Rejection after revealing my ileostomy - feeling hurt and alone


Hi all,
Being a gay ostomate, I met a really sweet guy. We got on so well together, lots of fun and laughter, plus we had a lot in common. Five weeks into our relationship, I told him I had an ileostomy since I was 13 years old and told him why I had to have it. Since I told him, I haven't heard from him since. I now feel stupid for telling him and really, really hurt. Having an ileostomy for 32 years, it doesn't get any easier, and the hurt of rejection is still there after all these years. I really hate having an ileo at the moment, but I guess time is a great healer.
Sad and down,


Hi Mickey, I think it is a shame that people are rejected romantically because they poop into a bag instead of a toilet. I am lucky that I was already married when I got my colostomy. My husband researched and read up about ostomies on the internet so he could be educated about it. And he has been so supportive. Even helped me pick out pouch covers. I can't imagine being single and having to figure out the best time to tell the person and possibly be rejected because of it. But I have read a lot of positive outcomes with people telling their partner about it and not getting rejected. Quite a few people on this site have found love with someone who accepted them the way they are. I guess it depends on who you meet. Better luck next time.

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Mickey, I had my ileostomy at 12 years old. I am now 64 and single. I still have not found the "perfect" time to tell a potential lover. In all these years, I have only had one man reject me because of my pouch. Hang in there, not everyone is a jerk. Just remember, if you had not had the surgery, you might not be alive to be rejected. I wish you luck in your search for love.


Hi Mickey, I guess he was a superficial jerk and it is his loss. I was already long married when I lost my colon so I don't know that kind of painful rejection. Keep living and you'll meet someone special who loves you for everything you are.


Hello Mickey,
What a shame you met someone who was so shallow and can only see the outside image and not the inside. I too was lucky in that I was already married when I had my stoma. I have had mine now for 41 years and am still with my husband.
There are people out there like the guy you were rejected by and nothing really can prepare us for that kind of rejection but to stop trying only gives into people like that.
Perhaps in time you will think it best he went away. I am sure you will find true love one day.
In the meantime, why don't you join a group where you can make friends before thinking of more.
Good luck.

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Hi Mickey,

Don't give up hope! I had my ostomy done when I was 15, and decided way back then (48 years ago) that if I was rejected because of my ostomy, then it wasn't the right person for me. I can't say it was easy, but I dated successfully back then. Some accepted it, and others didn't. I eventually married (a man with an ostomy - but that's another story) and we divorced after 24 1/2 years. And so I found myself back in the same situation... having to tell. The issues remain the same... when do you tell, and anxiety as to the reaction. Some are accepting and others are not. But then it's the same with other "features". Is one tall enough, or short enough, light or dark hair, fun or serious... We all have "flaws", some are visual, and some aren't. My ostomy is my "badge of survival" and I wear it proudly and gratefully. Best of luck to you.

Hi Mickey - your experience is not at all unusual. There are actually several women and one man (that I know of) whose spouses left them because of the ostomy - so you can see that people can be extraordinarily bizarre in their responses to another (wounded) human.

Hang in there - I have seen quite a few profiles on this site by gay men - (check out San Diego area for example). You will find someone, possibly another ostomate, who one would hope would be a bit more understanding. Also, try looking for someone in the health care professions, who aren't put off by the wear and tear of real life! ;


Hi Micky

Don't get too down on people like that who rejected you. They are not worth knowing or thinking about, as he was not thinking about you. I had my Ileostomy done when I was 25 and not married. Fortunately, girls were around these days and most of my girlfriends understood what I had gone through. The sex thing did bother me at the beginning, but I just said to hell with it. If they reject me, they reject me. Who cares? I started wearing boxer shorts which hid all the accessories and always made sure before sex that I did not eat too much and that the bag was always empty.

I remember one girl during sex saying, "oohh what is that I feel?" I just said, "Yeah, I had to have an operation and have to wear this thing, but it's no big deal." Then we just carried on after that. I could not care as I had gotten over the hurdle and the complex. I know it's a crude way of putting it, but just go out and have sex. Don't tell anyone what you have, then see how you get on. But I tell you, the boxer shorts did it for me.

Two marriages later, still having sex. The first marriage break up had nothing to do with the Ileostomy. She ran off with the next door neighbor while I was working in Saudi. I think it was his lawnmower, as it was a big one.


Two marriages later, still having sex. The first marriage break up had nothing to do with the ileostomy. She ran off with the next door neighbor while I was working in Saudi. I think it was his lawnmower, as it was a big one.



Your a star, StarUK.


Hi Mickey
I came down with Crohn's disease a couple years after high school. That was the beginning of the 80's. By the beginning of the 90's, the surgeons started operating. I put a tear in my large bowel, peritonitis, fistulas. After the 13th operation, they had to take all my large bowel. And I did really well with my first ileostomy, even in my personal life. When they tried to tie my small bowel to my rectum, everything went bad and I herniated after the operation and started pushing bowel through the stomach wall. I had to live like that until 6 years ago. One night after I ate a little too much for supper, I started coughing and I felt a pop and my stomach broke open. It was a 14-hour operation to put Humpty back together again. But again, a fistula pushed its way through the hernia mesh. The surgeons won't fix it now, I have to wear two bags. And with my deformed stomach, as soon as a woman sees my stomach, that's the end. It sure gets pretty lonely sometimes.

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