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Am I being harsh re boyfriend's "illness"?

(71 Posts)
SadieSanchez Thu 04-Jun-15 13:16:52

I can't decide if I am being mean today?

My boyfriend has been suffering from a sore throat this week and I have lost patience and basically told him I am busy and I will speak to him at the weekend when he is better.

Bit of background...he is genuinely lovely, treats me really well and we have been together about 10 months. But after the first few months of our relationship, I began to notice a bit of a pattern with his "illnesses" and it's doing my head in.

Things will be going really lovely, we are really loved up, seeing lots of each other etc and then every 6-8 weeks, he will come down with something or he'll "feel rough" for a few days.

When this happens, he goes quiet and grumpy, I hardly hear from him and his messages are quite short. I'll offer support, sympathy or even company, which he won't accept. It almost always falls on a day we have plans and it's always an ordeal trying to drag it out of him whether he feels well enough to go or not. So it always ends with me feeling pissed off with him, so we will disagree, things will be off for a couple of days, then when he feels better it all goes really lovely again, I can't fault him in other ways at all, but lo and behold several weeks later, here we go again.

He's done it this week. I knew it would mean we wouldn't be seeing each other as planned last night. I told him yesterday to let me know how he feels in the evening, he didn't. I lost my patience with him and told him illness doesn't excuse rudeness and he apologised, said he felt rubbish, wanted to be alone but hadn't wanted to say it as he knows it sounds selfish.

I understand that some people want to be on their own when they are feeling ill. And sometimes if you are ill, you need to cancel plans. I don't understand why a sore throat or "feeling rough" means you have to stay in bed for two days. Or why you can't text someone just as nicely as you would when you feel 100%. Just get on with it surely?

I also don't understand why someone who would feel ill so frequently wouldn't try to make themselves healthier.

I am now beginning to wonder what it would be like to live with a man like this? Which is something we have spoken about for next year.

magoria Thu 04-Jun-15 13:20:16

Back off.

Next time he starts making noises about being unwell say 'oh dear anything you want? Let me know when you fell better' then organise yourself without him

QuiteLikely5 Thu 04-Jun-15 13:23:34

Seems a bit odd to me only because when my dh is poorly he likes me to be at his beck and call.

Having said that it is rare that he gets so ill he needs to stay in bed all day..........certainly I don't think I know anybody who gets that poorly every two months..........

Does he stay off work too?

expatinscotland Thu 04-Jun-15 13:26:29

'I am now beginning to wonder what it would be like to live with a man like this? Which is something we have spoken about for next year.'

A fucking nightmare. After just 10 months, he is mindfucking you like this. You really need to get a clue here: this one is a dud. He is not 'lovely', he's rude, dismissive and flakey. Then he reels you back in. He's getting a rise out of this cycle, that's why he keeps doing it.

'When this happens, he goes quiet and grumpy, I hardly hear from him and his messages are quite short. I'll offer support, sympathy or even company, which he won't accept. It almost always falls on a day we have plans and it's always an ordeal trying to drag it out of him whether he feels well enough to go or not. So it always ends with me feeling pissed off with him, so we will disagree, things will be off for a couple of days, then when he feels better it all goes really lovely again,'

Please wake up and smell the coffee, this guy is a mindfuck. What he's doing is cruel.

QuiteLikely5 Thu 04-Jun-15 13:30:44

Can you do it back to him? (If not for your pleasure then mine grin

See how he likes it?

ravenmum Thu 04-Jun-15 13:30:57

Do you think he's really ill or just trying to get out of the planned events? Is there a pattern - a particular kind of event he gets out of?

SmillasSenseOfSnow Thu 04-Jun-15 13:32:32

Are you sure this isn't a cover for depressive/anxious episodes? Would explain a lot.

Fudgeface123 Thu 04-Jun-15 13:33:42

Is there a reason why he doesn't want to go out with you? Could he be in a relationship or married? Is it possible that's he's seeing other people? Is it possible that he's skint and can't afford to accompany you, but he's ashamed to admit it?

BabyGanoush Thu 04-Jun-15 13:33:58

just back off, leave him alone for a few days and do fun stuff on your own or with friends. (basically what MAgoria said)

you can be sympathetic for a bit and then just leave him to it.

SadieSanchez Thu 04-Jun-15 13:34:20

He doesn't usually take time off work. He usually martyrs up and gets out of bed, goes to work and then goes back to bed. He has taken time off today, which makes me wonder if I am being harsh.

He could be genuinely poorly this time. But sometimes, it hasn't been an actual illness, just that he feels tired, hasn't been able to sleep and feels inexplicably "rough".

The first time it happened, I almost ended it because we had been together a few months and I thought he was cooling off. But he talked me down and said sometimes, he just feels like he needs a few days to himself.

So maybe it usually more of a "right, Ive had several weeks of being lovely and sunshiny and sociable, i'm going to retreat into my man cave" thing, which is a concept I don't feel I have much patience for.

I tend to just leave him alone and check in with him every now and then, but if we have plans I expect him to put his big boy pants on and cancel them without me having to be a mind reader.

Is this one of those things I have to accept as being part of who he is?

SadieSanchez Thu 04-Jun-15 13:37:17

I don't think it is to get out specific events. Last night, we were going to have a night in and watch a film.

He's definitely not married, seeing someone else etc.

I do wonder if it is to cover up for "depressive/anxious" episodes. I don't know how to broach that though but would want to help if it was. He won't let me though.

ravenmum Thu 04-Jun-15 13:38:00

If it is anxiety or depression, he might be waiting to see if he can get up the courage to go, for example, which might explain why he leaves it til the last minute - combined with feeling embarrassed about not having a "proper" illness to explain his absence.

SadieSanchez Thu 04-Jun-15 13:38:48

Expat I do worry that maybe what you have said is on the mark.

hellsbellsmelons Thu 04-Jun-15 13:39:38

No no no.
If you live with him he'll invent all kinds of illnesses.
You see it on here all the time.
And when you are ill you'll get no sympathy and no help.
Why put up with this?
You're 10 months in - just cut your losses.

BisleyBoy Thu 04-Jun-15 13:41:36

I'm inclined to agree with smilla.....its sounds a bit like he might be feeling down/depressed on those days. My mother used to always say she was ill when I. Fact she was just depressed. I also used to do it too, because being down wasn't an acceptable reason (in my family) to stay in bed and isolate yourself. But being ill was.

expatinscotland Thu 04-Jun-15 13:43:02

'Is this one of those things I have to accept as being part of who he is?'

No. Do you really want to put up with this in a live-in situation? Days and days of having to tiptoe round Mr Grouch? Never being able to plan without stress and anxiety he'll 'fall ill' and you'll have to cancel?

It should be fun, you know, not hard work.

expatinscotland Thu 04-Jun-15 13:46:25

'I don't know how to broach that though but would want to help if it was. He won't let me though.'

And there is your answer. Don't bother flogging this dead horse. You let him talk you down once, and nothing changed and nothing will because on some level, this is working for him.

When someone tells you who they are, listen to them.

Duckdeamon Thu 04-Jun-15 13:48:13

How flakey. In the short term I wouldn't pander to it and would just breezily say hope you feel better soon and make other plans until he contacts you.

If he does have mental health issues he should really explain this (if you're serious enough to be talking about moving in together). He might just want some time alone and be handling it rudely.

If it keeps happening and his communication continues to be poor it does seem a red flag: the last thing you'd need if you ever had DC is flakey partner!

ravenmum Thu 04-Jun-15 13:51:28

He might not have spoken to anyone about feeling down, let alone have a diagnosis of a mental health issue. He might see it as an embarrassing personal failing which would make a potential partner run a mile if he admitted to it. (If that IS his problem...)

In any case, this is not your partner of 20 years we're talking about here; his problem does not have to be your problem.

SadieSanchez Thu 04-Jun-15 13:53:20

I kind of felt sorry for him last night. I'd wanted to know if I was still going over or not.
He didn't answer the phone so I sent him a message telling him he was being rude and ignorant as he hadn't let me know.

He replied: "sorry, I feel rubbish and I want to be alone. I know that is a rude and selfish thing to say to someone you care about so I didn't want to be made to say it. I'm sorry, I whimped out. I understand why it has pissed you off. I guess I have just been feeling sorry for myself."

I mean, I find that frustrating and a bit whimpy but didn't think it was manipulative in anyway.

TwerkingSpinster Thu 04-Jun-15 13:55:36

And supposing he feels like a few days of when you have a newborn?

MonstrousRatbag Thu 04-Jun-15 13:58:00

I think it is manipulative. He's manipulating you into feeling sorry for him and feeling guilty about your (justifiable) anger. it is all about him and not at all about the effect on you.

And this happens frequently, so it will be an ongoing problem. I would be worried that he is either not telling you the whole story or has no insight into his own issues.

SadieSanchez Thu 04-Jun-15 13:58:11

That is what has crossed my mind twerking. I know he wants all that. But what about if we did live together and he wanted to be alone? That's not going to happen is it?

I understand some people have a need for space and to do their own thing, but you can't hide if you live with someone.

Isetan Thu 04-Jun-15 14:00:00

How often do you see each other?

SadieSanchez Thu 04-Jun-15 14:00:59

Maybe I need to figure out whether he does get depressed or if he is just being flakey.

Or maybe it doesn't matter.

It's a shame. I love him.

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