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5 Questions For My Partner

Jessica has endometriosis, and Chris is her partner. Together, they find ways to manage the condition and support each other through its challenges. Here are 5 questions Chris has put to Jessica to find out more about how they feel living with the condition.

1. What do you see as the biggest impact endometriosis has on our relationship?

This is a hard one. This isn’t about our relationship per se, but I guess it affects how we function in life as a unit. My earning capacity has been a bit more limited in the past few years, as I’ve prioritized my health. And I think you spend a lot of time worrying about me and looking after the home, so you haven’t really been able to think about or pursue your own dreams as much.

This can make me feel uncomfortable when I see what other couples are doing at our age. We’re not the average couple because we don’t want to get married or buy a 3 bedroom semi-detached, but we have our own dreams and goals together; I think endometriosis often makes reaching any of those more of a challenge for us.

2. What do you think our biggest success is with managing endo together?

Probably the dynamic we have. You’re very good at keeping our daily lives in order, whereas I’m good at planning ahead and making sure we’re still living a life we enjoy despite the challenges that come with endo. So though I may not have energy to stay on top of the washing etc., I think my commitment to my health and my decision to go self-employed has enabled us to have a life with more freedom because I’m a) well enough to do things and b) I want to ensure I still enjoy life so I make the effort to plan adventures.

Another good thing is that even with blips, we both want to be healthy people. That makes it easier for us to eat an anti-inflammatory diet, which for me, is key to managing my symptoms.

3. Is there anything about the condition that you feel like I don’t understand, or need to understand better?

There’s not much you don’t already understand when it comes to endometriosis. However, I guess I wish you could really understand (though I don’t actually want you to experience it!) how extreme my fatigue can feel, or just how I struggle to feel energized every day. I think if you knew that feeling, you’d be able to understand more my desire to be in bed as early as possible, and perhaps it’d be easier to establish a night-time routine that we stick to. Of course, there’s no way you can experience what I’m feeling, so it just comes to down to me being as communicative as possible.

I think what could also be helpful to us both is maybe not just understanding endometriosis, but actually what happens during a full cycle – in particular with hormones and how they relate to energy, cognitive function, sex drive, and mood. I think we’d be able to plan more around my cycle, like booking in more activities during ovulation, and more movie nights during my period, for example.

4. Is there anything I do to support you that I think helps, but really you could do without?

You don’t really do this so much anymore because we spoke about it, but I think you like to do things for people and give gifts. So often if I’m struggling you’ll do practical things around the house so I don’t worry about them (which is incredible helpful), or you’ll buy me a gift to cheer me up. But sometimes (most of the time!), I just need someone to talk to about it, and that’s the greatest comfort.

5. If you could change one thing about how we live with endo, what would it be?

Getting to bed earlier! In my dream world, we’d be in bed at 9 so we could chill and be asleep by 10. I think I’d be a very different person if I had more sleep and I always feel that fatigue/tiredness is the thing that holds me back the most, yet is the key area I still haven’t been able to manage better.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.