Nervously debating whether to tell S/O about extent of issues with IBS

inconsurferdude

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I've been padded (with increasing absorbency) since my partner and I met, and we've lived together for years. She's known for awhile now that I "sometimes" mess as well, but because of differences in our schedules (and because we don't really talk about my incontinence unless there's a good shared reason to) she has no idea how often and to what extent it happens. It's pretty normal for me to have a full bowel movement right after waking up -- sometimes in the bathroom on the toilet, but more often in my overnight diaper while getting out of bed. My alarm goes off right as she's leaving for work during the week, and on the weekends she wakes up and starts her day about an hour before me -- so either way I've almost always been able to handle these messy morning accidents privately, without her knowing.

My bladder incontinence isn't a secret. Most of our friends (and all of our family) know that my drawstring backpack is a changing bag. Everyone knows what I'm doing when I excuse myself to the bathroom when we're together out in public. I'm discrete even at home, but I'm also not embarrassed if my fiance sees me in a diaper. I work out, and she's said before that she sometimes walks in on me changing just to see me shirtless, since I'm usually in a onesie. So making out in the bathroom while I'm only wearing a diaper isn't uncommon.

Her attitude toward my incontinence has always been "so you're wet, who cares" -- but we're getting married in less than a year, and lately I've started to feel like I'm lying to her by not telling her how often I mess now. Like I said, she doesn't know that I'm usually changing out of a messy diaper in the morning. And even though she knows I wear plastic pants now "just in case" of "random" daytime accidents, I know that she has no idea just how often I'm in a (slightly) messy diaper while she kisses me. She doesn't know that I can't feel it when it happens, and that I don't always change right after. Money isn't an issue and she's told me since I was in pull-ups that I should buy what I need and not be embarrassed to change whenever I need to. I think that if I told her the truth, that I'm sometimes a little bit messy out of convenience, she would be disgusted with me.

The only time we had a real fight about my incontinence was when I had an (obvious) full bowel movement during a play in front of our friends. It was when I first started having issues with IBS, and it had never happened in public like that. She considered me not having told her that I had started messing myself as lying, and her initial reaction was that I was irresponsible for not being better prepared if I knew that might "sh*t" myself in front of our friends. Very different from giggling at my shyness about a full diaper and saying "you're wet, who cares" before going in for another kiss.

So I'm not sure what the line is between discretion and honesty. Remaining discrete isn't an issue for now, but if / when our morning schedules (inevitably) ever sync back up, she'll immediately know. It's also confusing because she's always said that my incontinence isn't a big deal as long as I handle it. And I've been handling it. I've been handling it so well that she doesn't know. Outside of this, we talk about everything. But it's just so embarrassing that even if I decided I was going to tell her before the wedding, I'm not sure how I would bring it up.
 
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hbic60

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I fully understand your concerns. I'm only bladder incontinent, and also for my wife this isn't an issue at all - she treats me in the same way as ever before my incontinence started, including cuddles an intimacy. Also in my opinion this kind of IC is easy to handle, nobody else can see it from outside or smell something and I'm really happy that I have nothing to do with IBS.

But - as I understand you right - you are not messing for fun or laziness but because it's a medical issue. I suggest simply to tell your wife the truth - that your IBS has gotten worse, that you can't do anything against it, that it has nothing to do with laziness and that you try to be as discreet as possible, not only for family or friends but also to her - and that you didn't clearly point out to her yet because of embarrassment. I'm sure she will understand. Explain to her, it's medical and nothing else! Talk also truly about your feelings with those issues and how thankful you are for her great acceptance yet!

I know that "talk" about such things isn't easy and we also don't bring up my incontinence unless it isn't for a common reason but I think your increasing IBS is a shared reason which also effects her in a certain way...
 
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CheshireCat

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You should be consulting with a gastroenterologist. Make an appointment. Let your fiancé know that you're having bowel issues, you've made an appointment with a gastroenterologist, and you would appreciate it if she would go to the appointment with her.

Your fiancé said your incontinence isn't a big deal as long as you handle it. Continue to handle it with the help of a gastroenterologist and her knowing that you're handling.
 
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slimjiminy

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inconsurferdude said:
So I'm not sure what the line is between discretion and honesty. Remaining discrete isn't an issue for now, but if / when our morning schedules (inevitably) ever sync back up, she'll immediately know. It's also confusing because she's always said that my incontinence isn't a big deal as long as I handle it. And I've been handling it. I've been handling it so well that she doesn't know. Outside of this, we talk about everything. But it's just so embarrassing that even if I decided I was going to tell her before the wedding, I'm not sure how I would bring it up.
I would sit down with her and talk about this. Talk about your wedding vows as a segue into why you think this is something that needs discussing.

The real question given your F-IC is whether she can handle the embarrassing public episodes that are likely to occur over the years. Explain how these are likely occur due to your "disability". This is a good time to revisit that conversation about "her initial reaction was that I was irresponsible for not being better prepared if I knew that might "sh*t" myself in front of our friends." CheshireCat's suggestion is also a good idea (get her involved in the medical tests/diagnosis). Either way, I think that conversation is critical for you both.

I know it is an uncomfortable thing to deal with. But consider the mental anguish of being separated from your kids should she decide that she doesn't want to deal with this down the road.
 

enigmatic

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It doesn't sound like your issue is the incontinence. It sounds like your issue is not being fully open about it. That's where she got upset with you. Bite the bullet and open up. She may be naturally hurt that you waited to open up but she sounds very understanding.
 

ORBaby

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You need to be fully open and honest with her. As CheshireCat said see a doctor and have her along as a full partner.
 

Zeke

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My suggestion is to get this ALL out in the open with her before you say “I do”. Having experienced the problems unrevealed secrets can cause in a marriage I strongly advise against not speaking to her about your IBS situation. You did nothing to cause you to develop this malady so there’s NOTHING that you should be ashamed of, or a cause for her to resent you other than keeping your condition secret from her. My hope is that you get this resolved and have a great marriage.
 
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Raven801

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My 2 cents simply from my own meandering experience.... I'm incontinent been battling with it for many many years the last 4 years ibs has been a big issue and it's getting worse very fast .... Yes I've seen a Dr .... Many of them in fact and truth is meds haven't worked for me but back to the point first and foremost be upfront about your problems if you can't be upfront and talk about it with her ...then why would you get married? If you can't communicate your doomed before you even start. Other advise I can give is simply if you want to bring it up and see her reaction to an accident well create a situation where an accident is very likely.
I was dating someone and was very open about my issues and she acted fine she claimed to be a very accepting loving person blah blah blah anyways it was a similar deal to yours she just happened to not be around in the morning and after dinner so she didn't really know the extent of things. I talked to her about it or at least I tried then one weekend she wanted to drive up the canyon to a fancy restaurant...I was not enthusiastic because 45 to 60 minutes of driving with very few places to stop after eating was a recipe for disaster for me. I tried to explain and she said point blank that I wore diapers what's the big deal? She was very accepting of my urinary incon So I said ok needless to say my concerns where well founded. We made it 20 minutes down the canyon when I was hit with massive cramps and burning gut pain and very large intense cramps... I was sweating focused on trying to make it to a bathroom...she looked at me and simply asked if I was ok... I quickly explained no I wasn't and added I knew this wasn't the best idea and began to apologize for what was probably going to happen very quickly. She looked at me flatly and made the remark that I should be able to hold it as it's not a big deal......I wanted to explode but I kept my calm and In that instant decided the next wave of cramps would be the last as I was just going to give up and let it happen because I wanted to see her reaction and I didn't want to keep cramping as the pain was building fast and I didn't really think I would be able to make it 15 more minutes.
Another wave of cramps hit and well it happened and there was no denying it as it was quite loud and gassy. That and the relief on my face said it all.. she stared in silence at me for a moment before losing her shit so to speak she started with the whole you didn't did you ? Followed up with the whole omg that's nasty.... Can we open some windows etc . All in all she wasn't very nice about it and the why didn't you just hold it was pissing me off.
Few weeks later she wanted to go back to that same restaurant And I said nope not doing that again and boy did that stir it up. I tried to explain what ibs was like over and over again she doesn't get it and well that was the beginning of the end with her TBH. She did several things that just made a future with her unappealing. Wana see how it will be in the future go out with her wearing a good diaper and eat something on Your no no list and have an accident see her reaction tell her it's very common and there is nothing you can do. Either she will talk about it with you and accept it or she won't but truthfully if she can't accept it in the grand scheme of things run don't walk because it's pretty minor really and if that's unacceptable to her just imagine what will happen in the future when other things happen.....I have been through the ringer with dating with incontinence and it's amazing how people can play down and accept there own problems but judge you for yours. But on the flip if she is understanding and decent covet her and hold her dear. But seriously communication is key so is acceptance of each other and our faults. Best of luck keep us posted
 
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rennecfox

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You're dealing with Fecal incontinence, it's best to come clean with her about that rather than have it come out of nowhere and ruin an event.
 

inconsurferdude

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Thanks for the responses, I'm going to talk to her about it and realize now that I should have sooner.
 
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