Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

He Was Sick, I Felt Stuck

So here’s a story I never thought I’d tell here.  It’s one of those too personal things (yes, I have a category of things that are too personal for the blog).  But then last night I saw this article in Your Tango about how men were more likely to leave their sick partners and I felt compelled to share.

It was a few years ago.  We met.  I liked him right away.  We had amazing chemistry.  I didn’t, however, think of him as LTR material.  He was just too arrogant and self-involved, even for me (I used to have a pretty high tolerance for the men with masters of the universe complexes).

Anyway, I learned/figured out, pretty early on that something was wrong with him.  Healthwise.  It wasn’t something he felt comfortable talking about, because that would have meant admitting a weakness.  But it was also something that was impossible for him to hide.

He had MS.  He’d been diagnosed many years before, had had episodes, and was just starting to have it affect his daily life.  In other words, his sex life.  And no, I’m not going to be graphic.

Needless to say, he was unhappy about this.  And his unhappiness turned to anger.  And some of that anger got directed at me.  He was not a good boyfriend.  In fact, it’s safe to say that any other man who treated me the way he did would have been told to fuck off (especially as I didn’t see him as someone I’d want as a long-term partner).

But I took it from him.  I let him be a complete prick to me.  Like you wouldn’t believe.

I just couldn’t end things.  Couldn’t.

I don’t know if it was pity or a sense that whatever unhappiness he was causing me was just a tiny fraction of the unhappiness he was feeling inside, and that it wouldn’t kill me to take it.  I don’t know. I know, honestly, that I was afraid that he wasn’t going to be able to sexually active for that much longer and I kept obsessing over the idea that I was probably going to be the last woman he had sex with.  That seemed like a big burden.  And also something I didn’t want to take away from him.

Anyway, I eventually pulled the plug.  He crossed the line too many times and I realized that I wasn’t his caregiver.  That it wasn’t fair to me to put me in that role.  And that he wasn’t a good enough person (when he was healthy) to take care of me in kind.


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4 to “He Was Sick, I Felt Stuck”


  1. Honey (and Lance) says:

    I briefly dated a guy who had an autoimmune disorder and as a result had gotten polio as a child from a partially live vaccine. We only dated 2 months but it was the same sort of thing – he was a selfish, judgmental person and I let him bully me around because I felt bad for him. I thought the fact that my mom was quadriplegic made me immune to that sort of thing, but it didn’t.

  2. AoC Johnny says:

    Wow Simone, this was a heavy topic to write about. I have met some people who have been dealt a lame lot it is still no reason to treat people like shit!

  3. AF says:

    I feel that you put on a very hard set of armour sometimes, but that, like most basically nice poeple, you have as soft centre somewhere and it shows on occasions like this. You’re quite right, his anger was probably really at life, or even himself, but it got directed at you and, in the end, you did the right thing – you didn’t, as you say, sign up to be his carer and why should you?

    I’m sure the research is right and it may well be that many women have that “mothering” instinct whether they want it or not and perhpas it just takes over. Personally, I wouldn’t want that for myself, so I can well believe that I wouldn’t want to do it for someone else. But then… you can never tell in advance what you’ll do in certain situations, can you?

    Excellent thought provoking post!

  4. Simone Grant says:

    -Honey
    I’d imagine that our experiences aren’t that uncommon. Sad and frustrating, but not that uncommon.
    -AoC Johnny
    Heavy? Yeah, I guess so. And no, he shouldn’t have treated me like shit. But when people are sick/having their health deteriorate it’s pretty common for them to be filled with anger AND to take that anger out on the people in their lives. I should have walked away sooner.
    -AF
    Thank you. And yes, the secret is out, I’m actually all soft and gushy inside :-)