Recently we had the opportunity to share our experience as a couple dealing with Endometriosis thanks to the amazing people from The Visible Collective for the invite. While we could laugh about the life lessons now, they were not at all rosy when they happened. Sometimes we wondered if it would be easier to give up.
It took us some time to “find our groove” for dealing with Endometriosis as a couple, although we’ve known each other for almost ten years and been married close to 5 years. Having Endometriosis only made me more determined to be resilient and independent. I am very adamant that I can do everything on my own. I have never portrayed myself as a damsel in distress. I have always seen myself as a glass full, complete. And having someone romantically is a bonus which I can live without. We’ve never courted each other. We were friends who agreed to marry each other and fell in love after marriage. Besides having this strong sense of self-sufficiency and self-accountability, I also have this perception that if you genuinely love someone, you will want to be involved without needing to be told. When we got married, it took me a couple of years to feel that it was alright to ask for help. Eventually, I felt comfortable enough to get him to help me more. Soon I realise that being open to receiving assistance is a powerful tool in marriage. It allows him to be a part of this journey by allowing him to carry his role as my protector. This, in return, makes him feel less powerless, knowing he can do something to take away some of my pain.
Not everyone possesses the ability to be the initiator. Some people want to help but don’t know how to render help. So, telling your loved ones what to do, and asking for their assistance, could bridge this communication gap. Through this approach, eventually, I could see improvements in my mental & emotional health because I am less susceptible to extremely bad burnout than I usually would compare to before I learned to ask for help. At the same time, my husband respects my independence. Over time, he learned to read the room. He knows the tell-tale signs when he needs to step in. And to make it easier, I will be clear about it. When I said I was in pain, it would follow with other details. For example, I would tell him the measures I have taken to help manage the pain and if I require A&E assistance in a couple of hours. So, there’s a goal and a monitoring period usually.
Video credits go to the fantastic team of The Visible Collective. They provide a great support system and webinars addressing chronic diseases and management topics. Do check them out and give your support! To the team, thank you once again for the opportunity. Please keep it going, guys!
Namira Binte Mohamad Marsudi
E for Endometriosis