So interviewing your own husband is not an everyday occurrence, and I think that’s the first and last time I will interview mine! He was excellent but finding the ‘ideal’ time…hmmm.
It was worth it though because in his answers is the truth that we all need to know.
When we date with psoriasis, we spend a lot of time trying to guess what is going on in someone else head.
It turns out, if you have the right guy, the answer is nothing. He (or she) is thinking nothing.
Here are my favourite quotes and takeaways from today’s episode.
When did you notice my psoriasis?
So, of course, I ask what his thoughts were when he first noticed my psoriasis.
“I didn’t really have any. You were half-naked, my thought process was completely gone out the window. So I Suppose … Yeah, it wasn’t wasn’t an issue.”
When I asked Andrew if he noticed how many psoriasis changes day to day, and whether that affects our relationship, he was very clear;
‘no, no, as our relationship has changed over the years (we have been together for 12), obviously, I think more about it. And so if you have a flare or something that is more visible, we talked about it, but no, it has no effect, your visual appearance has no effect on how I think about you naked.
Bed flakes and bleeding
Sometimes living with psoriasis it can be the psychological aspects that we find the most challenging, things like flaking and bleeding on bedsheets, so I asked Andrew his thoughts.
‘I accepted that that a long time ago. I think it’s something that I accepted immediately. I know you asked when I first noticed, I have noticed things over the years and you either accept them or you don’t. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be here.”
Talking about Psoriasis in a flare
When my psoriasis gets worse, I tend to ‘hunker down’ and go into a sort of self-preservation mode. I talk to people less and cover my skin more if its really bad and I don’t feel I have the energy to talk about it. It is only recently I have started to talk to my husband about what is going on, so I wondered if this was a good thing… or if it felt frustrating/ annoying/ a giant whinge fest.
“more information is always better. It’s no good hiding behind something. Or hiding in yourself, more likely, hiding in yourself. That doesn’t help me, that doesn’t help our relationship. It’s an excuse. So yeah, definitely more information. Then you can do with it what you will, but you both need to be as honest as possible with each other.”
Clearing psoriasis for our wedding day
I had a dilemma, and if you follow me on Instagram, you will know that for the 6 weeks preceding my big day I slept with a paper bag rammed full of steroids next to my bed. I couldn’t decide whether to treat or not treat my psoriasis
When I asked my husband-to-be what I should do, he asked me ‘Why would you?’ which I found startling, because surely that is o-b-v-i-o-u-s. So I asked for clarification (because apparently, a podcast is the best place for these kinds of private discussions).
“I was happy if you were happy.”
“I mean, that was an open-ended question- you were either going to it or not do it, but it had to be your decision, not mine. Because it doesn’t matter to me. But it would matter to you.“
Does psoriasis make me less attractive?
So why not just ask what I wanted to ask, even though I was again, nervous as hell. Does psoriasis make me less attractive to you, or is it just something that is there when you look at me?
I am listening to Rachel Hollis book Girl Wash Your Face, and she talks about the stress behind hiding from the inevitable. It’s just-not-worth-it.
I would have liked more, I’m not going to lie, but as this was the most sincere I have seen Andrew in a while, I thought I would accept his honest answer and not push for shallow extraneous praise. Tempting as it is!
Advice for dating with psoriasis
“you’ve got to be as open as possible with people that you start to date, which could lead to very quick relationships, but you would find someone for the long term easier. The last thing you want is to hide something from somebody, anything you feel that you can hide is a big deal to the person that’s hiding it. And so it can cause friction.
So I would say be as open as possible and see what happens. If you don’t like it, then tough, find someone else.”
Brutal much? Pah! It feels brutal to listen too and to read, but it’s true. There are a whole load of people out there who will love you no matter what. You need those people. You’re never going to win someone over, once they have made an opinion about your psoriasis, that’s most likely it.
Jude also talks about this in her dating experiences back in episode 17 (which is a must listen if your dating). She put an image of herself with facial psoriasis on her dating profile, and while she notices a slight dip in interest, the dates she had after that point were much more successful and enjoyable because she had filtered out the chaff. The shallow people who never would have accepted her, and those who only wanted a shallow experience.
The most frustrating thing living with psoriasis me?
“Going back on everything I’ve just said: when we started living together depending on what phase you’re in, whether your shedding skin…that’s something you have to get used to. You either say ok this is absolutely fine, and live with it, or you don’t.”
Obviously, my next question was this: Do you enjoy having a UV machine in your bedroom, because it’s so easy when you talk about feeling to forget about the practical aspect of living with psoriasis. His response was clear. ‘No, no, no….no I do not.’ but the funny thing is what he said next “I don’t associate that machine with you having psoriasis, I obviously should do but, that problem that we have with that machine there isn’t associated with you know with your psoriasis, it’s part of the furniture now.”
All you need to know
Andrew frustrates me sometimes because he is so concise, there’s no fluff, and sometimes it’s nice to be softer, but then he summarises things like this, and I remind myself that being straight talking is incredible too.
If you only take one thing away from today’s episode, consider this:
“I think a lot of the time, a lot of questions you’ve asked me, are about what you’re thinking I might be thinking, and I’m not thinking any of that.
So yeah..you have to be careful about how much you analyze somebody else’s opinion…even if you’re married to them.”
I think the last bit was aimed at me..but just YES. We so often try to analyse other people opinion because we’re scared as hell about what they might be thinking.
If your date knows you have psoriasis, and they came back for another date, then they have accepted it, and they dig you. Hiding won’t help, analysing won’t help, trying to predict someone else’s thought patterns is a waste of time and energy. If you need to -just ask. Andrew said communication is critical, and I think that’s true. Most of this is in-my-head and not in his.
‘be brazen about it, and if the other person doesn’t like it, then tough sh@*!’