'Stand by Your Man' and 'Are you Strong Enough to be my Man?' are just a couple song titles that pop into my head as I remember the songs with the theme of togetherness in spite of the world pressing in. It seems so easy to stick by someone's side when the money is coming in and you both have your health. It is a far different story when one person in the relationship becomes ill. When I say ill I do not mean to imply someone with an every day common cold or allergy, but someone with a life-altering illness or accident that leaves that person in utter pain and shock as they are forced into a life completely different and unalterable than the life they lived before.
Sadly, a devastating illness such as Fibromyalgia, Lou Gehrig's disease or IC are too much for some individuals to handle and instead of staying in the relationship through 'thick or thin' or 'for better or for worse', they leave and in their wake leave someone more emotionally hurting than the summation of their physical pain. A wound like that takes a very long time to heal. So when I read IC patient's tales about spouses or boyfriends/girlfriends leaving them because they could not deal with supporting someone with a complicated and serious disease, my heart goes out to them. My only words of advice would be to know that if they cannot support you in your pain how can you trust them to support you when life is only paved in roses? This is an unreasonable and unreal view of the world. Although the pain of losing them is real I would hope that someday you might see that their leaving you allowed you to grow into a better person.
Living with a chronic pain disease is not an easy thing but it does leave one with the ability to look at what (and who) are really important in life. Life is whittled down to its barest essentials: sleep, food and love. Sometimes the love of a good friend or family member fills in the gap where a romantic partner might have once been. Hold on to the people that fill you with love and support and let those go who make you feel guilty or ashamed for feeling pain and for 'getting' a chronic disease. The people that stand by your side through thick and thin are the only people that should really matter to you.