Explaining your previous illness and possible effects to a new partner

I’ve been struggling with this the last few months. Last year, I was going out with a girl for 5 months, before I started getting some Vertigo and balance problems. I had told her of the problem I had. At the time, I only had some coordination loss and I got tired easy. When I had to go for a brain MRI and starting getting problems, her attitude changed and we split up (I wasn’t told why) about a month later. I strongly believe she didn’t want to deal with any problems that arose.
I’ve since met a girl that likes quiet times and heaps of sleep (which I think suits me to a tee) but I’m yet to explain the possible side effects of the op yet.
Has anyone else had problems? Any advice? Might be a strange subject, but that’s what this site is for, I guess. Thanks


I too started a new relationship 4 1/2 years ago. I struggled with the same question. How much to tell without sounding like a Gloomy Gus and how little to tell without leaving out important information. I sort of felt like the proverbial cheesy used car salesman and I didn’t want him to feel like he got himself a lemon so I decided on full disclosure. I think it was about 3 or 4 months along when I felt that our relationship might have a shot at something real and lasting but wasn’t at a level of commitment that he’d feel trapped or obligated to stay in the relationship. So I sat down and wrote out what I felt was a humorous letter listing all my great attributes and all my not so great attributes. I listed them like a top ten list and tried to put some humor into each one. He laughed the whole time reading it, which is what I wanted. When he was done I told him very seriously that the AVM issues could potentially become very grave emotionally, physically and financially and that he was under no obligation to continue our relationship. He thanked me and said that he wasn’t going to walk away because of an ‘if’. It of course made me feel very good to hear him say that, even so, periodically throughout our early relationship I’d find a way to bring it up and give him an out. He never took it.

We who are afflicted know the devastation that this disease can wreck on family/relationship/finances if you are not fortunate enough to be insured. I can only thank God that my S.O. was/is willing to stick around. If he wasn’t I’d have understood if he choose to walk away early on. I guess what I’m saying is I felt it was best to disclose as early as possible.

I hope whatever you decide that the gal you choose to disclose your situation to is willing and able to see YOU and not the disease.

Best, Kim

Thanks guys. I honestly only thought I’d have a little coordination and tiredness in the future, so I wasn’t hiding anything to my ex. So, she may have thought I was not disclosing things to her. I will tell the girl I’ve started to see, but it’s only been a few times now, and I don’t want to give her the opportunity to walk straight away. I thing Kimberley’s advice is great. I’ll wait and see when we get to the stage of the kids being introduced, and before that, I’ll give her the option. For now, I’ll answer any questions she might have. The scar on the back of my head is a little sign that something has happened. I’ve no intention of hiding things. But yep, until you know the person , it’s all too easy to say bye. reallistically, anyone can have issues in life. Just hat ours have happened I guess.

That’s not good Stacey. When I found out, I was married for 7 years and my wife then was fantastic. I’ve always respected her for that, when we were having some hard times. I had an absess and an infected tooth out today. I don’t know if they’ve been causing me greigh over the last couple of months yet, but I do know that I’ve been sleeping about now for the last few months, and I’m not tired at all. My twitching seems to be getting better as the day goes on. I want to know what I’m to tell yet, because I’ve spent the last 3 years, with only slight coordination loss and a little tiredness (not much to tell). This is all new to me again. I’m hoping the specialist was right in saying it is a medical problem causing my side effects…fingers crossed
How’s everything now?

I believe it telling them up front - you have to be prepared that it is their choice and understand we cannot expect them to make the decision we hope they will…everyone is different and some people are not strong enough to deal with this, or maybe it is that they are already dealing with something that is taking all their strength, what ever their decision as we would hope to be we cannot judge…remember not to let it bring you down there are people in life " for those who mind they dont matter and for those who matter dont mind" i think thats how the saying goes

How true it is Jaszi - I just don’t want to make it sound bleaker then it needs to be (after my AVM is gone) before I know if my current ill health, is part of me ex-AVm, or just a medical problem that has been made worse, because of my piece of Cerebelem missing - very mture attitude though. I don’t have any time for people that don’t matter any more

Tim my thoughts are when you have been with her long enough (this is obviously not first date spill your guts stuff lol) then its time to ease her into it. if shes the right one for you, she’ll understand and be caring and supportive, which is what you want. just my two cents :slight_smile:

I know this is a late response but I have been with my new husband for 6 years and I just a really severe bout with my AVM and he had never seen one this bad, I have been off work for a month and we have only been married for two and a half months now. He did not take it very well!! Even when they hear about what can happen they don’t always take it well, we are getting through it though. He is one of those people who is never sick and has not been to a Dr. since I have known him. He is very healthy. It is very hard for him to understand. He is also a person who doesn’t show a lot of emotion. I know he was worried about me but I felt all he wanted was for me to go back to work. I had to look beyond and really see the looks when he thought I wasn’t looking. He really was worried but he never wants to show it. Be sure that you explain every thing to your girlfriend so that she is prepared. There are always things that will come up that even you might not be prepared for but if you prepare her for the worst or give her all of the knowledge then she will at least know what to expect and maybe she can deal with it better. I know it is hard. I had told my husband everything but it is hard for them to imagine unitl they actually go through it. Have someone from your family or one of your friends that was there with you or that knows about it help you. you can only prepare the best you can for the bad times and then hope for the best. I am back to work now and holding on by a thread. If this girl really cares, she will hang in there with you. All you can do is have faith and pull all of your support together, don’t hang it all on one person. one person can’t do it alone, give her the best back-up you can to help her help you to the other side of this and get her involved with this site, it saved my life this time, if I hadn’t found it, I may not have gotten to the Dr’s in time or have known that I was headed for trouble, so get her involved so she can ask questions along with you or by herself and we will all be here for her too. This group is such a great thing and all of the people are wonderful, just like a family, so you guys are not alone in this. Keep the faith.