Partner's Perspective on Eczema
So I decided it would be fun to gain my partner’s perspective on what it’s like to be with someone who lives with eczema.
I met Josue in the Summer of 2016 when my skin was already about 90% healed due to Dupixent. Now that I am in the process of tapering off of this drug and my skin is beginning to flare more frequently, Josue has been experiencing first-hand what eczema is really all about.
With his consent, I asked him a few questions and these were a summary of his responses. Enjoy!
Dating someone with eczema
Ashley:How did you know Ashley suffered from eczema?
Josue: I found out Ashley had eczema a few months after meeting her. From my own observation, I would have never known that she suffered from a skin disease. Even to this day, I am astonished at the fact that she does. She does not, nor has she ever, carried herself in a way for anyone, including myself, to believe she suffers from eczema.
Talking about eczema
Ashley:Did you notice it first or did she openly tell you?
Josue: She openly told me that she had eczema one night while we were sharing stories of our past. I believe it was about two months after we had met when she told me that the disease left her bedridden for almost two years. Again, I would have never guessed based on how beautiful her skin was and still is.
Noticing eczema for the first time
Ashley: When was the first time you experienced Ashley’s eczema?
Josue: The first time I experienced Ashley’s eczema was one afternoon when she excused herself to take her medication. At this point, we were pretty comfortable with each other and she injected herself [with Dupixent] in front of me.
Initial reaction to eczema
Ashley: What was your immediate reaction?
Josue: To be fully honest, it wasn’t very supportive. At the time I knew nothing about it or her level of eczema and I reacted in a not-so-gentleman-like way. See, she injected her medication, and rather than seeking to understand why or what she was doing and how it made her feel, my first comment was about her body and the area she was injecting herself at.
I don’t take pride in how I reacted at all. Afterward, Ashley opened up to me vulnerably about how she felt in regards to my comment. It was then that I was able to fully grasp how much her eczema has impacted her, as well as ways in which I can support her.
Eczema and relationships
Ashley: Has her eczema impacted your relationship in anyway? If so, how?
Josue: Ashley’s eczema hasn’t really held us back from much. At most, it has required me to plan surprises accordingly, as I know particular environments may irritate her skin. For instance, I know grass irritates her skin, so when I planned a surprise picnic date, I picked a low cut area to lay down on and was sure to have the ground covered so there was not any skin-to-grass contact.
Ashley: Are there any aspects in your life that have had to change to accommodate her eczema?
Josue: Encouraging her through changing my eating habits (this is a real struggle for me) so that she eats healthy and viable foods that help with her skin. Also, as a man who is solution-based, I’ve learned how to love her from a place of listening and simply being there to support her with whatever she needs, rather than rushing to “fix” her and her eczema.
Ashley: How do you support her during her flares?
Josue: During her flares, I support her with encouraging words and affirmations of her beauty. I remind her that she is powerful, strong and will get through it. I also instill in her that she is a brave, sexy and honorable woman, and I am here to do whatever I can to support.
Learning from eczema
Ashley: What have you learned throughout this experience with her?
Josue: I’ve learned that eczema is no ‘small’ skin condition and that thousands across the world suffer from a disease that many don’t understand or know about. I’ve also learned that one can control their level of sickness by controlling their mind, and Ashley is a pure example of what the power of having a strong and unbroken mentality can do. She’s continued to persevere despite the symptoms that would have anyone else living like a victim.
Advice for dating someone with eczema
Ashley: What advice would you give to other partners?
Josue: Be mindful of your partner’s eczema, encourage him/her, love them through and through and be aware of the things they can or can not do. Your level of support is that much greater when you support from a place of seeking to understand rather than thinking you can just fix their disease. Trust them and remain in their corner. Most of all, love them!
I Love You Ashley aka Bébés!
How often do you downplay your eczema to other people?