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Dating a cancer patient… who is also a total jerk??


Kansasbbq10
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When he first asked me out, he’d already had surgery to remove his cancer & radiation therapy, just a few more chemo rounds to go. I’d spend the night at his place but we only PG-cuddled, barely even kissed- he said he’d lost all sex drive w the cancer but would be ?back to normal soon. In all the times we cuddled, it was obvi he never once even got hard. Also on an antidepressant. In the midst of this, he invited me to a monster truck rally w/his son & son’s friend (he’s divorced), it was on New Year’s Day and then I stayed the whole next day, he cooked for us. 

Then his last chemo started. I visited him almost every single day he was hospitalized, even when I had my daughter (I’m also divorced) & had to get a friend to watch her for an hour. I’d just hold his hand and do whatever he needed. Since he came home from the hospital this last time, he’s been so frail, nauseous, in a fog. Told me he’d snapped at his son and felt bad, and then his son was like “you gonna just go home and lay in bed which is all you ever do?” He’d sleep 12 hours straight when I was over, with night sweats. If I had a bad day at work he would brush me off, not really listen or even say a single empathic thing like “sorry about your day,” but I never once criticized bc I figured I can’t expect anything from someone who’s sick. He’d also routinely disappear for a few days, not even texting me once; again I would never act bothered. 
After not hearing from him a few days I texted, and we briefly talked about my daughter. I realized I hadn’t asked him to meet her after almost 2 months of dating whereas I’d spent a bunch of time w his son already, so I texted “you can totally spend time w her at some point… I’d just want to be able to tell her clearly who you are & not introduce you ambiguously like as a friend.” He completely blew me off!!!! Only after reaching out to him the next day did I finally get an answer (over text, he didn’t return my call): “I’m thinking we should just remain friends for right now bc with all that’s happening I don’t think I can’t provide everything necessary for you to be in a relationship right now. That can absolutely change but I think you need more than I can give right now.”

I responded “I thought I’d been super giving, not sure why you’d say I ‘need a lot.’ I was happy just to hang out with you, which you clearly wish to discard.” He was like “not true, I’d never discard that, you’re very giving… I’m sorry you’re reacting angrily here, I’m doing my best.” I just replied this really isn’t a convo we should have over text, and that was it.

***?? I never required anything from him. Never even said anything when he didn’t text me once over multiple days. And suddenly it’s too much that I reference meeting my daughter “at some point” when he’s already asked me to hang w his son on multiple occasions?? Just bc I stated my boundaries that I’d want things to be “more than friends” between us before I would introduce my daughter?

Edited by Kansasbbq10
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10 minutes ago, Seraphim said:

Far far far too early to introduce kids to this situation. 
The man is severely ill, I wouldn’t expect socializing and playing family time. Chemo makes people feel severely ill. Basically it tries to destroy the cancer before it kills you. 
 

Your expectations for this relationship are far far beyond what is realistic at this point. 

I’d agree with you, except he was the one inviting me to spend time with HIS son on multiple occasions including a holiday! yet when I reference my daughter and why I prefer to wait longer/ until we aren’t just friends, that’s a problem?!

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I didn't read the end of your post at first and I was going to say that this man is just too sick right now, can't really be in a relationship and can't give you what you want. Then I read the end of your post and that's actually exactly what he said to you. The thing is, he's physically very ill. And when you're really sick it affects you mentally and emotionally too. You said he also has no sex drive and can't get hard. This probably made him feel inadequate and self conscious.

I know you were really understanding and caring towards him but he's just not in a good place right now. He probably can't give you much of himself so even things like meeting your daughter might feel overwhelming. 

I'm actually not surprised he said this to you. I think unfortunately maybe it's just not meant to be right now.

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But it was okay for me to spend time with HIS child, hold his hand every night in the hospital, have him kiss and cuddle me but suddenly he can only be friends with me?! He should’ve never started dating me at all and certainly not introduced me to his child if he was just going to pull a bait and switch!

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I think that you were very understanding, but your expectations are unreasonable for a person facing a life-threatening illness. 

You also fail to understand that while he might have initially thought he could manage a relationship, his perspective changed as his illness and treatment has progressed. It's okay for someone to have changed their mind, especially given what he is going through. I am not sure why you view this as a bait-and-switch, as that suggests a malicious intent to deceive you and I don't see that here. 

It hurts but he was right to break up. He knows he cannot have a girlfriend at this time and needs to concentrate just on surviving. That's more important than anything else. 

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It’s best to go your separate ways. Don’t hold on to that resentment and anger. The man is fighting for his life. 

I also think you may be dealing with some of that grief, becoming close to someone, seeing them fight to live and be ill and then have it end prematurely because he tells you he can’t be more of what you need. 

I’d take a step back and deal with that hurt privately. Leave him alone and don’t contact. If he reaches out remain a friend but you will need to move on.

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5 hours ago, Kansasbbq10 said:


 He’d sleep 12 hours straight when I was over, with night sweats. If I had a bad day at work he would brush me off, not really listen or even say a single empathic thing like “sorry about your day,” but I never once criticized bc I figured I can’t expect anything from someone who’s sick. He’d also routinely disappear for a few days, not even texting me once; again I would never act bothered. 

This is what he means when he says you need more than he can give. The fact that he didn't ask you about your bad day or made some empty remark about it made you feel something. Do you know what chemo does to the body? Have you ever taken care of or been with someone 24/7 who is going through cancer treatment? The toll it takes on their bodies and minds is unbelievable...the level of strength it requires is crazy (physical, mental, and emotional).... all to save their lives.

It's not him. It is you. You are not what/who he needs right now. Try being more understanding for the next person you date. 

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5 hours ago, Kansasbbq10 said:

 “I’m thinking we should just remain friends for right now bc with all that’s happening I don’t think I can’t provide everything necessary for you to be in a relationship right now. That can absolutely change but I think you need more than I can give right now.”

He's being honest. And he's correct. You want more than he's able to give.

Step back and stop hanging out this much.

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He is in a fight for his life and anything left in his reserve is going into taking care of himself physically and emotionally.  As it should be.

That's why it feels lopsided.  You were kind enough to offer support and understanding and when you asked for something in return he recognized that he was depleted.   When you are that knocked that far down and fighting to climb out of it, having someone ask you for one more thing is sometimes just too much.

No doubt he wanted something with you and given the opportunity he tried.   But ultimately it's just really bad timing.  I doubt he's in the mindframe to be calculating enough to try to mislead you.

No villains or jerks here.  Just two good people and very bad timing.

Edited by reinventmyself
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14 hours ago, Kansasbbq10 said:

I think you need more than I can give right now.”

 

14 hours ago, Kansasbbq10 said:

not sure why you’d say I ‘need a lot.’

I didn't see that he said you "need a lot". Just that he can't give a relationship what it needs.

He's not a jerk. Neither are you. It's just bad timing, as others have said.

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10 minutes ago, Kansasbbq10 said:

If it’s just bad timing then why let me go? Who blows someone off completely who’s been there giving the way I was?

Who?  Maybe a person experiencing a life threatening illness and debilitating chemo.

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32 minutes ago, Kansasbbq10 said:

If it’s just bad timing then why let me go? Who blows someone off completely who’s been there giving the way I was?

Giving is not an investment and nobody owes you anything in return for that, let alone a relationship.

Will echo what @Andrina already said so well - he was wrong to try to date while in the situation he is in. It was equally a mistake on your end to get involved and over invested the way that you did. Not to mention that when he tried to pull back a little, you immediately pushed forward hard and fast.

Going forward, maybe avoid picking up birds with broken wings thinking that if you heal them, they'll be yours. Consider that once the wing is healed, the birds fly away. 

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Lol, let’s just summarize, I’m so worthless that even after giving endlessly to someone for almost 2 months and asking for nothing in return, once I actually “asked for” anything- only that he could eventually meet my daughter once we were not just ambiguous “friends”- he drops me completely 

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1 minute ago, Kansasbbq10 said:

Lol, let’s just summarize, I’m so worthless that even after giving endlessly to someone for almost 2 months and asking for nothing in return, once I actually “asked for” anything- only that he could eventually meet my daughter once we were not just ambiguous “friends”- he drops me completely 

Why do you conclude you're "worthless"? Who said that? Did he tell you you're "worthless"? Or is that something you decided because he's realized he isn't in the right place in his life to date anyone?

Next man you meet, don't "give endlessly". Choose men who are available to date and who give you equal effort. 

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3 minutes ago, Kansasbbq10 said:

Lol, let’s just summarize, I’m so worthless that even after giving endlessly to someone for almost 2 months and asking for nothing in return, once I actually “asked for” anything- only that he could eventually meet my daughter once we were not just ambiguous “friends”- he drops me completely 

No one said that and he never said that . He is a severely ill individual with an immune compromised system. You are not getting the severity of the fact he is in the fight of his life. 

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2 hours ago, Kansasbbq10 said:

If it’s just bad timing then why let me go? Who blows someone off completely who’s been there giving the way I was?

Have you ever known or been around someone else that has been this sick? 

I think your expectations are out of whack.  He does not have the capacity to support you and while it's nice what you were doing, he's got a lot going on.  

Maybe he included you in time with his son because he only had the strength to do that and it was a good opportunity to spend time with you, too 

25 minutes ago, Kansasbbq10 said:

Lol, let’s just summarize, I’m so worthless that even after giving endlessly to someone for almost 2 months and asking for nothing in return, once I actually “asked for” anything- only that he could eventually meet my daughter once we were not just ambiguous “friends”- he drops me completely 

You are not worthless. Stop it. Don't be a martyr. Recognize this guy tried to have a normal relationship (probably because he LIKES you) but he is not  capable because he is deathly ill with cancer & chemo treatments.

Be kind and gracious.  this man has cancer for the love of Pete.Your're not the priority here. It's not a slight or rejection of you.  He's got other serious problems and while you think you just asked for one thing, it is too much for him.  And he did the best he could do and let you go to find someone who does have time for you.

 

Edited by Lambert
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29 minutes ago, Kansasbbq10 said:

Lol, let’s just summarize, I’m so worthless that even after giving endlessly to someone for almost 2 months and asking for nothing in return, once I actually “asked for” anything- only that he could eventually meet my daughter once we were not just ambiguous “friends”- he drops me completely 

You're not worthless. He saw your worth too but this didn't work out.

If he wants to contact you again he has your number but I think it's best for you to treat him with kindness and be a friend. He's not at point right now to date.

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1 hour ago, Kansasbbq10 said:

Lol, let’s just summarize, I’m so worthless that even after giving endlessly to someone for almost 2 months and asking for nothing in return, once I actually “asked for” anything- only that he could eventually meet my daughter once we were not just ambiguous “friends”- he drops me completely 

Is this the same tone you use to communicate with him?

If so, part of he answer is right here. 

You aren't owed anything by this man. That's now relationships work, especially when someone could be facing the end of his life. 

Edited by MissCanuck
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1 hour ago, Kansasbbq10 said:

Lol, let’s just summarize, I’m so worthless that even after giving endlessly to someone for almost 2 months and asking for nothing in return, once I actually “asked for” anything- only that he could eventually meet my daughter once we were not just ambiguous “friends”- he drops me completely 

Maybe stop lying to yourself about what's in bold. You were very much asking for something in return - a relationship. Since he declined to give that to you, you are now angry and disappointed.

 

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2 hours ago, Kansasbbq10 said:

Lol, let’s just summarize, I’m so worthless that even after giving endlessly to someone for almost 2 months and asking for nothing in return, once I actually “asked for” anything- only that he could eventually meet my daughter once we were not just ambiguous “friends”- he drops me completely 

I'm sorry you feel this way 😞 I just had a look at your post again. I do actually think that maybe some of your anger and hurt comes from the fact that you actually did give too much but also seems like you expected some kind of gratitude for it? You mention your "giving" a lot in your post and also all of your reply comments.

The thing is, this wasn't a volunteer job or charity case. This is a grown man you were dating and yes he does have cancer but you dated him willingly by your own choice. I don't think he was ungrateful because his last message to you was something along the lines of: "I'm sorry you're feeling angry, I know you were very giving, I'm trying my best...." I think that message he sent you literally summarizes the whole situation. By the sounds of it he knows you were really nice to him and giving, he was trying his best but he just CAN'T give more. I think he physically just couldn't. 

You weren't wrong to actually want him to ask about your day too or to meet your daughter, since you'd met his son. It's totally normal to want the relationship to be 50/50 and give and take. I think the problem was due to being so sick, he could take, but he just couldn't give. I think in the end he realised this and he felt bad about it and that's why he ended it.

Maybe he only introduced you to his son because of necessity. Maybe he was trying to spend as much time with his son as possible because deep down maybe he was scared he didn't have much longer to live. I'm sorry to say that, I know that's a terrible thing to say but if you have cancer I'm sure those types of thoughts enter your mind.

Also I sort of get the impression that because he had cancer and you were so caring and understanding, you feel he owed it to you to feel lucky and continue dating you. As much as this sucks and hurts but he was actually within his right just like any other person to end the relationship. Even if he said something like: "I'm sorry, I'm just not feeling it", that's his choice. At the end of the day he's still just a person. You could have been dating any guy and they, or you, could end it because it was early stages. 

Honestly it seems to me this may be for the best. I think though you didn't ask for more, but deep down it seems like you did want more from a relationship. I think you need another man who can actually give you that.

Edited by Tinydance
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Honestly, it's commendable that you were there for him. 🙂

Reality is that cancer treatment takes a huge toll on the patient mentally and physically. So, most likely, he wasn't in the right headspace to deal with an adult relationship.

A family member of mine had cancer. Sometimes everything was okay, but other times managing the illness was so exhausting that even sending a quick text message took an incredible amount of effort. There were also some acutely distressing moments I'd rather not relive.

Remember, that as much as you are hurt right now, it's not you. My recommendation—move forward.

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