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Woman Balks After Boyfriend Refuses To Discuss Her ‘Petty Issues’ While His Dad Dies Of Cancer

Photo by Etienne Boulanger/Unsplash

There is no one right way to grieve.

Grief is a hard part of life that we may never fully be free of.

But we have to find ways to not let it run our lives.

Or ruin our relationships.

Case in point…

Redditor tagrievingbf wanted to discuss her story for some feedback. So naturally she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for asking my boyfriend when he’ll be over his dad’s death?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My boyfriend (John) and I (both 32) have been together 4 years.”

“For two of these years his father (Richard) has had cancer.”

“He passed away 3 months ago.”

“Richard lived with my boyfriend’s sister (Amy) but we spent the last 2 years helping out every weekend, going to hospital visits, staying the night quite often.”

“The 3 months before he passed away we were visiting every other day as well to help out with chores, cleaning up and giving Amy a break.”

“I also really liked Richard and thought he was an amazing father so I am also upset about the situation.”

“When his dad got diagnosed, John requested that I don’t talk to him about anything negative going on in my life.”

“Because he was too stressed to deal with anyone else’s ‘petty issues’ while his father was dying.”

“And has not seen my family in 2 years because he said he didn’t have the mental energy to deal with them.”

“He is in therapy already and has been the last 2 years.”

“I complied and the few times I slipped and told him about stuff going on, he told me that it’s rude of me to talk about stupid problems when he has such big issues going on.”

“Last week I got passed over for a promotion in work even though I’ve gotten super reviews and mentioned how annoyed I was about it.”

“Once again my boyfriend said he ‘doesn’t need to hear my small problems while he’s grieving.'”

“I have been emotionally drained for years at this stage and I asked him when I’ll be able to talk to him about my problems without him belittling them.”

“And said his father being dead does not mean that my problems are completely invalid.”

“I also asked him when he thinks our relationship can go back to being mutually supportive and he said ‘are you seriously asking me when I’ll be over my dad dying?'”

“I said in a way I was and he got really upset.”

“His friends say I am being an extremely unsupportive girlfriend.”

“I feel like he’s spinning the whole situation as relationships should be give and take.”


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA?:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors declared our OP was NOT the A**hole.

It’s a tricky situation.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“Girl – run.”

“This guy has been enjoying all of the benefits of a relationship with you without any of the obligations.”

“He has been blatantly using you and exploiting your affection for his father and sister.”

“You sound lovely, which he has clearly taken advantage of.”

“This is not a real relationship, and you need someone who supports you just as much as you support them.”

“You clearly grasp what it takes and he doesn’t have it.”

“He also refuses to try and then has the nerve to flip it on you?”

“He’s using his father’s death because it’s hard to argue with – but enough.”

“You can still be a good, supportive partner in a relationship while grieving for someone.”

“He can’t and won’t so you need to cut him loose and find something else.”

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s so easy for me to just anonymously say this but you know it’s all true.” ~ BurnerPhoneToronto

“OP… 5 years from now (if you stay, I hope you don’t) he will still be grieving and using it to his advantage to block out anything he doesn’t want to deal with.”

“On top of this, you will be the AH (in his eyes) for breaking up with him while he is grieving.”

“But it may be the wake up call he needs to get help and stop using it to control people.”

“I’m speaking as someone who lost my father four months ago and has still managed to be there for others in their time of need. NTA.”  ~ shopgirl2

“Yep, not a relationship in any way.”

“He wants to be the center of attention.”

“When anyone passes it’s sad for all involved, BUT everyone does eventually pass.”

“The heartbreak over the loss of a loved one is the same no matter how they pass.”

“The one advantage, though small, I ‘ve always been grateful (not sure of a word to use) for is when it’s been a disease that takes time.”

“I felt it gave me time to adjust to the awful news, that I knew the end was going to come for them and we could make more memories together.”

“Though some relatives had awful diseases pain was always managed but dementia and the like was on a different level.”

“Heart attack, stroke and car accident deaths were unexpected and the shock adds to the pain of the loss.”  ~ YogurtclosetTop1056

“This is the truth right here.”

“My husband’s father has had aggressive brain cancer (GBM) for 13 months.”

“And a LOT of the heavy lifting has fallen to my husband to deal with.”

“While sometimes he’s at capacity emotionally, he always supports me when I need him to just as I support him.”

“And pick up slack when needed so he can allocate more energy to his parents.”

“He didn’t suddenly lose all sense of empathy for me once his dad was diagnosed.”

“That’s just bizarre.”

“’Don’t bother me with your petty problems’ is such a cop-out and that’s not a relationship.”

“In a real relationship you support one another and grieve together.”

“OP I’m sorry you haven’t felt like you’ve mattered for so long.”

“You do matter and the things that go on in your life matter.”

“Don’t let him convince you otherwise.”

“If he’s too lost in himself to be a functional partner then he is not able to be in a relationship with you.”

“Don’t accept scraps.”  ~ The_RoyalPee

“My husband is desperate for me to come to him with ‘small’ problems when he’s freaking with a huge one because it’s a good distraction for him.”

“And when he helps me with the solution, he gets to count that as a win, which helps him feel more confident to go back to his big issue.”

“NTA, OP.”

“Sorry, but boyfriend isn’t a real partner. He’s a parasite.”  ~ Prior_Lobster_5240

“My mother died a year ago.”

“And I saw the title and came here ready to throw down but then… no.”

“Yes, there have been days when I didn’t want to listen to my fiancé’s comparatively unimportant minor drama or hear how his computer wouldn’t work or something.”

“But I can literally count the number of times on both hands that I couldn’t at least try or be polite about it.”

“Grief isn’t an excuse to be an AH for literally years.”

“OP, NTA, please understand that this is not normal grieving behavior.” ~ thiswomanneedsafish

“NTA. My father passed recently.”

“And I have one brother claiming all the grief.”

“Like seriously, 6 kids, and he is is the only one allowed to grieve??”

“There are people who only want you to be their blankie in troubled times, some times you have to break them off from you.”

“I can not also help but wonder if the therapy he is getting is fake.”

“I mean, from my perspective if my client after 2 years of therapy pre-death, and 3 months after death, was still like this, I would be seeking a new therapist for them.”

“As I am obviously not qualified enough for them.”

“Unless the therapist is not seeing this side at all, which I have had happen to me on a few occasions.”

“OP big hugs. And condolences on the lost of a nice man.”  ~ OriginalDogeStar

“My father had cancer for three years, then he died.”

“Less than a year later, something happened to my mother that requires huge amounts of care from me, and has for the last 5 years.”

“At NO POINT would I have ever expected my partner to not tell me anything negative about his life.”

“I do often feel bad we give so much more energy to my family than to his.”

“But never has that meant me completely giving up seeing his family!”

“Support in a relationship should be mutual.”

“I know that my husband takes a lot of the load for me.”

“But I never want to take that for granted.”

“And I always want to take what I can for him.”

“Even if all I can manage is listening to him ranting about a bad day at work.”

“OP you do not deserve this.”  ~ janecdotes

OP… Reddit is here for you.

And it sounds like you may have some difficult thinking to do.

If you could swing back with an update we’d love to hear from you.

Good luck.