Why Do We Put Up With It?
Very simple. When you have lupus, many times you are convinced no one is going to want to put up with you, especially if you have had issues in the past with intimacy and lupus, or even having a partner leave you for it.
My first boyfriend and first love actually did leave me because of my lupus (and found another chick to hang out with like a week later), which crushed not only my self-esteem, but affected my ability to believe that anyone would want to date me in spite of my lupus. Because he dumped me so out of the blue (although clearly he had been thinking about it for a while, he just hadn’t let me in on the conversation), I put a huge shield up, both expecting to be dumped at any moment in subsequent relationships and fully expecting each relationship to be my last.
I would, I reasoned, never find anyone else who would put up with my lupus shenanigans if I didn’t stick with the person I had at the moment.
This meant putting up with a whole heap of questionable behavior, ranging from simple incompatibility to total jerk moves. But, I reasoned, this was the only person who would want to be with me and would actually put up with all of my personality quirks and the fact that I have lupus.
I told myself that I had to hang on, while also fully expecting to get dumped at any moment.
I did get dumped two and a half more times after my first boyfriend peaced out due to my lupus. I say half because one was mutual, as in I was starting to think about breaking up with him when he showed up at my apartment with my stuff.
And aside from the half, neither of those other two were about lupus and I believe they would have occurred no matter what. To be frank, I probably should have made my exit in those relationships, I was just too scared that I would be alone forever if I did so.
Lupus Doesn't Make You Unlovable
I don’t think my feelings are all that uncommon really. I’ve talked to many women who stay with men who are either terrible or just very mismatched to them simply because the guy is “sweet” about them having lupus.
Or in the worst case scenarios, I have met people who stay with men simply because it enables them to have health insurance. Without these men, they wouldn’t be able to afford the medicine they need to keep their lupus under control. And that, in itself, is 10 shades of screwed up.
We need to start being honest with ourselves and why we are with the people we are with in the first place. Is it because we are scared to be alone, or scared of starting a new relationship, or is it because we genuinely love and are being fulfilled by the person we are with?
It took me a really long time to realize that someone who wasn't a total skeeze could love me, even with my lupus. It is something I wish I had learned a long time ago.
In fact, at the time I would have told any other person in my shoes that they could be loved in spite of their lupus — I just didn’t believe it for myself.
The thing with lupus is that plenty of people living with it have fulfilling and happy romantic relationships. If you are worried it will dictate your relationships, then it likely will.
But, if you focus on finding someone you really click with, ultimately they will love you despite it. And they’ll not only put up with lupus but support you through it.
It isn’t an easy mindset to get to and it may take some time and maybe even some counseling, but it is worth it. And you’re worth it.