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to break up with boyfriend because he's always ill?

213 replies

namechange100002 · 26/12/2019 21:48

Name changed as I know this may be controversial and I have family on here. Sorry it's long but want to give full info.

Genuinely am trying not to be a dick, adore the bones of my boyfriend so I hate that I feel this way.

BF and I have been together for a year now. We are serious about each other, love each other to bits. Neither of us wants to be without the other. I have a child (KS1 primary age) from a previous relationship, he is very understanding and really likes her too - we were friends before getting together so he already knew her.

BF has lots of pre-existing medical conditions: depression (under control with meds at present), eczema, asthma and allergies. His eczema covers most of his body. The last six months it has been flaring up on and off constantly. Doctors not interested in curing him or finding the cause, just giving him endless creams and then antibiotic steroids when it gets infected. He tried going private but couldn't afford it once the bill went into the high hundreds.

Out of the last month I have seen him 3 days because his skin has been so bad, he's in pain and is embarrassed to be seen. He knows it doesn't bother me but wont even visit when it gets like this as he just wants to lie in bed at home. He's been hospitalised twice since september because it's become infected and borderline septic. He's been in work for about 15 days total in the last six months.

He doesn't help himself with his skin or his asthma. He eats junk food (doesn't like fruit/veg etc), smokes (5 or 6 a day), doesn't shower enough (says it hurts his skin) and barely leaves the house (due to pain/embarrassment).

I was meant to be meeting his family on Christmas day. He cancelled as his skin was bad. He's also cancelled on me for boxing day. I moved house last month and he couldn't come to that either. We went on holiday a couple of months ago and he spent 4 of the 7 days in hospital.
He isn't being proactive about getting it sorted, just deals with it getting bad when it does.

I can't make plans with him as they ALWAYS get spoiled or cancelled. He constantly lets me down.

I've tried to be really understanding and I see how much he goes through dealing with it. I absolutely adore this man, we get along so well and every other aspect of our relationship is great. I just can't see it getting better than this right now and feel very low after sitting alone on Boxing Day while my daughter is with her dad and stepmum.

I don't want to end the relationship. But I am finding myself so so resentful and alone, again. eats chocolate and cries at Christmas With The Kranks

So, honestly, AIBU?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

Eloisedublin123 · 26/12/2019 21:50

No you’re not being unreasonable


Cloudyapples · 26/12/2019 21:50

You wouldnt be breaking up with him because he is ill, you’d be breaking up with him because he isn’t being responsible for himself and making choices that could make him better. He isn’t taking care of himself and doing what needs to be done - that tells you all you need to know about your future with him.


gamerchick · 26/12/2019 21:51

I had sympathy with him until I read he does nothing to help himself. There's no future with someone who isn't ready to put the work in. IMO.


PerfectPretender · 26/12/2019 21:52

I agree with Cloudyapples.


bigchris · 26/12/2019 21:53

No yanbu

Doesn't sound fun for you or dd


Rezie · 26/12/2019 21:53

You are not being unreasonable. You are actually not contemplating on breaking up with him due to his illnesses.


Crazypanda85 · 26/12/2019 21:54

YANBU if he is not doing all he can to help himself I can see why you are frustrated.

BUT I do think, if you felt as strongly about him as you say you wouldn't be writing this post. I'm not judging, just pointing that fact out. It is so annoying when you know someone can help themselves but if you were planning to build a life with this man deep down I don't think you'd be considering ending it.


virginpinkmartini · 26/12/2019 21:54

As sad as him being unwell is, I feel that as adults we should take as much personal responsibility for our health and wellbeing as we can possibly manage.
If he can't take care of himself doing the basics, like washing, or being mindful of what he puts in his body, then it's not fair for you to have to make sacrifices when he needs medical attention. If he was doing everything in his power to get on top of this, then I would say support him considering you say you love the bones off of him. But he isn't doing that.
I think it's time for a final chat about what the future looks like, because it can't keep on like this. It's an indicator of things to come.


IceMagic177 · 26/12/2019 21:54

I’m often ill. I have cystic acne as well as various other conditions. I wouldn’t want someone debating what you are so I don’t date at all. If he’s not prepared to help himself then you are being reasonable in splitting with him.


CoffeeCoinnesseur · 26/12/2019 21:56


You wouldn't be breaking up with him because he's always I'll.

You'd be breaking up with him because of his attitude in (not) taking care of himself, which undoubtedly contributes massively to his poor health and depression - and that attitude probably spills over into other areas of his life too.


virginpinkmartini · 26/12/2019 21:57

As a side note, could a gluten intolerance have anything to do with it?


Ohyesiam · 26/12/2019 21:57

It’s not the illness, it’s the abdication off responsibility that is bothering you.


finn1020 · 26/12/2019 21:57

He won’t help himself, that’s why I would not stay with him.


HelloDulling · 26/12/2019 21:57

He doesn’t value your relationship enough to do the things they might make him feel better and more able to do things with you. He’s sabotaging the relationship by remaining so passive. Shape up or ship out.


PinkiOcelot · 26/12/2019 21:58

I was going to say YABU when I read your title, but on reading your post, I don’t think you are.
He’s not helping himself at all. Doesn’t bode well for the future at all.


1busybee · 26/12/2019 21:58

It must be really depressing being that uncomfortable all the time. Maybe he’s stuck in a rut? Could you go the extra mile for, say a month. Try and cook him a balanced diet, get him back on track. There’s that 10 day steroid cycle thing which often works well. I think it’s 8 days creams two days steroids or it might be weekly. We did it for my daughter a few years ago and it stopped the cyclical flare ups.


namechange100002 · 26/12/2019 21:58


I think deep down you might be right.

I do love him more than I have ever loved anybody - makes me cringe but it's true! I know if we do break up I'll be devestated.

However, I find myself distanced from those feelings just because of how many times I've been let down. I can't, right now, see a future with him unless it's me being his carer and supporting him, which I don't really want to spend my life doing. When we first got together I could see a future, but now I just don't know.

OP posts:

NightsOfCabiria · 26/12/2019 22:00

You say this: “every other aspect of our relationship is great.”

But the evidence says otherwise.

You barely see him, presumably dont have sex/hug/kiss? Cant go anywhere, do anything, cant make plans.

What exactly does he add to your life?

Harsh, I know but the truth often is. The key here is that he does nothing to help himself. If he has no respect fir his body (junk food and smoking), how can he respect you?


sweeneytoddsrazor · 26/12/2019 22:01

Interested to what you think might cure his eczema? He should give up the smoking and obviously eat healthier but it is often linked to asthma and other allergies. If he has only managed 15 days in work because of it then not really surprised he can't afford private health care


Butterfly84 · 26/12/2019 22:02

Break up with him OP.

As pps have said, he is not being proactive in trying to sort his illness out. I don't think changing his diet would magically cure him but it could help. He should at least give it a go to save his relationship with you but he's clearly not bothered.


HannaYeah · 26/12/2019 22:02

I believe dating is about seeing if someone is a good partner.

I don’t think it’s wrong if you don’t want to be with someone who refuses to take care of his own health


Crazypanda85 · 26/12/2019 22:03

Yes, if you can't see a future, no matter what the reason its better to end it now.
In a few years imagine throwing kids into the mix etc, him being ill partly due to his own actions would definitely become a big problem.


Featherweight · 26/12/2019 22:03

I initially felt YWBU until I read He doesn't help himself with his skin or his asthma. He eats junk food (doesn't like fruit/veg etc), smokes (5 or 6 a day), doesn't shower enough (says it hurts his skin) and He isn't being proactive about getting it sorted, just deals with it getting bad when it does

You don't want to break up because of his illnesses and conditions, but because he won't do anything to make them better.

You need to talk to him, because how can you have a longterm relationship with someone who won't see you and let's you down regularly.


PenelopeFlintstone · 26/12/2019 22:04

The thing is, do you actually know that if he ‘took better care of himself’ that his eczema would improve? Maybe he already knows that nothing makes any difference.


namechange100002 · 26/12/2019 22:06


A fair question. I had eczema myself as a child/teen - no where near as severe as his might I add, but it did flare up badly in cold weather and used to scab and bleed.

I made sure to only wear cotton pyjamas. Washed all my own clothes in special detergent. Used emollients etc at least 3 times a day. Tried to wear loose trousers or shorts and get out into fresh air (even just sit in the garden) to air my skin and get some sunlight. Showered every day in cool-ish water. Drank only water/sugarfree squash and lots of it. Tried various diet fixes - cutting out gluten/eggs/dairy/sugar etc one by one to see if any were triggers: turned out dairy was!

He does none of this despite me telling him multiple times to have a go as it would make a huge difference to his quality of life. He cut out dairy for 3 days (not long enough to make a difference) and then started eating it again as he 'couldnt live without cheese'.

It's this that infuriates me.

OP posts:
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