Get Help With Relationships And IBD

Advice From Others Who Have IBD Is Available At The Links Below

Rewarding, healthy relationships with others are an important part of a full life. Having a chronic illness such a inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can put a strain on some relationships. People with IBD may find their relationships with those that they are closest to can also be strained at times. It can be a challenge to know how best to keep the lines of communication open with family and friends, especially with those who have less understanding about IBD. On top of that, forging new relationships can seem far out of reach, making meeting new people or dating into something that seems impossible.

When people with IBD find themselves in these situations, comfort can be taken in knowing that many people with digestive disease encounter these problems, and no one is alone in experiencing them. In this article are gathered many tips and ideas from others in the IBD community about how to make space in our lives for the special people we love.

Talking With Friends
Do you friends know about your IBD? Talking with them about your health is a great way to educate them about IBD and chronic illness. Image © BraunS / E+ / Getty Images

It may seem like a no-brainer, but if your friends don't know about your IBD, you may want to take some time to tell them about it. Not everyone needs to know about your IBD, of course, but your close friends should be in the loop. Here you will find stories about how others with IBD approached their friends about the disease, and let them know how it affects lives.


Couple Massage
Couple Massage. Photo © Ambro

Chronic illness—any chronic illness—can be extremely tough on a marriage. The well spouse may feel as though they are carrying the burden, and sometimes they are doing exactly that by taking over the majority of child care and household chores. Marriage takes care and nurturing each and every day, even when your IBD is taking so much of your time and energy.


Flower Heart
Flower Heart. Photo © Jazgorn

Dating might seem out of the realm of possibility during a flare-up, and maybe it is, but when you start to feel better you'll want to get back into the dating game. There are a host of questions that come up when you're dating someone, including how much you tell, how soon, how you answer questions about your diet or your weight, and how you handle embarrassing situations that may arise. 


Unwanted Advice

Talking Bubbles
What do you have to say about IBD?. Copy © Ivan Prole

Receiving unwanted advice is part of life, but when it comes to your health, it might become overwhelming and frustrating to the extreme. In some cases, educating friends or family about IBD might help the situation, but in others you might need a more creative approach. 

Talking About IBD With Coworkers

Coworkers. Photo © photostock

Most of us have to work for a living in some capacity, and that often means spending a lot of time with coworkers. If you're flaring, your coworkers are bound to notice absences, trips to the bathroom, weight loss, or even a change in your energy level. You don't have to disclose your IBD to the people you work with, but you are likely to get questions about your health, so it's best to have some kind of a game plan in place.

Keeping People Close

We all need other people in our lives, and people with IBD are no exception. IBD tends to be disappointing because it takes so much away and there can often be no way to replace the time and experiences that are lost. There are, however, those family and friends who will stay and will fight against the IBD, and those people should be kept close, especially when IBD makes the going tough.