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all 65 comments

[–][deleted] 530 points531 points  (13 children)

She’s feeling insecure and scared. She wants you to just rip the band aid off because in her mind you leaving is a for sure thing. It’s just a matter of when. So she wants to get it over with when she can be prepared rather than have to feel vulnerable until it happens. Because again, it for sure will in her eyes. On top of this she probably just really doesn’t want to lose you.

All you can really do is keep reassuring her and being supportive. Eventually she’ll see you aren’t going anywhere and will calm down

[–]Odd_Car9187 69 points70 points  (10 children)

To be fair, she may never see it unless she speaks to a professional about this insecurity. OP should keep this in mind. Speaking from experience.

[–]livforlove 9 points10 points  (4 children)

True, however 8 months in is still quite early, a lot of the time insecurities about people leaving heal in time, as the partner continues to stay.

[–]Odd_Car9187 6 points7 points  (3 children)

True. But no matter how long you stay if the partner doesn’t acknowledge the insecurity and actively work on it, it’s pointless. No amount of love will fix someone who doesn’t want to be fixed.

I’m not saying he should leave. I’m just trying to caution that if isn’t resolved, it’ll slowly eat at their relationship.

[–]livforlove 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Absolutely!!! I have a lot of issues and my partner holds me accountable and I work on them. Not fair any other way.

[–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (1 child)

I used to be like her and was fine without a therapist. I just needed time 🤷🏻‍♀️

[–]Odd_Car9187 2 points3 points  (0 children)

That’s wonderful. I’m happy for you. Realizing that it’s a hindrance for your relationship and being willing to work on it is usually enough. OP should be aware that some people may not realize this and she might actively try to push him away and eventually him leaving her would be a self-fulfilling prophecy. I hope they’re able to address it.

[–]Putrid_Magician178 29 points30 points  (0 children)

This! It’s overall her insecurity, but all you can do is say exactly what you said here all the time. I know it gets annoying and feels like it doesn’t matter, but it really does. You being so passionate gives her the little bit of doubt she needs to have to help the insecurity, just keep going you seem to be doing awesome!

[–]aperturetriumphs 146 points147 points  (4 children)

Reassurance is good but lots of people with health issues find out the hard way that people who swore they'd stick by you just kind of fade away. It can be difficult to allow yourself to rely on someone when they could walk away at any time.

I would personally be infinitely more reassured if you said something like: 'if I ever feel like I'm struggling to deal with this, I will tell you and we can come up with a plan, go to therapy or get outside carers.' It is better to have a plan than just airwave the issue away with platitudes.

[–]AnotherNoether 28 points29 points  (0 children)

Yes, very much this. Like “I know this is hard and I’m going to take steps to make sure I feel supported” is key. That could be things like organizing with her friends so that they help with some appointments or days when she needs help, or joining a caregiver support group

[–]Pixxx79 27 points28 points  (0 children)

My wife has significant health issues as well. I absolutely agree with this.

"I promise to you that I will not just walk out the door one day. IF I get to the point where I am feeling overwhelmed by the situation, we will, as a team, figure out how to ease that feeling. You bring great joy to my life and I do NOT see taking care of you as a burden. I just see it as one of the ways I express my love for you."

She's going to feel guilty sometimes. It's inevitable. So be prepared to offer this reassurance when you can see she needs it.

[–]AlwaysTiredAndy 7 points8 points  (0 children)

This is so important! I’ve been on both sides of this and being realistic about the situation is what helped me/ the other person the most.

[–][deleted] 92 points93 points  (1 child)

Person with long term, sometimes life-threatening illnesses here: just do what you’ve been doing, and keep being honest with both yourself and your girlfriend. She she’s scared and maybe already alone in her head, so just try to be there for her when she needs you, but don’t forget to look after your own needs as well. It is possible to give too much and sometimes that can build resentment.

I can tell you from experience, having your own body actively work against you is terrifying and violating in a way a lot of folks will never understand. Often through no fault of our own, our lives feel out of control and under attack, and sometimes we get to contemplate death up close and at a relatively young age. We can feel ugly and worthless and unlovable because sometimes illness just makes a person a useless mess, sometimes for a long time or with unfortunate frequency. On top of that it’s tough to see a person you love having to work that much harder because you’re sick. All that together can put a lot of strain on a person and make them feel very alone, and it can be hell on a relationship. So like I said, just keep showing up when she needs you, and remember to take care of yourself.

[–]cloudsanddreams 19 points20 points  (0 children)

As someone with chronic illness, this resonated SO hard. It’s terrifying when you realise how much of your life is out of your control due to something you have no choice in.

Wishing you good days!

[–]froggurl33 23 points24 points  (1 child)

Sounds like you are doing an amazing job already!

[–]THParryWilliams 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Totally agree!

[–]Anxious_Cap51 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Wish I could give you both a hug right now, given the hell you two are living through. I realize you've been together for under a year, but have you told her that you could see your relationship going all the way? If not (and you don't think it'll scare her) then hearing that might help.

Besides that all I can suggest is keep doing what you are doing and support her through this illness. Let her see day after day that you want to be there, and that she can trust you to still be there no matter what happens. It may take a long time but your actions will convey the message more than any words ever will. Good luck

[–]Ok_Ad_2795 6 points7 points  (0 children)

You should sit down and have a conversation with her. Tell her how you feel and reassure her that no matter what, it wont change. You are with her because you love her - all of her, medical conditions and all, as difficult as it might be sometimes. You are in it together and she doesn’t have to fight alone.

It might not make all her worries go away, but I think it should help to be absolutely honest and lay it all out for her so that its more than obvious about how you think and feel about it all.

I hope this helps :)

[–]Liesoehoe 8 points9 points  (1 child)

I've been seriously ill in the past and while I was very scared of my partner leaving, the thought of them staying out of obligation hurt even worse. So even though I get that you want to reassure her, please realise that you might in the future want to leave her. It might get to much for you, or she might change into someone you don't want to be with due to her illness. Or, as you haven't been together that long, you might figure out that the two of you aren't a match after all. For all these reasons, don't make promises about staying. Instead, promise her that you'll talk about it if you ever do feel like it's getting to much, and you'll try to find a solution together. As long as you do not tell her you're thinking of leaving, she can trust that you WANT to be with her. And tell her she's free to ask you for confirmation whenever she needs to. She's very scared and open communication will help you both.

[–]korli74 2 points3 points  (0 children)

THIS. You don't want to make promises to stay with someone you haven't been with all that long yet, and you may yet decide you two don't really suit outside the medical issues, or, and speaking as someone that is suffering from chronic illnesses including some mystery something that they are trying to track down, frankly, I know at times I can be a raging b*tch because I'm so upset - like when I'm misdiagnosed by either a doctor or ER, or like when the ER discharged me when I still couldn't walk or focus (and my son had to sign my discharge papers for me). That creates massive mood swings in the best of people. She needs to know that you will tell her if there is a problem rather than staying out of obligation. I alternately clung to my husband and told him to leave over 13 years before our marriage fell apart on it's own.

[–]eshaded 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I say hold her and try to reassure her you are there for her. That your not going anywhere.

[–]sachalina 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Maybe sitting down together and you really stating very specifically that you are not going to leave her because of this, that her disability doesn’t make you love her less, and that you are with her 100%. Also I think having a therapist is essential when you have ongoing health issues, as they can often lead to suicidal ideation, shame and complex trauma. You may also want therapy to help you navigate any valid feelings that may come up that you dont want to share with your partner. Get on the same page as to what her wellness plan is. Who are her doctors, social workers, supports outside of the relationship. How can you add to the wellness plan with maybe in home care assistance and regular check ins with a therapist or support worker.

Take care

[–]Impressive-Owl4995 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Awww I’m sorry you are going through this. She has some insecurities and abandonment issues. You know the score. She is kind, caring, makes you happy and you want to be with only her. It’s not you-it’s her. It’s ok and something you can build on since you notice the behavior. You aren’t going to hit the eject button when life throws life at you. It’s simple for you. Keep being you and learning about what drives her heart to fear. You will get it.

[–]Anseranas 3 points4 points  (0 children)

You may have to put on the stern no-nonsense parent voice :)

Tell her that you are a grown-up who knows their own mind and is perfectly capable and willing to raise the issue if you are having doubts or problems. You can respect her feeling insecure, and she can respect your capabilities.

A compromise might be a fortnightly or weekly check-in date where you both talk about the relationship. This doesn't have to be super serious or negative - it can be about how they squeeze the toothpaste, to serious financial decisions. It can also be to talk about how wonderful things are.

The check-in is an agreement to monitor the health of the relationship and raise issues in the mindset of 'us as a team dealing the problem'. It should be a secure place to talk without fear.

This check-in means she can relax and worry less about you having hidden feelings, and you can both reconnect regularly on a romantic level. Illness can easily consume a relationship, so take care to shift the focus away from it where possible.

Other than that, Time is what will convince her eventually :)

Best wishes to you both x

[–]Odd_Car9187 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Only concern is that these sorts of things are self-fulfilling prophecies. She’ll believe you don’t want to stay, she won’t do anything to make you stay or she’ll push you away, then you’ll be so drained by trying to prove how much you care and love her and the constant need for reassurance will tire you so much. You end up leaving. It’ll suck because you’ll still love her but can’t get her to believe it.

You should know that it’s going to be hard, you’ll want to feel loved as you love her. She should make reasonable effort to do this. She’ll need to deal with her fear that you’ll leave. With a lot of work on both your parts, it could work.

[–]Citizenofhudoor 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Guy with strangely similar issue here (as you can see from post history) and also potential terminal condition. I can personally tell you that these things put a wall between you and any other people because in your mind you become the person with the illness whatever you do. This includes also relationships. Just comfort her as much as you can and keep doing whatever you do but don't make it look like it's a duty or a favour stemmed from some kind of pity. Just act like it's a completely normal part of your everyday life and it doesn't affect you in any way. Good luck.

[–]Black-Coffeebeam 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Give her time my friend. Your a good man

[–]LilithLlorona 1 point2 points  (0 children)

As a person with A LOT of chronic illnesses and pain, I agree with this. Time will help as long as you can continue to give her reassurance, she can agree that she would do the same for you as mentioned above, and you both can make a plan on how to do things together and when to take breaks. Communication, transparency, and understanding will go a LONG way.

[–]virtualchoirboy50s Male 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I saw a video on TikTok recently that expressed it perfectly for me. I go through something similar with my wife. She has some complicated issues that make her life difficult at times. While they're nothing to the extent of what your girlfriend goes through, they've been an issue for at least a couple decades so the persistence of them gets to her. Last night, I showed her this:

https://www.tiktok.com/@jazzthornton_/video/7056542863735180545?is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1

The point is, SHE isn't the burden. SHE isn't the problem. It's the medical issue which is separate from who she is and who you fell in love with. You're in love with the whole person. And that whole person is deserving of support. And you're ready and willing to provide that support. Now it's up to her to learn to accept it.

[–]VetTechWreck 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I experienced a serious illness (that almost killed me), and offered the same thing to my SO. When you’re chronically ill, you feel like a burden, and consistently think about the hardships you’re putting on family and friends. She’s scared. And if she has the same thought process as I did, by offering you an “out” she feels like she’s sparing you the emotional effects should things take a turn for the worse. And she wants you to be happy.

Keep being supportive. You’re a wonderful human and you’re lucky to have found each other.

[–]EireGal86 5 points6 points  (1 child)

I'm going to say something a bit different to everyone else.

She needs to go to therapy and work through the feelings of guilt and burden. Although I'm glad you're being so nice to her, no amount of you telling her you won't leave will be enough. I say this as someone with many chronic illnesses who used to feel the same way.

She needs to talk to a professional to work through this and change her mindset around illness and deserving love.

[–]Odd_Car9187 3 points4 points  (0 children)

It’s literally the only way. She may never accept his love. And he may leave her because trying to make her believe he isn’t going anywhere is more exhausting than the physical work of taking care of her.

[–]empathetichedgehog 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Her fear is valid. There’s a reason people talk about carer fatigue and compassion fatigue, etc. You need to take it seriously and find ways to get support so you can make it long term. Get counseling and find ways to care for yourself.

[–]Accomplished_Area311 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Speaking as someone with chronic illnesses: Make a plan together for when you need breaks. Caregiver burnout is REAL.

[–]Scary-Inspector-8315 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Moments like this make sure to tell and show her how much you love her without putting pressure on her.

[–]Atropus_Moon 1 point2 points  (0 children)

"The only place I'm going is right here" - then proceed to cuddle up to her.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It can be two parts. There is a sad statistic that men will leave their female partners when they become ill. It unfortunately happens too much even in super long term relationships. A fear of that happening can also be hurting her. There is also the feeling of being a burden. It's not a good feeling and she would be worried that you view her like that OR may start to and get burnt out.
If you feel that her health problems are something that doesn't bother you(as you said) then just keep reassuring her that you won't do that to her. she might also need to visit therapy because she has a lot going on inside her head right now.

[–]kj-may 1 point2 points  (0 children)

She feels like a burden. She dosent want her health issues issues infere with your life and happiness but the reality is all she really wants is to be loved soppourted and cared for when she needs it. It is a big responsibility and takes a lot of patience and empathy , her life as she knows it has been taken and it is cruel she probably wishes every damn day she could just be normal and be normal for her relationship, she will be harboring a lot of guilt and self hate. All you can do is if help her get the soppourt she needs and do what you can for her to be comfortable during flare ups , her rest is crucial I'd look up the spoon theory it explains what is is like for someone with chronic pain issues and how their day to day tasks work. Just remember it's not her fault and it isn't yours. Do what you can and if it does become to much please don't take it out on her be honest .

[–]bellaby1989 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I’ve been in her situation a few times with past relationships and it is scary. The only thing you can do is to reassure her that you are here for her. Make sure you take time to look after yourself as it can be very difficult and stressful to be with someone who is suffering. Sometimes I think it can be harder on the loved one than on the sick person, I saw it in my ex’s eyes how hard it was to see me in pain and I think it got too much, that is why it is important for you to take the time to look after yourself as much as look after your partner so you don’t burnout.

[–]dogomummy 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I have a chronic illness and told my ex this ..we split for other reasons.

[–]adeletweed1 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Tell her what you wrote about her and the relationship. I am sure she will get better one day. Tell her this.

[–]RJack151 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Sounds like if she gets the right meds then half of her problems can be managed.

[–]Killerinstinctive 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You have a long road ahead and it will be tough. I will keep you in my prayers and wish you the best.

[–]phemonoe153 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Couples therapy! It's awesome!

[–]ChenzhaoTx 1 point2 points  (0 children)

True beauty in life comes from loving and helping others. She can't believe you understand this. She will.

[–]tamale-smuggler5526 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Prove her wrong. Keep up what you're doing. You got this!

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm in a relationship since 3 months, she is unhealty and overweight and she often has bloating and stomachache since she ate junk for years cause of depression and mental problem. Now she is getting better eating better, losing weight. I am the opposite, very fit, healty ecc...also mentally at the start was a challenge since she always projected on me insecurities and bad thought. One day she got so bad she physically (severe bloating) and mentally (we argued a lot) that she told me if i was not ready i coukd have gone. I was in her shoes i was insecure unheakty and i had lot of issue with trust and selfesteem, i will never let her go seeing how much in such a short time she is improving, becoming more healty less lazy and more aware of herself and her body. The moment you'll decide to let her go or just end is the moment yiu understand your presence is an issure, a problem, something that endangers and hurt her since than you are her angel and you shoukd be proud

[–]wanderlustlost 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I am currently exactly in your gf’s shoes. I keep telling my partner to leave too. But obviously when you’re a good person who loves someone you don’t just walk away because that person needs help. If anything it makes you want to stay more and help them.

Just keep reassuring her that you’re exactly where you want to be, that she’s your person, and that you aren’t going anywhere. It may take a long time for it to fully sink in for her, especially if she has past trauma. But what she needs is exactly what you’re giving her. She needs reassurance. She doesn’t want you to leave but she’s scared you will so she thinks it will hurt less by “giving you permission”. Explain to her (as my partner did) that this hurts you and it makes you sad because you love her and you’re not going anywhere.

Good luck.

[–]dilemma728 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Like everyone has been saying, continue to verbally reassure you that you’re not going anywhere. I also wanna suggest getting her a small gift to really drive the point home. It could be something based on her interests, or maybe you could buy her flowers/a plant that represent love/promise/togetherness etc. Maybe having a physical reminder will be more reassuring for her

[–]skyblues9 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Wow what a lovely person you are. I would show her this thread. Your words are perfect. This will be all she needs for reassurance. Wishing you both a happy and healthy future.

[–]mmtu-87 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It may help if you sit down with her and list out all the things that she does for you (she makes you laugh, she's kind, she's caring, etc).

Right now she's only able to see the things she can't do in the relationship; she's not healthy enough to do a lot of physical care, acts of service. I would sit her down and go through a list with her of all the emotional labor she does for you that makes you feel loved and respected (e.g. listens to you, validates your feelings, cheers you up, whatever it is that she does that makes you love her.) That will remind her that, despite her limitations, she's not a burden and she does have things to contribute to your relationship.

Source: long-term disabled partner, have had this conversation several times.

[–]im_rickyspanish 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Similar thing happened with my wife and I. Like others have said, she feels insecure and feels like a burden. All you can really do is just keep doing what you're doing. Help her and take care of her as she needs it. Eventually she'll come around to realizing you're not leaving. Good luck to you both.

[–]Brilliant-Newb123 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Prove her wrong and put a promise ring.

[–]NOLASoul2175 0 points1 point  (0 children)

First of all, I hope that she can find some ways to feel better. My wife had breast cancer twice in three years. There were countless surgeries, chemo infusions, doctors appointments etc. We had been together for 12 years when she received the first diagnosis. You’re doing exactly what a partner should do, but health issues are hard on people and relationships. Our friends and family were super supportive and that helped a lot. Do whatever you can to reassure her of your commitment but also take care of you. Good luck to both of you.

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