I came across an advice column where a woman writes that she found her perfect man, only to be betrayed by the fact he did not disclose having Crohn’s Disease and is now faced with a colostomy. After thoroughly feeling betrayed and disgusted by what this young man is about to go through, she wants to break it off and is pondering if she should tell him the truth.
Should he have disclosed his ailment given they were in a relationship for four months? What do you think? Is there a time frame to wait before telling someone?
I know personally that I would hide the fact I had Crohn’s Disease until I felt comfortable and safe enough to share this information. That meant starving and not drinking anything so that I would not be running to the bathroom. I was lucky; I did not have a relationship end because of sharing. What is your take on this? Have you dumped someone because you could not handle in sickness and in health?
This woman felt she needed to break off the relationship because she could not see herself being intimate with someone with a colostomy. Again, I think about the different layers here as well. Firstly if she thought this man was perfect and she was so in love why was she was ready to dump him with this news? True love involves loving that person no matter what right? Was love conditional based on a healthy person? And since it was only four months was it conditional love with a clause?
The young man in this story was having part of his colon taken out; not his heart, not his spirit, not his personality; his colon is this ground to leave a person? What do you think?
Since there are thousands of people suffering with Crohn’s Disease, Colitis and Irritable Bowel syndrome I felt it necessary to raise this question; have you been dumped, divorced or let go because of your disease? Were you told why this person was leaving you? Was it because of your disease?
If you suffer from IBD, do you tell your relationships right away, or is there a time frame? Although I could hide my symptoms by starving myself, usually when I ended up in the hospital, inevitably I would tell them, and let them know at that point, that this is my life, do you want to be a part of this or not? It was never a guilt thing, but the honesty of the situation, and I was prepared for the let down. Yes I was fragile, but I did not want any one staying with me out of guilt. Is this a guilt contract? The advice columnist advised this young lady to stay with him, as he was already fragile and this would be viewed as a betrayal. If she was to stay would she learn to love him? Would she despise him? Would she learn to accept the bag?
Have you been in this position? I have sort of; last year I had a colostomy for 11 months. I remember the fear, which was nothing compared to what my husband must have gone through. After everything was healed up I was ready to approach the fragile subject of love making. After all, I can’t control gas or bowel movements, and would this be an issue during intimacy? What about spontaneity? Oh hold on my love, I need to go empty my bag-ewww gross right?
Well I must admit, I had a strong enough relationship that my husband was willing to give it a go. Being female, I least could cover up. I adopted camisoles and never left home without wearing one. They were great because I could leave them on which would keep the bag covered. This seemed to be the trick. I was not ashamed, I wanted to be courteous to my husband, who has a weak stomach, (and I love him for overcoming that) once we worked out the kinks (and there were not that many) our love life was as vivacious as before the addition.
Again, I must say, I am grateful that I was in a relationship built on love and compassion that I could go through this knowing I had support from my husband and family. But I do wonder what it would have been like if I was in the same situation as this young man and woman. Would my relationship have been strong enough at 4 months to endure a colostomy?
In the past I have stayed in relationships out of guilt, and came to my senses usually years later regretting how long I stayed and for what? If the guilt or disgust is there in the beginning of the relationship, will it go away? Can someone grow to love someone who is going through a difficult time? Is it compassion? Or are we all out to only be with healthy people and take a vow to love and honor in sickness and health…sort of?