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Need help, girlfriend advice!


Cenk

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Hello everyone,

 

I have been dating my girlfriend for 1 year and a half. We get along great, sex is great but she suffers with IBS (irritable bowl syndrome). She's had it from before we met and I am not sure if she has a food disorder or its something else like stress.

 

Either way her disorder effects everything we do, going out to sitting at home and chilling. Most of the time she's in pain from what she's eaten and doesn't really want to seek help about it, funny thing is we both go to the gym and eat well but she cant stomach a-lot of normal foods and alchohol. When she's in pain, what ever we do turns into a very stressful experience, most of our conversations evolve around what she's eaten or going to eat, sometimes I Feel like I have the disorder! Its very tiresome and getting to the point where I am thinking I don't want to go on holiday with her or do much as 90% of the time she's in pain and isn't very nice and cant keep going over the same food stories, I can't fully explain it but it's something to be experienced. I am very accompanying to her and try and be on her side but if I give her advice she doesn't want to here it.

 

Does anyone have a similar experience? Her symptoms aren't getting better so I guess its up to me to decide if I want to continue what we have.

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Sorry to hear this. Start by not giving her advice. Start by suggesting she see a doctor for advice. Plenty of people with plenty of conditions get along in life and manage enough to have satisfying relationships without making everything about them and their symptoms.

 

Unfortunately it seems to have become a power struggle. Sometimes a relationship becomes a threesome. You, her and the elephant in the room that dominates everything. This is what you are seeing. The fact that she seems inert to help herself and instead expects to make this a central theme is troubling in itself.

 

The key is to not offer tips, advice, etc and in fact change the subject. Let her eat what she wants, but if she starts talking obsessively about it ask why she won't see a doctor. She also would benefit from a therapist to reduce stress and talk things out.

she suffers with IBS (irritable bowl syndrome). if I give her advice she doesn't want to here it..
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We both are into healthy lifestyle's so I think her issue's stem pretty deep. If I mention to her about seeking help she basically says a doctor can't help and I'm left feeling a bit bewildered by everything and stuck. She thinks she is right and doesn't want my advice but just wants to vent but I can't keep hearing the same thing everyday.

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I have tried those exact things, stopped with advice and said why not try a medical professional or doctor. I have even said to her about seeing a therapist to vent to as I can't be that person everyday from morning until night. It is a power struggle and its her opinions vs mine when I am trying to be helpful and not pushy with anything.

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Yes there s a huge psychological component. Immediately stop giving her advice. You are not a doctor, therapist and doing that is a very unhealthy dynamic. It's a power struggle. Don't listen. Change the subject and repeat that doctors and therapist are the ones to talk to. Then leave, end the conversation, etc. Stop feeding this thing with your tips. If you stop that the power struggle will stop.

She thinks she is right and doesn't want my advice but just wants to vent but I can't keep hearing the same thing everyday.
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I know a few people who have IBS as a result of a tainted water scandal where I used to live. It's a real thing, not fake, these people suffer. However, a doctor can help and if your gf will not go to a doctor then there's nothing you can do about it.

 

Has she ever been to a doctor and properly diagnosed with it?

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Think about it....is this what you expect out of a relationship? It’s been all about her this whole time. Not the quality you should be getting. How could you ever survive marriage or raising children? IMO you are wasting the best years of your life on her misery that she won’t do anything about.

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I agree with smackie. It's not really fair for her not to seek treatment and just expect you deal with her taking it out on you.

 

It is a tough situation, because we're basically talking sickness and health, but you never took that vow. We feel pressure to be there for our SO. However, we rarely talk about what our SO owes to us, mainly to behave in a manner that supports us both.

 

For example, I will not date a guy that rides a motorcycle without a helmet. It sounds stupid. It's his life. It's not against the law where I live. But if he doesn't have the common sense and desire to protect and preserve his own health, why should I risk being devastated if he crashes? It's just like drug abuse, smoking, alcohol abuse.... Their poor behavior directly effects my happiness.

 

I think, if you could find a time, to talk to her, in a way that lets her know, her behavior is holding back the relationship. And ask what does she see the future holding for you as a couple? You will learn a lot.

 

I think a true loving and committed couple is a team. Both people share the same values and works towards the same goal. In this case, doing what can be done to be healthy to enjoy life together. Yes, it's her life, but are you in it with her? Or are you just some supporting character that has to watch from the side?

 

if she expects you're committed, to being with her while, she basically just suffers without seeking any help, what is she committing to?

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I have spoken to her many times about her behaviour and how it holds us back as a couple and tried to explain that this isn't the way to go about things. She seems troubled and I can't help her if she can't help her self. She has personality flaws that link to her IBS and also I think she has other baggage that effects her mood but mainly the pain she is in most of the time. There is little I can do at this point, I can't take her IBS away only direct her to seek medical.

 

It's not a direct easy fix but I can't see her trying to see a specialist, seems like a negative downward spiral and self destruction.

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My mother had IBS. It's a physical condition that is equally affected by anxiety. It becomes a vicious circle. You have something that's not entirely controllable, (managed but not controlled) and then you feel anxious about what you eat, where you eat it and get anxious about the outcome.

 

During the later part of my mothers life, her world became very small. She declined offers and became anxious leaving the house for any period of time. She missed my daughter in laws shower and my sons wedding.

 

She was also resistant to any life style changes and the medication that could have managed her IBS and the anticipatory anxiety. As her daughter it frustrated me beyond words. I can only imagine what it might be like to be her boyfriend.

 

It's such a shame, your girlfriend is young. She doesn't need to live her life this way and it isn't going to get better without some intervention.

 

I agree with not advising her, but you might want to have a come to Jesus talk with her and share with her what you just shared with us. That you are considering ending this relationship over the fact that she chooses not to do anything about it.

 

I suspect once you are gone, she might be motivated. But it might be too late then

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I have been under a doctor's care for my digestive issue (not IBS, something else). It's the main reason why I haven't tried to date. Even though my disease is under as much control as it can be, it's not 100% better and will never go away.

 

I had a hard time when I was living with my ex because he eats nothing but junk (pizza, heavy greasy Mexican fast food covered in cheese, burgers and fries) and if I wanted to eat with him I had to eat the same things. Eating those things caused me to have explosive, huge bouts of diarrhea that were loud and very smelly. I had to try to go to the bathroom when he wasn't around. If we went out to eat I had to use the bathroom immediately after eating and spent about 15-20 minutes having a bowel movement. Not fun for either of us.

 

He stayed in the relationship after my (major) surgery and was kind about it, but it was so hard for me. We broke up for other reasons, but I haven't tried to be in a relationship since then.

 

It's not easy to deal with. If she doesn't seek medical care and it's too difficult for you to deal with, then ending it is probably the right thing to do.

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Thank you for sharing your experience. It sounds similar to my situation and I am realising that past issues with me and my girlfriend all link back to her and having ibs, this won’t end just like that I need to make a decision.

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Thank you for sharing. My girlfriend, I believe finds it hard to go to the toilet. I am open and honest and wouldn’t mind at all if she needed to go around me.

 

The sad thing about my situation is me and my girlfriend are into fitness, we both train at the gym and eat super healthy. Her gym routine and diet has been effected over the last year as her ibs has gotten worse and it’s hard to do much together with out the looming anxiety of ibs, even going for a simple walk gets stressful to having a genuine conversation. I feel like we could have a connection but the only connection I have right now is to her ibs and that’s it.

 

I can’t see us going away or spending the weekend together as it has become all to stressful to deal with her emotions for longer than a day. It’s not nice to say but I have to take the brunt of her pain.

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If I didn't make it clear, anxiety alone can cause diarrhea for some.

 

If you're already predisposed to IBS and the warranted anxiety that comes from having to constantly run for a bathroom or worse, have an accident, you are caught in a viscous cycle of what came first. Your gastro issues or the anxiety that comes from trying to manage it.

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If I didn't make it clear, anxiety alone can cause diarrhea for some.

 

If you're already predisposed to IBS and the warranted anxiety that comes from having to constantly run for a bathroom or worse, have an accident, you are caught in a viscous cycle of what came first. Your gastro issues or the anxiety that comes from trying to manage it.

 

Absolutely.

 

Whenever I'm upset about something it goes straight to my digestive system.

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She needs to learn to deal with her stress. I am certain you have looked into this and know the root of the issue.

 

 

Are you certain it is IBS? If she has not seen a doctor and had a colonoscopy, then how does she know? Has she considered Crohn's?

 

I do not think it is fair for her to continue to vent, either she gets the help she needs, or she needs to stop complaining. You are not her therapist/doctor. You are enabling this issue.

 

This sounds like a lousy relationship, and I wonder why you are sticking around for this?

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I have said to her to see a doctor and even a therapist. At first she would hide her symptoms and pain, but it would be an extremely weird vibe with her being in pain, anything we would do would be ruled by her ibs. I have stuck around as we do share alot of things in common, its not just about looks but we are attracted physically to each other. Saying this the realisation that we cant go out and have a good time or even have a good conversation is obvious and I am not willing to waste more time having awkward and depressing interactions.

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I can see her anxiety flood the room and what ever me and her are doing. I am laid back and try not to stress about things but she is the opposite, everything she does can be stressful from breakfast to dinner and I am sure her ibs stems from her anxiety and vice versa. The smallest mole hill can turn into a mountain very quickly.

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I can see her anxiety flood the room and what ever me and her are doing. I am laid back and try not to stress about things but she is the opposite, everything she does can be stressful from breakfast to dinner and I am sure her ibs stems from her anxiety and vice versa. The smallest mole hill can turn into a mountain very quickly.

 

You are not a doctor. You seem to be suggesting that her pain or discomfort are self inflicted and should go away if she adopts your "laid back," "not stress about things" attitude. She should definitely seek help, but IBS can be stubborn and even with treatment doesn't necessarily go away. Maybe she had seen doctors before (hence the diagnosis?) and was frustrated by the ineffective treatment or repeating problems. I feel for your frustration, and it is not your responsibility to treat her or to share her anxiety. From your words though I don't sense much empathy for her situation. Either way, this relationship is past due. Find someone more compatible who doesn't stress or get anxious.

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I didn't suggest at all that if she took a laid back stress free approach to things her ibs would go away, thats just not who she is either way. She hasn't seen a specialist doctor or been tested for anything, she pretty much diagnoses her self which is frustrating because she doesn't know why she gets pain from some foods or drinks.

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