Reader Question #40: How do I ask my boyfriend to take better care of me?

Career Day at the Vengeance Academy

Hi Captain Awkward;

I have a boyfriend.  We’ve been together for 7 years (next month, anyway – so 6 years and 11 months).

In those 7 years, obviously, things have happened. His dad died, right after I met him (and man – I felt like Typhoid Mary, for a bit!); my dad developed diabetes and I freaked; my mom remarried; my sister married – things. Things, with a capital T.

One of those Things that changed is *ME*. Shortest version I can think of: I have a genetic disease, acute intermittent porphyria. what means, realistically, is A) I hurt all the time (constant chronic pain) B) there are LOTS of things I can’t eat/take/be around C) pregnancy will kill me, D) photophobia (15 minutes of sun without 50+ sunblock equals a HORRIBLE rash) and E) doctors have spent my entire life ignoring any and everything else wrong with me.

Perfect example: my gall bladder quit working. I suffered for SIX MONTHS, because my doc kept saying “It’s the porphyria making you hurt, have some Vicodin, go away.” I had to go to a different hospital where I’d NEVER been (had NO records of me) and I did NOT (even though it could have been – almost was – deadly for doctors, especially anesthesiologists, to NOT know) tell them about the porphyria (or the fibromyalgia. for similar reasons – sick of doctors saying “It’s just the fibromyalgia” which is doctor-speak for “You’re just hysterical and making up pain for attention). I had emergency surgery and was scolded for not getting treated MONTHS earlier, because it could have killed me – because they didn’t know about my doctor, because I was afraid to tell them about the porphyria…

THAT is the reason I am disabled today – I was ALSO born with dysplasia of the right hip (your hip bone is “uneven” so it’s like your hip is always dislocated slightly). but I spend most of my 3rd grade year, when I was 8 then 9, in hospitals screaming about my legs hurting, and once doctors had the “porphyria” diagnosis, they washed their hands of me.

A couple weeks after I turned 30, I woke up, got up – and fell down.

There was so much internal damage to my hip; I’ve had 6 surgeries to fix it. SIX.

(And the thing about the doctors is RELEVANT – I was BORN with this. My surgeon requested records from UCSF, and got X-rays taken when I was 9, and *I* could see the dysplasia! but it was 1986, I was a girl, and my mom kept pushing for answers, so they looked and looked, found the porphyria – they found it very quickly, and didn’t believe it, it took 9 months and a GENETICIST to MAKE them believe it – and the WHOLE TIME they had this X-ray that SHOWED the dysplasia, and ignored it. because I was a girl. and so I was “hysterical” and either making it up for attention, or doing it because my MOM wanted attention)

So, now, I’m very, very disabled. I can’t stand for more than a few minutes, can walk MAYBE 20 or 30 feet – and I can’t SIT for then about 15 minutes.

My lowest pain level, in past TWO YEARS, has been a 7. It’s normally an 8, commonly a 9, and if I try to do ANYTHING – the dishes, a shower, sex, going someplace – I’ll be punished with level 10 pain (which, in my case, means vomiting from pain…)

On top of this, I have PTSD from a childhood of physical and sexual abuse and rape.

So… having sex isn’t really an all-the-time or all-that-often thing, and we’ve come to grips with THAT. Not easily (It can trigger my PTSD, for one thing)

But right now, as I type, my guy is over at a friend’s house. A female friend. Because her boyfriend broke up with her, called my guy, and said “hey you should come help her.”

And he won’t leave, because he’s “on suicide watch”.

I’ve been suicidal for 2 years – since I found out my present condition is PERMANENT.

He goes out DAILY. He works as a retail manager, so his working hours tend to be 1:30pm-9:30pm, he’ll come home to change, then go out. A different female friend of his is having some major medical issues. He takes her to ER at LEAST once a month – and stays. The whole time.

In 10 years of knowing each other, he has never so much as gotten out of the car when he took me to the ER (the sole, single exception was after the 2nd surgery, when I’d been trying for 6 WEEKS to get someone, ANYONE, to acknowledge that I had a major infection. My dad took me to the ER – b/f was at work – and I walked in saying “hi, I’d like to get this alien fetus aborted” because it was on the FRONT of my hip/stomach and DID look like an alien fetus. My dad called him at work, and b/f thought I was DYING, and forced someone to come in so he could come to the hospital. And to be fair, it was MRSA, so I *could* have died…)

All those weeks after all those surgeries, I’d be LUCKY if he visited me 4 times a week – when I was in the rehab hospital after one of them, he came ONCE A WEEK.But he sits in the ER with her for hours, and when she’s hospitalized he’s there every day.

It’s not JUST these two women – it’s ANY friend of his. If ANYONE has a problem, he bends over backwards to help them – while leaving me alone sometimes 20 hours at a time (more, if there’s a con) despite knowing there are times I literally cannot move without help. I have, more than once, lain in bed having to use the restroom for HOURS, waiting for him to get home from work – only to get a call telling me he was going straight out.

And he doesn’t get it.

What I love about him is how much he helps people. How he’ll do anything, just about, for a friend From this, I’ve concluded I’m not “people” and I’m not his “friend”.

He swears he loves me. We don’t break up (I don’t want to, either – I just want the same level of attention as any random friend gets!). He doesn’t want to, he loves me –

He just doesn’t seem to want to DO anything.

Oh, when he’s here, he’ll get me drinks, and sometimes [not always – there are LOTS of days I don’t get to eat, because I’m incapable of making something and he “doesn’t feel like”] getting me food. Right now, he’s paying all the bills, because we’re waiting on my SSI/SSDI (couple more months, I’m told).

I HAVE tried saying “look, it’s great that you’re a great friend, the problem is that *I* don’t get any of that. You don’t do those things for me. When I told you I was suicidal, you ignored it. When I need to go to the ER, it’s all I can do to get you to TAKE me. When I need you to just “keep me company because I’m depressed”, you go out. AFTER I tell you I’m depressed and could use company.

And all – ALL – he hears is “she’s jealous of this girl” and I get “reassured” that he’s not having sex with anyone else. the ONLY time I have been “jealous” in that sense was *when he slept with someone else* (right after his dad died, I UNDERSTOOD – but she was quite maliciously trying to break us up – she even told HIM so – so I think I was justified in saying “I don’t want her around”) I canNOT seem to get across to him “I’m your girlfriend of 7 years, the one you say you love above everyone else, the one you say you’ll die for – and I NEED at LEAST as much effort as you’re giving to this woman you met 6 months ago and barely know!”

How do I get this across to him? He’s the least self-aware person on the planet, and is utterly clueless in so many social ways – he almost like a person who was raised by wild animals, that’s how UNsocialized he is.

I lie here, day after, ALIVE literally only because I don’t want to hurt HIM by dying on him (he lost his mother 2 years b4 we got together, found out she was really his GRANDmother, then his sister-who-was-really-his-mother died less than a month later, and 6 months after we got together his dad died – and his one surviving sister is a crack-addict who only calls when she wants money. me, and my family, are quite literally the ONLY family he has. It would break him if I killed myself)

But why shouldn’t I? Seriously – I’m looking at what, 50 more years of THIS? and if I’m lucky, those 50 more years will include a guy who claims to love me so much that he’d die to fix me, but can’t be fucked to HELP me, beyond menial tasks I could HIRE someone to do? I don’t want him to be the person who brings me drinks; I want him to be my PARTNER, to help where he can and console where he can’t.

And all he hears is “She’s jealous of my friends!”

How do I get him to HEAR what I am ACTUALLY saying?
Desperately Seeking  Communication

This letter is painful to read.  Pain comes across in every word and in every space between every word.  If this were the Buffyverse, D’Hoffryn would have showed up by your bedside to see if you wanted to be a vengeance demon by now.  (If a lady with an ornate necklace tries to get you to make a wish, please, I beg you…don’t. )

I think there is a lot of wisdom, community, and support to be had at the ChronicBabe site, and I especially recommend you to this list of resources on love, relationships, and chronic illness. I’m going to ask Editrix Jenni to weigh in on your question here, but until she does, here’s what I got.

Fixing things with your boyfriend is going to take a lot more than a witty speech penned by yours truly.  I think there is stuff you can do for yourself that will also improve things with him (or put you in a better position should either of you decide to bail), but it’s hard stuff and it might be hard stuff that you’ve tried before, so I’m dreading asking you to try it again.

What you have is two really unhappy people with a long history of weathering storms together.  It is not okay for you to be lying in the bed day after day without food or company.  That’s just…not okay.  And listen, I know what it looks like when someone will do anything to avoid being home.  Extra shifts at work.  Coming home only to shower and change and going back out again.  It’s possible these women are really suicidal or ill and need him by their bedside, or it’s possible that he’s decided that “I have to go!  It’s tragedy!” is putting it in a language you understand while really he’s fucking their brains out or playing fantasy baseball or having a quiet solo read at the library.  Is it caregiver fatigue?  I don’t know what’s going on, but that is a man who does not want to be at home, with you.

You need a team of three people in your life right now.  If I had a time machine, I would take you back in time so that you could have them starting yesterday.  They are:

  • A Therapist
  • A New Primary Care Doc
  • A Home Health Aide (Or whatever you call a person who checks in on you a few times a day, makes you a snack, helps you take care of your needs.  You said you could just hire someone to do the tasks your boyfriend won’t do for you.  Hire someone.  Hire them now.).

I don’t want to insult your intelligence by suggesting stuff that you’ve tried before or that they are easy to acquire in our messed up health care system, but these three people are really not negotiable.  You need them in your life.

Right now, the thing you seem to be saying to your boyfriend is “I’m the most pitiful, so I deserve more.”  Are those really the grounds you want to play on?  Is that a contest you want to win?  Having a team of people to help you manage both your condition and the very real emotional side effects of that condition is going to help you stand up for yourself with doctors and with your boyfriend in a way likely to get results.

For example, you told me your entire health history going back to something bad that happened when you were 9. I didn’t need to know that – I just believe you.  I believe you that you are in pain and that you need more care than you are getting. I could have edited it out, but it seemed really important to the story you were telling about your life, so I left it in.  But it’s not really part of the current problem with your boyfriend, unless the problem you are having with him is that he doesn’t take your illness seriously or really believe you are in pain.  Is that what’s going on?

A therapist can help you really feel and grieve for that little girl who wasn’t believed – who is still not believed – and also come up with ways for you to talk to your boyfriend about not only your care but your relationship and the parts of your relationship that aren’t about your care.  A good therapist can also help you with scripts for talking to doctors.  And help you deal with the abuse you suffered as a child (Oh, by the way…) and the crushing depression that bleeds through your letter.

I haven’t had to eat even a morsel of the shit sandwich that life has handed you, but as a fat person I’ve definitely encountered lazy or skeptical doctors who want to attribute everything to the weight.  And I had to work with my therapist (and a really supportive community of Fat-o-sphere bloggers like The Rotund and Kate Harding and the First Do No Harm folks) to figure out how to say “Look, what would you do if a thin person presented the same set of symptoms that I have?  Can you please do that?” and not give up on my own care.  What worked:  Being calm and reasonable (even when I didn’t feel that way) and presenting the doctors only with some positive thing they could do for me (they like that sort of thing).  What did not work:  Telling them old stories about not being cared for correctly or believed. Their defensive reaction kicked in and they wrote me off as a crazy. Which is fair – Not being believed or listened to for so long while chronic asthma went untreated, I felt crazy and I acted crazy.  I used to have to rehearse doctor visits with my therapist.  Result:  A really good doctor who listens to me.  It took two years to find her.

With your boyfriend, a therapist can help you change the conversation.  “WHY do you NEVER come into the emergency room with me when  you ALWAYS go in with HER?” can become, in the moment, “Hey, can you come in and sit with me for a while?” The second is you honestly expressing a need to someone you love.  The first is blaming and keeping score.  It may be based on really valid stuff, but as a communication style it is tailor-made to alienate the person you are talking to. The way that fight plays out in my head, he’s going to list all the things he DOES do for you and you’re going to list the things he DOESN’T do for you and he’ll leave and slam the door and you can’t because…you can’t leave.  And you can’t eat or poop until he comes back, and if I were your boyfriend and you talked to me that way enough times I might not come back and if I were you and I’d been left alone enough days I might not want him to come back.  You have to find a way to let go of the story that you are the person who is not valued enough or believed, because if that’s the story you take into every interaction, you make it true and then it snowballs forward…forever.  It’s fucking tragic, and I ache for you.  But by hook or by crook, you have to figure out how to stop being that person, or you will always be that person.

So, yeah, a therapist.  And a person who can come in and make you regular meals/snacks, help you get back and forth from the bathroom, and make sure you never spend long days not eating or moving.  And a new doctor who can help guide you to specialists and help you come up with a treatment plan for managing your illness.

What I want is for you and your boyfriend to sit down and talk about your relationship. What do you love about each other?  What makes you happy?  How will you manage the future together – sex, money, health?  But you can’t do that if you’re this dependent on him and this angry at him  (and if you’re expressing contempt, like telling me that he is unsocialized and raised by wild animals and talking in ANGRY CAPS), and you also can’t do that if he’s avoiding you and your home. You need to renegotiate the terms of your relationship, and I think your best shot is to get as many of your medical and routine care needs met as possible so that you can meet him across a table less as a patient and more as a lover.

I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful.  The situation sounds extremely dysfunctional and painful, and this is my best guess at what will help.

21 thoughts on “Reader Question #40: How do I ask my boyfriend to take better care of me?

  1. Bravo, lady. Good answer to a tough as hell question. I hope things get better for this lady like now.

  2. Thank you for this, Cap’n. That was an incredibly tough question to answer and you handled it with the perfect combination of sensitivity and bluntness.

    Letter writer, I hope so much things improve for you.

  3. wow, that is hard to read. I hope you find ways to fix some of what’s going on. Best of luck finding someone(s) to help take care of you, letter writer. Does respite care exist in the States? (Special centres where people with complex care needs get looked after professionally so that their carers can take a rest).

    PS Captain, I am in awe of your skills with handling these problems we bring to you – I would not know where to begin.

  4. Great advice, Cap’n, in a difficult situation.

    I especially embrace the Three Person Team of Caregivers; most people aren’t qualified to be any one of those three people (doctor, therapist, home aide) but sometimes we expect other people to act out all those roles for us, because they love us. These are professional-level jobs, and it’s a lot to expect one untrained if enthusiastic person – spouse, child, parent, devoted friend, or other – to do all of them at a professional level.

    1. It’s especially hard when all of those roles require years of training, which your loved relative at home (or SO or whoever) has NONE of. And those roles require payment of lots of money, whereas your family/SO should be free and forced/obligated to do that work for you anyway, right?

      I’ve been a shitty caregiver myself. It’s nothing but guilt and feeling like a horrible person and wanting to avoid the sick person because no matter what you do, you’re wrong anyway, and seeing them just reminds you of your awfulness as a human being. And that was with a close relative. I can’t imagine the guilt of that that comes with being an SO. I had no option of leaving, they… well, can, but will look awful if they do.

      I suspect the other people boyfriend cares for aren’t as difficult to deal with (which is to say: they have less crap going on), and perhaps in those situations he’s more of “the hero” than he can manage to be to the letter writer.

      1. actually, this is very true. there’s a WHOLE lot i won’t let my boyfriend do [if “let” applies, more like “don’t want him to do” i guess]. i do NOT want him to ANYTHING even vaguely “medical” for me. to the point where i moved in with my parents temporarily when it was needed.

        but in truth, there’s nothing for him to “fix”, and he’s told me [10 minutes ago, since i brought all of this up, including this letter and post and all] that he helps other people mostly because he likes FIXING PROBLEMS. there’s no “fix” for me, and it hurts him
        [and i’m trying to be ok with that. my initial – stifled – response would have been “if it hurts YOU, how do you think *I* feel” – but i’m neither that bitchy, that stupid nor that drugged.]

        i’ve also been a caretaker – i KNOW it can be hell. it’s why i don’t really ask him for anything except getting me drinks [when he’s here, because i can’t get to the kitchen] and sometimes helping me into the shower [the rest of the time, i sponge bath myself]

        i’ve been trying to get a “home health aid”. but the wheels move slow, slow…

        1. There isn’t a “fix” in that your health problems and pain can be healed, HOWEVER: Every drink brought to you that you couldn’t get yourself fixes your thirst. Every evening spent being with you fixes your loneliness. Every time you get help into the shower, you feel better for a while because you’re clean again.

          As a chronic pain sufferer with a very devoted spouse, I would tell your SO that giving someone respite from agony, even though that agony cannot be completely eliminated, is a heroic act.

          Look up the myth of Loki and Sigyn, and what she does for him in the underworld. Yes, what she does is not a permanent solution, and he suffers unimaginably (albeit, in his case, earned as a punishment instead of some crappy genetic lottery win), but the moments of relief inbetween are precious. So it is with folks like you and I, who cannot be repaired, but instead live in the moments between suffering, however small, making the persons responsible for those moments heroic and priceless.

          1. i’ve been waiting to respond to this, because i’m reading a book that actually includes that myth [it’s the second “Pyramid Scheme” book, by Eric Flint and Dave Freer, if you’re interested – they’re INCREDIBLY wonderful 🙂 ] and while i’d read it before, i wanted to remember it all.

            this is a really good point. i’m gonna have him read the Pyramid books, actually – there’s also a whole thang with Arachnia [you know, the girl Athena turned into a spider] finding love, even though she was “different” and how her “difference” was accomodated, because love does that.

            that comes off with a tone different than i mean – i don’t expect to be forever accomodated no matter WHAT – but… him understanding that he can do something to help, and that they DO help – when he doesn’t understand – i think i’m going to have him read your comment, too.

            also, Jennifer is right – this is a GREAT comment, and it helped me sort thru what i was trying to convey to him the other night and wasn’t getting thru about. [he asked “so if you don’t WANT me to get you drinks, why do you ask?” to which i could really answer “because otherwise i’d die of thirst.” but there’s this level, and if he can see it as HELPING and not WAITING ON, it might be better all around – he’ll get the feeling of HELPING that he needs, and i don’t die of dehydration lol]

            thank you! thank you, everyone.

            sometimes, it’s also nice to know that even a random stranger will want to try and help. that not EVERYONE hates me because “i cost money” [because that’s been a not-fun time, lately. sigh]

  5. so, yeah.

    1st, i PROMISE – no wishes. those NEVER work, and i learned that playing D&D years and years ago – Buffy just rubbed it in.

    other than that – i’ve been trying to reply, but each thing i say is more fucked up than the last.

    i *DO* have a therapist, but… i’m in treatment for “suicidality”, and that somehow seems to mean i’m not “allowed” to talk about my relationship.

    i’m going to go read those links, and i’ll wait to see if something else pops up. maybe i can respond better, later.
    [honestly, i was convinced you weren’t going to touch this. THANK YOU for taking it. you said a LOT of things that i needed to hear. i just… can’t process everything right now. i’ll be back]

    1. I’m glad to see you weigh in (I was sort of holding my breath there), but you don’t owe me a detailed response. You know your own life better than me – I could be wrong about so much, and this question definitely felt above my pay grade.

      You can fire your therapist for one you like better, you know. 🙂 But I’m glad you have one and hope (s)he is working for you.

      One thing that comes up consistently in your letter and your answers, though: You need more care. A team of people and a sustainable routine that works for you. You absolutely deserve that.

      About the boyfriend and the “fixing” people, that must have been very hurtful to hear, but I can see it – he is a carer and gets value out of being there for his friends when they’re down. It’s what he thinks he has to offer the world. He might just feel helpless around your condition. You might be able to harness his instincts better for yourself by directly asking him for things that you need. “Before you go to work in the morning, can you make me a few snacks that I can eat throughout the day?” “Can you take me to the emergency room?” (And then when you get there…) “Can you come sit with me for a while?” It sounds like I have it completely backwards – maybe the way to engage him is not to protect him from your illness and put pressure on yourself to be okay, but to invite him in in a way that he can contribute. I’m going to guess that ChronicBabe has a lot of material about this.

      I’m really thinking good thoughts for you and hoping things improve soon. You deserve every good thing.

      1. i’ve been poking around ChronicBabe [how the hell did i not even know it existed?!] and seeing what’s there. and trying really, really, REALLY hard to not engage in every chronically ill’s person game [“wait, you ONLY have Fibromalgia? wow, when *I* only had Fibro, i kept doing ballet!” it’s sick and dumb and i have NO CLUE why so many of us do it!] the ChrinicBabe send was a great, great thing, and i appreciate it.

        hell – i appreciate you taking this on, at ALL. i was in a really extra bad place that night, and i was pretty sure i was going to get an email that read “too much, call emergency services” or something.

        and going to talk to my therapist. sure, i have medicaid [for however much longer i have it…] but … i need to talk what i need to talk about, and i’m fairly sure a large part of the suicidality is how often i’m LEFT ALONE. that is very much a “relationship” issue. i like her [it’s rare that i like a therapist] and it’s damned hard to get in to see ANYONE on medicaid…


        anyway, thank you.

    2. The great thing about therapists, or other paid professionals is that there is an exchange of money for services.

      At some level, remember that your therapist works for you- is trying to help with your issues. If that therapist doesn’t work, then there are others.

      Good luck to you!

      1. Good point Jason. Much less loaded situation, but I had a very good relationship with a therapist with one problem – whenever I wanted to discuss my management of a particular habit of mine, he would immediately encourage me to quit entirely.

        It was very hard for me to know what to do. Yes a therapist works for me, but he’s also an authority figure and someone whose opinion I value.

        However, one day I got up the courage to say “I’m not here to quit, and when I bring up this habit, I want to talk through how it’s working for me right now and not about how I ought to quit.”

        He immediately complied with the request and we never had a problem with it after that. Give professionals credit for being professionals and tell them clearly what you want from them – they usually will show you that they are good at their job and can do what you ask.

  6. ““WHY do you NEVER come into the emergency room with me when you ALWAYS go in with HER?” can become, in the moment, “Hey, can you come in and sit with me for a while?” The second is you honestly expressing a need to someone you love. The first is blaming and keeping score. It may be based on really valid stuff, but as a communication style it is tailor-made to alienate the person you are talking to.”

    I think that’s one of the best responses to a “how can I improve this communication?” question I have ever read. It’s very hard to acknowledge that you might have to alter the way you communicate even if factually you might have the right of the situation. As a new person on this blog I think it is awesome how you encourage people to be proactive about their problems without coming across as judgmental.

    So. Um. Yeah. Cool beans.

  7. hey, i thought i should come back and tell you this, since it happened pretty much after i left that 1st response.

    i was… hysterical [i cringe at that word, but it’s the only one that applies]. i was reading what you wrote, and my thought process [if you could call constant repeat that] was “she’s right and i can’t do it oh gods she’s right and i can’t do it”

    and – for the second time, ever, i asked my b/f to come home *and he came home*.
    it was by text, and when he sent the reply of “sure, be a few” i expected it to be at least a half hour and gave myself 30 minutes to just… be hysterical [cringe]
    5 minutes after the reply, he was in the bedroom saying “what’s wrong? do we need to go the ER? is there a bug? [i’m TERRIFIED of bugs. massive phobia. goes with PTSD].

    and instead of replying, i gave him my laptop and this page.

    and he reads it [and chuckles – at the “wish” bit, and at the “raised by wild animals” bit – i didn’t mention it, but that’s what HE says about himself. he wasn’t “raised” by his parents – he was fed if he was home. according to his dad, my b/f would disappear for days at a time – starting when he was 7 or 8 – and when he came home, all his mom would do was add another plate. they bought him things if he asked, they made sure he had school supplies – and ignored him. anyway]

    so he reads it.
    and then he says “i didn’t know it was this bad for you. i don’t want it to be bad for you.”
    and i said “i don’t want it to be for me, either, but i don’t want you to be my caretaker, i DON’T. i want you to be my BOYFRIEND. i really, really do. but when you go take care of someone else… it’s repeating the pattern i’ve had all my life. unlike any of parents, you’re not ignoring me or trying to hurt me, and your definately not trying to use my pain against me – but all i see is the same abandonment. as much as i KNOW it’s not the same thing – PTSD”

    and he thought about, and nodded, and said “yeah. like when you remind me to do something, and i snap at you to not tell me what to do, despite me ASKING you to remind me.”

    and there i was, completely floored, because for the first time EVER, he got it on the first go with almost no effort on my part. i didn’t have to spend hours trying to explain a concept that anyone else [probably] understands – he READ it and got it.

    which, i’d also point out, we apparantly realized at the same time.

    so: new rule. when there’s something really important to explain to him, if he doesn’t get it immediately, WRITE IT DOWN.

    that, ALONE, was worth taking the risk to write to you. no clue how we never, ever thought of it before [i’ve given the advice to other people when they asked me, but never thought to apply it to MYSELF].

    and i’ll be thanking you for that – for all of this – for a long time. this was a risky sort of advice-thing to take on [suicidal?! run away! that’s how most people deal with it. too afraid that they somehow make it worse by trying to help] and like i said, i was pretty sure that you were going to read and think “oh, HELL NO, NOT touching this! call EMS or the suicide hotline!”

    and if you’d done that, i’d never have even tried to ask him to come home [i NEVER ask him to come home – when we first got together, i asked him to come over early, or on a day not already planned, and he freaked. so… aside from the one time a foot-long silverfish-centipede was *one my bed* i haven’t asked him to come home ever.]. if you hadn’t printed and responded, he wouldn’t have had it to read. [he, just to reassure you, was mostly amused at the “screwing her brains out” thing – not a week goes by without SOMEONE trying to tell me his screwing this or that person, just because he talked to him or her. mostly because i’m not around anymore, in public, so people just assume he MUST be cheating if i’m not THERE. sigh]

    just having this on the intratubes HELPED.
    also, chronicbabe – we’ve both bookmarked it and have been reading stuff there.

    also-also – i do go on, don’t i? it’s the pain meds. i babble worse IRL 🙂

    thank you, thank you, thank you – for being brave enough to take it on, smart enough to see the real issues, cool enough to point ’em out in a way that got through without insulting. and for the D’Hoffren joke – that seriously was the PERFECT beginning to this.

    thank you.

    1. Man, maybe you just needed to say it all out loud. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that things keep getting better. And yeah, Chronicbabe is awesome!

      1. i think yeah, part of it was i needed to say it – and to a person who wasn’t immediately telling me that it MUST either be all my fault or “all in my head” – that being what i’m almost always told.
        and that whole thing where you said “i believe you. i just believe you” – i needed to hear that from someone, too.

        thanks for the finger-crossing. and everything!

    2. I’m a nerd and was just reading through the archives. It’s nearly a year later… I hope things are better for you!!!

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