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Relationship troubles with IBS


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#21 Exploder

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Posted 19 November 2007 - 01:30 PM

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Thanks Cherrie for the tips and the welcome. Maybe she won't be so bored at home now since I never thought of the stuff you brought up. We been together for well over a year and don't want to lose that since we get along in a lot of different subjects.
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#22 calin

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 06:56 AM

I just got back from a trip with my gf and finally realised the impact IBS may be having on our relationship. I don't use that word in a negative sense, because I am totally captivated by her and really am wanting to understand and appreciate her and hope that I can offer her what she needs and wants from a relationship.She gets quesy in the morning, and gets tired fairly quickly especially after eating. I feel a little like her sex drive is low and she doesn't give me the kind of physical affection that I am used to or expect from someone that feels strongly about me. We are very emotionally different and she isn't used to showing big displays of affection, but I honestly think that IBS contributes greatly to why sometimes i am left feeling cold.I was reading that IBS can also lead to feeling very tired easily and low sex drive and it really struck a chord with me. I have always feared that she wasn't that into me or that my sex drive was too much for her, but it makes sense to me that IBS affects her body like this. She is very tense and easily irritated by things, and I have always been paranoid and insecure that I was doing something wrong.It has been really great reading other peoples comments and stories as I am coming to grasps with what she goes through, and not let it get in the way of our care for each other.

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 10:19 AM

What a very nice caring man you sound Calin - it sounds like you have a good close relationship with her - are you able to sort of gently bring up the subject at some point - without making her feel like its "her fault". You sound a very understanding bod - and she's lucky to have somebody who is able to see beyond the disease and its impact. I'm lucky - my husband is very supportive (my main issue is depression - but its a chronic condition none the less - so can relate with much of what you say) and we've always been very open about "issues" - though we hit a very rough patch earlier this year.I wish you and your girlfriend all the very best.Sue

#24 babysis

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 02:04 PM

Wow! I'm sitting here crying because I didn't realize so many other people had the same problem I do! I cry because I'm happy to not be alone in this but also because I hate to think of anyone going through the same thing.I'm glad I accidentally stumbled in here.Merry Christmas everyone!

#25 Fullogas

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 06:56 PM

Kind of bitter-sweet to find this thread on Christmas Eve.The past few weeks have been very tough around my house. I've been in a relationship for 13 1/2 years and I feel like it's falling apart, in part because of the IBS.The past year has been very difficult for both of us and it's caused my IBS to flare out of control. I even spent a few days in the hospital in early November, partly due to the IBS. My partner has never been good with medical issues and he's not handled this particular bout well. He keeps saying he just wants me to be happy, but he distances himself from me at the very time I need his stability the most. I'm beginning to feel that we will probably not last long into the new year. If we could afford a split, I believe he would have already left. I know he feels like I've been distant and unavailable to him. This has been due to the depressive side effects of the IBS. I just don't think he gets how this really impacts my life. I've suggested we spend more time together, he seems to find a way to back out or ends up sleeping the day away.It's really sad and I admit I simply do not know what to do or how to handle it. I believe things would be better if he was more understanding about the IBS and the way it effects my life, but he's not and I don't see that changing. He's not the kind I can take to the doctor with me so he can ask questions and hear from an expert what it's really like to suffer from this illness. Being in the hospital and not being able to count on him to be there and be supportive was a real eye-opener. So, it's a bitter-sweet holiday. Glad to see I'm not the only one who has problems with their partner but sad that this could very well be our last holiday as a couple.
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#26 Cherrie

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 07:22 PM

Hi FullogasI am so sorry that IBS has affected your relationship. It is such a frustrating illness and I completely understand what you're going through. Have you tried Mike's IBS 100 CDs? It has an accompanying CD (which is also available separate from the IBS100 set) that talks to the family and partner about what an IBS suffer has to face everyday. It is a very powerful CD and Mike speaks for us to our family/partners directly in the CD. People have reported that it works very well because often times our better half just needs to hear it from someone else, preferably an expert in the field -- and it works better than us speaking for ourselves on many occasions. So, if you haven't already, so if you haven't already and would like to give it a try, after listening to it together your husband may be able to understand better...My heart goes out to you and hope you two will be able to find a way to communicate so he could empathize and sympathize better with you... Be keeping you in my thoughts...Hugs,Cherrie
Let your love flow outward through the universe, to its height, its depth, its broad extent - a limitless love, without hatred or enmity. Then as you stand or walk, sit or lie down, as long as you are awake, strive for this with a one-pointed mind; Your life will bring heaven to earth. -- Sutta Nipata

#27 JayCatGuy

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Posted 27 December 2007 - 11:34 PM

I too am sorry to hear about your situation and I hope things improve instead of deteriote further.Unfortunately, I know 1st hand what it is to lose someone due to this terrible IBS/C and it's complications. Nearly 7 years of love/living together...we met on the internet...and after living together for 5 years we married just the summer before last. I was in the hospital (for a failed Colonoscopy-they couldn't clean me out thoroughly enough even after 2 1/2 days of prep)...and after trips to ER, MD and hospital stays...she actually left the state while I was in the hospital (w/my beloved "Cat TOO!"). It's been 8 months now.Needless to say still struggling w/IBS/C pretty severly...but I'm still relatively young to middle aged, and I want to live; this thing at times practically has me homebound. Anyway...you hang in! I will. And if I can make it...w/the Good Lord's help...you can too; and in time, things will improve! You have my prayers! Jay

#28 Fullogas

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 11:24 AM

Took the cat, too?! That's harsh. Sorry to hear and, understanding what its like, I feel for you.I haven't tried the CDs. And I've about given up on trying to educate my "partner" on my condition. I've been reading lots of the stuff Eric's been posting, talking about it at night so my partner could understand this is a very complicated affliction, that it's legitimate and has far-reaching effects on my life. It seems to fall on deaf ears. After I got back from the hospital, he sat me down a few days later and told me he was "tired", that I'd "worn him out." Since then I feel like I'm walking on egg shells around him, not knowing if he likes me one day or is "tired" of me the next. I've tried getting him to talk to no avail and suggestions of counseling were outright rejected. As you can guess, it's only made my stomach problems worse. Now I feel as though I'm the one who's tired and am actually beginning to fantasize about a life without him. From the day we met I've battled this idea he's had in his head that everyone leaves him. His parents both died early, his remaining family was not exactly hospitable to him when they took him in, he's had two other relationships, both of which ended when they walked away. We've been together longer than even when his parents were still alive and yet I battle this abandonment thing everyday. It's only been worse since the hospital, like he's trying everything he can to make it a reality. After 13 1/2 years, I, too, am tired. I'm tired of fighting a fight I cannot seem to win. I appreciate your concern and thank you for it. Right now I'm terribly stuck. This senseless strike has stopped all work in town. I don't expect to go back to work until at least July. I'm financially unprepared to last that long which means I'm in no position to pack up and leave. This morning I feel really stuck, not sure what to do or where to turn. I think I'll start by heading out for a swim. If I sit here, my head just goes crazy. A swim will help clear me up. Sorry to unload, just needed to rant.
Diagnosed Fructose Malabsorption 2008
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But an otherwise nice guy... .

#29 hasenfuss

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 03:24 PM

My husband dated another women for a months because he was frustrated with my IBS. We almost never had sex because of my pain and I felt always so guilty. Also eating out was bad for me since I always had cramps afterwards.I was very depressed about it because I am not a fun partner with this and on top of that we have a 6 year old. I couldn't give much to him during this bad time and always felt guilty for it. Suddendly I felt better and he also left that women he dated for months. He said he was with her because he felt more apreciated by her and also I am never into sex with him and not having sex with him is also a form of neglect. I was very turned of by that but since I have nobody else and I am also finacielly dependend of him I can't leave. Since 2 weeks my IBS is worse again and I am so scared that he will leave me or cheat on me again. It's so hard to pretend to be in a good mood when you aren't. For sickness and in health is just a bunch of bull ######. I feel like when you married you can't afford to be sick. He has a very stressfull job and doesn't want to come home to a sick wife who never smiles. It's an added stress to the IBS knowing that he is distance and grumpy when I don't feel good. I can't help feeling resentment towards him. I feel I have nobody. Sometimes I feel I just want to be dead and I am already on antidepressents. He is nicer to me when I am feeling good. I am so scared that he will run to another women again. He said, he won't and when I ask him how he will deal with this this time he just sais "I don't know". It makes me more and more depressed. The message for me is : you won't be loved when you are sick ". Am I just too sensitive. How should I deal with this ????

#30 Cherrie

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 07:48 PM

{{{Hasenfuss}}} I am so so sorry about your situation... It seems really tough...Have you tried to talk to your husband about what you've posted here? It seems that he needs to also make effort to try to understand you in order for things to work out between you two.Have you tried the IBS 100 companion CD? This CD is for the family members/spouse of an IBSer to listen together with, and Mike really has a way in the CD to reach out the non-IBSers. Someone posted about this not so long ago and said that it touched them both and her husband actually was able to understand and empathize much better. You might want to give this a try if you haven't already.I really feel for you and hope things will get better for you both health-wise and relationship-wise...{{{hugs}}}Cherrie
Let your love flow outward through the universe, to its height, its depth, its broad extent - a limitless love, without hatred or enmity. Then as you stand or walk, sit or lie down, as long as you are awake, strive for this with a one-pointed mind; Your life will bring heaven to earth. -- Sutta Nipata

#31 Guest_SueV_*

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 05:09 AM

Can I speak plainly - he sounds like a prize idiot and worse - no of course marriage is no picnic, especially when you are ill and down (which I'm not surprised about given how you have been treated). Trouble is - if you feel like you have to be on your "best behaviour" - so to speak all the time - how on earth does your physical and mental health stand a chance - he cannot hold you to ransom like this - its just not fair.A bit of frank speaking is the order of the day - and if at the end of it - the situation is worse - well, at least you know where you stand when things get rough again. I'm sure there are times when he's not all singing and dancing too and from the sounds of things, you've stuck by him haven't you.All the best anyway.Sue

#32 Cherrie

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 10:50 AM

Well said, Sue!Hasenfuss, I do totally understand how difficult it is to talk to someone who has let you down and who seems to have "power" over you simply because you're sick and he's healthy. BUT, it can be done -- having a serious talk with him and letting him know how hurtful his behavior has been is very important. When two persons are married, the marriage should be an (roughly) equal status one -- doesn't matter who earns the money; even if you're a homemaker, you do contribute to the family in equally important ways. And if he doesn't see that and thinks that he can have that kind of power over you, you need to talk some sense into this guy!Also, like Sue said, he's surely not made of iron and there must have been times when he was sick and you took very good care of him -- do remind him of that and calmly/nicely ask him what he would have felt if you were to have done what he did to you when he was sick. I'm sure if set in the right context, this could bring out some long over-due empathy from him. Mike's CD is also very good at setting this context and bring out empathy from a spouse.You want to be calm, nice, but firm in your conversation with him -- men usually (want to) walk away when they feel that women are emotional. Of course a woman would be emotional in this situation, it's totally natural and understandable, BUT, in this case, a woman probably truly need to hold off her emotion during the conversation and use his "weapon" -- calm logic and reasoning -- to put some sense in his head. Once he's sensible enough, he'll eventually get how hurt you are by his behavior and he'll hopefully want to try to improve.Just remember, no matter who earns the money, no matter who's sick who's healthy, you are both equal and you need to be treated and respected as an equal to him. I completely understand that sometimes it is really hard to be calmly assertive when you've been put down for so long -- just give it a try if you can -- you may be (pleasantly) surprised how he'll react when you try to talk to him in such calm, nice, gentle, but firm ways.Surely, like Sue said, if he's a true **s (pardon the language) and refuses to even try to work with you, then at least you know where you stand... Hopefully it won't come to anything like that...Sending you lots of supportive thoughs and hope thing'll work out...CherrieP.S. -- if/when you talk, do NOT apologize to him or be apologetic in your tone -- it is NOT your fault to be sick and you did NOT ask for it. As strange as it is, people can pick up the feelings of others very quickly, so if you're apologetic, he'd feel that he's in the right and you're wrong for being sick -- which is NOT true. Having a chronic illness is unfortunate, but it is definitely not your fault.
Let your love flow outward through the universe, to its height, its depth, its broad extent - a limitless love, without hatred or enmity. Then as you stand or walk, sit or lie down, as long as you are awake, strive for this with a one-pointed mind; Your life will bring heaven to earth. -- Sutta Nipata

#33 hoosieribsspouse

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 10:16 PM

After 16 years of marriage, I am very close to walking away. I have helped my wife through her IBS from the day she told me. I want to continue to help her, but I am emotionally wrung out. For years, I tried to get her to let me in, so that we could deal with it together. She would crack the door, but never really let me in. We have tried everything known to man to help. She is not only on antidepressants, but she is also constantly changing the things that she takes for her IBS. She is constantly in a horrible mood and takes it out on our two kids. (She really doesn't mean to) We had a sex life years ago. Even that is out of the question now. I used to smoke pot , but i quit to be with her. Now, since we have drifted apart, I started on the pot thing again. I quit the pot often, only to have her scream at me that I am the one with a problem. And then i smoke a joint again. If it weren't for the release that i get from the pot, I would have left a few years ago. Btw, we just went thru a very bad stretch where she was hooked on pain-pills, and I never once did anything but encourage her to get off of them. Ever since the pills going away in late 2007, she has grown so distant towards me. She will not talk about anything health or relationship related. If i try she doesn't say a word. She seems to want me to have an affair. I do not want to, but I do not want to go another 6 months without any intimacy, again. Thanks for letting me rant.

#34 Fullogas

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 09:31 AM

Wow. Seeing these recent posts is not terribly uplifting. Hassenfuss: I feel your pain and am sorry you're going through it. I'm on the receiving end of being cut off sexually and it has not been easy. IBS has not effected my libido too much but several years ago my partner cut me off completely. At first I thought it was me and I became plagued with self-doubts. What did I do wrong? Was there something about me he no longer found attractive? I tried counseling with him, encouraged him to look into Viagra, all fell on deaf ears. This was when he began shutting me out and I can see it was the beginning of the end of our relationship, mostly because its where the communication problems began. He started shutting me out and the problem has become worse over time. I now see clear pattern in my behavior that exacerbates the situation. I know it takes two to make these problems, but I'm willing to own up to my faults. I know I have started keeping far too much to myself in response to a perceived lack of interest on his part. I know I've become more apt to assume he would respond one way or another rather than ask what he thinks about something. But there's another, worse problem I see: For the longest time I put him first, ahead of my needs. I've come to believe this is the root of my anxiety based IBS. And it all began with a trip...Many years ago, 8 maybe, we were supposed to go to Hawaii over the Holidays. A week before I came down with a horrible sinus infection and was taking major antibiotics. I was exhausted from the infection and from a job that had been really difficult. I knew I should not have gone on the trip and risked flying with the sinuses but I also knew I would pay a serious price in terms of $#&)# from my partner if I didn't go. Even as sick as I was, he would not have been good about canceling. So, I went. I spent most of the trip sleeping in the hotel and we had a marginally okay time which I recall little of. On the way home, my ears became infected when the pressure changed as the plane was landing and within two weeks the IBS symptoms appeared (no SIBO so the antibiotics didn't start it). As I've felt less and less like a partnership, particularly in the last year, my IBS has gotten worse.I am starting to see my habit of putting him first and myself second probably lead to my illness beginning and I'm curious to see if it goes away if and when we finally separate. But this is a behavior I'll take with me so I need to address it and fix it or it will only happen again.As for us, we finally had the first serious talk about "us" in months, the first time I could get him to sit down and discuss "us." It was even tempered, fair and we covered lots of ground. I came away with little hope things will change. And, to be honest, now that I see I've gotten this way by putting others ahead of myself, I almost yearn to be alone so I don't have the "burden" of someone else hanging over me.
Diagnosed Fructose Malabsorption 2008
Gluten Intolerant
But an otherwise nice guy... .

#35 Cherrie

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 12:52 PM

Hi Hoosieribsspouse and Fullogas~ Welcome to the forums, Hoosieribsspouse. And thank you so much for posting about how it feels like to be a family member of an IBSer. I am so so sorry about what you both have been going through. I can totally empathize how you all are feeling when facing someone who's non-communicative and is shutting you off... I could have written this some years ago (although the exact stuff is not health related), so I completely understand the frustration of being cut off. Reading what you both said, it feels to me like you have tried so hard and so much to help your partner find a solution. And it does seem that they are just being impossible for disregarding your efforts -- and it feels like you're the only one who's trying. Trust me, I've been there, felt that, cried my eyes out over it, so many times. * Please trust that what I will say below is NOT intended to criticize or blame anyone or offer unasked-for advice, but rather, to lay out a few facts that I have learned first hand so that we can understand (and therefore hopefully cope) better -- and so eventually we can all win. *What I discovered after repeated pre-success failures is that most often when the other person feels "not understood" or "not heard" or "having ideas thrown at him/her", s/he would react by either becoming more outspoken or shutting completely down depending on individual personality. And note that "feeling understood" and "trying to understand" is NOT a one time thing -- it is a constant negotiation in our daily life. And most often, the other person feeling not heard/understood is what makes all our effort fell right down onto the floor -- and of course the vicious cycle continues for us, too, because their reaction makes us feel not heard and not understood and our effort, fruitless. And then I found out that trying to really understand the other person first and then telling him/her what's on your mind can change the entire dynamic of an interaction -- because as one changes one's own approach, the attitude of the other person will change, too. So, what I found really works for us (and for many of our friends) is to just create a fun and relaxing setting (without pulling a straight face and say "let's talk" -- that alone will scare the other person stiff) first. A relaxing setting could be candle light dinner, walking long a quiet trail, snuggling in front of the TV when the program's boring (so there's no distraction), etc. And then begin with some chit chat like "oh this feels good" etc, and then say "you know, the other day it just occurred to me that I want to really hear what YOU want to say about... I really want to truly understand how you feel and what it's like for you. So just tell me and I will only say things after I've made sure I truly understand you." Usually that's where real communication begins for many people -- simply because their need to be understood/heard is fulfilled.And interestingly after this, I'd ask "what did I do wrong that made you shut me off?" The answer I get is usually that it's genuinely not because of me (or if it is, it's because I felt too aggressive to him). So only at this spot that I told him how his silence has made me feel and made me even more outspoken (of course it's a repetition for the Nth time, only that this was the first time, with him being heard and understood first, he actually heard and understood me). And then the rest went from there really smoothly. In doing so, after many times on different occasions with different things, I also modelled an effective way of communication which he's not only accepting but also adopting.I do realize that things are different and every couple is different and that I only wrote this because I sensed its necessity only from what you've written (and I'm sure I don't know the rest of what's going on in your lives at all), but you know, if this "6th sense" happens to be marginally right or might be of any use, it doesn't hurt to give it a try...Cherrie
Let your love flow outward through the universe, to its height, its depth, its broad extent - a limitless love, without hatred or enmity. Then as you stand or walk, sit or lie down, as long as you are awake, strive for this with a one-pointed mind; Your life will bring heaven to earth. -- Sutta Nipata

#36 Steveo

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 02:49 PM

I was diagnosed little over aweek ago with IBS after 3 months of having terrible symptoms. I am going to tell you that I now fell 60% better because of one thing I decided to try and eat to make myself better. It was recommended to me that after I was diagnosed with IBS by the hospital that I follow up with a Gastroemterologist which I did not want to do right away. I guess I was reading about all of the things they do but none of them really help anyone. So I took some time to think about it and remember thinking about eating yogurt to try and regulate my system again. I then went out and bought 2 packages of Dannon Activia and started eating it like they say to do one a day for 2 weeks. I have to tell you that it has been 7 days and all of my symptoms have reduced about 60% of what they were. I mean I feel 60% better then I did before starting this. I am hoping that if I eat one more weeks worth that they will go away all together. I really beleive that this is helping regulate my system because I do beleive that my system is out of balance to begin with. I also do feel that the good bacteria that is being placed in my system by eating this is truely working. I will let you know how this works out for me. Good luck. Oh yes I forgot to mention that I have supressed all alcohol and now get plenty of rest. I also do not take any medications as I feel all of this cannot help with IBS. Also my wife is very excited that this might be the fix for me. She has been really good about supporting me during this most frustrating time.

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 03:20 AM

I'm no expert but I'm not sure IBS can ever be "cured" - the key to this - as with most chronic conditions is how to manage the symptoms - and it seems that you are doing this - so power to your elbow. I'm not trying to be downbeat - but quite often I've found something works great for a few months but gradually its effectiveness seems to decrease - I particularly found this with probiotics but I have more or less got my IBS symptoms under control - stress seems to play a huge part in how well I feel - and I'm sure thats true for lots of us and the fact you're taking control of your diet is also key to this I'm sure too.I wish you well - its great things have improved so much and lets hope it stays that way - no reason why it shouldn't - I'd just say - don't get too excited too soon.Good luckSue

#38 Fullogas

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 10:56 AM

Last week we had a "talk". My partner finally figured out I was upset and I let some of what I was feeling out. I know, I shouldn't have held back from the start but for me to talk about as much as I did with him was a real coup. That was progress.So, we covered lots, I told him where my anger comes from, how we're just not communicating anymore, how I feel like we're interested in different things and don't seem to have much in common these days. I had in the past said I felt like I wasn't being supported and that was always nebulous so I explained that "support" to me means someone who will be there with me in the things I want to do and enjoy and is willing to have me be part of his life in those ways as well. I told him I don't feel like thats happening, like I don't have a partner anymore.I asked what we could do to change things and was only told what I need to do instead. Now, I'm aware I'm not a complete saint in a relationship. I can be difficult. One of my problems has always been unspoken expectations -- how can they give you what you want if you don't ask for it? And I'm aware these things need to be changed and I try to work on them but with the communication so strained I don't have an opportunity to give it a try at all these days. And I was very aware the only changes suggested were on my part, none on his. I'm also aware that the things I need to change (and I want to change) will not get better overnight; they're patterns of behavior I've had my whole life. It could take years to get rid of them. Last night he had a major crisis involving a credit card bill... at least to him it was major. To me it was like just another of the catastrophes that have come my way the past 6 months only this one is easy to resolve, he just wanted to be dramatic about it. I know he was shook up and needed to be comforted but I just could not bring myself to do it. I let him sit in the bedroom and cry. I just didn't have the energy for it. Part of me says it was cruel, another part says it was doing what I needed to protect myself, that I had nothing left to give. Either way it was not comfortable because it was a clear step toward opening up the gap between us and moving toward a separation.The house was very tense this morning.I now fully accept its time to move on. Due to my financial situation I can't do anything right now (My company went belly-up this year. Its an LLC so the companies debt is my debt). I may not be able to do anything until this fall which is making for a really tough time here at the house.On the upside, the easiest way to get people to pay attention to you is to stop paying credit card bills! I get lots of calls from all kinds of lovely people all day long now :(
Diagnosed Fructose Malabsorption 2008
Gluten Intolerant
But an otherwise nice guy... .

#39 Cherrie

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 04:09 PM

Aww... {{{Fullogas}}}... Sorry it's been so tough... Don't beat yourself up too hard -- when there's too much to deal with in life, stuff in a relationship can be doubly difficult. It's nobody's fault and things can just accumulate this way (looks like you've both been dealing with some majorly difficult things in your lives)... Maybe give yourself (and your partner) a little time to cool down? When you've both calmed down, maybe you'll both be willing to sit down one more time or something...Sending you lots of good thoughts and hope things'll get better for you...Cherrie
Let your love flow outward through the universe, to its height, its depth, its broad extent - a limitless love, without hatred or enmity. Then as you stand or walk, sit or lie down, as long as you are awake, strive for this with a one-pointed mind; Your life will bring heaven to earth. -- Sutta Nipata

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 04:20 PM

Wise words Cherrie - good luck Fullogas - it all sounds abit intense - maybes you both just need some time out - though I appreciate that might not be so easy if you are living together.Good luckSue xxx





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