Rose has Endometriosis (obviously), which has definitely complicated our relationship at times. I’m writing this to give a bit more context as to how our relationship has stayed so strong, and to help others struggling with their partner’s Endometriosis.
My name is Marco Brons. I’m 18 years old, and I’m Rose’s boyfriend. And holy balls am I lucky to be her boyfriend, because I couldn’t wish for anyone better. I’m Autistic and Chronically Depressed, and despite my own problems, I gladly help Rose with hers just like she helps me with mine.
I met Rose about 3/4 years back on some shitty online card game. The environment in that community was unbelievably toxic, so you can see how Rose and I were pretty much at some of the lowest points in our lives when we met. At the time, neither of us knew she had Endo. She was, however, pretty needy at times. I didn’t mind, but it was something peculiar at the time. In the year we spent on that game, we were met with plenty of internet drama. Fortunately, we’ve moved past that. That’s something very important in any relationship. Whether your significant other has something holding them back or not: Keep being supportive. NEVER give up. I love Rose with all of my heart. I specifically call her Rose, because she dislikes the name Celestia. I asked why, she answered, and I accepted that. We’ve both matured heavily for our age.
Once Rose told me about Endo, I admittedly freaked out. “Oh sweet baby Jesus, what the flying fuck do I do?!” was my first thought. What did it mean? I said “What is Endometriosis? Did I even spell it correctly? How is this going to affect us?” I remember telling myself that it was a bad joke. She explained what it meant. We both pretty much had a panic attack at the time, but we calmed down after that. From that point on, her behaviour changed drastically. It was as if she was constantly on her period: Moody, over-emotional, confusing and needy. Admittedly, she technically IS constantly on her period because of her Endo, which I now understand. But the years that followed were confusing for me. I didn’t understand what the problem really was, how I had to act and how to help her. So, I did it in the only way I knew how: by supporting her when she needed it. As a partner, our and their struggles are going to be mentally and emotionally draining. Not that Endometriosis directly affects your mental state, but it’s a consequence. Someone with Endo might feel like a burden.
As one partner to another, I IMPLORE YOU to NEVER blame them for how they feel. They struggle SO HARD with their pain, and they will begin to doubt themselves. At one point, Rose told me to find someone else who wasn’t “so useless” instead of staying with her. I told her she was crazy for considering it, and that I would never leave her side even if she tried to beat my face in with a damn baseball bat. (Rose, it’s a metaphor. Do NOT hit me with a baseball bat pls. Or any other large blunt and/or sharp object for that matter. Love you!)
Your significant other will never feel as if they’re enough. And that’s something you’re going to have to accept at times. There will be moments where you’ll want to cry, where you’ll want to break down onto the floor in pain and scream at them for thinking about themselves in such a negative light. *THAT. IS. OKAY.* I felt the same way. If you ever need a break, just to regain your composure when you’re tired, then you should take that break. Explain to them that you feel a bit weak, that you need a bit to regain your energy. It will be okay. You and your significant other are SO unbelievably strong. So much stronger than you think. It probably sounds dumb, coming from a stranger. But every single time you show how much you love them, they will remember it. Caring and loving them is everything they want. As her father beautifully explained it: Endometriosis is like being hit in the nuts, and struggling with that pain constantly. A flare feels like your balls are being crushed, and that feeling as if someone’s jabbing a rusty screwdriver into your gut? That’s how they feel when they don’t have a flare. (By the way, future-father-in-law? Loved your analogy. Just thought I’d add onto it a tad.)
Rose’s coping mechanism to deal with her Endometriosis was an odd one at the time. She had experienced plenty of shit in her life, and she first coped in a pretty bad way. Destructive Coping, as I’d call it. Luckily, we have worked past that, and now she copes in a much better way. We send each other gifts, for example. I send her poems sometimes, I stay up to be with her, and she makes my day absolutely amazing in return. We always make it so much easier and happier for each other to actually talk and feel alive. Even ‘till this day, I still talk all cutesy-lovey-dovey with her. Why? Because to be honest… It’s fun. It’s so, so, SO unbelievably good to see her happy. To know that despite my disability, and her illness, we can still smile at the little things in life. That we’re not going to let this hold us back. And you have to be just as strong. If your significant other has a way to cope, first make sure it’s a safe way to cope. Rose had unsafe ways to cope, and after we discussed it for some time, we found a much happier way to spend time together. By just making each other smile. By making each other happy. I love every second spent with her when she feels like this, and even when she doesn’t. And that’s why when I move to Australia, I’m going to give her as many piggybacks as she wants.
“Move to Australia”? You read that right.
You might’ve asked yourself when you read that. Well, I’ve probably not even told you the oddest thing about our relationship.
I don’t live in Australia.
I’m from The Netherlands. I’m Dutch.
I’m not physically there with her.
I take 2 hours out of my day. Every day, just to spent those 2 hours talking to her. To be there for her.
And it has helped her so unbelievably much. She’s grown confident. Happy. She’s become a ray of light in a dark world for me.
If I, a mentally unstable Autistic boy, who is literally in a different continent, can be there for their partner who struggles with their Endometriosis… Well, then so can you. You can do it, and Rose and I believe in you. We love each and every one of you. We are so proud of you. And we know you’ll make us even prouder. Endometriosis can be beat. And we’ll all beat it together.
I love you, Rose.
And you, reader? Tell your significant other how much they mean to you.
Express it in a way you never thought you could.
Love them the way I love my little Rose. - Marco