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Just A Concerned Girlfriend


My boyfriend has had Crohn's for I believe 3 years, and while we haven't been dating too long, I know that I love him. However, I feel like I am the worst person for him. I know that kind of sounds like I am making the choice for him, but just hear me out for a moment.

So while I, myself, do not suffer from Crohn's, I tend to get sick often. I help in taking care of my family while going to school still and one of my siblings has a lowered immune system due to having Downs. As I am the only adult un the house in the evenings (typically), I have to take care of her. Sometimes I don't realize she is sick and then I go see my boyfriend the next day after my classes before heading home. In doing so, he usually winds up sick.

I have already gotten him sick, twice. I felt horrible and still do. He told me it was okay, and as soon as I got better, I went and made sure he was taken care of. Once I am done being sick, my immune system is pretty strong for a little while. However, even though he said it was okay, I still feel bad. I also just gave him a UTI and I feel like the worst possible girlfriend because I didn't even know I had one. I don't even know how I got one in the first place either.

I guess what I am wondering is: what can I do to make our relationship work/better? I love him so much, but I don't want to keep hurting his health. Especially if it could kill him.
You certainly don't sound like the worst person for him! I have seen threads in here where people with IBD are struggling in relationships because people don't understand the issues, or downplay them. You obviously care about him a lot, otherwise you wouldn't even be here asking about it :)
Hey! I'm sure you are a great girlfriend, just for the fact that you are in this forum, trying to make it work. I recommend you to be extremely clean, wash your hands religiously, try to be cautious if you know that you are or getting sick avoid being close to him, he'll understand. Cheer up :)
First of all thank you for loving your partner and being supportive. One of the things I suggest strongly is to be very mindful of your language.

Don’t ever get yourself caught up in a “well I don’t think you understand,” battle.

This will be a hard one but—-don’t remind your partner about what there not accomplishing. “What have you done all day?” My father long before I had Crohn’s had a dream to be a pilot.. then he wanted to be a mechanic but was too sick to work. 100% of the time we’re already beating ourselves over the head for not being as accomplished as we wanted to be.

You can suggest things that he could try but ensure you do your research before you suggest it. False hope gets me all the time. Especially when I realize I could try something but can’t because somethings in it I could get really sick from.

“Oh this may have caused it.” Being made to feel guilty about it is not going to make our bowels anymore relaxed.

Lynda Lynda

You are an amazing person. A very strong person. Don't give up hope.

Sending you my support.

You are in the right place here if you need support, & guidance and lots of information and personal experiences are shared here as well.


Well-known member
He's very lucky to have you,so stop beating yourself up.If he's happy that you MIGHT sometimes be the cause of him having a set back,then accept it.You're doing extremely well caring for your sister and him,and doing schoolwork but make sure to take care of yourself too.We're all here to listen and support when you need us.Sending hugs.
Don't beat yourself up everyone has there bad times and good times through the years if you can still hold a good relationship through the bad times that usually means you both still love each other no one is perfect you never intentionally hurt him it was a accident it does happen hope you two well
I agree with a lot of what has been said above. Definitely want to also reassure you that I don't think that you're the "worst person for him" by any means. You admitted too that you truly love him and the fact that you are reaching out asking for advice shows you're willing to try and make things work which as others have said is not something that always happens.

Now as far as you "getting him sick," sure maybe you tend to get sick often and you are in close contact with him while you are, but it is still difficult to say for sure that it was definitely you being sick that caused it for him. Yes he most likely has a diminished immune system from treatment but that opens us up to falling sick from a much larger variety of sources. My point is that I don't think you should be so quick to put the blame on yourself as the cause of him falling ill. Other factors come into play. Now I obviously don't know yours and his exact situations but things like where he's been, who else he's been in contact with, how hygienic he's being. Also how bad his current status is, if he's relatively stable on meds or if he's flaring up, Also exactly which meds he is taking, some depress the immune system more than others and some compound with each other.

Also, measures can be taken on both sides. Hygiene is of course extra important for him, he needs to be mindful about washing his hands and things, as do you. And I'm sure that if you are feeling ill you avoid kissing him or other intimate contact that might spread things. Other things like coughing into your shoulder or a tissue instead of your hands. These are all things people should do for each other even without the complication of a decreased immune system. And they seem so simple but I promise they do really work.

All that being said, you can't prevent it from happening 100% of the time where you inadvertently spread something to him. It's not the end of the world. My girlfriend and I lived together for the past year, we both worked in a hospital as part of medical school. Both of us became sick with various things over the year, oftentimes only one of us would be ill. Despite living in a small one bedroom apartment, one of us being sick (or more relevant, her being sick) did not definitely ensure that I would get sick. You both might have to make some changes to help minimize this getting sick problem but it is doable.

Bottom line the more important things are that you care for him and he cares for you and that no one is blaming the other or trying to put it all on the other to fix the problem. And you shouldn't put it all on yourself either.