living, supporting and offering understanding for someone with chrons

by Polly Cleary


My partner is 27 and has Chrons disease, he had an operation last year to remove part of his bowel that had ulcers on but recently we have found out that the ulcers have come back in the same place.

For the last 3 weeks my partner has become increasingly angry with everything around him, including me. Our relationship is a healthy one, with frienship, laughter, good sex and lots of love buut lately he seems so angry and it feels like i am getting the blame for it as he verbally tears apart our relationship and everything that i believe we have.

We have been here before (been together for over 3 years) and each time he apologiges and retracts what he has said but its weighing heavy in my heart now and i need to know if there is anyone out there with chrons are living with someone with chrons who can relate to this? And if so, if they have any advice for me.

Thanks - polly, desperately trying to understand

Comments for living, supporting and offering understanding for someone with chrons

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Thank you NEW
by: Anonymous

Thank you all so much foryour advice. With patience and understanding from me our relationship is flourishing. He has finally started to take care of himself by eating right and going to the gym which boosts his appetite. The road is still rocky but the birth of our beautiful son kenny jnr seems to have kicked him into gear. We take his symptoms one day at a time and his anger about having this disease is subsiding. Thank you again for taking the time to respond to my post. It has helped our family more than I am express

Living, supporting and offering understanding NEW
by: Annette Young

Hello Polly,

Thank you for writing in. I am so sorry to hear that your partner has Crohn's disease and is struggling to cope with it. Crohn's is a horrible and often aggressive disease that can change people's lives completely but many people do forget about those living with the condition or should I say alongside the condition. I can tell you want to understand and support but that you are getting your head bitten off as a result.

It's a frustrating time for you both because he will feel inwardly very angry and frustrated that his operation was unsuccessful and is probably angry that he has the disease in the first instance. This is very natural but a difficult emotion to cope with. I am so glad that your relationship is quite healthy one. If you have solid foundations, then you can cope with this, it is just understanding how to go about it that counts.

It is possible that counselling could help you both. It gives you both the opportunity to be able to speak out with a professional and for them to guide you through the process. This isn't by way of failure, just so that you two can communicate. It is more about providing a safe outlet for you to be able to clear the air and for him to be able to rant about the condition to someone other than you. The problem is, that you are the closest person to him, and we always take out our frustrations on those closest to us.

It's not right of course but it happens. I can remember my own mother suffering terribly with the disease and being irritable and frustrated and very emotional. It was nothing to come home from school to find her in floods of tears and desperately depressed and as the weeks turned into months turned into years, I have to admit I wasn't sure how to cope with it any more. Fortunately and sometimes without reason Crohn's disease can suddenly go into remission and life can take on some sort of normality again.

For some people, remission can last a long time even years so fingers crossed this happens for your partner.

Try to stay resolute and to realise that you are his rock. I hope this helps?


again :) NEW
by: Kit

I get that everyone out there has their understanding. However, if you only allow yourselves to 'know' what you know now and not open your mind to anything else, then that's exactly where you will stay. Where you are.
In my understanding, I would beg you all to please see that it is how you react to life (how you were taught to react that is) is how you are.
If you have anger and frustration about your 'disease', let me assure you, you knew what anger and frustration was beforehand. It's an emotion, pure and simple. It's a REACTION to something or someone or words spoken that you do not like!
Thinking that Crohns disease, or any irritation of the bowel is the cause for your anger, I believe, is incorrect. The thinking comes first. The physical reaction to that thinking comes second.
All I would say is just try it!!!
If I could be bleeding from the bowel, not lightly, and by changing the way that I think, fundamentally, the bleeding all stops?! Completely?!! And this is now 12 years ago?!
Surely, this is something to investigate?!
Watch your mind. Watch how you feel. Remove the need to be reactive. You lose energy that way. Accept everything and THEN act. your results will be much more powerful.
Depression? This is measured by the speed with which information moves from one motor-neuron to another. It is a result of many stimuli or lack thereof. Anger does not 'cause' depression, in my understanding.
Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change. Without a doubt.
I am the 'Talking Pig'! How many of us do you need to meet before you realize the problem is within your mind not without. Therefore, just relying on the 'answers' from without, may not solve the actual cause!! The mind!
I really hope you work this all out for yourselves, whichever way you choose :)
As your third comment made, talking about 'God',if religion is useful to you, the bible clearly states, God is not 'without'. God is 'within' :) So look within yourselves to find the solutions :)
With love

living, supporting and offering understanding for someone with chrons NEW
by: Lydia D.

Anger (Rage) can be due to depression. However, rage (mood swings) can also be a side-effect of medication In Crohn's depression may also arise as a result of vitamin and mineral deficiencies

For example, low blood iron levels will cause low oxygen saturation, which can cause depression. low calcium leves cause depression. Vitamin B deficiency will cause neuronal changes and can cause depression amongst many other things. I think that it would be worth him discussing taking a fish oil capsule (caveat can cause blockages if disease located in small intestine) and a vitamin B-complex with his doctors.

There is a good paper entitled "The Mourning Process in Chronic Illness" - Google it. Rage can be part of the mourning process. Losing one's health results in a mourning process and rage can arise in this process. I think that it is part of the denial process.

Anyway, your husband needs to be made aware of what effect he is having on his environment. It is likely that he is aware of this at a certain level, but is enable to control his rage. He should be encouraged to talk to somebody. However, I would also encourage him to look at his diet carefully and check that he is receiving adequate daily amounts of the necessary vitamins and minerals. Depending where his disease is localised, he may not be able to take up certain vitamins and, if this is indeed the case, he will need injections or infusions. I refer you to the first diagram here:

thank you
by: Anonymous

thank you to both of you for your comments and advice it has been really helpful to know that these mood swings are part of the disease. I can handle it knowing that. The doctors have started my partner on some medication and then they are going to run tests to see if his body is compatible with some kind of immune suppressing drug treatment and he is starting to get weekly blood tests ( i dont sound like i know much because he does not tell me much) but i am in it for the long haul, i love him - thank you again

Anger v Crohns
by: Kit

Hi Polly,
My commiserations for your current situation, it must be tough, not only seeing the one you love suffer, but also hear the anger come from him, as a result of his suffering.
The only thing missing here is acceptance :)
As you get angry, blood fills the area of the stomach and the gut (fight or flight preparation) giving the white blood cells more opportunity to eat away at healthy tissue.
Accepting the 'what is' in each moment, for both of you, will give you clarity to act.
Again, non-acceptance in the moment, will cause reaction, which will cause more suffering on both the physical and emotional levels.
Breathing and remaining in the spaces between the pain he suffers, that's what he needs to concentrate on. When pain comes, accept it. It too will pass.
When his angry words come, accept them. They too will pass :)
They are nothing more than his non-acceptance to his situation. It is not personal to you and he is not his 'true' self. Within is still the loving being that you love :)
With yourself, acceptance also needs to be practiced. If your energy is calm and non-reactive, the game of reaction cannot be continued, even if he wants to start it. Do not pick up the racket :) Without the second racket, the game cannot commence.
Yes, counseling could help. So could helping yourself by reading books to teach you how to think in a different way. Seek out Eckhart Tolle 'A New Earth', Ram Dass 'Be Here Now' or 'Still Here', Byron Katies program (see her segments on youtube), Wayne Dyer 'Power of Intention. Find one that 'sits' well with you and like a professional tennis player, practice it every day :)
Your mind is both your friend and your foe.
The way the mind 'thinks' affects the body on a cellular level. "As you think, so shall you be". WS
So observe your mind. Choose to accept each moment, to drop the negative thought and replace it with a positive thought or action.
You have the power of choice. You are more than you know :)
I suffered with the 'ownership' of Crohns for 40 years, then I dropped it :)
Had operations and much medication to 'deal' with the symtoms.
Now I walk in my own shoes, free from the identity of owning a disease :)
I am presently locking myself away to write my book 'The Irritable Brain Syndrome', so that I can pass on my experience to others more widely.
This is now being advertised as a global problem, one which the medical and pharmaceutical companies are rubbing their hands together with glee, with the thoughts of how much money they are going to make, sorting out the symptoms of sufferers.
What they aren't going to work on, is finding out what causes the suffering :)
The answer is simple, but not always easy :)
All the best

Lashing out
by: Rich / California

I am 47 and my wife is 45. We've been married for 28 yrs. She has Crohn's for 25 yrs. I totally sypothize w/ you. Emotions are all over the place, almost all the time. I still don't understand it all and struggle everyday to cope. For a long time I blamed her for being sick, I didn't realize it at the time, but do now. We had alot of plans that didn't happen, our kids suffered for it, it's just a mess and it sucks!!
It's not fair that she is sick and I have to deal with it. Sometimes I just want to run away. Life is a total roller coaster and depression can set it for both of you. You don't undertand this and neither does he. He feels jipped, and cheated out of a normal healthy life too. If he is on medication, especially 'prednisone', his mood and temper will be horrible, he'll gain weight, not be happy with the way he looks and be miserable. I think I've painted a pretty horrible picture for you, even though you are experinceing the same things. You have some decisions to make and realize that you can't do this on your own. you need Gods help, everyday!! Not just when things are going bad. I try to practice what I preach, but not always are successful at it. try to help him make good choices for the way he lives. No smoking, drugs, etc. He needs to do everything he can to stay healthy, the right foods, regularly exercise etc. Even with all these things it may not be perfect, but you both can do your best and try not to treat him like it's his fault that he's sick either. Counseling would probably be good to help you 2 sort out your feelings and maybe help him control his lashing out at you. You see, when he's feeling bad, nothing is good and nothing can be right because he can't do anything about anything and he feels helpless and useless. If you plan to be together for a long time and really love each other, then hang in there. I did and I can't imagine my life with out her. The feelings you both have are normal, and how you react to them is up to you. Please try to get counseling, i really think it will help you 2 sort these feelings out. In the meantime I will pray for you and maybe you can do the same for me. Names aren't necessary, God knows who we are.
May God bless both of you. Be thankful for the good days and for the bad as well, you still have each other. Pray for each other too. It sounds like we all need it, lol!!
PLease let me know through this post how you are doing and if you have other questions, I'll do my best to help.
Rich / California

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