Gransnet forums



(51 Posts)
GagaJo Mon 07-Oct-19 20:35:11

I'm a bit upset with my bloke. He has just had a very long term friend die. This man has been ill for a year or so. Regularly, over the course of this year, I've said to my bloke, you need to go and see him. Everytime I've said it, he brushed me off. We talked about this a week ago, and as usual, nothing.

This weekend his friend died. And now my blokes response is, I thought he was being over dramatic. Friends have told him how ill the man was. The ex wife of the man has cried in my blokes kitchen about how ill the friend was. When we talked about it, I said, 'I think he's dying.'

Coincidentally, a couple of weeks ago, I broke a toe. Obviously, at the time I didn't know it was broken, but it was very painful, and as I was thrashing around in pain, my bloke said, 'Don't be overdramatic.' This from an absolute pathetic heap when HE is ill.

So. Am I wrong to be upset that he didn't ever make the effort to see his friend (been friends for 40 years)? It seems to demonstrate a total lack of caring to me.

hellymart Mon 07-Oct-19 20:46:24

Some men (I'm afraid it does tend to be men!) are like this - not very empathetic or sympathetic but when it's them that are ill, it's the end of the world. Perhaps, trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, he found it hard to accept that his friend was dying and so went into denial. Is he uncaring in other ways?

Urmstongran Mon 07-Oct-19 20:53:03

A lot of men are kind and good with banter down the pub with their mates.

A one-to-one with a dying friend though?

Different kettle of fish. Avoidance tactics and denial. Doesn’t make them bad people. Just embarrassed about not being ‘good at this’ and later, feeling awkward about it all.

SirChenjin Mon 07-Oct-19 20:54:16

I agree with helly in that it sounds like he went into complete denial in typical (of some) bloke fashion. How has he taken the news?

MissAdventure Mon 07-Oct-19 20:55:19

I think its pretty selfish, but some people will try to avoid anything too unpleasant, or uncomfortable.

annep1 Mon 07-Oct-19 21:27:14

Your bloke sounds like he lacks empathy. Good luck if you ever need him to react quickly!

Tangerine Mon 07-Oct-19 21:30:22

I suspect he may not have known what to say to his friend.

Regarding your toe and how he fusses when he is ill, no it isn't fair.

Is he mostly good to you and would be be good to you if you were seriously ill?

GagaJo Mon 07-Oct-19 21:38:20

He was not too bad with me when I had cancer. Very supportive at diagnosis but not so great while I was on chemo. Physically there but not terribly empathetic. Great with the puking but not with the emotions. TBH, it was mostly fine. I don't like fussing over when I'm ill.

I feel he's been callous, ignoring his friend. I feel as if it was deliberate, selfish, denial.

MissAdventure Mon 07-Oct-19 21:48:23

I think its true what they say, that being so very ill certainly lets you know who your friends are.
I would say it turns out that not too many actually are true friends.

The only consolation is that they have to live with their conscience.

annep1 Mon 07-Oct-19 22:03:36

I actually don't think he's been purposely callous.

GagaJo Mon 07-Oct-19 22:17:55

I hope not. I feel awful, and he wasn't even my friend!

Hithere Mon 07-Oct-19 23:27:39

Was he really friends with the deceased or just merely acquientances? By his actions, he did not care about him

GagaJo Mon 07-Oct-19 23:30:46

They were fairly good friends. Definitely not just aquaintances.

annep1 Tue 08-Oct-19 00:25:57

Gagajo he sounds very like my husband. He's very caring and great with the practical things. If I am ill he will bring trays of food and drinks newspapers etc upstairs all day.
But if I needed a doctor I would have to insist he ring one. He wouldn't actually think of it. It's just how he is. Is your husband upset about his friend?

Fiachna50 Tue 08-Oct-19 00:28:08

I get the impression that men do not like talking about illness or death. I know my own father would never discuss death.

Nansnet Tue 08-Oct-19 06:46:47

I don't think it's necessarily the fact that he didn't care. Some people simply aren't good in these situations, and have no idea what to say, or how to react. When my mother was seriously ill, I was very surprised at who did, and who didn't, come to visit her. There were some who I'd considered to be very close friends/family who stayed away. I don't think it was because they didn't care ... I think they simply didn't want to face up to what was happening.
Until then, I think that I may have fallen into that category myself, but when a friend of mine, whom I hadn't seen for some time, became very ill, I remembered the situation with my mother, and I made a point of visiting my friend a few times. I'm so glad that I made the effort when I did, so that she knew I cared, rather than just waiting to attend her funeral.
Don't be too critical of your man, it's a very difficult thing to come to terms with, and not everyone handles these situations in the same way.

Jane10 Tue 08-Oct-19 06:56:26

Yes he sounds like a typical man. Not so good with the words, dealing with feelings or being empathetic. However, he also does the practical stuff. Has he maybe offered to help his late friend's wife for example? My sister was very grateful after her husbands death for a friend who just turned up and did the necessary gardening work. No chat but hedges cut back and lawn mown.

Anja Tue 08-Oct-19 07:02:07

Let us hope you are never in a position where you rely on this man for support.

jaylucy Tue 08-Oct-19 09:59:32

A lot of men (mainly) can't deal with anyone else's illness and go into denial. The same when you broke your toe, but when they are ill, it's as if they are dying!
So his friend actually died? Well that is on his conscience and something he will have to deal with in his own time and if he starts whingeing "oh I wish I went to see him" or "I didn't think he was that ill" etc, he just needs to be told that he was told by several people and given the option and chose not to go.
Sorry, but I get so fed up of people taking on other people's responsibilities that they don't have to - everyone is responsible for their own actions.

Bazza Tue 08-Oct-19 10:20:55

I’d someone you are fond of is seriously ill, possibly dying, please go and seem them, if they want you to of course. If you feel uncomfortable about it, just remember it’s not about you!

sarahanew Tue 08-Oct-19 10:38:27

Sounds to me like he can't cope with other people's problems and needs a lot of support with his own problems. You won't change him, that is how he is

grapefruitpip Tue 08-Oct-19 10:41:32

Fear, it puts him in touch with his own mortality.

fizzers Tue 08-Oct-19 10:42:34

Some people ( men and women) , are in denial because they can't face it, they go into what I call avoidance mode, I think deep down your partner knew that his friend was dying but couldn't face it

icanhandthemback Tue 08-Oct-19 10:58:37

This happened with an uncle of mine. He had been best friends with somebody for over 60 years and they actually lived together along with my aunt. When the friend got Prostate cancer, as he was nearing the end, my Uncle just refused to see how ill his friend was. Even when they took the friend into hospital he just couldn't see that it was the end. When the friend died he felt such guilt remembering all the times he'd dismissed his friend's illness as exaggerated drama. He was devastated, slid into a depression and before long, my Uncle had died too leaving behind a heart broken widow. I think denial is a very powerful thing.

Tweedle24 Tue 08-Oct-19 11:09:49

I doubt he is unfeeling, Lots of men are unable to cope with emotions - sadly, often the result of upbringing, ‘stiff upper lip’ and all that.
You say he coped with the practicalities of your own illness. Dealing with vomiting etc is not easy but, he did it.
He probably needs your support now rather than condemnation.