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Woman Snaps After Her Boyfriend Won’t Stop Complaining About His Chronic Back Pain

Panuwat Dangsungnoen / EyeEm/ Getty Images

No one should live in constant pain.

It’s so hard not to complain when you are suffering and not feeling well. But, how much complaining is too much?

At one point you just have to get up and do something about it.

Redditor juniperdaisies encountered this very issue with her boyfriend. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.

She asked:

“AITA for telling my boyfriend to stop complaining about his chronic pain?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My (25F) boyfriend (25M) and I have been together for 4 years and lived together for 2 years. We get along really well and don’t fight very often, and I think that’s because we’re both pretty honest but have the other person’s best interest in mind.”

“My boyfriend works a physically demanding job but he likes it.”

“About 6 months ago, he started complaining about his back hurting in the mornings. It’s gotten progressively worse, to the point where he’s constantly complaining about his back and now it’s progressed to his back and neck hurting so badly he has trouble getting up in the mornings.”

“I’ve tried to offer solutions and support for him.”

“I rub his back pretty often and I’ve encouraged him to stretch or do yoga with me. I’ve offered to pay for him to get a massage, and found Groupons for him to see a chiropractor if he wants. Lately I’ve really been encouraging him to go to the doctor since it seems to be getting worse (he has not great insurance, but he does have insurance). He never acts on any of the advice or offers.”

OP hasn’t been feeling great either.

“Lately my arthritis in my hands has been flaring up so I haven’t been rubbing his back as much.”

“This week he’s been complaining about the pain nonstop, and this morning I snapped at him. I told him he either needs to do something to try and help himself or he needs to stop complaining about it. I told him I’m getting tired of hearing the whining when he won’t try and help himself.”

“He was pretty offended and told me he’s in a lot of pain.”

“I feel like I might be the AH because I know chronic pain is a lot to handle. I’m just getting tired of him complaining when he literally has not done a thing to try and feel better. I’m worried I was too harsh because we both have pretty thick skin and can usually handle honesty but he’s pretty upset.”

“So Reddit, AITA?”

OP added some edits.

“Edit: there have been a couple comments about my arthritis and it’s definitely not that bad! Just applying enough pressure to give a good massage gets painful if it’s flaring up. It doesn’t hinder my daily activities yet.”

“Edit2: wasn’t expecting this to get traction! Thanks for the tips everyone. At the end of the day I am just worried about him. We talked it out a bit on the phone over lunch and it’s all good, but I’m going to have a more sit down conversation with him later.”

“I also completely forgot until someone mentioned this, but our mattress is old and we are planning on replacing it. Of course we haven’t gotten around to it yet though. Part of the convo for later I guess.”

Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:

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

Most Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.


“Chronic pain is such an awful thing to live with, however there comes a point where a person enjoys to complain more than actually finding solutions to fix the issues. If it has gotten to the point where he complains about it daily, it is 100% time to see a medical professional (not a chiropractor).”

“Your boyfriend is an adult and you cannot make him go, however it is extremely detrimental to his future health if he doesn’t seek help as soon as possible.”

“From what he does in his job, the pain is only going to continue until he physically cannot work. At that point, it would be too late for any preventative measures. He needs to re-evaluate his job and potentially find another job that doesn’t strain his back/neck too much.”

“You can be as supportive as possible, but he needs to take the leap.”

“However, I think cooperation is always the best approach, rather than worrying about who is being the a-hole. Sit down with him and tell him that you are extremely worried about his physical health, potentially find a doctor with him and have him make the phone call to schedule an appointment. Instead of snapping angrily, be strict on having him go to a doctor.” ~ takev9393

“This is a great response thank you. I think post argument could be a good time to have a serious conversation about it.” ~ juniperdaisies

“As someone with chronic pain, I’ll just add to this excellent response: Chronic pain is exhausting, and can make it really hard to find the energy and focus to do things, even things like fight for your own health.”

“Making any extra effort can seem insurmountable. He still has to do it! but hopefully the awareness of what an obstacle it can seem like when you’re perennially drained helps a little in terms of both you and he having a more positive attitude toward it and finding the motivation to improve.” ~ Jetztinberlin

Some people shared their own experiences.

“I’m a bit older than boyfriend, but I’ve worked physical jobs my entire adult life, and I feel for him on the chronic back pain. My back feels like it’s on fire some days and I’m only 27. Also a lot of people seem to think if you are under the age of 55 you aren’t allowed to have physical issues or pain, you’re just invincible apparently.”

“At the same time, constantly whining and doing nothing to change it will rapidly lead even sympathetic people into compassion fatigue. You can only be a shoulder to cry on for so long.”

“Chronic pain really sucks though as it can feel like there is no escape, no relief, etc.” ~ AnxiousSon

“Doctors included!!! Especially if you’re overweight at all.”

“Story timeee.”

“I have chronic back pain ever since I got two epidurals (regular and emergency c section). At my heaviest before pregnancy I was 250. I was active, I loved weight lifting and core fitness. Never had any pain in my back from anything until labor.”

“It was so bad that I couldn’t lift and hold my newborn at 7 lbs for more than 5 minutes. My back would constantly feel like it would collapse. Went to a chiropractor for 6 months with nothing to show from it so I went to a back specialist.”

“X-rays showed nothing, and why would they? It was nerve damage.”

“The specialist told me he refused to give me an MRI, because I was just hurting because I was fat yes. My husband as my witness he refused bc I was fat and repeatedly told me I wouldn’t hurt if I lost weight.”

“Mind y’all I been fat my whole life and was very active for an obese person. I left crying after paying $40 just to get told I was fat. That was 4 years ago. I haven’t seen another doctor for it since and I absolutely refuse to. I know I should, but it’s hard as hell to bring myself to do it when you get shut down by a specialist like that.” ~ Kaylycat

If you’re in pain, you should definitely seek help.