Ibs and new boyfriend

Hello - only signed up a few weeks ago. I have always had variations of pain and ibs c since teenager than last year had awful diarrhea attack in response to ice cream that end up with me passing blood briefly. Had colonoscopy and got all clear 'just' ibs in new and exciting form and since then basically suffer with all the wonderful text book symptoms of ibs d and can't go near any milk or even lactose free products to avoid prolonged flares. My body does specialise in 15 min warning, triggered by nothing (unless air?!) D attacks with vasovagal reaction.

Anyway I now have first boyfriend since last year's horror, have only hinted at 'stomach' problems but knew it wouldn't last. He's due round in a couple of hours and just had 'attack' and have decided I need to confess / explain all. Would rather eat the contents of my bin then do this as so embarrassing to me but can't see how I can proceed with relationship without newly aquired bathroom talents showing off at some point, and he's quite tactile and affectionate so not sure how quickly I could explain while making the dash for the loo.

Please if anyone sees this in the next hour wish me luck and if anyone interested I will update tomorrow with the outcome and probably a story of how to explain ibs to a wide eyed innocent. Fingers crossed x

15 Replies

  • *how NOT to explain* that should be!

  • You never know, he might not be a wide eyed innocent and hopefully will be very understanding and supportive.

    I wouldn't be embarrassed, it's an illness and it's not like you'll pass it on or anything.

    Hope it went well. Looking forward to your update.

  • Good luck! Many of us have been suffering for years too, I, myself have had a colonoscopy and hoped for better outcome than just ibs, Better the devil you know. I am sure if yoyr boyfriend cars he will understand. YOU ARE NOT ALONE, (:

  • I feel your pain!! Mine is ibc c and that can be equally as difficult. I don't go into details with my boyfriend as it's too excruciating but he is incredibly supportive and if your boyfriend is a keeper he will be too! It's rare to find someone who can deal with it so well but they ARE out there. Keeping my fingers crossed for you that you've found a good one.

  • Bizarrely I think that is part of the problem with these attacks. All my life C was my bodies default fall back position and now when it happens for a few days even if I finally 'go' my bodies like no we have to catch up and I start getting the awful cramping and sweating and off we go. To add insult to injury after all the years of C I'm really prone to piles which then have a hayday thanks to all the too-ing and fro-ing! Every version of this illness is horrible and the positions and pain you find yourself in are unbelievable. So glad your partner is understanding x

  • Oh bless your heart! Half of the problem may be the worry that you will have an IBS attack in the middle of a passionate moment! Once you tell him - you eliminate that.

    Im sure he'd rather be told the reason you rush off to the loo! it will be better than imagining he has made you feel ill!!

    Hope it went fine.


  • I can tell you that Ive NEVER had an IBS attack in the middle of a sexy, romantic or otherwise moment. Maybe thats a cure...a lot of hanky panky!

    PS. Id sit him down and both of you watch the movie with Jennifer Aniston in and Ben Stiller. He has IBS in the movie and there are some funny scenes. You can then use that to introduce him to your IBS. He will laugh. You will laugh. What better medicine than laughter....

  • oh bless you, it is embarrassing I know but if he's gonna be 'the one' then this is a good test to how well he can empathise and care about you!

    I too suffer similar ways my partner is luckily a nurse so he's pretty easy going with all of this sbd has even helped me with suppository when required( that is a relationship based on love!!)

  • Thank-you so much you're all so kind. I found it excruciating to start the conversation, to the point the poor bugger thought he was about to be dumped due to my inane rambling about "have a conversation" "get it over with"! And he was brilliant :-) :-) Said nothing would make him leave and that he loved me. He said he got embarrassed by all that sort of stuff for himself so understood the cringing part (silly man won't have a prostate exam). I had made a list (I'm list crazy) before he came of things to say and had basically said if he wanted to stay I needed him 1. to be understanding 2. to not embarrass me and 3. to give me space (toilet dashes) when I asked for it. He wobbled a bit on that (I said he was touchy feely) and we agreed no closer than 5 feet to the closed bathroom door if I was in there with my bowels doing unholy things 😁 As you can imagine typically stomach ache settled after that and it ended up being a lovely evening. I even managed to eat some toast with him there (eating with people been a big no no for me since last year) so hopefully my confidence in doing more normal things (specifically involving food and holidays) with people will start to improve. I really thought I knew ibs from previous illnesses but honestly the diarrhea, the horrible cramps and urgency in these attacks and how quickly they come on is something else for me 😨 but again thank you so much for the replies it can be such a lonely type of illness as you can't really share with your friends the astonishing things that happen behind the toilet door! x

  • Way to go!! See - it all went well. Now you have got rid if that elephant in the room!


  • Well chuffed it went ok with your bf. Yay!!!

    Just hope your symptoms settle now.

  • I too had a new boyfriend whilst diagnosed with IBS related diarrhoea and panic attacks. I never did explain this to my boyfriend and the relationship fell apart before it begun, as I would cancel going out at the last minute due to anxiety and flare ups.

    I believe now that being open and honest, however embarrassing the problem is the right thing to do. If your boyfriend can not accept this then he is not the right one for you. Remember one does not need to be too graphic in detail only the core elements of your symptoms.

  • Yes I know what you mean. Years and years ago I had long term relationship where I didn't say what was wrong and in lots of pain with C and it put a terrible strain on the relationship with me feeling 'sick' all the time and not doing stuff.

  • I lost a boyfriend due to my IBS, I would get so anxious about going out that I would end up with diarrhoea, to the point of cancelling going out. He got fed up with this and left me and now I don't want to go into another relationship to avoid the anxiety of toilet visits.

  • Awesome outcome! Love the list comment I do that otherwise I ramble on (well still do!). I am starting dating again and haven't been in a proper relationship since being diagnosed (some years ago!). Dating is nervous enough especially then combined with eating! Sad to hear the people who lost partners as they couldn't go out though.

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