Lupus and Love: Learning You're Loveable Despite Lupus
Maintaining long-lasting relationships is difficult. Like, really difficult — even without lupus.
It is something we aren’t told as children; when we watch our Disney fairy tales, they all end with a “happily ever after,” and so we all expect that, even if we don’t admit to it.
Of course, “happily ever after” doesn’t exist for anyone, people without lupus included. Lupus is just one more thing that can make a relationship more difficult. And some people are either so afraid of being alone or never finding someone again, that they cling to their deluded sense of “happily ever after,” even if it isn’t all that it is cracked up to be. And I’m totally not immune.
I’m well aware that relationships are not all a bed of roses and take a fair amount of work. But with most things, the good should outweigh the bad; otherwise what is the point of being with the person?
However, I have noticed within the disability community (and with lupus specifically), that many people stick with partners that make them dreadfully unhappy, simply because of their lupus.
Let me explain. When you have lupus, sometimes your self-esteem can really take a nose-dive. And I’m totally there with you. I have nights when I’m in so much pain that I’m crying and I wonder why the hell my boyfriend wants to put up with this.
I convince myself I’m not worth it, that no one should have to endure this and that I’m a huge burden to the people around me. But in the end, the people around me stick around not because I’m a burden, but because they love me despite having lupus.
But lupus can really mess with your brain when it comes to relationships.
I’ve had friends complain to me on an almost daily basis about seriously screwed up things their boyfriends have done to them, like calling them names or talking dirty to other women; or just run-of-the-mill compatibility things, like abstaining from sex when their girlfriend wants to engage in it, or drinking to excess when they know it annoys her.
Heck, I’ve allowed some behavior in boyfriends that would cause some serious side-eye from me now. I even once (and never again!) let a guy who already had a serious girlfriend pursue me and try to develop a relationship with me.
I made all sorts of excuses for him, until he totally screwed me over in the end (he had been basically “dating” three women at once and making them each think they were exclusive — which I have to admit is kind of a remarkable, albeit totally gross, feat).
Why Do We Put Up With It?
So why do these women allow this kind of behavior or stick with people who don’t fulfil them on some fundamental level? Why did I make excuses for Idiot McIdiotson?