Jump to content

Is it wrong to break up with your partner after they became paralysed?


Recommended Posts

So I recently came out of hospital from a minor operation, and it got me asking a big question; what if I came out of the hospital having to adjust to the new life of not being able to control my body from waist down?

 

I have been with my boyfriend since high school and we've grown up a lot together. We have become very serious and at times talked about marriage and kids and our future together wherever it may be. When I asked him "what if I got into a freak accident and lost my legs or became paralysed babe, what would you do?" after not much thought, he answered "I don't think you can expect me to stay in a relationship with you. I would be there for you and wouldn't just leave you, but I can't commit to stay in a relationship with you. I have my happiness to think about and the same would apply to you if the situation was the other way around. Though this would be different if we were married because of the "in sickness and in health" thing."

 

After hearing that my heart honestly dropped. I thought it was fair for him to say that because in that situation you really cannot blame someone for leaving you because the life of taking care of someone like that would be miserable; you cannot expect someone to care and love you in that situation and you have to put yourself in their shoe too. Their days would be so heavily focused on taking care of you in almost every way and it would be exhausting both mentally and physically. This would become a form of codependency and it could potentially drag the mental wellbeing of the carer down to a toxic level. If they decided to leave because of these reasons, I can't and wouldn't blame them at all.

 

While that is the case, at the same time, this really made me question my relationship and now I am faced with doubt and confusion. My heart dropped because it made our relationship seem superficial. I thought how can you tell me that you would be there for me but at the same time you could one day be with someone new and the only reason why and how you were able to do that was from me becoming paralysed from a freak accident? It fkn sucks and really hurts to hear that. Also, forget the "in sickness and in health" part of the marriage, how does marriage make the difference in this? If you only stay with me because of the stupid vows you made at the altar but not actually be emotionally involved with me, then what is the point? Should we even get married one day if that was the case? Should I even stay with him knowing his answer? I have always been that girl who believes if he doesn't want to be with me then I won't stop him from leaving; I would rather be alone than force a relationship no matter how serious it was.

 

Now talking about my side, how I would feel if this was reversed, I would not know what to do. I don't want to place a definite answer that "yes, I will stay no matter what" because its easier said than done to be with someone like that. Though when the moment the question was asked my way, I told him his answer was fair and I would probably be the same, but I had a warm feeling in my heart and it whispered "yes, I want to stay with you no matter what". I didn't end up telling him how I may have truly felt because I was taken back by his answer.

 

I'm now really torn between both sides and if anyone could give some advice that would be greatly appreciated. :smug::smug:

Edited by amytpham
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 104
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

I would stay with my partner if they were in a wheelchair but they didn't have any brain damage. But if they had reasonably bad damage then I'm not actually sure...I probably wouldn't mind if my partner was burnt or scarred either. I work as a support worker and I've worked with quite a few people with acquired brain injury and honestly it's very difficult (due to the psychological and cognitive issues). A lot of people with ABI can't regulate their emotions and/or their memory is so bad that they just keep repeating the same things. I think if my partner is physically disabled but the mind is fine and we can still have intellectual conversations then it's not as bad.

 

Keep in mind though that people have different thresholds of what they can deal with. I wouldn't just outright say that your relationship is superficial. This hypothetical scenario is not even just a matter of being shallow (e.g. if you get scarred) but it means fully dedicating yourself to physically take care of you. I mean of course that makes things very difficult and even sex may not be possible, which is very important in a relationship.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey at least he's being honest. But we never know how we feel until it actually happens. We can never predict our behavior/decisions in serious situations, standing on the outside looking in.

 

On the flip side, therapists have been known to fall in love with their patient, so there would be hope for new love.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Holy sh**, what a loaded question to ask your partner, geez!

 

I would think when you love your partner and are committed, married or not, you would stay, no question!

 

I would never even consider leaving my bf if something like that happened to him.

 

That's what committment means, not bailing when things become tough or challenging.

 

Imo the way your bf answered that question was cold and selfish and would suggest he neither loves you nor is committed to you.

Sorry.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You had a minor operation and then tested your bf with a what if question?

 

People ask others what if you won the lottery , what would you do?

The answers are vast and varied. And most answers don’t reflect what a person would actually do because it’s a hypothetical practical question and not a real genuine one involving reality and emotions it would bring.

 

My friends husband had a stroke in his 40’s, they had 4 children. She has only recently divorced him 6 years later. Why? Because the stroke changed his personality and they both could no longer make it work .

Fine , a stroke does cause brain changes.

Losing ones legs and being wheelchair bound doesn’t directly affect ones brain but depending on the strength of that person they will either become negative or positive about their own situation , likewise the partner will either become negative or positive.

 

I’m more concerned about your question raised over his response to your answer.

And your reaction to his answer.

He is simply more practical than you. You are more emotional than him.

 

But neither of you can possibly know how you would react in that instance.

Stop asking silly questions and questioning your relationship.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I once became very attracted to a man who was paralyzed from the waste down from a motorcycle accident.

 

Man was he hot! Great looking and his upper body, oy vay!

 

I met him at a singles event, we chatted for a long time, he took my number but never called. :(

 

I would have defintely gone out with him if he had. He appeared to be extremely confident - self-sufficent, owned a home, was successful etc. Great energy!

 

Sexually, there are so many ways to satisfy other then straight intercourse.

 

Wouldn't give a rat's rear end what anyone thought about it either!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey at least he's being honest. But we never know how we feel until it actually happens. We can never predict our behavior/decisions in serious situations, standing on the outside looking in.

 

On the flip side, therapists have been known to fall in love with their patient, so there would be hope for new love.

 

I agree with this... although I have no experience with therapists part :p

 

While I think getting pi$$ed off and upset about something that hasn't happened or may never happen is kinda silly, maybe it's a good thing that you uncovered this side of your bf now vs. down the road.

 

No one can predict how they might feel in these situations... and I would hazard a guess that plenty of people who swear up and down they wouldn't leave their partners in times of crisis might secretly feel differently, or change their mind when the situations actually arise.

 

I would be paying close attention from now on as to how he handles these types of situations with you, and how you handle them together, as that will tell you a lot about him and how he will be down the road.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey different strokes for different folks. Not everyone would be ok to sign up for a life with a partner that has a life changing disability. It is what it is.

 

Katrina...so you are saying the only way you would ever date someone who was paralyzed is if he was smokin hot, built like a brick $%%& house, and has money? Then you would over look the disability?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey different strokes for different folks. Not everyone would be ok to sign up for a life with a partner that has a life changing disability. It is what it is.

 

Katrina...so you are saying the only way you would ever date someone who was paralyzed is if he was smokin hot, built like a brick $%%& house, and has money? Then you would over look the disability?

 

I did not say that.

 

I only said the guy I met was those things which is part of the reason I became attracted to him.

 

I happen to like confident and self-sufficient men. And yes he was very good looking too!

 

And it's not a matter of over-looking the disability.

 

The disability was a non-issue for me.

 

I was attracted to him and therefore would have gone out with him had he asked.

Edited by katrina1980
Link to post
Share on other sites

Way to go Einstein - you asked your boyfriend a dumb, hypothetical question and got an answer you didn't like - and it does not mean anything because it's not reality. I just love how people sabotage their own relationships. People love to worry about things that will probably never happen.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Way to go Einstein - you asked your boyfriend a dumb, hypothetical question and got an answer you didn't like - and it does not mean anything because it's not reality. I just love how people sabotage their own relationships. People love to worry about things that will probably never happen.

 

Yup, otherwise known as a bog standard "shyt test." Lol :D

Link to post
Share on other sites

This reminds me of my poor first boyfriend when we were teenagers. I asked him if he'd date or marry someone else (we never married/I think I scared him) if I died. His mother died early and his father was dating again and eventually remarried. Filled with uncertainty, ....I did the unthinkable and asked him a similar question. I have to really shake my head and laugh.... the things I put him through.

 

I know these big questions haunt you but try not to go there. I know you'll go there as young people anyway and try to visualize or project yourselves into those circumstances. The short answer is that there is no way you will ever know the answer until you go through it yourself. Be at peace for now and appreciate each other more. Your boyfriend was honest with you in the same way my first boyfriend was honest with me. I created a situation that was both comical and inappropriate by asking a question to which no answer would have been sufficient. We were simply too young to comprehend the magnitude of life and death all at once, let alone being with someone else if given the opportunity for greater happiness.

 

You're not going to always get the answers you need at this point but eventually you'll learn the answers on your own(with or without a long time partner or a committed relationship). In the end despite the loyalties in all the people I've dated, I realized what the answer was to my own question on my own time, in my own heart, over a period of time. When I eventually got married, I already had that peace in my heart to move forward unconditionally without any expectations on the other side and actually, my ideas have nothing to do with my husband at all. They're just ideas and beliefs that I developed on my own, independent of whether he's ever existed at all.

 

I'd say take more time and energy to heal after your operation and enjoy every moment you have alive. Give thanks where it's due, give back and be generous to others, learn to accept love and gifts also and don't live a single minute of your life worried too much for the future in ways that you can't control or determine all on your own. Let things happen over time naturally.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree with this... although I have no experience with therapists part :p

 

While I think getting pi$$ed off and upset about something that hasn't happened or may never happen is kinda silly, maybe it's a good thing that you uncovered this side of your bf now vs. down the road.

 

No one can predict how they might feel in these situations... and I would hazard a guess that plenty of people who swear up and down they wouldn't leave their partners in times of crisis might secretly feel differently, or change their mind when the situations actually arise.

 

I would be paying close attention from now on as to how he handles these types of situations with you, and how you handle them together, as that will tell you a lot about him and how he will be down the road.

 

What side of her bf did she uncover ?

Someone that answers a hypothetical question?

 

You sort of hint that the op herself would not actually stay with her bf in a similar situation by saying

 

“No one can predict how they might feel in these situations... and I would hazard a guess that plenty of people who swear up and down they wouldn't leave their partners in times of crisis might secretly feel differently, or change their mind when the situations actually arise.”

 

So in actual fact he should pay more attention to how she handles these “situations” that she “creates”?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't secretly feel differently Billie.

 

I would stay, no question, assumimg we were committed to each other prior to.

 

That's not to say things couldn't change down the road, and the relationship breaks down, which is possible.

 

Something like that changes a person and in turn the relationship.

 

Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. But that can happen in any relationship regardless of whether or not one partner became disabled.

 

Take Christopher and Dana Reed - it brought them closer, increased their intimacy, love and commitment. Beautiful inspiring story.

Edited by katrina1980
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

A friend decided to give a guy a chance; he had been in a skiing accident many years prior, and he was a paraplegic. We all encouraged her. Guess what....he cheated and lied to her so many times. Seems toxicity knows no bounds.

 

To the OP: that’s a loaded question, but I do think there’s something to think about with respect to his answer, which I do not like.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
You had a minor operation and then tested your bf with a what if question?

 

People ask others what if you won the lottery , what would you do?

The answers are vast and varied. And most answers don’t reflect what a person would actually do because it’s a hypothetical practical question and not a real genuine one involving reality and emotions it would bring.

 

My friends husband had a stroke in his 40’s, they had 4 children. She has only recently divorced him 6 years later. Why? Because the stroke changed his personality and they both could no longer make it work .

Fine , a stroke does cause brain changes.

Losing ones legs and being wheelchair bound doesn’t directly affect ones brain but depending on the strength of that person they will either become negative or positive about their own situation , likewise the partner will either become negative or positive.

 

I’m more concerned about your question raised over his response to your answer.

And your reaction to his answer.

He is simply more practical than you. You are more emotional than him.

 

But neither of you can possibly know how you would react in that instance.

Stop asking silly questions and questioning your relationship.

 

My thoughts exactly. You never know what you are actually capable of until you're in the middle of it. Plus, what if he was in a different mood when you asked him? His answer could have been completely different.

 

I understand how you're feeling because I'm pretty sure I've pulled some similar things when I was young. But you can't, CAN'T base your entire outlook on your relationship on one hypothetical question. Use things you really know about: the way you treat each other, how open and honest you both are, etc.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

You're not married, why bother with theoretical debates? What if this! what if that! what if if if! what would happen when!.. etc. Therapy could help you understand that all of life has risks. Including a spouse/partner leaving for any reason. Make an appt with a therapist to get a handle on this anxiety.

what if I came out of the hospital having to adjust to the new life of not being able to control my body from waist down?

 

I asked him "what if I got into a freak accident and lost my legs or became paralysed babe, what would you do?" after not much thought, he answered "I don't think you can expect me to stay in a relationship with you. I would be there for you and wouldn't just leave you, but I can't commit to stay in a relationship with you. I have my happiness to think about and the same would apply to you if the situation was the other way around.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with Billie here.

 

What a loaded—and kind of pointless—question to ask someone following a minor procedure!

 

Reminds me of how when I was a little boy—a sensitive, super-imaginative boy whose father had walked out on him—and I'd kill time on road trips by asking my mom ridiculous questions: "Would you still love me if I had no arms?" "Would you still love me if all I could say was 'I hate you'?" "Would you still love me if I threw up everything you cooked for me?"

 

I was like seven years old. As a grown up, though, I don't ask my girlfriends these sorts of questions to make sure they love me.

 

Are you in the habit of testing your boyfriend's devotion to you like this? Do you not fully trust his level of commitment? As a young, healthy human dating a fellow young, healthy human is this the kind of promise you need to feel secure?

 

Or are you generally prone to catastrophic thinking?

 

I so can't even imagine the headspace that leads to this question, or that leads to your current concerns based on his answer. I went down on my motorcycle a few months ago—skid across the pavement at 60 mph. Guess I could have emerged a paraplegic. Except I was fine. It was a "minor" crash. Yay. As for the other ways it could have gone, and how those who love me would have responded—well, who knows? Who cares? I hope to never learn, but if I have to learn I'll learn it, in reality.

 

Nobody—nobody—knows the answer to a question like this until presented with the situation. Nobody, in fact, really knows anything about what they can or can't handle inside a relationship or even a marriage. "Til death do us part, in sickness and in health"—millions of people make these vows, and then break them for a million reasons. Millions of others stick to them. Millions of others, meanwhile, find themselves forgiving and working through situations they thought they'd never forgive or work through.

 

That's just how it goes. That's the beauty of it.

 

He gave you the most honest answer he could give, right now, at 20whatever he is. Wasn't the most sensitive of answers, sure. But he's young, healthy, probably pretty inexperienced with the variety of hardship and insanity that life can deliver. He probably can't see to 30, let alone to an apocalyptic future where you've suffered the unthinkable. What he heard was: Would you be okay never having sex again, from today until you die, and as someone who probably hasn't been having sex very long, and very much likes having sex with you, his brain kind of hiccuped.

 

As he grows and matures he'll probably answer it differently. I'd certainly answer it differently today, at 39, then I would have at 22, because I'm a pretty "woke" dude. Doesn't mean I really know what would be what in reality.

 

I get that your thrown, and I'm sorry about that, but there's really no point of making this the rabbit hole you go down.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, just my opinion but it's all about love, loyalty and commitment, and how committed you are.

 

For anyone to suggest that "no one knows how they would react, if they would leave or not" does not understand commitment or take it seriously.

 

Which is a big problem in relationships today, imo.

 

It's also an insult to those of us who do understand commitment and who do know they would stay.

 

Again, that's not to say things couldn't change down the road.

 

But initially, if committed, I would stay and we would embrace the challenge together.

Edited by katrina1980
Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the pointlessness of the loaded question. I have five real life examples.

 

One: man and woman meet at July 4 party. They get engaged 3 months later. Three days later she is run over by a bus. Not totally paralyzed but surgeries procedures, uses a wheelchair/scooter, constant pain (it's been 14 years now). He married her the following summer, they had a child and from all accounts are very happy together. He is fit and attractive, she is very overweight and not that attractive and also won't fly (fear from before the accident) so they are limited in their travels, etc. If that matters.

 

Two: man and woman meet online first. They get engaged about a year later. While engaged she is diagnosed with late stage cancer (when she is in her early 30s, so is he). He marries her and stays by her side in every way imaginable until she passes away about two years later.

 

Three: while married, woman gets Lou Gehrig's disease. They stay married but he finds a long term girlfriend for many years. He still provides for her financially (he is very very wealthy).

 

Four - I answered an online ad many years ago. He misled me with his photo and we had a number of phone calls before meeting. He didn't tell me that half his face was paralyzed and deeply scarred from an accident when he was a child. His face was scary to look at and even scarier to meet him and first see his face like that (I understand why he didn't tell me/posted a partially obscured photo -this was pre-digital photos) - and I knew it was something, a situation I could not handle. I thought he was a lovely person and opted not to see him again, telling him a white lie. Years later I saw that he married and had additional surgeries (he'd had many when we met) so that the scarring/paralysis seems a lot less. I am so glad he found someone. Shallow of me? I don't think so - I think part of dating is attraction and I did not want to lead him on once I knew I probably couldn't deal with it.

 

If it were me and heaven forbid something happened to my husband I believe from the bottom of my heart I would stay and do all I could to care for him. No question. I wholeheartedly believe he would do the same for me. My mother certainly did that for my father through his severe and serious illnesses. Took its toll over a 62 year marriage but she was unwavering (he passed away).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...