A couple wearing superhero capes are standing on top of a woman's curvature that appears as hills, ready to fight endometriosis together.

Endometriosis Isn’t Just My Battle - It’s My Partner's Battle Too

When I was diagnosed with endometriosis, I was at the beginning of a long term relationship. It kind of came out of nowhere (if you ignore the persistent period problems I’d had for the previous 9 years!), so my boyfriend at the time didn’t really have much choice in the matter. It was a problematic relationship and, needless to say, my endometriosis was very much at the forefront of why we eventually called time on it.

Dating with endo

Going back into the wild, searching for a mate, after all the tribulations and blame being very much laden on my shoulders for the previous 6 years, was a daunting prospect. At what point was I supposed to tell my next potential love interest that I have a disease that may mean I cannot carry a child?

Starting a new relationship

I guess I lucked out, because I started seeing someone who I had been friends with for around 6 years. He knew I had a problem with my health - not in great detail, but just enough to know there was an issue. I had recently had a Mirena coil fitted and it was making me very nauseous so, of course, I had to briefly mention that on our first dinner date... But, I decided to wait for the right moment to lay down the finer details and explain what he might have to face.

Ripping off the band-aid

That moment came after a night out. I was raving drunk and I blurted it out in between sobbing over nothing. *Well done, Shireen!* Thankfully, he didn't run for the hills. He took the time to do his own research and I genuinely thought that he wouldn't really need to know any finer details because, I hoped (as I always have) that I would find my relief.

Well, we are now in to year 9 of our relationship, and endometriosis is no longer MY battle. It has become OUR battle.

Lessons learned

Going back to 2010, I never in a million years foresaw any part of what has been thrown our way over the duration of our relationship. Emergency hospital stays, countless treatments, surgery after surgery, all the heartbreak and struggles that would lead to our miracle babe arriving. I always saw endometriosis as my battle. I was alone in facing it and had been very much in that frame since diagnosis. But, suddenly, he took half the burden off me. We were in it together.

It's not been easy and I don't think he was ever prepared for any of what he has had to face. But, he faced it. He has accompanied me to appointments, held my hand while I have cried at the hospital, listened when I have gotten angry, held me close when I have felt nothing but despair, and listened to me waffling on in to the late of the night when I have been unable to silence the black dog.

If he has taught me anything, it's that endometriosis isn't a blame game. All I ever needed was him by my side, supporting our future - together.

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