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Woman Battling Cancer Balks After Boyfriend Demands She Prep His Meals After Chemotherapy

Couple arguing in the kitchen
Charday Penn/Getty Images

Though we are all creatures of habit, we all must acknowledge that there will be times in our life where our routines have to take a backseat to a major life event.

Sometimes other things are more important than meal prep or going to bed at a certain time, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Fighting a rare form of cancer, Redditor Felfeyyy still had more chemotherapy to go through.

When her boyfriend demanded that she still meal prep for him during this time, to observe his love language, the Original Poster (OP) was shocked.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for saying no to meal prepping my boyfriend’s meals while I am doing chemotherapy?”

The OP was undergoing rigorous chemotherapy treatment.

“I (31 Female) currently have a rare cancer called Synovial sarcoma and have been undergoing Ifosfamide chemotherapy since the beginning of January.”

“I do eight hours in the cancer center, five days a week, every three weeks.”

“Treatments are very taxing on my body, mostly nausea and extreme fatigue, among other side effects.”

The OP’s boyfriend demanded she meal prep during her resting period.

“My boyfriend (24 Male) asked me the night before my next chemo cycle if I would meal prep his meals for him.”

“I was hesitant and didn’t want to flat out just say no because he is very sensitive and starts arguments often, so I said it would depend on how I feel, but I thought it would be better if I did it in a week and half when I felt recovered from this chemo cycle.”

“He was insistent and kept asking if I could ‘just try’ and wasn’t taking no for an answer.”

“I started to become agitated because if I’m being honest, I want to feel coddled and taken care of during this time in my life, not pushed to do chores.”

“It’s not as if he was asking for a single meal, he wanted his entire week’s worth of food made by me after being in the hospital for 10 hours.”

The OP wasn’t feeling heard by her boyfriend.

“For reference, he works early mornings and gets out in the early afternoon. It’s not as if he is so busy he cannot do this himself.”

“I think his point is that he still wants to be taken care of as well, which is understandable, but it’s not as if I never do anything for him.”

“Whenever he is at my place, I offer any food I have on hand, will cook meals or make a sandwich, depending on the day.”

“I rub and massage him when we are on the couch, ask about himself and his life, etc. (in other words, it’s not like our entire lives are about me and my sickness).”

“Also, I didn’t straight out refuse to make his meals, I just offered to make them when I knew I would feel better.”

The OP’s boyfriend retaliated and referenced his preferred love language.

“He blew up on me, saying ‘acts of services’ is his love language and that our relationship is one-sided.”

“He went on and on, sending angry texts.”

“I didn’t argue back too much, because I’m not much for arguing.”

“He doesn’t even do that much for me. He takes out my trash when I ask him to and gives me massages when my body hurts (and I do appreciate those things, I have never complained).”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some could not imagine a world where this was a good or healthy relationship.

“NTA. Girl, run. You have cancer and all he can think about is himself.” – Emperor-Clothes2323

“My husband took care of me when I was dealing with some big surgeries and recovery. He never complained and told me it was all very easy.”

“He told me he was just happy to eat dinner in bed and watch TV. He was constantly bringing me beverages (filling a bottle of water, Gatorade, pop, literally anything). He’d cook and clean and care for our dogs. He’d call me during the day when he was at work to check on me and send my family members over to check on me.”

“I couldn’t imagine getting through my health problems without him supporting me and caring for me and truly making me feel loved.” – chaos_almighty

“Men are six times more likely to leave their partner who has a cancer diagnosis.”

“It sounds like he’s trying to get her to dump him, or to justify why he’s dumping her. Because ‘I broke up with my girlfriend when she was having cancer treatment’ isn’t what he wants it to look like, even though it’s what he wants to do.”

“He wants a mommy, not a girlfriend. OP having cancer should be an opportunity for him to give acts of service, not receive them. He’s right that the relationship is one-sided, but not about which side.” – calling_water

“NTA, OP.”

“I’ve been where you are, only I was married, so it took a bit longer. It’s so difficult to go through chemo anyway, but to get zero support from your so-called ‘loved one’ is just so crushing. Not even zero support, I call it ‘negative support,’ because not only is he not helping you, but he’s making you feel guilty about not helping him.”

“Use the strength you have to help yourself. Tell them at the hospital that you don’t have support at home. Or ask friends or family for help instead if you can.” – Princess-She-ra

“Three+ years cancer-free, and while I didn’t and don’t have a SO (significant other), my roommate (she’s like a little sister to me) made sure I was taken care of, called 911 when things got bad (stupid diabetes and chemotherapy means hospital stays for a few days nearly every three weeks).”

“I cannot believe how inconsiderate this guy is.”

“OP, you may not want to end this relationship, but you seriously need to look at what you NEED and if your needs are being fulfilled. You should only be focused on getting to cancer-free, not mothering a 24-year-old.” – NightTimely1029

“Fellow cancer survivor married to a wonderful guy. My husband was so amazing during treatment. I can’t believe this guy is such a jerk. OP, when people tell you who they are, believe them.” – VicePrincipalNero

Others agreed and argued that “acts of service” should go both ways.

“If  ‘acts of service’ is his love language, what services is he doing for you?”

“Good luck with the fight!”

“When I was undergoing chemo (3+ years cancer free), my SO (significant other) did just about everything for me.”

“He put rails in the bathroom for me to stabilize myself. He would sit on the floor outside the bathroom in case I needed him. He rubbed my feet to help me sleep.”

“He did all the household chores. Made me soup. Held my hair when I was sick. Took care of the pets.”

“Those are acts of service and support.”

“What does he do for you?” – TracyMinOB

“My ex was like OP’s boyfriend. Her love language was acts of service, too. Therefore, it was my responsibility to cook for her.”

“When I mentioned she should be responsible for cleaning up, she argued that she didn’t make the mess, so why should she clean it up?”

“These people are just lazy and manipulative.” – AMediumSizedFridge

“My MIL (Mother-in-Law) has been going through chemo regularly for her leukemia. Even if I’m completely brain-dead and have no spoons to function, guess what I’m doing when MIL has had a treatment? I get my happy a** over to her favorite fast food place.”

“Even if she’s feeling like a salad from X restaurant and the chicken tenders from Y restaurant, I’m getting it. She feels dumb for expressing these cravings but personally, it’s worth my time to drive the extra mile if it makes her happy.”

“She’s not even MY partner and this is the kind of thing that should be done.”

“OP’s boyfriend doesn’t even live with her. It boggles my mind he thinks he deserves meal prepping. Go buy a meal service. Pay someone to do it.”

“He certainly isn’t earning any affection from OP with his entitled attitude.” – PolyPolyam

“A love language isn’t just about how someone wants to be shown it, it’s how they show it, as well.”

“So what is he doing for OP? Is he spending time helping her get errands done? Is he prepping her home to be more comfortable and make things more easily accessible? Is he giving her rides?”

“This dude is beyond selfish, he has the audacity to be upset that OP isn’t up to spending hours preparing a week’s worth of food for him after spending 10 hours in a hospital having her body absolutely exhausted by chemo.”

“He is not a good person. He is not a kind or loving person. OP deserves so much better.” – mkat23

“This dude is weaponizing love languages in order to extort hours of labor from someone whose body is fighting off the poison that is necessary to fight off cancer.”

“Taking out her trash or giving her a massage *when she asks* for it is not ‘acts of service.'”

“My love language is being in a mutually supportive relationship where each partner picks up the slack when the other needs it, not emotionally manipulating the sick partner for not pulling their weight.” – Wynfleue

“There are times when it is okay for it to be all about you. When you are seriously ill is one of them.”

“Here is what you need to say, ‘The doctors told me that I need to make sure I am not exposing my body to any more toxins. So you gotta go.'”

“Just ask yourself how would you treat your partner if they were in your situation, and don’t settle for anything less.”

“Good luck. Kick cancer’s a**.” – trisharae_88

The subReddit was left shaking their heads over how fixated the boyfriend was on wanting his girlfriend to cook for him when her focus needed to be on her treatments.

The distribution of labor in a relationship will ebb and flow over time, but this was one of those times when the OP’s commitments in the relationship needed to ebb, so she could put all of her commitment into fighting off her cancer.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.