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Struggling in relationship with partner

My partner of 14 years has had endometriosis since shortly after my son was born and I'm at a loose end. Would appreciate some advice.

She was diagnosed about 2 years ago but has had it for about 5 or 6. She suffers with pain and strange allergic reactions to things like the cold weather as a result. It has spread to her colon etc too. It is awful for her physically however her mood swings which I believe endometriosis is causing are affecting our relationship. I've seen the change in her over past 5 or 6 years. I can time it to pre menstruation and a day or 2 after that she becomes a different person entirely. And also during ovulation. She completely changes as a person during this time. Barely speaks to me. Calls me names. Gets angry. Says she hates me and is only with me because of our house together. Doesn't even look at me or message me in the day. We fall out as a result. She is lovely the rest of the time during the month. I know this is endometriosis causing it because although most women get a bit of pms I've noticed the past 2 years it has become extreme and when she is in it she can't see it. I can cope with the general lack of sex caused by pain of endometriosis because i love her but recently her hatred of me during this time of pms and ovulation sees us almost splitting up every month And im scared we may split up over her moods. The arguments are also affecting my son. She has refused hormone treatment to stop her periods because her mum had breast cancer and is scared of taking anything. Has anyone else had this issue? What advice is there for me to help her address this?

  1. First, let me thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your story with us. While many of us with endo have a really hard time, being on the other end of this disease is no picnic either. I'm sorry to hear that your wife has such intense mood swings and rage. I have experienced such mood swings and I know it is often quite hard to see a way through them until the time passes. I have also experienced significant relationship struggles as a result.

    A couple of questions: has she sought out therapy? I know for myself it helped me have some more awareness about my mood swings and what I could try to do leading up to and during them. I also wonder about whether or not she has ever tried a mood stabilizing drug.


    In a related question, have you sought therapy to help you deal with this situation? It must be really hard to manage it on your own.



    I also wonder if she has ever explored the possibility of having mast cell activation syndrome or other mast cell disease...I ask because you mentioned her strange allergies. I have MCAS and I have reactions to many, many things. MCAS also causes anxiety and depression, and at least for me, exacerbated the endo symptoms. When MCAS and endo interact, it can be quite challenging.


    Being on mast cell stabilizing drugs and supplements has helped calm down some of my stronger mood swings. The Mast Cell Society (https://tmsforacure.org/) is a good place to start to do some research on this, and I'm happy to answer any questions you have in my DMs.


    Last question that may seem strange: is there mold in your home? I recently left a moldy home and realized how much it was affecting my mood and overall health. This may be a consideration for you as well. A few of the gynecologists I've worked with have mentioned that mold can be a contributing factor, as can living in a place with more overcast days than sunny days.


    I understand her reluctance to try birth control; it was not a good fit for me for different reasons than cancer, but I have had to manage endo without the benefit of these drugs. One more question: what treatments has your wife tried? Has she pursued surgery? That is the gold standard of care and it's the only thing that truly helped me.


    Sending you gentle hugs and hopes that you'll be able to find some solutions to this difficult situation. ~Katrina, Endometriosis.net Advocate



    1. CommunityMember500 This definitely sounds like a tough situation for both of you. I can’t diagnose your partner, but many people with endometriosis also experience pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). I’ve had it since my teens. I’ve found it helpful to track my moods so I know — and those around me know — what’s going on. I’ve also talked with my regular doctor about treatment, including antidepressants. I’ve also worked with behavioral counselors to help identify when I’m emotionally reactive — meaning I feel or react to emotionally charged things a lot stronger than normal. I’ll leave some articles here that might be helpful for you and your partner to discuss together. https://endometriosis.net/living/pmdd-treatment; https://endometriosis.net/living/managing-mental-health; https://endometriosis.net/living/post-menstrual-syndrome

      And if possible, I hope you both can seek help from a mental health professional to help you manage some of these issues. A neutral third party can be a big help! - Keri (endometriosis.net team member)

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