New Member: Question about marriage problems

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Saturn
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted Yesterday 9:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello everyone!
 
This may seem like a strange question to ask in this forum, but it relates to UC and I was hoping someone may have some insight for me...
 
My husband and I have been married for 16 years; I was diagnosed with UC in 2000. I am able to manage the disease pretty well, but I have mild symptoms every day and 2 or 3 days a week my symptoms flare up a bit, then settle down again.
 
My problem: my husband has admitted to being unfaithful to me and also is addicted to p*rn. He has ended his affairs and is trying to cut his p*rn habit. We are in marriage counseling and he's in individual counseling for his underlying troubles. We've been recovering from this "bomb" for 16 months, and we are making progress. We would both like to fix our marriage because we have two beautiful children; we also believe we can overcome our issues and make our marriage into something we can both be proud of. Neither of us are quitters.
 
Obviously my husband has his own work to do, but I've noticed something holding me back and I am here to see if anyone can relate? My self esteem is extremely low; partly because of his affairs but also partly because of my disease. I feel undesirable because of my colitis, and this has put a wall up between me and my husband. He insists that he finds me attractive, and my disease has nothing to do with his straying. I have trouble believing him. Also, I feel too inhibited to be intimate with him. I never had trouble with this before, but now I do. My reaction is not helping our marriage recovery, so I was hoping if anyone had some advice for me?
 
I'm sorry if this seems out of place in your forum; I am very active in a marriage forum but no one there can relate to the colitis issue! So, I came here... thank you in advance for your understanding.
 
Saturn

Diagnosed with UC in 2000
 
Meds:
4 g Sulfasalazine
Canasa
folic acid supplements


julee70
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 486
   Posted Yesterday 9:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Saturn,

I think that a lot of people can relate to not feeling attractive because of colitis! I know I can.

It's strange that even when the disease isn't really active I still feel kind of strange about my body. I was never like this before. Maybe the trick is to initiate being intimate when you feel like it? Even if it's some strange time. Hm... Maybe that doesn't work if you have kids in the house...

From a practical standpoint, I NEVER feel truly great in the morning. So mornings are out. At night, I'm often using rectal medications. So I have to either not use them or decide before I get in bed that the chances are good we'll have s*x and then I'll get out of bed and deal with the rectal meds. Either way, it's annoying because just thinking like that is soooo not s*xy! (I'm starring some words too because I don't know what filters there are for postings..)

Maybe the main thing is to figure out what makes you feel attractive again? I'm kinda struggling with that same thing. Honestly, I think this issue is tough especially for women.

I admire you for working so hard to keep your marriage together. Recovering from learning about an affair must be so difficult.
-------
UC for the last ten years
Current Meds: 6MP
Past Meds: You name it; I've tried it.


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted Yesterday 9:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Well personally I don't find your question/concerns out of place at all because of the simple fact that this stupid IBD affects every aspect of our lives and usually has a negative impact on everything it affects. That said....

Every marriage/relationship has rough spots (believe me, I'm married for 18 yrs and we've been together for 25yrs since we were teens)...I totally understand your self-esteem issues as I'm sure every IBDer can relate to this, you will have to work on that no one can fix how you feel about yourself...regardless of your hubby cheating, you're self-esteem would likely still be lower than it should be, his cheating understandibly added to it, but only you can change how you feel about yourself.

Clearly he's got issues he needs to work through, and for both of you it will take time, communication is key but so is putting your issues aside and making sure you're able to have genuine fun with eachother and not always be over-analyzing everything all the time. He may never completely resolve his issues either so you have to be prepared for that as well... like whether you're willing to except his watching **** for example as being a big enough issue for you, which in my opinion is a heck of alot better than him going out and cheating...and watching **** does not always lead to cheating.

Kids make it harder because people love their kids and don't want to distrupt their lives with divorce although in many cases that is the best route to take.

I'm guessing the reason you're having a hard time believing your husband about his attraction to you might have more to do with him cheating on you....it's natural for anyone to feel like their partner doesn't truly desire them if they go and cheat on them...it's a very strong mind connection there in regards to being cheated on and the **** thing, but that doesn't mean it's true, I'm sure he does desire you regardless of your illness (with it being as mild as it is I'm sure he has no issues with desiring you) when flares are really severe to the point where people can hardly be intimate that's a whole other can of worms in regards to marriage problems, but often that can get worked out as well.

If you felt desirable about yourself then you would have less problems believing your hubbies desires towards you.

Go slow with everything, you still need time to recover from the horrible experiance of him cheating, but remember, when you forgive it's not just for the other person, it's for yourself as well so that you can move on...you'll never forget it and it will pop into your head over the yrs for no reason, but if you're not careful, it will eat you up with bitterness, anger and maybe even revenge, so you have to forgive for yourself because the negative effects it can have on your health will not be worth it.

Most important thing...the only person you can ever trust 100% is yourself, and for some people they can't even trust themselves, but we know ourselves better than anyone we'll ever know.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


Harpo
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 262
   Posted Yesterday 11:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Listen to yourself.
Male 36yrs old. Indeterminate Colitis 6 yrs.


Pro-bio

Protonix
multi vitamin


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 29852
   Posted Yesterday 1:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Firstly, it's not YOUR FAULT...no matter how you look. It's your husband's addiction and his decisions and actions. You didn't make him do it, nor did you drive him to it.

The therapy should be both of you separately as well as together. You need someone on YOUR side.

If you really, reallly, reallllly believe he'll change, invest the time.

If he doesn't get...and I really mean "get/understand" how much he's hurt you, then he has no intention to make it work.

I'd make plans for separation, continue the therapy for YOU and get on with your life. I know staying is easier....(don't ever believe it's best for the kids because they've probably already changed their behaviour to help the family survive. In other words...dysfunction.

You can forgive him eventually...but I believe it has to be on your terms, not his.   He should also be accountable for all his actions...and you should have full access to it...that means phone, computer, cell phone..etc.
 
I wish you the very best...I really do. Eventually you'll know what the right thing to do is. Never make it your fault.

quincy


*Heather*Status:mini flare June 23* 6asacol daily+ Salofalk (tapered every 4th night)
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~vitamins/minerals 
~Probiotic 2 (Natural Factors Protec) + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) at bedtime
~Natural Factors Multi Digestive Enzymes with supper
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux) Effexor XR 75mg;  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!

Post Edited (quincy) : 12/13/2007 1:28:05 PM (GMT-7)


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 29852
   Posted Yesterday 1:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I want to add...have you both been tested for STD's? Make him do that too.

q
*Heather*Status:mini flare June 23* 6asacol daily+ Salofalk (tapered every 4th night)
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~vitamins/minerals 
~Probiotic 2 (Natural Factors Protec) + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) at bedtime
~Natural Factors Multi Digestive Enzymes with supper
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux) Effexor XR 75mg;  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!


Beth75
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted Yesterday 3:06 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Saturn,

Lately I have been very down about myself and not feeling sexy or really wanting sex at all.  My face has blown up w/the prednisone and I put on about 10 pounds (already had some extra junk in my trunk before that.). 

I can't really comment on the other things going on but the self esteem, I try to work very hard on it (when someone compliments me, I joke and say, "I Know") and I don't know if you do this or not but I have a friend who is very pretty could maybe lose 20 pounds and have a perfect body (in her mind) and is down on herself to her husband a lot, always saying how she is fat and how can he stand it and just always putting herself down.  I have never done that w/my husband except lately a few comments about how bad I am feeling about myself and I don't even like myself saying it.  I just never wanted him to say one day, you know what she is right, she really is blah, blah, blah.  Though there is no excuse for cheating.  I told my husband right from the start, don't do me any favors, if you don't want me someone else will, so if you find yourself in a postion let me know and let me go.  That's just how I feel.

Also, I don't tell my husband all my symptoms, b/c I don't want to think of him thinking of my bleeding, diarreah, mucousy, cramping, hemmorhoid anus that looks like garbage.  I know that is stupid but how I feel.  Though this has only been the past few months and when intially flaring in over 7 years of UC and I think once off the pred I will be back to myself again.

I guess the best piece of advice I can give is you need to take care of you and start feeling good about yourself and do what you need to do and he needs to take care of his issues and take it from there.  For yourself, go get a mani/pedi, new haircut and some highlights a new purse and some shoes and a new outfit too, that always makes me feel good and if you can't do all of it.  I get a mani for $13 + tip and they dip my hand in paraffin wax and make my nails so pretty, it always uplifts me and it's so relaxing.  Do one thing for yourself a week or a month or something, take a long hot bath with a glass of wine and a good book.  In your situation I would recommend reading Tara Road by Maeve Binchy, recently read it and it's about a woman whose husband had affairs and she rebuilt her life and it's a positive spin.

hope this helped somewhat, didn't mean to go too much about me.

 

 

 

 


Beth, 32
Major Flare Sept/Oct 07 ~ working on remission almost there
UC Diagnosed March 2000 (30 cenitmeters)
Azathioprine 200mg 1xday nightly;Hydrocortisone e's tapering, Calcium and Vit D 500mg 3xday, Multi Vit, Folic Acid 400mg 2xday, Probiotics.
Minimal Change Disease (Kidney Disorder) Diagnosed Sept 2007
Prednisone 60/40mg alt days 1xday, Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Potassium 600mg 2xday, Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.


UMDTerp2001
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 246
   Posted Yesterday 4:58 PM (GMT -7)   
I would find out if he is really a changed man as cheating is not something to take lightly or brush aside. It def lowers your self-esteem and makes you second guess yourself. Wanting to stay in the relationship for the kids is understandable and respectable but is it really the best thing for YOU? Possibly work on your self-image and build yourself up with positive reinforcements and potentially find a new man. There's probably someone better out there for you who wont cheat on you. It's a tough road but in the end it may be worth it. It's human nature to take the path of least resistance but sometimes we need to work hard to get what we ultimately want and it's totally worth it. Having colitis doesn't seem to necessarily make you less attractive it just makes us "think" we are at times but no one knows what's going on as luckily its internal.
 
 
__________________________________________________________________________________
- 29 y/o single IT professional male residing in Northern VA, USA
- UC Diagnosis - April, 2006 - Symptoms were sudden and drastic
- GI did not determine type of UC as I was too inflamed during the c-scope
- Completed 3rd Prednisone taper on 4/13/07 - Tapered from early January through mid-April after being hospitalized from a bad flare with anemia & severe joint pain.
- Currently in remission and enjoying life again since getting out of the hospital in early Jan 07' from a nasty flare
- Survive on 4 Colazal/day, 1 GNC Multivitamin, occassional Fish oil & Primal Defense Probiotics
- Enjoy the outdoors, relaxing and spending time with family and friends


Saturn
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted Yesterday 7:29 PM (GMT -7)   

Thank you everyone for your kindness! The advice is very good; I will work on it. I decided to go to our therapist to talk to her about my problem individually. Also, to just take care of myself and yes buy some new cute clothes etc. If I look better then maybe I'll feel better too. Yes- STD testing was one of the first things I did when I found out! Luckily I'm clean- my overactive immune system probably gave those germs no chance to settle in.

It's so funny. My grandfather and my aunt both have colitis. When I was younger, I looked at their stuggles with the disease and thought "I'd just kill myself- no one should live like that!" Yet when I was 31 I was diagnosed and guess what- I didn't kill myself. I learned to cope. Although I've had to make some serious changes and adjustments, it's not as bad as I expected.

Similarly, when I was dating I thought "if my boyfriend/husband ever cheated on me he'd be kicked to the curb ASAP!" Yet... here I am trying to work it out. I've learned a lot about infidelity in the past 16 months. Divorce is an option, and not all marriages should be saved, but I don't want to be rash. Many couples have used this horrible event as an opportunity to make their marriages better than ever. I have firm expectations of my husband, and he is trying to meet them. The bar is very high, but he can do it. I'm trying not to get in the way of his progress with my own issues...

Thanks again everyone, and best wishes/good health to all.

Saturn

 

 


Diagnosed with UC in 2000
 
Meds:
4 g Sulfasalazine
Canasa
folic acid supplements

Post Edited (Saturn) : 12/13/2007 7:45:12 PM (GMT-7)


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted Yesterday 8:01 PM (GMT -7)   
You sound very level headed Saturn, I think you'll come out of this just fine regardless of the outcome. And I think your kids will too as it seems to me you have alot of strength for all of you to work through this...It's funny how we think we know what we'd do in certain situations until we actually experiance them...but they are all learning experiances and you have to take the good with the bad in any relationship...people make mistakes, we are all only human...you know what they say "hurt me once, shame on you, hurt me twice, shame on me.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 29852
   Posted Today 12:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm pleased to hear your plan. Been there once during my first marriage....should have left after 6 months, but what did I know at age 19? I did leave after 2 1/2 years when I got well after major lung surgery. Life goes on....
I have since learned he has never changed, which I warned # 2 about...she was kind enough to send me a letter to confirm I was right after they had 4 kids. It was elating to me.

Would I ever stick around if that happened to me again ? no. But I trust my husband of 28 years... Do those feelings of being betrayed ever leave? no.

Be well....do it for you and your children, for you do want them to be strong in their own self-image and realise only their actions are their responsibility...not what others do.

quincy
*Heather*Status:mini flare June 23* 6asacol daily+ Salofalk (tapered every 4th night)
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~vitamins/minerals 
~Probiotic 2 (Natural Factors Protec) + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) at bedtime
~Natural Factors Multi Digestive Enzymes with supper
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux) Effexor XR 75mg;  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!


barbl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 320
   Posted Today 8:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Suround yourself with people who love you and uplift you. Now is not the time to have negative forces in your life. Put yourself 1st, you deserve it :)
Dx'D in 1990. Remission 1991 - 1/2005
Both flares were in extremely stressful times in my life
Colonoscopy 10/2005 80% of Colon diseased, or as I like to say "Intestinely challenged"
*****9/2007 dumped my GI who I refer to as "Satan" New GI, new med TOTAL remission with in 2 weeks.
Colazal 9 capsules a day*****


NuffinButtTrouble
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 679
   Posted 12/15/2007 3:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Saturn,

I've been married 17 years and I also have two beautiful children. My advice is to listen to your heart; personally, I would try my best to save the marriage and it looks like both of you have already taken steps to this effect, which is great. Finally, Colitis seems to effect everyone differently but many of us experience the same symptoms and a decreased sex drive is one of them...either we're just too tired or even when we're in the mood, we just don't have the stamina that we had before colitis. Of course this can be remedied by being....ah...how can I say this...'creative' in the bedroom. Also, spending more time together...dinners, etc. might help as well.

I will keep you in my prayers and I'm convinced you and you're husband will be stronger in the end.

My motto is: 'True love is unconditional...'

NBT
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis January 2007
Meds: Remicade, Primal Defense Ultra, Multi-vitamins (also iron, B12, Magnesium and Zinc), Flaxseed/Natures Bounty Fish Oil
Swanson Ultra Caprylic Acid (natural anti-fungal) 600mg x2 daily
Carrot & Garlic supplements (natural anti-fungal) x2 daily
Currently taking herbal meds in the search to regain full health.


princesa
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2198
   Posted 12/15/2007 5:10 PM (GMT -7)   
If he's as equally willing as you are to implement change and work to save the marriage, then I think that's great. It's going to take a long time to really heal and restore trust. If you go this route, I'd highly recommend the Light His Fire/Light Her Fire series for getting your relationship back on the right path. Marriages on the brink of divorce have been turned around with these tapes and exercises.

http://www.lightyourfire.com/

On the other hand, if after some time you realize he's unwilling or unable to change, I think you'd be better off separating. Emotional issues and stress certainly have an adverse effect on IBD. An unhappy, unhealthy home atmosphere can do a lot of damage to your efforts to manage your condition. You have to do what's best for you. Same thing goes for your kids. I grew up in a family where my parents had a very poor relationship, but were determined to "do the right thing" and stay together. It was miserable. It's one thing to keep the family together if positive changes are happening... it's another thing totally if it's going to be a constant state of antagonism and dysfunction.


Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999
 
Therapeutic dose sulfasalazine.
Probiotics, l-glutamine and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice and Mucosaheal.
 
 

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