Why you should tell your partner

Having incontinence can be difficult to admit. Your partner can provide you with support if you open up to them, so it's important to start the dialogue.

Keeping your incontinence and your feelings to yourself can cause problems. Incontinence can be emotionally overwhelming. You may feel a variety of emotions: embarrassment, fear of embarrassment, fear of leakage, guilt, shame, anger, and frustration. You may avoid your family, friends, and social situations and become isolated. Incontinence can also lead to lower self-esteem and fear of intimacy.

But remember that your partner will want to offer help and support. They may have already noticed that something's not right and may think that you're avoiding them.

Help your partner understand what is going on in your life by talking to them. Talking to someone you trust about your incontinence will also help ease the emotional burden of keeping a secret. Opening up to your partner will help you feel better and build your confidence.

Your partner can listen, understand, and offer help when you are feeling frustrated. They will also understand if you have to use the washroom frequently or if you take a little longer than usual.

How to talk to your partner

You may feel uncomfortable talking about incontinence. It's not an easy thing. Here are some tips on approaching the subject.

  • Before telling your partner, you may want to plan what you want to say. Prepare by writing down key points that you want your partner to know.
  • Find a time when you won't be interrupted. Choose a private area without distractions.
  • Have the conversation in person, not over the phone.
  • Don't start the conversation right before intimacy, right before going to bed, during intimate moments such as a romantic dinner or date.
  • If you're not comfortable talking out loud, write a letter and give it to your partner. Give them some time to read it and be close by when they're done so that you can discuss it further.
  • Be honest about how you're feeling.
  • Let your partner know you appreciate them listening and supporting you.