Tips for Speaking with Intimate Partners about Endometriosis
Let’s be honest here, talking with your partner about endometriosis can be a real mood killer. After all, especially in the heat of the moment, who wants to discuss pain with sex or the ins & outs of tissue growth outside the boundaries of the uterus? Nothing puts a damper on the flames of passion quite like a straightforward talk about the joys of life with endometriosis.
Obviously, having a conversation about endometriosis might feel a bit awkward and you might not know where to start, but being upfront and honest can save you both a great deal of heartache in the long run.
Establish appropriate boundaries
When it comes to speaking with your partner about endometriosis, it is important to establish ahead of time what is considered off limits. Be sure to consider not only what you discuss, but when as well. If you feel uncomfortable discussing it at certain times, be sure to make that clear from the start. Establish appropriate boundaries to keep both of you feeling comfortable with discussing difficult topics.
Don’t let it consume the relationship
It can (understandably) become very easy to let endometriosis become the focus of intimate relationships. After all, it does impact a large portion of the relationship as a whole. However, allowing it to become the main focus of your relationship can quickly becomes exhausting, especially for your partner.
Use the classic, “I statements”
Nothing can end a conversation quicker than, “You always...” Unless you are ending it with “look amazing,” then you are much better off just keeping it to yourself. No one wants to be on the receiving end of criticism, so be sure that you start statements with phrases like, “I feel pressured when...” or “I feel pain when...” statements.
Be honest, but not brutally so...
Choose your words wisely. When speaking with your partner about sex, it is vitally important that you be honest, however, be sure to be tactful in your use of words. There is no need to be hurtful in your honesty. You can certainly be honest about your condition, but there is no need to be overly so, or brutal in any way.
Gauge your partner’s willingness to make accommodations or experiment with different techniques
Everyone has different comfort levels when it comes to intimacy and “experimentation”. Through your conversations, you should be able to gauge your partner’s willingness to try different products, techniques, or positions that could make intimate relations more comfortable and enjoyable for you both. No one wants to participate in painful sex and if you (or your partner) can make simple changes to make it more enjoyable despite endometriosis, then I call that a win-win situation for sure.
Some final thoughts
It is very easy to get your signals crossed when it comes to speaking with your partner about endometriosis. Your partner can view your reluctance to participate in moments of intimacy as a personal affront. It is entirely reasonable for them to think that your unwillingness to be intimate is a direct result of your feelings about them.... when the reality may be quite the opposite. You or your partner's feelings can get hurt very easily and you both can quickly get confused. Use these tips to keep your relationship from being derailed by endometriosis.
Do you ever experience urinary incontinence?