General Question

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

Does anyone else have a significant other who is always foolishly hurting themselves?

Asked by LeavesNoTrace (5674points) August 2nd, 2017

My SO plays in a recreational sports league, and I support his hobby because he loves it and it’s a good way to stay active. I’ve made friends with many of his teammates and often attend their games.

However, the last two seasons, he’s been injuring himself a lot more. He doesn’t jog or go to the gym anymore, and I think that has something to do with it. He often comes home with nasty abrasions and contusions from sliding into bases and diving around the field.

I sometimes remind him that he’s in his mid-late 30s now and no longer in his 20s and he needs to be more careful. Not to mention, he’s not a pro athlete and is not getting paid to throw himself around the field and destroy his body. I suspect he’s trying to recapture his youth, but in reality, he’s causing himself pain and risking serious injury.

All of the above plus he comes home from a game and howls in pain for days after, demanding that I “take care of him.” I’m a busy small business owner and have told him several times that if he chooses to make risky plays and subsequently injures himself that I only have so much Florence Nightengale in me to spare.

Last night he shredded both his knees, threw his back, and got a nasty contusion on his hip from throwing his body around the field. He spent the night complaining and tossing and turning and disrupting my sleep. He’s at work right now and I’m at home working on important projects and I’m frankly dreading him coming home because I know he’s going to start demanding that I drop everything to tend to him.

I would feel differently if the injuries were not from his choices, but I’ve been dealing with this for three years now. I tell him to see a doctor when he gets injured (he has good health insurance) and please don’t expect me to be a nurse. I’m having a “heads down” week with work and don’t have time for this right now. How much do I owe my significant other?

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15 Answers

Coloma's avatar

It’s not about “owing” anyone, it is about your right to choose what you do and don’t do and his right as well. It’s also about mutual support. You support his activity choices but he supports that you are not responsible for tending to him like a child when he injures himself from choosing to play rough and tumble sports.
It’s about compromise as always in relationships.

You squeeze out a little tea and sympathy, bring him some Advil and a glass of water and tell him that you will be sleeping in the spare room or on the couch until he feels better if he is keeping you up at night. He needs to be aware and not whine and complain. If you both can meet in the middle, problem solved.

snowberry's avatar

Well said, @Coloma. I couldn’t put it better and that’s exactly what I do, because hubby is much the same way!

funkdaddy's avatar

I guess you only owe what you expect in return.

If he puts his career and comfort in front of your needs, and that feels right, then I suppose it’s fair for you to do the same. That’s your agreement.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I use to play softball in the summer until my mid 40’s. Get a bottle of NSAIDs.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Man, I quit giving my husband that undeserved sympathy when he started ignoring serious warning signs that he needed to get to the doctor for what was flairing up (which he’s already been told was life threatening) and instead opted to whine and complain to me.
When my only response became “Go see the doctor,” he finally quit doing it.
He still, moans and groans under his breath hoping I’ll notice. I don’t.

I hate it when there is that kind of tension in a relationship @LeavesNoTrace. It’s so selfish and immature and you’ll catch hell for not doing what he wants.
I’d do as little as possible, just enough to keep him quiet, then put off doing other things right then because you’re busy.

snowberry's avatar

In my situation, hubby has refused to go to the dentist. It just costs too much, blah blah blah. But he spends a fortune going on trips and buying big boy toys. He waits until crisis time, then there’s a big big bill to pay to fix his teeth, which is where we are now. It’s the same with the rest of his health. I have plenty of empathy for him when he takes care of himself, but it starts to wane when he doesn’t care, then expects the world to stop when his body falls apart.

He knows better than to start that with me!

Soubresaut's avatar

I agree with all that has been said above.

Also, I can’t help but see the part where you mention he hasn’t been training for two seasons… And, not surprisingly, it sounds like many of the injuries have occurred after he stopped training. A huge part of athletic endeavors is the training, is being responsible with your body so that it’s still going strong as you age. I would have a hard time supporting his continued involvement in the league if he wasn’t also training to keep up the muscle tone and stamina required by the way he wants to play… And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having that discussion with him, with saying, “Look, I love that you’re involved in something you love so much, but you’ve got to take care of your body. You’ve got to keep up your training so that you don’t keep getting hurt like this.”

I also have another thought, however, I realize that this one has more to do with my own experiences than it does your story. I grew up with someone who would throw themselves into sports as a way to chase away negative emotion. On the whole it wasn’t a bad thing, since the exercise would have a calming effect, but when something was bothering them that the exercise couldn’t shake, something would shift. They would become more… extreme, I guess—they would become more extreme with their practice and play and often injure themselves as a result. What I’m trying to say: if that person in my life suddenly dropped their training routines and increased the intensity of their play to the point of frequent injuries, it would tell me that something was going on in their life that was stressing or otherwise agitating them. I don’t know, and I’m not saying, that it’s the same for your SO, I just wanted to throw this out there in case it is.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Soubresaut There isn’t anything wrong with calmly, logically explaining it to him. But it sounds like he doesn’t respond well to logic. To me it sounds like he could read it as:
1) So you think I’m STUPID???
2) So you’re saying you just don’t care if I get hurt any more???
All of which can lead to huge arguments. You think I’m stupid, you don’t care, and I don’t care about you, so we’re even so we just need to get a divorce!
And if you try to bow out of the argument by not responding he could become enraged over the fact that you’re “ignoring” him.

Coloma's avatar

Why I’m so glad to be in the relationship free zone. I have zero desire to compromise, cater to, or otherwise infringe on my self focus. Been there, done that, I’m good. haha

Soubresaut's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yeah, I guess that’s fair. I know people who would respond exactly the way you’ve described… I guess it has a lot to do with the relationship and the communication between the two parties…. If I were bringing up the topic, I’d try to err on the side of “I love you, and I want us to be active and healthy for a long time together, so this is coming from a place of care and concern.” I dunno.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Has to do with maturity and self confidence too. @Soubresaut, I do wish it was that easy.

@Coloma it’s hard for people who haven’t experienced it to understand….

rebbel's avatar

Sounds to me like ‘Mommy’s Boy’ syndrome.
Very childish behavior.
A tough guy, or girl, on the field, with the lads/the gals.
A whiner the next day, at home with husband/wife.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

Doctor thinks he may have a torn meniscus. He’s going to see he a specialist next week…

snowberry's avatar

That’ll put him back in his easy chair! LOL

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