Men: Listen and Understand, Please!

My best friend suffers from endometriosis and, for a long time, I just thought it was bad menstrual cramps. I can tell you I was wrong. Dead wrong! I was able to sit and listen to her story, have her explain the pain to me and show me videos of what living with endometriosis is like for her and it truly opened my eyes.

The pain of endometriosis is debilitating

First, men, it is nothing like menstrual cramps at all. Imagine, as a man, having your testicles smashed day after day with no end in sight. How does that make you feel? This is maybe the best way for a man to understand what it is like for a woman who has endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a debilitating, painful disease that is really like no other. The pain is like having your insides ripped out each and every day, and pain meds, etc., only do so much. This is a lifelong disease that affects over 190 million women worldwide, but has a stigma that it's not that bad.1 STOP!!! IT IS VERY BAD and can affect a woman's day from just getting out of bed to trying to do basic things.

I learned to empathize with my partner’s struggles

Can you imagine being in so much pain that even going to the bathroom is a task? Then add on being a girlfriend, partner, mom, friend, etc., and having to explain daily that you need to cancel that outing with friends or family because the pain is just too much? I can't imagine at all and will never say I do, but, because I listened and have done my own research, because I care, I now can say I understand as much as a man can and I have empathy towards her.

We can help our partners

Men, what can you do?

  • Support her no matter her situation.
  • Be there emotionally and just listen.
  • Research so you can at least try to be empathetic and understand.
  • Never get upset at her for missed plans, etc., because it is not her fault.
  • Remember those tasks that are easy for you are not for her at this moment in her pain.
  • It's the little things, so give her space when she is in pain and allow her to reach out to you when she needs you.
  • Listen and don't just hear.
  • The most important one: Just love her and be there for her in whatever way she needs you to be.

Make the effort to be supportive

I hope more men will make the effort to try to understand this terrible debilitating disease and take my advice as stated above.
To my best friend, I will never truly understand but I will do my best to be here for you and support you the best I can through all of this.
Much love. ❤️

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