Dating A Crohnie From Ben’s Point Of View

Dating A Crohnie From Ben’s Point Of View. Following The IBD & Ostomy Support Show poll in the last week. I Crohnsfighting has decided to get Benjamin’s point of view about dating me. I was single for 2 years prior to Ben. I had been used to living on one’s own. I had supported both myself and daughter financially and run my own household. Whilst managing my crohns with my family’s support.

Us three together

Us three together

I’m quite particular about things and extremely independent. I’m also not a needy person. I may be chronically ill and have more issues than a box of tissues but I know my worth.

So in rolls Ben last year being a gentleman and a friend rescuing me from one of my “it seemed like a good idea at the time moments”.

Our relationship progressed from there. Albeit myself slightly reluctant at the time. I was extremely gun shy and had my daughter to consider. Dating and being a single mother does tend to raise a few judgemental eyebrows. So letting Ben into my life knowing what was wrong with me and what he would have to go through at a later date was a big ask and me putting a lot of trust into the relationship as a stoma is a make or break it for some people.

Dating A Crohnie From Bens Point Of View

Okay, So I’ve had to do a bit of thinking for this. Hi, my name is Ben! The fact is, I was very hesitant when I was asked to write this piece for the CrohnsFighting blog. I wholeheartedly do not believe that the Crohns or the stoma affect my relationship with Louise or my feelings towards her. I was spurred on to write this by the blog written by 00Steve who is Colitistoostomy’s husband. In his Q&A session, I agreed with every point he made. The fact is, we don’t see our better halves as a burden on our lives or a suffering we endure as much as I fear our counterparts think they are. I don’t see Louise as different from any other woman, in fact, I see her as a very strong(willed), head steady woman who I love dearly.

Pre-stoma when we first started dating

Pre-stoma when we first started dating

I met (reconnected) with Louise during the divorce from my ex-wife. We chatted over messenger as friends and she told me all about her disease and how it affected her day to day life. The problems she had experienced with Maisie’s birth and her problems with her previous ostomy. As our relationship progressed from friends to partners, nothing changed my perception of Louise. Now, this maybe the rose tint of a new relationship, but I can’t remember Louise popping off to the W/C more often that “normal”! In those first few months, I can only pinpoint a few times when I can really say that Crohns showed it’s ugly head and the pain showed on Louise’s face. Nowadays I have Louise’s facial expressions down to a tea and I can pretty much see if she’s feeling like crap or not from one look. I’m pleased to say that these days are few and far between, especially since the ileostomy formation. This, of course, was the emotional side of things.

Underneath the clothing

Back then, physically, Louise bore the marks of a real Crohns warrior. She had scars, hernias and a very scary dipped area around her hip which was only a layer of skin protecting her bladder and bowel, not to mention the lack of a belly button. She was rather hesitant with her clothes off. Do you know what? Not one single thing bothered me. Not one single thing. All the above was just a history of surgery, illness and cures. A physical timeline of Louise’s fight with the illness she has battled.

Surgery

That fateful day on the 25th of November 2016… I don’t think I will ever forget the sheer pressure of emotions I felt for Louise. She seemed so calm, I was a complete wreck! I waited in the hospital for 8 hours during the surgery, pacing, sitting. fiddling, waiting for the news she was out of surgery. Once I had seen her come out, I knew this was the turning point for her and her illness. I had done more internet research than was probably healthy, but I knew what this was, I knew what it would involve and I knew this was a step towards a happier and healthier future.

Us after her operation. Nothing has changed at all

Us after her operation. Nothing has changed at all

I would like any guys or girls reading this who’s partner is about to go through this surgery to stop, think and know this honest truth. This whole thing, the whole ostomy, poop in a bag thing… it isn’t as bad as you may think. Okay, it may be a bit weird to start with, but just remember who that ostomy is attached to. What that bag represents towards that person’s quality of life and what it means you. Your partner can now do more with you due to the freedom the ostomy gives them. I think the only thing I got freaked out by is the name Louise decided to call her belly butt, which was Bertha. Now as a kid of the early 80’s I only knew one Bertha which was the cartoon machine who produced things in a factory. Actually, if you think about it, it’s quite an apt name!

I think the main reason why I was hesitant to write this is because I really don’t believe “living with a “Crohnie” is different than with any other person, therefore, it would be a completely pointless post! Yes, Louise has a bag stuck to her stomach and yes, it makes weird gurgling, farty noises especially post-coital. Louise get’s tired, her joints hurt, and yeah, that bag. But none of it changes who she is as a person. It rarely affects her drive and passions and 9/10 it doesn’t affect what we do as a couple so why the hell should it affect my feelings about her?

Back to Crohnsfighting

I know this was a big ask to get Ben to write this. But I’m so glad he did. I’m hoping this gives a realistic idea of a supportive partner who doesn’t care about what’s on you. He cares about the whole of me inside and out. I’m still a firm believer that there is always someone who’s your sort of perfect and finds you perfect just the way you are. I’m also happy that I’ve always been truthful and honest about what goes on with my health. That way the person you are with or are starting a relationship with is fully aware. Honesty is always the best policy.

If you have any comments please comment below.

8 Comments
  1. this actually made me shed a tear, you have your self a beautiful man and you my dear are the strongest most beautiful person i know, im glad you are together working as a team and family and im glad Ben took the time to write this, there needs to be more men like this in the world xx

    • Hi Kayleigh

      I didn’t mean to make you shed a tear lol. Thank you so much for taking the time to read the blog. I will continue to be a strong willed person much to everyone’s annoyance lol

      Many thanks
      Louise xx

  2. Amazing couple so very happy for you both x
    Heartfelt & honest as always x

    • Hi SBM

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog post. I’m happy you’ve found it honest and heartfelt. That’s always the aim for writing about my history. Honesty is always the best policy

      Many thanks
      Louise X

  3. Wow. Thank you so much for writing this. Its so good to read a partners view and gives me hope.

    • Hi Sara

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog post. I’m happy it’s giving hope to others

      Many thanks
      Louise x

  4. My bf of 5 years has had crohns for 17 years and had the surgery at the tender age of 15, he’s now 28. I still remember, vividly, him telling me about his condition and me being like, and that doesn’t change a thing about how I feel about you. I’ve never met anyone who is so strong about going through so much with their health and if anything, like Ben, makes me admire and love him even more! My bf is very stubborn though and when issues arise with his health due to his crohns he tends not to fill me in or let on that he’s suffering, this can be quite trying for me as all I want to do is to be there for him and make him feel aa well and aa happy as he can be. I now know to let him get on with it and if he’s struggling he will let me know. His mum is also a great help for me too because if I’m worried about him and he’s saying he’s fine, his mum helps to make me realise that he likes to do this on his own and she gives me all the help and advice i need.

    • That is lovely to hear that you are extremely supportive to your boyfriend. It’s lovely to hear feedback from the other side of partners who always help and dedicate their time and love to helping us that are ill. I’m very lucky to have Ben, he’s researched the ins & outs of my illness and my mother is the same, she’s always giving him advice or telling him he needs to make sure I’m not being so stubborn and seek the medical advice and attention when needed. Thank you ever so much for taking the time to read this blog post and comment.
      Many Thanks
      Louise xx

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