September 28, 2020 at 10:15 am #15661Jenny LivingstonKeymaster
When I was young (and arguably, rather dumb) CF had little impact on my dating life. I was quite healthy, had never experienced major health issues, and could easily “hide” my disease if I wished. I dated a bit throughout high school and got married when I was very young (19 years old). He knew that I had CF, but at that time, even I was unaware of how much it could and would affect our lives.
About a decade later, I found myself divorced, going back to school, managing my health (which had become much more precarious and a full-time job in itself) and raising a child on my own. Entering the dating world seemed more daunting than exciting at the time. I could no longer hide the fact that I was battling CF, nor did I want to. I’d reached a point where I was completely comfortable discussing the many aspects of this disease. My ex-husband struggled to deal with the challenges we faced because of my health. I needed to know that a potential partner was aware of how much CF could impact our lives and that we’d be able to work through those trials together.
When I joined a dating app, more than once I was ghosted as soon as I mentioned CF. When I met my current partner, I was very upfront about having CF. In fact, I was fairly certain that I had overshared on our first date and that he’d never want to talk to me again. Instead, he took it upon himself to research and learn all that he could about CF. It wasn’t long before he asked if he could attend a clinic appointment with me. Four years later, we’re still together and he is my biggest supporter. It turns out, the right person for you won’t shy away because of something like CF! But I understand that it can still be scary to open up about it.
I know that some people choose not to disclose information about CF right away. Others want to share that information immediately. There are many valid reasons for either approach. When did/do you talk about CF in a new relationship? Has a relationship ever changed when you mention CF? Do you think there is a “right moment” to talk about CF with a potential partner?
October 2, 2020 at 10:37 am #15671Paul met DebbieParticipant
Perhaps the best thing is not to focus on talking too much as a means of conveying information. Words can only convey little and confuse much. Just be as you are and do what you do. Sharing time together while dating (give it time and don’t rush into a relationship) will inevitably disclose your health routines and give rise to questions about that from your date. Tell what is appropriate to the questions that arise naturally. Don’t make it bigger than it is. Let him or her form his or hers own opinion about the situation. Your picture of it is not necessarily better.
Always stay in the present moment. Don’t let yourself or your date phantasize about future problems or situations. You are no fortune teller. You don’t know anything about how your (or his/hers) health is going to develop or who will outlive whom. Don’t even try to adapt expectations for that. Nor can you predict with any degree of certainty if and for how long your partner will feel good about a shared future. Or you for that matter. Health is just one of the factors involved in that and not the most important one.
Don’t hide anything important, nor over-emphasize it. If you put too much emphasis on your (bad) health, you might attract a partner who is attracted to you because of that in some way, perhaps unconsciously. For instance he or she might have notions of being the noble helper, one that is coming to your rescue (but only for a certain time). This will create unhealthy dynamics that in the long run won’t work. Or you might scare him or her away unnecessarily.
Don’t ever underestimate yourself, don’t think or feel inferior to your potential partner in any way because of your health and don’t compromise for that. It is far better to be single than to be in an unequal relationship. If you have feelings of being inferior, work on that first before entering a relationship.
I think health, good or bad, needs not play a major role in the quality of a relationship. If a relationship seems to get into trouble because of health problems, mostly there are other far more important issues that were not adressed, possible they were already present from the start.
October 6, 2020 at 10:34 pm #15694Tim BlowfieldParticipant
As a person who does not have CF but who married a girl who does have CF but did not know it. Indeed did not know it for almost 40 years though suspected it for the last 10. Not sure how I would have reacted had we known. But since we have known (she was diagnosed in 2009) our determination is to stay and support each other continues. There were times during our marriage when it was very difficult but I did promise to love and support her ‘for better or for worse’. That determination does bring rewards and while we need to be open and frank we do need to be determined. We have sought counselling at times – some of it good some less so and our Christian faith and understanding has been important.
I love Tevye when he asked his wife Goldie ‘Do you love me?.’ She answered with a list of thing she does for him but he asked again. Finally he concluded ‘I suppose you do!’.
The eternal questions ‘What is love?’ and ‘Do you love me?” are alive and well. The answers impact profoundly on any relationship. A determination to serve one’s partner come what may is at the heart of a good relationship.
Go for it!
October 7, 2020 at 10:12 am #15699Jenny LivingstonKeymaster
@jpaul I concur that if health is a “problem” in a relationship, it’s more likely a symptom of the real problem. In my previous marriage, my partner’s struggles with my health were indicative of much deeper issues in the relationship. You’re also completely right when you talk about feelings of inferiority. For too long, I tolerated behavior I shouldn’t have because I believed I was a burden and that I owed him something for being there. I’ve since worked on that self-stigma and perception of being a burden, which has paved the way to much healthier relationships.
@timb this is a beautiful perspective. Thank you for sharing!
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.