In any relationship, we can all agree that feelings and actions should be reciprocated.
This is especially true during the difficult times, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
But Redditor user345433 was not feeling the love from her husband, who had developed the habit of blaming every little thing that went wrong on her cancer diagnosis.
When he lashed out at her for speaking up about it, the Original Poster (OP) honestly wondered if she was supposed to accept her husband’s poor attitude.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for yelling at my husband that my cancer isn’t a choice?”
A lot had changed since the OP was diagnosed with cancer.
“When I (31 Female) got diagnosed with cancer (breast cancer) several months ago, my husband had to come home from his business stay that lasted for nearly 8 months to help me.”
“He cancelled his contract with the company and got replaced.”
“He drives me to the hospital and takes care of my medication and I’m so grateful for that.”
But there was one recurring problem.
“But he has also developed this habit of blaming my condition for every little thing.”
“He will make comments like, ‘Because of YOUR cancer, now I had to drive in the middle of the night to look for medicine,’ and ‘Because of YOUR cancer, I had to pull XYZ-amount from my bank account to cover the bills,’ and ‘Because of YOUR cancer, I haven’t seen my family in a while.'”
“Or he will speculate, ‘If it wasn’t for YOUR cancer, I’d had still had my contract,’ and ‘If it wasn’t for YOUR cancer, we wouldn’t have had to beg my dad for help.'”
“He is basically blaming me for my condition.”
“I grew tired of it, but I couldn’t say anything, thinking he’s saying those things out of frustration. But it’s become too much and it has worn me down.”
Frustrated or not, the OP eventually couldn’t handle anymore of her husband’s comments.
“The final straw was days ago. He was heating a microwave dinner for himself (he hates to eat anything pre-frozen). He put it on the table and started eating with disgust all over his face.”
“I was grabbing a glass of water, so I entered the kitchen where he was eating.”
“He saw me and then loudly said, ‘Who would have ever thought I’d settle for a frozen meal? Because of YOUR cancer, now MY health is declining, because all I eat is frozen junk since you can’t even cook!'”
“I snapped. I yelled at him, saying that my cancer isn’t a CHOICE, and that I’m not happy with the situation I’m in, either.”
“I added that his constant remarks about my condition have gone too far and needed to be stopped.”
“He got mad and argued with me, saying that he’s in this too, and he’s as much affected as I am.”
“He said that I’m being incredibly unfair by yelling at him for just venting and letting his frustration out, so he wouldn’t have to bottle it up then explode and leave everything behind.”
“He threw his fork and then walked out. I sat down and cried a bit.”
The OP felt conflicted.
“I felt bad for how I yelled at him, but I was getting fed up from having to listen to him say all those things day and night on top of everything else I’m dealing with.”
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 felt the OP deserved far greater support than she was receiving.
“OP’s partner is definitely an AH in this situation.”
“My partner started cooking for us last year when I had stage 3 cervical cancer.”
“There was a time I couldn’t stand upright without feeling ready to pass out because of chemotherapy and radiotherapy let alone cook.”
“Yes, it’s hard on him, too, but he never blamed me or treated me like crap for it. Instead, he would tuck me in to make sure I was warm or cool as needed and did everything for me, including being the sole income provider as I couldn’t work and sat with me throughout chemo, etc.”
“A supportive partner would never act the way OP’s partner is acting. Cancer is awful and people are often 100x sicker than they actually look.” – RedCookieStar
“Is he reacting badly because he’s worried, or is he reacting badly because it’s an inconvenience? There’s a reason the statistics about illness-related divorce are the way they are.”
“God, this man is terrible. How on earth could you do that to someone you love?”
“OP is NTA, of course.” – whatthewhythehow
“I could cry with you for how awful your husband is treating you.”
“Yes, he’s reacting badly because he’s worried but, no, actually your cancer does not affect him as much as it does you. He needs to stop with the self-pity and man up. NTA.” – johnsgrove
“Ma’am, I hate your husband. Even bad people deserve better support than you’re getting during this awful period.”
“I’m forced to think of a wonderful woman I knew who passed a few years ago to cancer. Her husband was a support JUGGERNAUT. I watched him clean up after her, cook for her, and put her makeup on her towards the end (she asked). And he was thankful for every moment he got to assist her because she was still with him.”
“I’m sorry, but your husband can go screw himself. I hope you recover and find someone who actually loves you because this guy just doesn’t. At least not the way he should to warrant marriage and a lifetime together.”
“NTA.” – CranberrySafe3271
“He’s not leaning on her, he’s blaming everything on her while SHE has cancer, claiming he has it just as bad as she does…”
“And stressing her out, making it HARDER to fight cancer…” – MuddlerMeddler
Others wondered if the husband needed emotional support outside of the home.
“He needs a place to vent. Everyone in a situation like this does, especially when it’s caused a massive change in their circumstances.”
“I believe the poster above yous point was he’s got nowhere to vent, so he’s venting to his only previous emotional support.”
“And to echo his points, I’m explaining, not excusing. The dude is being s**tty and horrible.” – airz23e_coffee
“I think part of this, and I’m not trying to defend the s**ttiness, mind you, is that men often aren’t socialized to build support networks.”
“So a guy is diagnosed with cancer, and his wife supports him, and leans on her friends or family when being a support person gets tough.”
“If a woman is diagnosed with cancer, her husband might actually start out trying to support her. But when the going gets tough, his emotional support network is… his wife.”
“And when he leans on her, as it sounds like this guy is trying to do, she gets mad? And the guy’s all but you’re the only support person I have! Why are you taking away my only support in the middle of the biggest crisis I’ve ever faced?”
“Again, I’m not defending this behavior, because I think it’s incredibly short-sighted and mean and lacking in self-awareness. But I think it’s common not just because people can be a**holes, but also because they’ve been pre-programmed to behave that way. And sometimes, being aware of that difference upfront can maybe counteract the problem.”
“I want to make it clear that I’m not excusing the behavior at all. And the above isn’t aimed at OP; if she wants to be understanding in the midst of her battle, more power to her, but there’s no way I’d even offer that option.”
“The thing is, I’ve been on both sides of major health issues, the supporter and the supported. I’ve seen a fair bit of this sort of stuff in my friend group and family. I’m offering the insight, not as a ‘Please understand the poor Menz’ plea… but more as a statement of, ‘Hey, this can really trip up even people who have good intentions so be aware of a common difference between genders thanks to societal conditioning.'”
“People who are entering support roles for people who have something like cancer need to know that they need to be able to have emotions with people other than their spouse. And those people need to be willing to go through some uncomfortable times with them.” – Rowanever
“This is why men need to stop shaming each other for expressing/showing emotions. Their ‘boys’ should be their emotional support as much as their wife’s friends are hers. It is not a woman’s role in a marriage to be her husband’s therapist, maid, cook, child care, sex toy, etc.”
“This is why so many women become unhappy in marriage. They expected a partner and instead, they get a project. So exhausting. (And before anyone comes after me, I know it’s not all men, but it’s enough men that it’s a huge pattern/problem.)”
“OP would probably be so much better if she left this guy. It sounds like catering to his ego is a full-time job.” – cleanthemirrord**mit
The subReddit was completely appalled by the treatment the OP was receiving, within her own home, no less, during what must be one of the most trying times of her life.
All could agree that it would be a stressful time for the husband, as well, but it would not be equally as stressful as for the person fighting for her life. If he wanted to make it easier on her, and ultimately himself, the subReddit clearly believed he needed to step it up.