Trouble Expressing Concerns [Advice]

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Post by SingingInTheRain on Fri Dec 19, 2014 6:12 am

Hi everyone! Big fan of all the help and discussions I've seen on this forum.

Next month marks my one year anniversary with my boyfriend. Overall everything has been pretty good, but I'm worried my current situation and past experiences may be starting to lead me to sabotaging the relationship. The past two relationships before I started dating my boyfriend were very rocky and did end both times with my ex leaving me for someone else. The last one happened to end a few weeks before our one year so I felt that should be known for context. That and every relationship I have been in there have been people who feel bad for whoever is dating me as they believe I bore them to death. This, I admit, has made me very insecure about myself and just how people view me.

Then there is the current situation. For most of my life I have lived with crohns disease and recently I found out that I am unable to bear children. My boyfriend has been very supportive, but this does make it very hard to have intercourse. As when I am flaring I am in too much pain or it just kills any sexual urges. The last six months we have had to shift our relationship to long distance because of work. We were finally able to plan a visit and as luck would have it I became very ill. Treatment for my crohns usually involves me taking a plethora of medication that affect my emotions. Especially negative ones.

I have always had trouble expressing certain topics. Which brings me to the problem. I can't tell if this is my medication messing with me, but lately I have honed in on a change in mood set. My bf has stopped saying I love you since my last visit. While there, and sick, the whole time he would comment, "You always seem to get sick when I'm around." The past few weeks he seems more distant. I try to remain calm and remind myself that he is currently adjusting to a new job and move. He started working in a new city and company about three weeks ago. So he is probably focusing on getting everything settled there and getting a routine set up.

I guess getting to the point would be this:
- I'm debating on seeing if anything is up. I'm starting to panic internally that I'm boring the poor guy to death. Should I express what these meds are making me feel and think? How it makes me focus on my anxiety about how my crohns affects our relationship and even after a year I still get nervous telling him things because I worry I'll come off as a burden?

I don't know really the best way I would bring this up to him. What I would say? How to word it so that it comes off as me calmly expressing a feeling, but not coming off as a complaint. Or should I just keep quiet?

Hope you guys can help!

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Post by nonA on Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:19 am

Pointless question first. When you have a flareup, do you mean that sex itself is actively painful, or do you mean that your sex drive is kaput for Crohns related reasons? If the former, there are several sexual acts that don't involve being jostled somewhere very close to your guts.

Boy sounds like he has a bit of a point if you're honestly getting sick more often than not when he's over, although that sounds like there's a prosaic reason; you're going to get excited and maybe a little stressed when you're expecting a get-together, and the stress could be triggering an attack. In general you could get around this by being upfront about the fact and having things planned out ahead of time to avoid overthinking and overstressing yourself in the immediate lead up, but asking for support from that is trickier when the relationship is already strained.

Which leads to the real big question. To what degree do you and your BF have overlapping lives/social circles/etc? Maybe you're pulling away to pre-emptively avoid getting hurt. Maybe the two of you have been getting too complacent in the relationship. Maybe you just don't know how to keep a relationship going after the shine starts to fade, so you coast a little longer until breaking things off. I don't know you, I don't know him, I don't know your individual styles. This doesn't sound like someone who's down that he just can't get his rocks off, though. It sounds like someone who's getting slowly but surely frustrated with a lack of signs that you actively value him, instead of just sticking around for the sake of sticking around. From personal experience, I can say that this is pronounced when distance is a factor, and extra super pronounced when the relationship is just the two of you without any extra ties to help reinforce the idea that you two are a unit.

How to ensure that you're making your partner feel valued is its own conversation. Reviving that feeling when you've been letting it flag for a while is another. Knowing how to fix your specific situation - knowing if your situation can be fixed in the first place, even - would require knowing just how far along things are with you two.

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Post by OneTrueGuest on Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:26 pm

There's a lot to unpack here but first I want to point out to nonA that having a major intestinal health issue isn't as simple as "here try this position to have sexy times". As someone with a much less severe digestive issue, I can tell you when I have a flare up it isn't just my stomach that's a mess, the pain resonates through my whole body. I feel horrible, I certainly do not feel sexy or aroused, all I want to do is curl up with a hot water bottle. It isn't just a wee pain in the gut but otherwise you feel fine. It's a bit like having the stomach flu. Would you recommend to someone going through that that they just find a new position to have sex that won't jostle the tummy?

As for the rest, I do agree with nonA. It definitely does sound like he's unhappy and I think communication right now is a must. You really need to talk to your SO about what specifically is upsetting him. Because it's likely not just the lack of being physical together. Look at today's letter on the main site, this is a woman who can't have intercourse and yet her husband still totally loves her (yes even though he would like to find a person to have intercourse with, it's still clear he loves his wife). What nonA says, about lack of signs that you value him, is very true. For a lot of people, sex and physical intimacy are what shows a partner you love them, and without that they can feel like they lack value. This is a time where using your words has never been more important. So not only do you need to discuss what he's feeling and why, you need to make it very clear that you love him and care about him.

In conclusion, I've always been a fan of honesty and open communication. I know it scares some people, because we worry what our partners will think of us when we tell them the truth, but the fact is if they don't react the way we want them to then they were never right for us to begin with. And remember, it's not just about explaining what you're feeling, it's also about listening to what he's saying. Really listening. And hopefully the two of you will understand each other better and resolve your issues Smile .

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Post by SingingInTheRain on Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:01 pm

Thanks guys for the advice! I admit we live very independently. Both of us have our own circles and all that jazz. Usually when I am too ill to have intercourse I treat it as if I would be having a period and perform other sexual acts. Though I will admit I keep it short. Since he's gotten the job I've made sure to tell my SO how proud/impressed of him I am and how great he is doing.

The thing is it was honest luck that whenever he visited I got sick. Sadly just eating the wrong thing can set off my crohns.

Do you guys have a suggestion on how to best bring it up to him?

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