Illness hits us all differently.
Some of us sequester ourselves in bedrooms and pillow forts while others pout and moan to the heavens.
Neither of these is wrong, of course, but what happens when your coping mechanism just rubs your caregiver the wrong way?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Then_Emergency4817 when they came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
In a now-deleted post, they asked:
“AITA for telling my wife to suffer a little quieter”
They began by restating the question.
“AITA for telling my wife to suffer a little quieter?”
“My wife’s been sick for a little over a week.”
“I’ve taken care of her and all the household tasks to help her out.”
“I’ve worked both jobs, ran kids to and from practice, cooked, and cleaned.”
“I’ve rubbed her feet, given her sinus massages, and I’ve waited on her as much as I could while also taking care of day-to-day stuff.”
“She hasn’t had to do anything, which I’m not complaining about, and not seeking kudos for doing what is supposed to be done to work as a team.”
Then explained the problem at hand.
“Here’s where the AH part comes in.”
“When she gets sick she walks around moaning constantly, incessantly saying ‘I don’t feel good’, talks in a weak voice, unless she really wants something or is yelling, and generally is on the dramatic side.”
“I’m talking all day long never-ending every five minutes.”
“Usually when she moans or says ‘I don’t feel good’. I’ll respond with ‘I understand you’re not feeling well, what can I do or how can I make you feel better?”’
“She’ll just snap and say nothing ‘I just don’t feel good.'”
“Finally, today I just could handle it anymore and asked her if she could just suffer a little quieter. She called me an inconsiderate AH.”
“I just wanted to sit in peace for a few minutes at the end of the day after a week of taking care of her and fixing other people’s mistakes at work.”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some responses applauded OP’s lack of sarcasm by offering their own.
“‘Usually when she moans or says ‘I don’t feel good’. I’ll respond with ‘I understand you’re not feeling well, what can I do or how can I make you feel better?”’
“I would be responding with ‘yes, that’s correct’ after day two or three.” ~ StAlvis
“’You’re sick? Really? This is the first I’m hearing of this” is how I think I’d go” ~ OurLadyofHalloween
“‘Oh wow really? Honestly, I could have never guessed’ would be my response by day two” ~ TodorokiKouen
“Team Sarcasm! Go!”
“I would have said ‘You don’t say?’ every time!” ~ Reddit
Others pointed out how frustrating this could be.
“Cool, but asking people to commiserate every five minutes is too f*cking much.”
“I’m sorry you feel sick, but I don’t, and I’ve got sh*t to do.”
“Walking around the house persistently moaning about feeling unwell is too many levels of extra for me.”
“I’ll buy and make whatever comfort foods you want or need, get your prescriptions, help you set up a flu fort on the couch (lots of soft pillows and blankets, etc), all that good stuff.”
“But I am not a sympathy vending machine where you insert whining and receive an endless supply of the emotional response of your choosing.”
“(Since the conversation in the comments has some gendered discussion, I’m a woman)” ~ IAMA_Shark__AMA
Some thought there might be larger issues.
“So I’m definitely not this bad but I discovered as an adult that I feel the need to convince my husband/whoever else I’m imposing on that I’m really genuinely sick because as a child my mother doubted me every single time I had a cold.”
“Would accuse me of faking it to get out of school or whatever else, but once she was convinced she’d become nurturing and actually take care of me.”
“So now as an adult, I mostly just get graphic with explaining every symptom I have and sometimes exaggerate my “cold voice” because I’m always afraid I’m not going to be believed.” ~ EnsignnGeneric
“When she’s feeling better, it sounds like you need to sit her down and discuss how she acts when she’s feeling ill.”
“If it’s a case of her needing additional support when she’s ill because her family was neglectful growing up, then you two can work on figuring out how she can communicate that without being whiny.”
“She may also need to work through this with a therapist.” ~ 0biterdicta
“I want to go NAH here.”
“Outside looking in, she probably doesn’t act pitiful around her kids because there’s nothing they can do about it, and she recognizes it’s unfair to put that on them.”
“I think she snaps at you because she doesn’t want you to fix the issue, she just wants to complain at the ether with you as its conduit.”
“That being said, your last line makes me concerned.”
“How often do you feel that you have to fix other people before taking care of yourself?”
“How often have you experienced the comfort and joy of venting to someone without expectations placed on them?”
“I recommend that you speak to her when she isn’t ill, and ask what she expects of you when she is like this.”
“You may not have to do as much as you are doing.”
“Also, as you said, you are a team.”
“When I found out that my husband was withholding his issues out of kindness, I got angry that he wasn’t allowing me to help him.”
“Please lean on her more.” ~ medipani
Commenters pointed out that whining is a form of self-soothing.
“NTA I had COVID recently and found making whiny sounds and complaining helped a bit.”
“But I was in my room, in bed, resting and not disturbing my partner when I did it.” ~
“Yeah, it’s honestly surprising how saying ‘god, I feel like sh*t’ actually helps a bit” ~
“I’m whiny though.”
“I wander mournfully when sick and whine all the way. It’s part of the healing process, pretty sure of it.”
“But I also know that I am annoying AF when I’m sick, so I try to keep it to my own room and only wander out to the rest of the house when absolutely needed or alone.”
“And I occasionally make sure to announce again that I am not whining for attention, I’m whining because I am a whiny sicky and will be removing myself from y’all asap.”
“My stepmom swears she can tell what is wrong based on my sick groaning.”
“Apparently as my pain level rises, I forget how to talk and ‘groan like a cheesy zombie.’ She might actually be able to tell though, she pinged on it when my gallbladder died on me and bullied me to the doctor.” ~ SeaOkra
This led to some personal stories.
“That happened to me.”
“I was very very sick, with what turned out to be a bad case of diverticulitis, my immune system was wiped, I had a crazy high white blood cell count and virtually no potassium (iirc) at all in my system.”
“The night before I was hospitalized, I was lying in bed and moaning and whimpering while I tried to find any kind of relief.”
“My then housemate thought I was pleasuring myself (at 3am, on a school night, for several hours…. so like I guess she thought my stamina was next level?).”
“I spent a week in the hospital, going in I was sick enough that I had a bed on a ward 30 minutes after walking (Hah!) in the door of a&e, coming out I was still sick enough to be signed off work for 2 more weeks and on bed rest with medications, etc.”
“My boyfriend pretty much moved in with me for the 2 weeks.”
“Which was just as well as on the first night I was home, my housemate got trashed, had an after party, fought with her guests, leaving me to deal with the fallout.”
“To be fair to the guests, once they realized just how sick I was and had been, they helped clean up, apologized profusely, and left), after they were gone she threw up all over the bathroom and just left it there, and she broke a few of my knick-knacks.” ~ kittiphile
“I did the same thing when I had Covid but the body aches were atrocious.”
“Literally just existing hurt. Laying in my bed was a living hell and I slept without a blanket for a good 6 days because I couldn’t have anything touching me” ~ leilo101
“I just got my nose operated last weekend and till they removed the ‘stuffing’ from my nose I was whining the whole time.”
“Fortunately I was alone in my hospital room, so nobody cared.”
“But everything hurt so much, my eyes teared constantly, and if I swallowed something, I hear a ‘glupblup’ in my nose from the blood (they damaged an artery and I bleed pretty much).”
“It felt like the mega-cold.”
“But still… you should try to distract yourself.”
“If you always say that you feel like sh*t, how can you ever feel better?”
“It is like repeating a mantra over and over.”
“And if I or my SO have a cold, we stay in one room and not try to spread the germs everywhere.”
“I would go crazy with OP’s wife.”
“NTA” ~ EvilFinch
We all deal with illness differently.
However you deal with feeling sick, be patient with those who soothe themselves differently.
Within reason, of course.