As we’ve launched Braave, over these last few months, I’ve been driven by one main objective:
To help make up for my lack of attention during my wife’s battle. My wife being Braave Founder Shawnda McNeal.
Don’t get me wrong, my over-arching objective is to help provide education and inspire bravery in women with endometriosis. But, my personal mission, it’s to hopefully right some of the wrong, and in doing so – help more women than we could have ever imagined.
Husbands and partners of the world, read up. The best thing in the world you can do during her battle is to stand there strong with unwavering support. I know, it can be tough for you too…mentally, but you need to be strong.
Oh, and in the meantime, if you need someone to talk to about supporting a woman with endometriosis – go here and fill out this form, ok?
I’ll get back to you ASAP. We’ll set up a time to chat.
My mistakes below.
Skipped Too Many Doctor Visits
I know. This is terrible. Honestly, I’ll always carry around a few things that I’ll feel I did wrong in my life. Missing some of her doctor appointments will forever rank in the top 5.
What was my problem?
Well, for one, I was too focused on my career. I didn’t think I could skip out of work. The reality? Of course I could have.
She’s the most important thing to me in the wide world and if I was working somewhere that doesn’t align with that, I could always get another job.
Also, after awhile, I started to get jaded thinking that no one would ever have answers. I started thinking what she was experiencing was a ghost.
Add in the fact that we, as men, never go to the doctor. And if we do, we certainly do not need a chaperone.
Truth is, she wants you there. She needs you there.
So, don’t even ask…just block out the time and be there. Rock solid.
Her Previous Health Issues Clouded My Judgement
Like most women, she feels responsible for everything, this causes major anxiety. Neurologically, she’s a mess too.
She’s had Bells Palsy, endometrial tumors, her list of ailments could run the gamut. She’s not a sickly person, she just gets hit harder than the rest of us.
I let this cloud my judgement, so I didn’t take the situation seriously enough. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It kills me.
Didn’t Research Endometriosis Enough
She knew fairly early on that what she was battling could be Endometriosis. She knew because she researched like a mad-woman. She never turned it off. She even stayed up watching episode after episode of House, MD just to stay in the medical detective groove.
Hell, I bet she could pass the MCATs right now if she took the test.
Looking back, I should have been right there with her doing my own research. Offering up anecdotal or statistically relevant leads, even if she had already read the articles.
Doing so would have made her feel supported. Doing so would have made her feel like she wasn’t alone, like she had a partner in the battle.
Didn’t Seek Out Other Husbands/Partners to Chat With
Guys, she’s going through the pain and the mental anguish, but you’re going to go through some stuff too. There is no denying that.
My biggest tip for you is to make sure you are seeking out other husbands or partners that have been through what you’ve been through.
Caretaker burnout is a very real thing. As an Endo Husband, if you’re really stepping up your game, there are times when you are full on Mr. Mom. You’re going to get physically tired.
More important than that, you’re going to get mentally tired. It’s ok. It doesn’t make you a bad person. You’re a human being. You just need someone to talk with every now and again.
Can’t find anyone to chat? Like I said, email me and I’ll block out time. Sound good?
So, there it is.
Hopefully you learned some of what not to do from me.
Even if it’s not one of these things, just give your all to be in tune with her and know that whatever mental tests you’ve been through, she’s fighting a much bigger war inside her.
A war that is beyond her understanding. A war that she has no clue how to stop.