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New relationship - health issue


Lambert

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I have been seeing a man I met in December. We got close pretty quick and at times it seems much longer than 2 months, but the reality is, it's only been 2 months. In the beginning he had some neck and back pain. It's been getting worse and he has had to go through many tests, doctors appts and physical therapy.

 

He has been very depressed and stressed about it and in constant pain. we havent been able to really go out. sometimes it is too hard for him to drive. and he lives 45 minutes away- sometimes more due to winter climate issues in our area. So most of the time we just hang out. i really dont mind. it fun to be with him and its very much winter here- everyone is just hanging in watching movies etc.

 

He said had he known his health would deteriate so much, he would not have gotten a relationship. he said he wanted to break up. He feels it is to unfair to me to expect me to deal with his condition. I understand where he is coming from but, I don't want to break up. I care about him and want to help him. technically we are broken up. This was tuesday.

 

He meet a surgeon on friday. He expected it would be at least a month of more therapy before surgery would be considered. (He has been reading a lot about his condition and what to expect.). I said there was no way the surgeon would make him suffer another month. It has been that bad. (The pain is progressively worse and there has been no relief. Nothing helps- steroids, pain meds, the exercises. )

 

He is scheduled to have surgery next week. It's a serious surgery. They have to cut into the front of his neck and remove some bone and insert some plates. He will be in the hospital for 3-4 days, maybe less. Then he will be off work, resting at home for 4-6 weeks and it will take 6-12 months to fully recover. There will be a need for more therapy, a neck brace, etc... I actually think this is good.

 

we didnt have plans for valentine's. (we are broken up. which does bum me out because up until tuesday i was planning a valentine with him. i think he is just not trying to send mix signals and ending it. ) so although I was disappointed to not have valentines with him, it wasn't my biggest concern. I was focused on him seeing the surgeon, valentines just didn't matter.

 

he called me to say what happened with the surgeon. i offered to take him on surgery day and i said i wanted to see him. he said he was in a pretty bad mood, and his friend was making him dinner (a guy friend, his wife and their kids) so he was going to spend the evening with them. I was at work and couldn't say what I wanted to say. He said he would call me in a day or so. I was disappointed. Knowing how serious this is, I wanted to see him. But I didn't want to make him feel worse.

 

When we hung up I sent him a text.... I told him I appreciate his point about it being unfair to me that he cant participate in a relationship the way he should. But we did get in a relationship, we already care about each other. He used to tell me how glad he was to have me in his life. Well, I feel that is still true. And he should let me be there for him. I asked him to think about it and when he is ready, let me know.

 

He hasn't responded. I think that he will. I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't want me to take him... I am not sure I would want him to see me that way just yet. So I completely understand the reasons for the break up. But I also felt it was important to tell him how I feel. Now I guess I just wait.

 

Thoughts?

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My sense is that there's more to this than his medical condition but he might be one of those people who does not want to be in a romantic relationship when he's going through so much stress because it stresses him more. Since he's only known you a short time he feels that he can't be himself around you -the new himself in pain so it stresses him more. Give him the space he needs -it's also hard to figure out what he needs from you in terms of caring. Maybe he needs space or something different than your instincts tell you (since you don't know him well).

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My sense is that there's more to this than his medical condition but he might be one of those people who does not want to be in a romantic relationship when he's going through so much stress because it stresses him more. Since he's only known you a short time he feels that he can't be himself around you -the new himself in pain so it stresses him more. Give him the space he needs -it's also hard to figure out what he needs from you in terms of caring. Maybe he needs space or something different than your instincts tell you (since you don't know him well).

 

 

Hi batya33!

 

Thanks. I appreciate your response. I tend to agree... Space is needed and it just hasn't been long enough for me to really be able to fill this role as much as I want to. It does stress him out and he feels guilty about it and now I am probably just one more thing to stress about.

 

Sucks.

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It doesn't have to do with you in terms of your importance. It sounds like he's in a great deal of pain with a long road of recovery ahead. That would send most anyone into a depression of your lost freedom, depression about having to rely on others, frustration of not being able to fully care for yourself, resenting that you need others, depression from being home all day if you're used to being active...etc.

It doesn't have anything to do with your value to him...this is understandably his priority and he needs the space and time to prioritize his wellness.

If he falls off the radar I would back off and maybe just send a get well card at some point.

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Unfortunately, in these situations, you have to go against your instincts. You want to be a mother hen and be there for him. Comfort him. Take care of him. The best thing you can actually do is give him space .... stop communicating with him (or at least initiating communication).

 

Remember that you are broken up. No matter the circumstance, he should not get the benefit of you without the commitment of a relationship. Otherwise, he will start to see you as just a friend - which is not what you want.

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Yes, sadly, you need to respect his wishes on this one. When I've had significant health issues in the past, I've deliberately kept out of relationships because I didn't want them to bring them into a new one; it would just have got everything off on the wrong foot, and I'm guessing that's what he's going through.

 

He needs to concentrate on himself right now, and if he's a decent guy (which it sounds as though he is), it is going to be very uncomfortable for him to be accepting support from someone he's only just met. I know two months feels like a long time when you've had high hopes for a relationship, but you're still in the getting-to-know-you phase, and you're not yet an established couple. In some sense, my guess is that he'll feel demeaned on the one hand, and pressured into being upbeat in a way he isn't ready for. I know this isn't coming from you, but his distancing isn't about you. It's where he's at right now.

 

Life can be cruel and ironic at times. You sound like a lovely, caring, giving lady who is worthy of the very best life has to offer. But my advice to you is to take him at his word, and move on. You've done everything you can.

 

(((HUGS)))

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Ya, I agree that he is doing the right thing here, by telling you that he can't be with you, he knows he won't be able to give you what you need. And you are doing the right thing by taking a step back.

 

It's hard I know, when the timing doesn't work out. I have been here too, there was a period of time in my twenties when I was really ill and had to step away from being with someone, because it wouldn't have been fair.

 

Who knows what can happen in the future though, I agree with Mrs. Darcy about not letting yourself continue to be attached, or be his emotional crutch so that he doesn't see you as a friend--in case you want to try again with him in the future.

 

Don't sit around waiting for him though either. Continue to date and see what's out there. If you and this guy are meant to be, it will happen regardless.

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He doesn't want to keep explaining himself when he doesn't want to see you--so he's made it a blanket statement.

 

You did the smart thing, you've left the door open. If he's ever feeling more like himself again, he may reach out to you someday--but for now, I'd respect his wishes. I'd also move forward.

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Unfortunately, in these situations, you have to go against your instincts. You want to be a mother hen and be there for him. Comfort him. Take care of him. The best thing you can actually do is give him space .... stop communicating with him (or at least initiating communication).

 

Remember that you are broken up. No matter the circumstance, he should not get the benefit of you without the commitment of a relationship. Otherwise, he will start to see you as just a friend - which is not what you want.

 

Thank you all for the advice!

 

How do I avoid the dreaded friend zone? He is still texting and calling today. I didn't initiate but I did respond.

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Thank you all for the advice!

 

How do I avoid the dreaded friend zone? He is still texting and calling today. I didn't initiate but I did respond.

 

In my opinion, you can avoid the friend zone whilst keeping your respective best interests in mind by being honest. Let him know firmly but gently that you understand his need to focus on himself and upon reflection you realize that in order for you to heal you need some space. You need time to process the breakup, move on, and search for another relationship. When you are ready to just be friends, you are happy to reach out to him and encourage him on his healing. At this time, though, you both need to focus on yourselves.

 

Make it clear you are going to move on. That is not designed to freak him out (although it may) but moreso to set healthy boundaries for yourself.

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