husband to be. He is incredibly understanding and does everything he can to support me, but at times it is a huge strain on our relationship. A lot of the shouting and screaming I do is not necessarily linked to hormonal based moods, but just utter frustration. Sometimes, whatever he does or says is wrong and I admit that is very hard to be around as the girl in the relationship just feels like a ticking time bomb. My soon to be hubby actually is very fair, he doesn't stand for nonsense but can separate when I'm being totally unreasonable for no reason and when it is endo-mood related. I find he doesn't pander towards me and I like that, sometimes when he doesn't gove too much slack may cause a few fireworks, but that also gives me opportunity to have a bit of a shout and scream and that helps clear the system and have some emotional release I guess.

    Moods are a horrid thing, they're unpredictable and it's never a case that one reaction fits all scenarios unfortunately which I know is very frustrating. I don't want my other half being too clingy or soft as it sometimes help me buck my ideas up a bit and snap out of it, however, sometimes just a few words of sympathy and understanding are all I need. He often says how proud of me he is and that is a lovely thing to hear and worth saying I think. It comes with positivity and makes you feel (as the endo sufferer) that all hope isn't lost and you're doing well to cope with a chronic illness, just getting that recognition from your partner is really important and helps boost you. When I occasionally rant and rave, he acknowledges how frustrating it must be for me, often saying there's no way he'd cope as well as me, that often help to hear as it gives you positive validation that you're trying your best to fight the illness. The biggest thing is hearing my partner is proud of me I guess as endo sufferers are so consumed with guilt at how the disease affects their relationship with their partner and are so worried that their partner can't cope anymore. Whenever I do research into endo, my partner actively listens to my findings and shows interest, whether he understands or not, and there's a real feeling of "we're in this together" and that makes me feel much less alone which helps. He doesn't make it just my problem, that we're together and we'll get through it together. It's finding a fine balance in not trying to "fix" things which I know men often are accused of as they are practical people and need to find solutions to problems, I often find I get irritated easily if I feel my partner is trying to offer a solution when I just need him to acknowledge that I'm having a crappy time. I don't need answers, I just often want someone to say, I know it's crappy and you do amazingly well to keep going, sometimes it's as simple as that. A hug out of nowhere, a bar of chocolate, some surprise flowers, it doesn't have to be a massive gesture, but it does help the insecurities women feel who are suffering with this. You often don't feel attractive anymore, especially when you're in pain, and you just want to feel loved. You can feel very vulnerable sometimes and just a little gesture of a hug can go an awful long way. I know it is hard, but the fact you're asking how best to handle things just shows what sort of man you are and big up to you for doing this.

    I know it can be very daunting, but you have your daughter too and together you will make a difference. Us endo sufferers can get very angry, why did this happen to us?/what have we done to deserve this?/why me? This anger can translate into us being mad at you personally but most of the time it isn't, we just need to vent. Try and not antagonise, pick a fight or take things personally. I know it's easier said that done but 99% of what is said in a moody moment is heavy meant. I've said some incredibly hurtful things to my partner, told him just to go off and find someone well who can give him children etc, but he never retaliates, he just says "it's you I love and you're stuck with me" and it always makes me feel better. I always apologise after rows when I know it's the hormones speaking and he understands. It's often just a case we almost have to look for the fight to release some tension. Being in pain can be exceptionally tiring, handling guilt can be very hard - guilt at being ill, spoiling other people's lives, your partner could feel guilty if she feels she can't look after your daughter sometimes if she is struggling with her endo, there's so many negative feelings, so you need to flip those and try and be positive without putting your foot in it and saying something flippant like "you'll feel better tomorrow" or "I'll put this row down to your hormones"! Don't patronise, but also I don't think you need pander either, stay calm, sympathise, acknowledge the pain and frustration, ask if you can do anything to help and sometimes just be funny and it's a great distraction!

    I don't know whether any of this helps, but good luck with it all. I know how hard it is but the fact you've written in and asked for advice is fantastic and your partner will love you for that. All the very best, you're doing brilliantly I'm sure. Sx

  • Great to see you writing in this forum in a bid to help your partner and make your relationship stronger, takes a lot for a man to seek help so well done you. Offer a hot relaxed bath with candles and have pj's on heater with a hot water bottle to hand when flare ups are bad, listen to how she feels be supportive of poss attend appts with her so you have a better understanding to how she feels, endometriosis uk has some great help advice and symptoms so you can see exactly what she is going through, good luck and hope she ok

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