Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » Partners, Family, Friends & Caregivers » Husband has stoma - I feel ill (sex)

10-11-2015, 09:53 AM   #1
nasty wife
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Norway
Husband has stoma - I feel ill (sex)

My husband has seriously ill for years (paralyzed etc). They've made him 10-20 surgical operations during last 6 years. I between the hospital periods I nursed him at home. Despite all this we do love each other very much and we also had a wonderful sex life which we both did enjoy. BUT THEN....... 10 months ago he got a colostomy. I am helping him to take care of it and it does not bother me at all. BUT what comes to sex, the stoma makes me feel bad and panic. I can hug him and kiss him but I can not make love with him. Even his stoma is covered by t-shirt, I can not see it, but I can feel it against my skin I feel ill. I am so sad, because I love him so much and I do not want to hurt his feelings. We are talking a lot and almost all possible topics, but this one I can not tell him, it would be crushing him. I do not know what to do, I have used already all possible excuses. Anyone else had this kind of problems in your relationships?
10-11-2015, 06:16 PM   #2
Jennifer's Avatar
Welcome to the forum! You're not nasty at all. I completely understand where you're coming from.

I'm so sorry that you both have to go through this tough time. I know that being a caregiver is difficult. My husband is also disabled and is not really able to engage in a lot of sexual activity. He does not have a colostomy but he's not able to do most of the positions that I prefer which for me makes sex not very enjoyable and almost more of a chore. I actually have been honest about it and he understands and while it did upset him to hear it, we still get along and try to have sex from time to time. There's still hope that he might get better some day (he has Complex Regional Pain Syndrome making it so he has to have his foot elevated at all times otherwise it causes extreme pain) but the reality is that he may never get better and could even get worse. It's a hard reality to accept and it's been over a year. 10 months really isn't that long with such a big life change. You were already a caregiver for him and another blow like that I know can cause more negative feelings. There's nothing wrong with you in feeling this way and I do think it will take more time for you to accept this new change. Not only does he, the patient have to learn to accept this new life of his but as a caregiver we also have to go through this and it's not easy for any of us. Even though you haven't told him I'm sure he likely already knows or has a pretty good idea.

With all that said I'm glad that you're finally reaching out for help. I encourage you to seek out a therapist so you can have someone to talk to about this new life of yours. While yes we can sympathise and offer support and any tips that we may have, a professional may be able to help you deal with any depression and anxiety that you may be experiencing. Having any depression and anxiety treated even if it's just therapy can help you feel more positive and maybe help you push past the negative thoughts you're having.

Once you're feeling up to trying to have sex again, are you able to try any positions where you likely won't feel it against your skin? Or do you feel that even if you don't feel it, it's more the thought that it's even there?
Diagnosis: Crohn's in 1991 at age 9
Surgeries: 1 Small Bowel Resection in 1999; Central IV in 1991-92
Meds for CD: 6MP 75mg
Things I take: Tenormin 25mg (PVCs and Tachycardia), Junel (endometriosis), Tylenol 3 (Osteoarthritis), Zantac 150mg 2/day (acid reflux), Klonopin 1mg (Panic Disorder), Imitrex 25mg (migraines), Zofran 8mg (nausea)
Currently in: REMISSION Thought it was a flare but it's just scar tissue from my resection. Dealing with a stricture. Remission from my resection, 19 years and counting.
10-12-2015, 05:52 PM   #3
vocalartillery's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Richland, Washington
I am so sorry you're going through this. I can only sympathize a little. I have had a lot of complications that have messed up the appearance of my lady bits. I am so self conscious that I don't like to be fully naked and we don't have sex more than once a month or so.

My situation with a stoma is from a caregivers standpoint...but this is all I have to offer. Give it time. Over time you will both become much more used to it. Until then I would seek out some foreplay card or games. Stuff that doesn't require actual coitus but can turn you both on.

Over time, as you both find other ways to satisfy each other it will become simpler. You don't have to tell him that his stoma is making you weary, just tell him that you want to reconnect on a deeper level. Go to Castle together. Look at lingerie. I hope this helps.

10-13-2015, 10:00 AM   #4
Senior Member
jwfoise's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Hudson/Akron/Cleveland, Ohio
My wife has a stoma and she wears a tube top over her stoma (so it is pulled down to her belly and waist) when we are intimate. It completely covers her stoma and ostomy pouch, but leaves everything else naked. I don't know if they make ones that are supposed to be for men, but I bet he can find one that works.
10-13-2015, 11:27 AM   #5
glum chump
Senior Member
glum chump's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: British Columbia

My Support Groups:
I'm a woman, so I'm not sure if my comments will be entirely helpful. I have a stoma and I do a couple of things: one, I switch to a smaller bag (I chose a 2-piece system that accommodates a larger, everyday bag, and then a much smaller bag that I use during sex). The smaller bag makes it a bit easier to move around and be more 'energetic'!

Second, I make sure my bag is EMPTY before hand so there isn't a feeling of fullness. I also don't use a clear bag...the contents of my output can't be seen. If I can "schedule" it, I also make sure that its been a while since I've eaten...that way, my bag won't fill up during sex. I eat afterwards!

It does take a while getting used to it. I felt quite self-conscious and embarrassed when I first got my bag and sex was *definitely* not on the table for me. And like you, I think my partner was a bit repulsed by the bag and apprehensive about hurting my stoma in some way. But prior to having sex, my partner and I spent a lot of time intimately exploring my body in a way that could make us both feel like my body was erotic/sexy/sensual. This was a learning curve, and an important one. Without it, we would have been fumbling in the dark, so to speak!

Good luck. It's not easy having to readapt and adjusting our heads to a different kind of body...


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