As I begin to share my experience with other people, I realize that I am in need of help. I don’t honestly understand how autoimmunity works, but it seems to pretty much affect everything that I entirely do in my life. My routines have changed, my wellness is at stake, my illness escalates quickly, and my relationship is currently dying. That’s all because I have lupus.
It affects my relationship clearly because my loved one can’t seem to help me. As much as it devastates me to know that I can no longer do the things I usually do before the diagnosis with lupus, my partner is struggling on keeping me away from the things that might trigger the symptoms. It’s hard because I want to spend time with him. However, due to my condition, I am only limited to doing certain things. But not that I can no longer complete a particular task, it’s just that I am not allowed to push myself on my limits which is sad because I can no longer go out and have fun. I always feel tired and weary.
Tip from Maureen Werrbach, LCPC: One way to practice turning towards is to make your conversations deeper and more meaningful by asking your partner open-ended questions.
Everything Is A Challenge
I may look normal to other people, but in reality, I’m struggling with a lot of discomforts. Somehow, it makes it impossible for me to move, and I experience a lot of muscle pain. Well, he can’t hug me, and we can’t cuddle when I am in those moments of pain and suffering. When I started going to bed early, it annoyed him because he thought I was spending less time with him. Due to our misunderstanding, I stopped communicating with him because I felt like sharing my situation would only make him feel obligated to take care of me. I developed a sleep disorder where there are times when I was awake while he’s asleep and vice versa. So it created a challenging schedule for us.
Tip from Rachel Dack, LCPC: “Move toward acceptance, put yourself out there and don’t give up on your dating and relationship goals.”
There’s No Sexual Connection
My relationship started to fall when we decided to quit having sex. Not that I don’t want it, but it’s the autoimmunity that keeps me away from the activity. I can no longer perform sexual acts that satisfy his needs due to the constant pain associated with lupus. It feels uncomfortable and stressful at the same time. The severe fatigue made me lose my interest in sexual contact due to less energy than I have. It drastically created a negative impact on our daily lives.
My autoimmunity started to affect my emotional well-being as well, and I eventually lost my balance too. I started thinking negatively that it ‘almost’ made me give up on myself. Though I can see the reason why my partner would want to end our relationship, he decided to stay and helped me get through my situation. Treatments and medications have become our options, and now we are currently working things out.
Tip from Bridget Levy, LCPC: “Many partners don’t even talk about their boundaries. They expect their partner to just know them. This is unfair.”
Even if I’m suffering from this autoimmune disorder, it still doesn’t stop me from wanting to be with someone that I know would truly understand my situation. Perhaps I’m lucky because my lupus didn’t prevent my boyfriend from supporting me and loving me unconditionally.