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How do you tell a man you have IC?

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  • addie
    replied
    It depends

    I've had painful intercourse and frequent urination for just about my entire dating life, so I've had quite a bit of experience (it took a long time to find my fabulous partner!).

    I think for me it was different with each person. Partly it's about how I was feeling about my health problems at the time, or how I was feeling about the person. With some guys, I made some general comments about "health problems" early on in dating, possibly adding that I have to go to the bathroom frequently, and then brought up the sexual issues a little later, when we were closer to that being relevant. With my current partner, I did this and then talked about sex after we'd already done it once. Sex for the first time can be awkward, and I thought it would be more relaxing without him worrying about hurting me. At the time, intercourse was only a little painful, so it wasn't that big a deal. Then I talked about it at dinner on our next date. I matter of factly explained all of my health problems, and how they impact my sex life. I told him what I need from him: to be a bit gentle, have a sense of humor, be prepared to stop if I need too, and be willing to try different positions. It worked out really well.

    With other guys, and when intercourse has been more painful, I've talked about it before having sex, and it was reassuring to know that the guy was ok with everything. I find it helpful to explain how it will effect the guy, and what I expect/need from him. Including the fact that I may need to stop having intercourse sometimes, and that sometimes when that happens I'll feel like doing other sexual things, and that sometimes I'll just want to stop everything because the mood is broken for me. I've never dated a guy who had a problem with it, everyone has been willing to "work around it".

    Best of luck!

    Leave a comment:


  • LKL
    replied
    I am an optimist. I haven't always been...but God has opened my eyes to several truths...One is:

    I am not broken...at least not physically. I used to think that no man would love me when I had so many problems, physical scars, and wasn't 'normal.' Truth was, what was really broken was my heart, my self-esteem, my spirit. I cried out to God time and time again that I wanted to be 'normal.'

    Now I look back, and think, there was a lot of good that has come out of being 'different.' I think I am a kinder, more considerate person, with empathy, and a heart for those in pain. I understand the depth of emotional and physical pain. And even though I feared I would be alone for the rest of my life, and no one would love me the way I was/am.

    Let me tell you a little story:

    When I was in high school, I was extremely shy around boys. Couldn't talk to them, unless they were 'not my type' or 'taken' My friend, Kenzi, brought this guy to a Halloween party with her. He was dressed like a football player, and OH MY....SOOOOO CUTE!!!!!....She was a dear friend, and asked me to play hostess. We were nice to each other...but that was that. I was 16.

    A year later, he came to prom with another friend (he was from a different school) She ditched him, and through a crazy sequence of events, I was 'solo' myself. He and I ended up talking, dancing and flirting ALL NIGHT. In fact, we were so into each other, those two girl friends didn't talk to me for the next month of school. We never exchanged numbers and I felt like an idiot (in hindsight) for throwing myself at this guy.

    Several years later (and a rotten fiancee) I was going to school, and this girl told a personal story in class. I thought, I have to meet her. I want to be her friend. We went to lunch that day. While there, she gets this strange look on her face. She starts telling me about her brother, who is also in the counseling program, and that he wants to be a pastor...and how she has never felt anyone was good enough for her brother, but....she felt we would really hit it off. I was flustered, and intrigued...But I had been dating someone for about a year...Still, I had to ask one question. 'What is his name?' When she told me, you could have knocked me over with a feather. It was that boy...the cute boy that I had such a crush on in high school. I blushed. Stammered. and felt a fool...thinking that I had thrown myself at him. Still, something had happened in my heart.

    I went home that day, and broke up with the guy I was seeing. And although I had no hope that anything would happen, I knew 'butterflies'. Although I didn't know it at the time, my friend had gone to her home, and told her brother that she had 'met his future wife.' Little did we know that she was right.

    That was around Oct 1. Our first date was Oct 14. Our engagment was Jan 14, and marriage May 28. He was/is my miracle, and the man that loves me wholly, as I am. And I know that he is the ONE for me. Handpicked.

    Here is why:

    I had seen him over and over and been attracted the whole time. I only went out with my ex because he 'acted' like my husband actually is. I asked God for a tender-hearted, caring man, who loved his family deeply, and whose family would love me deeply...before we dated. ---His mother told me (1 week before we dated) that she thought I was the one for her son. And, we both had moved away, and ended up coming back to our hometown (even though neither of us had a desire to) And come to find out, my hubby said that even through the 8 years that we were apart, that he remembered me better than the girls he actually hung out with, and was constantly seeing girls that 'reminded him of me.' Plus, I was the most second-guessing person in the world...And I met him again, and knew...

    Ladies, I say all of this to say that some man is out there, who will appreciate who you are, because they will be the right person for you. It is easy to 'think' you know...but as I got to know my husband, and saw his character, how he treated others, his respect for God, and his kindness...No doubt about it.

    I say ALLL of this, because I remember how it hurt to want to share your life with a person that would love you...and believe he would never come. That was me for about 10 years. It is possible. There are extraordinary people out there...(and in here) that have that same desire, and won't let 'shallowness' get in their way. And, as I have learned, sometimes you have to be in a wrong relationship to recognize the right one.

    Don't give up!

    LKL

    Leave a comment:


  • Angeles
    replied
    confidence

    I liked the way carolyn Julia presented "how to tell about IC". Good for you! you transmit confidence and that's a PLUS!
    I guess that if you present things wiht confidence in yourself you have chances to change the outcome to the best. I totally agree that if a man will run away becuase of IC, then it wasn't worth it to begin with. And these are the man who will fall apart or not be able to endure difficulties in life. IC is not the only thing that can go wrong in a relationship.
    I also agree that, if you are a little shy and prefer a man to get to know you first and then disclose your illness that's OK too.

    Don't let IC make you feel lessworthy as a person, you are stronger than probbably most of the average people out there. We deal with things that make us stroger even if we don't realize it yet...
    I wish you the best.

    Leave a comment:


  • sweetangel2080
    replied
    carolinejulia,
    glad you could talk openly about it

    Since my IC has got worse, have become more open about my health and able to tell people, but it is still a 'womens problem' as far as guys and most people are concerned so it depends on how comfortable you are with it.

    I am also hesitant about bringing up that I have IC - before I did what miss sunshine did, limit fluid intake and take a pyridium etc for small flareups then and later got better so it wasn't so obvious unless drinking fluids and I always joked about having a small bladder.
    But nowadays, have severe IC but want to start dating again - I think the IC thing is something that I can be open about - it is the other stuff about IC that I am scared about telling guys - esp the problems with sex... it would probably scare anyone off I think.

    It is tough dealing with an illness and pain and being off work for nearly a year - feel like a total shadow of my former workaholic, active, sociable self - since being ill colleagues all busy, friends moved on as I don't go out, drink etc now.

    Well right now, have met someone who seems really nice - is just scary a- telling him I'm not working now b - am dealing with an illness and c - him reading up about IC and sex and running miles....

    Leave a comment:


  • NicoleB
    replied
    oh cat, i totally understand. i feel traumatized by ruined relationships because i seemed too "needy" during sex...in other words, its hard for me to get aroused when i expect pain. so a guy cant try to jump in too soon if you know what i mean. i hope to one day find a man who isnt selfish and only things about himself. it IS possible for me to have sex...but it takes a lot of work. i hope to find a guy who is ok wiht that!!!

    Leave a comment:


  • med_head_09
    replied
    hiding it is not an option for me...i pee like 40+ times a day...it sucks! but i also was friends with the person i am dating and have been dating for over four years before we started dating so they already knew. i always get nervous about telling people and it never ends up being that big of a deal. good luck to finding that someone...i totally agree that if they are not nice about it when you do tell them, then it is totally not the right person for you. i have had people be rude to me, and i just brush it off and ignore those people.

    Leave a comment:


  • miz_sunshine87
    replied
    CarolineJulia,

    I'm so happy for you!

    I've rethought my response, and I agree with you. What is the big secret afterall? I'm not at all uncomfortable telling my female friends about my bladder problems, but I choke up around men (I told one close male friend and that was hard enough). At this point my frequency is up, so it might not be an option even to hide it for me. Going to the bathroom every half hour is kind of a noticeable thing!

    No more secrets, no more trying to "hold it" to avoid talking about my IC. I won't do it anymore, it hurts too much.

    Leave a comment:


  • CarolineJulia
    replied
    i did it!!!

    I just wanted to add to my post that I WENT on a lunch date recently and right there on the first date, I told this guy about my i.c!!!

    It came up because were were at a restaurant and he was mentioning that he had some dietary restrictions (no cheese)... so I said, I do too. And he asked what and I told him, and he asked if I had always been "allergic" to those things and then I explained that no, it wasn't allergies it was a condition I had. He asked what it was but said "you don't need to tell me if you don't feel comfortable" and I was like "Nope, I don't mind. BOth my parents are doctors and I'm quite comfortable talking about stuff like that" and then I explained to him about my i.c (in a brief, light-hearted way). And we even sort of joked about sexy it was to explain it (holes in my bladder! sooooo hot!!) and then we changed the subject and talked about something else.

    Well.. just to give you a vote of confidence, this guy has been calling me non-stop to hang out since then. So that just goes to show that if you approach the situation properly and the guy is a good guy, it can be totally fine talking about i.c. (EVEN on the first date!)

    Love and light,

    Caroline.

    Leave a comment:


  • CarolineJulia
    replied
    I agree with most of you that you probably don't need to bring up i.c. on the FIRST date, but I think if you really start to like somebody, and you find yourself engaging in pretty depthful, open conversation with them, then you should be upfront about your condition if you want to be. Personally, I agree with the person who said that if the guy ditches you after that, he probably wasn't the right guy to begin with. None of us asked for i.c. And while I dont think we need to advertise it at every chance we get, it's nothing to be ashamed of or something you should feel you have to hide. You aren't IC; it's a condition you have.

    In my case, I've been pretty up front (in a matter of fact, non-emotional way) about my i.c. with guys I've started dating (at the earliest and most appropriate time) and most of them have taken it pretty well. The ones who say "It's okay, you don't need to tell me about it..." are the ones that aren't worth your time. Because quite frankly, you need somebody who will hear about it, who wants to learn about it, and who wants to make your life as pleasant as possible in spite of it! It's not exactly easy telling somebody that... and just like most of us wish we didn't have to suffer with this darn thing, we also wish that we didn't have to apologize for it, or have to "explain" it in the first place. BUt ultimately, I think you will feel relieved if you do... (when you're ready).

    As for sex... there are many different things you can do that don't involve intercourse (if that's painful for you). Personally, I think being upfront (as soon as you feel comfortable doing so) is fair to the person... because some guys are jerks and those ones may want a girl who can have sex for 8 hours a day in 20 different positions. For me, that's just not a reality (OUCH!) I need to date a man who's open enough to explore other ways of being intimate, etc. So I would probably bring this up as things were starting to get hot and heavy. I would just say "Look, this is kind of hard for me to talk about, and I don't want to freak you out, but this is my situation and these are the things that I can and can't do." I would try to make it sound as NOT scary as possible and just be upfront about your boundaries. And focus on the positives instead of going off about the negatives and the "can'ts".

    So I guess what I'm saying is, if you really think the guy is a sweetheart... then be honest about your i.c. Don't feel like you have to hide it. It's not a dirty little secret... it's a condition that you deal with. And while it doesn't define you, it is a part of your life. IF somebody is going to be in your life, then it's going to be a part of their life too!

    Good luck and DON'T worry. There are amazing men out there.... and I'm sure you are will find somebody! All the women on hear who have amazing husbands always inspire me...

    Love and light,

    Caroline.

    Leave a comment:


  • lnseagraves
    replied
    Hey, although I am married, and I was diagnosed with IC WHILE I was dating my hubby, I think I can weigh in to this as I was a dating woman only a little bit ago and I definitely HAD the disease before I was diagnosed.

    IC is definitely too much info. on first date. When I was dating, I actually turned my weak bladder into a bit of a joke. Toilet humor is very frequently the best kind of humor for men anyway in my experience, and a "small bladder" can have its moments if you can laugh at yourself. As for the pain, I grouped that under the blanket statements of "I have a bladder condition." or "I do have pelvic pain" or whatever.

    As for alcohol, do you get migraines in addition to IC? I always did, and men know what those are without having to ask. Alcohol brings on migraines as well as IC flareups frequently, so just say you can't drink because it can give you a migraine. Thats not a lie, and you dont have to go into the IC. If you don't get migraines, just say alcohol, like caffeine makes you pee a lot. Again, I would have joked about it and my small bladder....

    Regarding sex, I was a wait until... person myself. But even if youre not, sex is an intimate experience anyway and if youre at that stage with someone, youre finally at LEAST at the stage to mention your condition. I would definitely say you LIKE sex, that you WANT sex with that man, and that its not anything to do with them. I would then go through all the sex advice you can find on this website. Many men like "experimentation" anyway, and if you can spin it into some kind of experimentation sexual experience I think you might find that you are both satisfied. Thats how my hubby and I began our sex life and I had IC.

    Leave a comment:


  • IWin
    replied
    Hi Cat,

    As far as sex difficulties, I guess a lot depends on what kind of difficulty you have. I don't have usually have pain with sex, but I do have extreme urgency. The only time it actually hurts is when my bladder is "bumped".

    I didn't say anything before we did anything.....I just let things happen. Later, when we talked, I told him sometimes I feel like I have to pee real bad during sex, and he was fine with it. He's the one that asked me if anything hurt.

    As with disclosing the IC too soon, I felt like if I said anything about sex before anything happened, he might get scared. Scared of hurting me, scared that I was getting too involved too soon, or maybe scared of other things. There are things we need to be open about, but why put the horse before the cart?

    If you're comfortable enough with someone to be having sex, then just relax. You'll feel when it's right.

    Even the most compassionate, understanding man could get nervous if he hears too much too soon. As he gets to know YOU, then he will care about YOU. IC is just something you have. My boyfriend and I laugh when the IC causes problems.....it's so much more fun than getting upset. I truly believe he's comfortable with it because I try to be matter of fact about it.

    I think most men will be caring and compassionate. But we must remember they are from Mars and cannot handle too much information at once.

    I

    Leave a comment:


  • cat1203
    replied
    One step further...

    How do you broach the sex difficulties with I.C. Do you wait until when it "seems" like it might happen? Or.. do you bring it up before it even gets to that point.
    thanks.

    Leave a comment:


  • leelee88
    replied
    Hey Cat,

    Thats a very good question..

    I think I would wait to say anything.. You should wait until you go out for a little while before you get to personal..Just go out on dates and test the water..

    But when you do come across someone you like and they seem interseted, then I would mention about having IC..If they run, then that was not the right person for you in the first place..

    There are a lot of wonderful men out there and I am sure you will meet someone who understands you and what you have to deal with on an every day basis..Just always remember if something is meant to be it will be.. ..Good luck!

    ps. I met my hubby online!

    Leave a comment:


  • miz_sunshine87
    replied
    I agree with the other posters. Trust me, I know it is hard to not tell them about your IC. I find myself biting my lip just to keep it in myself! Luckily I can get away with them not finding out so far, as my frequency isn't all that bad. Still, if I plan on going out on a date, I try to go on a non-liquid fast. Basically I limit fluid intake for the day. I know its an awful idea in the long run, but it works in a pinch.

    It might seem sneaky, but really think about it from their point of view. I know I've dated some guys that let a few peculiar things slip on the first date. I'm a very open minded person but hearing about mental disorders and unusual fetishes should generally be reserved until after you actually like the other person. Unfortunately IC is something that we can not in many cases get rid of, but it falls into this category of "do not say on first date" things.

    Leave a comment:


  • IWin
    replied
    Hi Cat,

    I'm newly single and just started dating again. I never said anything at first. Sure I peed often, but he really didn't notice until one day when it was real frequent. He didn't say anything, but looked concerned, so I just matter of factly said I have to pee a lot.

    As for being out and about, I'd just mention that you're concerned about finding a bathroom, and I'm sure you'll be able to "go" when you need to. If he knows you need to pee often, he should be understanding, whatever the cause. As far as drinking, all you have to say is you don't drink.

    One day when we were just hanging out, and I had to go to the bathroom, when I came back I casually mentioned that I have IC, and in about 3 sentences told him what it is. He's actually the one who's brought it up several times, concerned that he may be hurting me or that I have to pee and am not saying anything.

    It's taken me many, many years to become comfortable with IC. I lived with it for a long time before getting diagnosed and was always embarrassed by it. It's not something a guy has to know on a first date, any more than he needs to know if you color your hair. And if he's worth anything, he will be understanding with your need to go to the bathroom as well as your need to take it easy some days.

    The more "easy" you are about your IC, the easier it will be for someone else to understand.

    Leave a comment:

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