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Husband has a urostomy

Past Member
Posted by Past Member, on Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:20 pm
My husband has a urostomy for almost two years.  His ex-wife left him after learning about his bladder cancer.  The problem for me is getting him to accept that I think he's a very attractive, kind, intelligent, and loving person who I am deeply in love with.  He still feels that the bag makes him ugly in appearance and is hesitant to work out in the gym due to his urostomy.  I don't even notice the bag and would gladly give him part of my bladder if that was possible.  What can I do to get him to realize that he's a very desirable, attractive man with or without a bag.  Edi
Past Member
Reply by Past Member, on Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:34 pm
Mostly just be there.  See if he's amenable to couples counseling.  I have a urostomy and felt quite hideous about myself right after (and without anyone like your husband's ex to "confirm" my insecurities for me - that can only have made it so much worse for him).  My husband just acted like it was no big deal to him, and his equanimity was eventually contagious.  Obviously I don't know you or your personal situation, but if it's a viable option can you dress in something naughty and seduce him?  Even if it doesn't really go anywhere the showing that you are still attracted might get through where the telling doesn't.
Reply by Bill, on Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:14 am
Hello Edi,
Thanks for sharing this.
I agree with kat65 - just 'being there', being yourself  and letting him know how you feel ( it's good to talk)  is probably the best approach in these situations.
He has to adjust to his own situation and this will not be made easier by his ex wife's response.   It is so much easier to adjust if one has an understanding and empathetic partner to share your feelings with.   It sounds as if you are just such a person and I have every confidence that given time, patience and perseverance everything will sort itself out.
My wife sometimes reads these posts so I am hoping that she too will gain something from this particular string.  
Best wishes  
Past Member
Reply by Past Member, on Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:13 pm
Ahhhhhhhh......"The Million Dollar Question"........................................................................ The responses you've received are as honest and true as they come. Bottom line, self assurance, self image, self confidence all start with the same thing......SELF. ......................  He has to learn to accept and rise above his "Self Image". We all suffer from it in one way or another. The best we can hope for is the realization, that we're not defined by our health issues. We are still valuable and worth loving. If our partners continue to find us desirable, then, we are seriously blessed. I try to remember how I would feel if  the tables were turned, you,  became the partner.  I know deep in my heart, that it wouldn't change my feelings of love for the person.........But by the same token, I don't parade around naked or forget to take "extra care" during intimate times,............ ( Heck, I did that pre-ostomy, LOL)......... I call it..... my right to be discreet, my "personal definition" of  self respect and dignity. He may never "love" the sight of  his attachment, I'm not thrilled with mine either, but that's NOT YOUR FAULT. You can't fix it........ Just want you to know that you have my TOTAL appreciation and respect for the obvious depth of love you have for him........He's a VERY lucky man !! ..............Blessings to you both, BEG
Reply by brooklyn, on Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:03 am
Edi, you are in yourself, the amazing one . And this is what he should be seeing. Just by you being there with him. Showing him all the love you do, would tell me that I am worth being with. Worth being loved. This is what he needs to be looking at. What his ex wife did to him is the lowest form of thing one can do to another. I know, Mine did the same thing. But I had two choses. To fall inside my self and hide from the world. Or take to sorse from where it comes from and rise above that and know who he is and has always been. To know that when one door closes another opens. And it has opened up to let you into his life. It is you he should be having all eyes on and feeling blessed that you do not see what he sees.This does not define him. He can not permit himself to fall to this mind set. It does an injustice to you and to himself. But most of all, It gives his ex wife a great amount of satifaction. He owe's her nothing and only needs to feel that he is the same person now that he was before. My saying is when life gives you a lemon make lemonaide. good luck.
Reply by IamSam, on Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:37 pm
Cudos to all who have responded to your post! There are some excellent suggestions offered by all!

Edi, here's my two cents from experiences with other men, including myself, with ostomies.
His focus is on his urostomy and how it detracts from him as a man. You've stated that you don't even notice the bag. This is good. Don't allow him to drag you into his existing insecurities about his situation. Tactfully avoid the issue altogether. Your confidence in how you engage him, as a man, will be pivotal in changing his self image. Don't show any apprehension towards his urostomy at all.

Kat65 hit on this briefly and it needs to be addressed as well. As a man, with an ostomy, I can tell you that if I feel that a woman is not sexually attracted to me, real or perceived, it becomes a deal breaker. You must remain imperturbable during intimate encounters...he's watching you. If he feels that his ostomy is distracting you from pleasure, both in giving and receiving, you will be reinforcing his inhibitions. He must feel as though his ostomy does not matter to you at all!!  

I also feel that your husbands issues may delve a little deeper than can be alleviated here. Sounds as though he's having a tough time accepting his situation. From personal experience I can tell you that the damage from the ex needs to be addressed. Again as Kat65 suggested, maybe a little counseling is indicated here. Good luck!
Past Member
Reply by Past Member, on Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:34 pm
Thanks everyone for the great responses. I would love it if he would get more involved with an ostomy support group.  I think that it would be a great help to both of us.  Edi
Reply by wondering if, on Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:26 pm
There's also hope of a different kind of future...

Last edited by wondering if on Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
Reply by wondering if, on Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:27 pm
There is a doctor in North Carolina who grows new bladders from a patient's own stem cells and he then transplants the lab-produced organs into patients. Your husband has the hope of a new organ, if you can find the doctor. I'll try to Google his name and location and get back to you with it. Or you can probably find it, if you know how to search. Well... the location is easy. He's at Wake Forest University Medical Center in Winston Salem, NC.  My daughter is hoping the doctor will start growing new rectums and anuses, so that I can get my ostomy removed one day.  That would be wonderful. I don't  hold much hope for it, though.  

But for you guys... great hope!  

Hugs to you and your husband, Edi!
Past Member
Reply by Past Member, on Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:30 am
Thank you for the information.  I'm going to look into that option Smile
Reply by NancyAnn, on Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:27 pm
I might be a little behind on this one but, please keep reassuring him and just stick by him. Kat had a good idea about some counseling but I think just keep wanting to cuddle or hug and kiss him and compliment him. If an accident happens and he springs a leak like we all do, laugh about it and make sure he does too.
I have had my urostomy all my life and had issues my self in the dating arena but found someone who also has a urostomy and yes we live in different countries but he has made me feel better about myself since he has such a positive attitude.
Contact me if you want to talk.
Hope all is well.
Reply by brooklyn, on Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:21 am
is this your husband you refer to. you say you live in different countries. where is he from and did he come here.?
Reply by NancyAnn, on Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:17 am
Hi Brooklyn,

No this isn't my husband, he is sort of my boyfriend. He lives in the UK on the Isle of Man and I live in the US.  He has come to visit a few times and we have traveled a little bit together.
Now when he is back home we talk on Skype almost every day.
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