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Feeling hurt and saddened

(52 Posts)
Frogsinmygarden Tue 13-Apr-21 11:02:58

My husband recently called someone on TV a derogatory not very nice name which has upset me greatly. Why? Because the person on TV has a similar illness to me. It just came out of his mouth. Without thinking. It was in relation to his (TV persons) illness and how it affects him. I was shocked and upset at the word he used because it made me question if my husband sees me like this too? When I questioned him about it he immediately backtracked and said I have twisted his meaning! I don’t see how I could have. It’s left me feeling bewildered and questioning how he sees me. We’re not speaking at the moment because he thinks I’ve overreacted. I can’t un-hear what I heard. I feel like something has changed between us. 😢

Frogsinmygarden Thu 15-Apr-21 14:34:56

Thanks everyone. I have had a heartfelt apology from my husband for the way he made me feel. And no, I don’t feel like I have to apologise for things all the time. I just wanted to end the ‘silence’ and that was one way to do that. I really don’t think that I would have though. Anyway, I do believe that it has been a learning curve and he will think before coming out with anything like that again.

grannyactivist Thu 15-Apr-21 10:21:10

Frogs could it be that because you ‘get on with it’ your husband sometimes forgets about your condition? I ask because my own husband, who is generally extremely kind, occasionally needs to be reminded that I am not always as well as I appear to be.

In any case, I can’t see that you have any reason to apologise for your husband’s insensitivity.

nadateturbe Thu 15-Apr-21 10:05:35

Namsnanny is right. I would remind him. And definitely not apologise.

SylviaPlathssister unfortunately many of us get that treatment with ME. Although I hasten to add my husband is wonderful but most people not so understanding. I'm glad you're feeling better.

ElaineRI55 Thu 15-Apr-21 09:29:02

Whatever the original comment and both of your reactions, it led to you not talking to each other, so probably needs to be discussed.
Blaming each other or looking for an apology is maybe a red herring?
Could you possibly approach it by thanking him for something he does well in caring for you or making something easier for you. You could then go on to say that your"falling out" was maybe an indication of how much the illness is affecting both of you and maybe (as well as discussing it calmly) there's something you can both agree to change to improve the situation. Could it be getting a cleaner in occasionally, changing something about the layout/ furniture to make things easier, setting aside a day a month for a specific treat for you both, asking friends/family to help with something that might allow your DH to go out for the afternoon, going for counseling or joining a self-help group for individuals and their families who have experience of the particular illness/condition you have? Not knowing the details, these suggestions might not be appropriate but you can probably think of something that could help. It sounds as though your reaction was partly because he is normally supportive and kind so it took you by surprise - certainly worth using it as an opportunity to tackle issues together and possibly make things easier for both of you.

Yorki Thu 15-Apr-21 01:45:54

Frogsinmygarden... Please don't apologize, your invalidating your own feelings by doing so and sending your husband the wrong message . He won't think twice about doing it again if you apologize, because your giving him permission to do so whilst putting the fault back onto you. Your emotions are there to protect you. Listen to them , he's hurt you , he needs to see it's not acceptable. My husband's the same, it hurts and it's not ok.

Jillybird Wed 14-Apr-21 22:06:00

No, you are not making a mountain out of a molehill and I agree that you should not apologise and he should!

However difficult he finds it to admit he was wrong, he was, and you both know it. So maybe you will have to wait until he can summon the courage. and strength to do it. In any event I believe he will think twice before ever saying anything even vaguely similar again. (And hopefully won't even think it!) You have probably taught him an important lesson. You have the high ground here.

CarlyD7 Wed 14-Apr-21 19:51:37

Of course you shouldn't apologise! Get back to some kind of normality but store it away for the future, and keep a look out for any other clues. Is it something about men I wonder - that they can't face their partners being ill? I've known SO MANY couple now where the wife is ill and the husband just ignores it /plays it down / makes light of it, etc. I would guess that it's their (cowardly) way of coping but their partners find it very hurtful.

CarlyD7 Wed 14-Apr-21 19:48:39

Namsnanny - you're absolutely right. He should be reminded EVERY DAY.

JdotJ Wed 14-Apr-21 18:41:08

I'd remind him every single day

GrauntyHelen Wed 14-Apr-21 18:32:56

Do you often feel the need to apologise for your hurt when your husband inflicts the hurt ? Alarmbells if you do ! DON'T apologise and put yourself and your illness first as clearly he doesn't

BlueBelle Wed 14-Apr-21 17:53:02

First I don’t think you should apologise,
second I think you did right in pointing out what he said was upsetting to you
One thing to add, he obviously doesn’t define you by your illness and in a way it could almost be a back handed complement to you
Not good that he would say anything derogatory about someone with an illness though, as you say he’s normally a considerate man hopefully it was a one off
I d try and let it go
Good luck frogs

Chestnut Wed 14-Apr-21 17:36:30

Harmonypuss

Chestnut ...
If it's a character in a series then I don't think you should take this seriously. My daughter and I often joke about soap characters and their possible outcomes.... But they are imaginary characters who the script writers have woven a story around, and it all means nothing because they are not real. We don't have any feelings about these imaginary people, including their illnesses, and we don't take the story seriously at all.

I think you'll find that soap and drama writers and actors do an amazing amount of research in order to ensure that they are portraying situations, illnesses etc in a factual and sympathetic way.
I only watch itv soaps, so using only Emmerdale and Coronation Street as my references, in the past few years they've covered dementia, loss of a baby due to genetic issues, cystic fibrosis, downs syndrome, suicide, various cancers and Multiple Sclerosis, and those are only the issues that spring readily to mind.
Anyone who is or has experienced any of the health issues or life experiences that the soaps cover would be up in arms if they "made it all up" as you've implied, the whole point is not only to tell the stories as part of the ongoing shows but also to inform/educate their viewers about those conditions.
Granted, not everyone living with any of the conditions or illnesses portrayed on these shows will experience "exactly" the symptoms shown on the show but these shows do a fantastic job of at least showing "some" of the things people can experience.
I do agree that the characters are fictional and (in the majority of cases) don't actually suffer with the conditions they are showing us but there are real people who watch these shows who do live with these illnesses etc and would perfectly legitimately be offended if they heard someone belittling the character and their situations.

All right, confession time. I'm talking about 'Home and Away' where nothing is actually very serious.

Pammie1 Wed 14-Apr-21 17:26:16

Lately there have been a few threads on the forum to do with illness and lack of support from a partner. Whatever happened to ‘in sickness and in health’ ? Unfortunately that part of the marriage vows seems to trip off the tongue without much thought.

justwokeup Wed 14-Apr-21 17:14:42

Hopefully you’re feeling a bit more supported now Frogs. Perhaps you let him ‘ignore the facts’ too much? Take him to your medical appointments, tell him how you’re feeling, make sure he knows things will get worse. If you try to hide it too much he may genuinely be unaware of the extent of your feelings/health. Perhaps if you involve him more he would feel more confident and informed about your illness and better able to support you.

Frogsinmygarden Wed 14-Apr-21 16:22:38

Thanks everyone for your responses. My husband is generally quite considerate I suppose that’s why what he said was all the more shocking to me. The remark was about a real life person on a documentary but I’m struggling to see what the difference would be if it were an actor portraying a person with that particular illness? Having thought long and hard, I don’t think it’s down to me to apologise. However I think he’s thinking that if he apologises he’s basically saying that he was in the wrong and that’s something that he has always struggled with. I try very hard to not let my illness define me and most people I know have absolutely no idea of my health. I really don’t want to be seen as ‘different’ but obviously I need some assistance occasionally. He much prefers to ignore the facts whereas I meet them head on. No point in doing anything else really. It’s never going to go away and will possibly exacerbate as time goes on. At least he now knows that doing what he’s done isn’t acceptable to me and hopefully he will think before he speaks in the future. Thanks for your sage advice one and all.

DiscoDancer1975 Wed 14-Apr-21 16:21:11

It may be he doesn’t see your illness, he just sees you, if that makes sense. When we see people on TV, it’s very focussed. I’m not sure we’re like that with the people we love. I’ve often found myself thinking....that person‘s got this or that wrong with them, when on the TV, or just passing in the street. Only to be reminded by my nearest and dearest, that someone I’m close to also has the same affliction, or whatever it is. I would question it with him though, even if it’s just to remind him.

Harmonypuss Wed 14-Apr-21 15:59:00

Chestnut ...
If it's a character in a series then I don't think you should take this seriously. My daughter and I often joke about soap characters and their possible outcomes.... But they are imaginary characters who the script writers have woven a story around, and it all means nothing because they are not real. We don't have any feelings about these imaginary people, including their illnesses, and we don't take the story seriously at all.

I think you'll find that soap and drama writers and actors do an amazing amount of research in order to ensure that they are portraying situations, illnesses etc in a factual and sympathetic way.
I only watch itv soaps, so using only Emmerdale and Coronation Street as my references, in the past few years they've covered dementia, loss of a baby due to genetic issues, cystic fibrosis, downs syndrome, suicide, various cancers and Multiple Sclerosis, and those are only the issues that spring readily to mind.
Anyone who is or has experienced any of the health issues or life experiences that the soaps cover would be up in arms if they "made it all up" as you've implied, the whole point is not only to tell the stories as part of the ongoing shows but also to inform/educate their viewers about those conditions.
Granted, not everyone living with any of the conditions or illnesses portrayed on these shows will experience "exactly" the symptoms shown on the show but these shows do a fantastic job of at least showing "some" of the things people can experience.
I do agree that the characters are fictional and (in the majority of cases) don't actually suffer with the conditions they are showing us but there are real people who watch these shows who do live with these illnesses etc and would perfectly legitimately be offended if they heard someone belittling the character and their situations.

Pammie1 Wed 14-Apr-21 15:10:52

@Nanananana1. I get what you’re saying, but would you ‘let it go, forgive his fears and show some sympathy’ if it was racist or sexist language he was using ? He doesn’t see her in the same way - how kind of him to say so, that makes it all OK doesn’t it ?
I think not.

Pammie1 Wed 14-Apr-21 14:53:59

I have spina bifida and I well remember being in a pub with my husband in the company of some friends, when one of the group laughingly made a derogatory comment about a disabled woman who had come in - thankfully she was out of earshot when he said it. I didn’t find it in the least bit funny having been the butt of similar comments throughout my life, and was on the point of saying something when the person realised what he had done and, very red faced, tried to apologise and backtrack. He said he genuinely didn’t see me in the same way and admitted the remark had been thoughtless and in bad taste. I could never see him in the same light again. Please do try to speak to your husband and sort things out. It shouldn’t be you who apologises, but him because him ‘seeing you differently’ is no excuse. Racist and sexist behaviour are not acceptable in todays’ society but unfortunately disabled people are not yet afforded the same respect and disability hate crime is on the rise. Attitudes like his don’t help.

Bluecat Wed 14-Apr-21 14:18:08

I think that you are entitled to be upset. I have several medical conditions which affect my life to some degree and I am stuck with them forever. If my DH, or any other member of my family, made a derogatory remark about people with any of those conditions, I would be extremely hurt. It would show insensitivity, verging on cruelty.

It's hard enough to cope with a medical issue, and you need the people around you to help you to have a positive outlook. I wouldn't blame you for feeling distressed.

Pepine Wed 14-Apr-21 14:15:36

Well put Doodledog - I get so irritated by people airily opining that being careful about the language we use is ‘PC gone mad, where’s the harm?’ etc etc. If a phrase, term or word is going to cause hurt or offence to someone, don’t use it! It’s not hard, costs nothing and avoids upset.

Chaitriona Wed 14-Apr-21 14:12:06

Society does have very negative attitudes to all sorts of illnesses and conditions and can use words like “spastic”, “nutcase” and so on as general derogatory terms. It is easy for this to trip off anyone’s tongue thoughtlessly. It doesn’t make it right. But it may be just one slip of the tongue and also people are capable of learning and changing their attitudes. You shouldn’t wonder if you have done anything wrong by questioning your husband. You haven’t. Your worry about what he is truly thinking is understandable. Perhaps you could have a conversation about how he feels and thinks about your illness. He may well have some negative thoughts. That would also be understandable but are you strong enough to hear them? The main thing is not to begin believing them yourself. Unfortunately many ill people have partners and families who are not supportive and understanding or not entirely. What we do with that is up to us. All relationships are a compromise. But we have to be strong minded ourselves. Good luck.

Namsnanny Wed 14-Apr-21 13:24:20

Eloethan 13.20 I would echo this way of thinking.

Namsnanny Wed 14-Apr-21 13:21:55

SylviaPlathssister

I had ME for approximately 4 years until I slowly recovered ( one of the lucky ones) my husband who was in a Science based occupation, said frequently that there was no such illness. It felt very lonely. . Because It was very difficult to diagnose
They were amongst the hardest years of my life. I woke up everyday feeling exhausted with pains in my muscles and eventually depressed. I had lots of small needy children, a huge house, and a husband who was constantly eying me up for some ‘ action’ It was a nightmare.
However, we survived and now the tables are turned and he is ill. I have to bite my tongue to remind him of the way he treated me.
Life is far from fair.

Dont bite your tongue, remind him.

Eloethan Wed 14-Apr-21 13:20:37

I don't know how anyone can assess this situation and whether the OP's husband was insulting without knowing the words used or the context in which they were used.

It remains, though, that for the OP the word/words were hurtful and just on that basis I think her partner should apologise for the hurt caused.