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October 31, 2020 at 1:24 am #963879mypersonalcovid19pandemicGuest
I’ve (22F) been seeing my boyfriend, Derek (26M), for ten months. Recently, his mom was diagnosed with cancer. It’s been hard on everyone, especially Derek, and I’ve tried to support him however I can.
I think it’s important to note that I’m in a long-distance relationship with Derek. We met in college and dated after graduation. He used to live with his mom, but over the summer he moved to the midwest. The plan is that I will eventually join him there in two years.
Anyway, his mom is due to start chemo soon and won’t be able to have people come to her house for the holidays. So, she’s hosting an early Thanksgiving so they can all get together before she starts chemo. Now, Derek has a BIG family, and most of his siblings are adults with spouses and children. Everyone lives out of state and will be congregating at his mom’s house for dinner.
I really, really do not think that this is safe at all. I absolutely understand why Derek’s mom is hosting Thanksgiving early, and I absolutely understand why Derek and all of his siblings are attending. While I don’t begrudge them for this, I do feel very strongly that this is a COVID-19 disaster waiting to happen.
Here’s my dilemma: Derek has invited me to Thanksgiving, as well as to just hang out with him while he’s back in-state for the week. I’m not comfortable with this and would really prefer to stay home. My community has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases in the past few days, and I don’t want to potentially spread it to his family. Vice versa, I don’t want to potentially catch it from his family, either.
I expressed my concern to Derek and explained that I may not see him while he’s visiting because I don’t want to risk getting him or his family sick. He got very upset and told me that I’m the last person who’d get anyone sick. He explained that if anyone was getting someone sick, it would be him or his other siblings who are essential workers, “not you, who never leaves her house.” He added that if he didn’t see me while he was visiting that he would be angry. We ended the conversation with him making me promise that we’d get to see each other.
Although I promised to see him, I really don’t want to. I love my boyfriend and of course, I’ve missed him while we’ve been apart. However, I don’t think it’s safe for me to see him right now because of the virus.
I just want to do the right thing, but I can’t discern what that is. Please help.October 31, 2020 at 5:06 am #963881KateKeymaster
You know what the right thing to do is. It’s to not go anywhere near that Thanksgiving situation.
And then I guess figure out what you’re really afraid of. If you never go anywhere, are you really worried you’ll get your boyfriend sick if he comes over? More likely he’ll get you sick, having come from the Midwest, interstate travel, essential worker, the pandemic is raging in the Midwest right now. And if he goes to this superspreader TG event first??
And bigger picture, are you happy with this long distance situation? Do you really want to move to the Midwest in 2 years? Why did he move there to be an essential worker, couldn’t he get that kind of job anywhere?
I would just be honest with him and explain that with all the potential exposure he has, you are worried about getting sick and you can’t take that risk. If he doesn’t get that, if he’s angry, then he’s probably not the right guy for you anyway.October 31, 2020 at 6:06 am #963882ktfranParticipant
I was going to say exactly what Kate said about the Midwest. I live in IL. We were doing so well until a couple of weeks ago. It’s so bad right now. We had 7,000+ new cases reported yesterday. It’s mostly because of house parties. And not wearing masks (although in a Chicago, people are good at masks).
The rest of the Midwest is also doing really bad.October 31, 2020 at 7:28 am #963886KateKeymaster
Also, what do you value more, your health, your family’s health, your moral compass and self respect? Or a long-distance relationship with, frankly, an idiot, who gets mad at you when you do the right thing?October 31, 2020 at 8:52 am #963887ronGuest
You should not go. This is a gathering which should not happen. It is very dangerous for Derek’s mother, since catching Covid would delay and possibly seriously complicate her chemo. She is frightened, may think her life is virtually over, and wants to see all her family for one last traditional family holiday, but that is foolish. Even people with cancer diagnosed at stage 4 can have 5 or more years of mostly good life ahead with modern chemo. My mother lived over 5 years with stage 4 breast cancer and the level of chemo technology of three decades ago. Your bf needs to focus all of his attention on his mother and siblings during this visit, if it occurs, not upon you.
He is correct that he and his sibs are the likeliest vectors and that you are unlikely to give Covid to his family. But.. this emphasizes his selfishness and your altruism or inability to honestly stand up for yourself and your family. There is a very high chance that you would catch Covid out of this deal, also endangering your family. You need to honestly tell Derek that the risk to yourself and your family are simply too great and that you will not be attending Thanksgiving at his mom’s house or getting together with him in person. The pandemic is now out of control almost everywhere and all the forecasts are for no let-up by Thanksgiving, with Thanksgiving celebrations viewed as a likely several days of super spreading. Doctor Fauci has strongly advised against such gatherings.
Do the responsible adult thing. Also, you should consider calling Derek on his selfishness. He does not have your best interests foremost.October 31, 2020 at 10:20 am #963888BittergaymarkGuest
That Ron really depends on the Cancer. My favorite aunt was diagnosed with brain cancer in late October. She was dead by late January. We are talking barely three months.
I am really frustrated right now as the lockdown sacrifices of spring were clearly squandered as much of America fucking blew it.
I suspect this thanksgiving will simply cancel itself as family members start randomly getting sick in the next few weeks.October 31, 2020 at 10:38 am #963889OracleGuest
Not a good idea for the mother at all. Yes there is Covid but there is also the flu and really simple colds. If she comes down with anything it would delay chemo. I would not go on moral grounds because you are endangering another person. Also rethink this long distance thing. You are 22. You do not have a ring on your finger. He’s the one that moved. If he really cared he would found a job in your area.October 31, 2020 at 12:40 pm #963892briseGuest
LW, you could suggest an early Thanksgiving on zoom for all. Really, that would be the best for his mother. I can’t imagine the risk and stupidity to have such a big family reunion around a very vulnerable woman, gravely sick. How crazy is that? Zoom family reunions work, it is nice, it last an hour or so, everybody meets each other. We did that last Easter and it was fine.
Definitely don’t go there, if they have the bad idea to pursue this project. Given your BF’s behavior and treatment of you, I would also seriously consider putting an end to this relationship. Why do you trap yourself in a long-distance relationship with a man older than you, who went away (why?), doesn’t treat you with respect and seems to be lacking the most elementary reflection’ ability? And who gets angry when you express a reasonable opinion?
Personnaly, I would move on, LW. Youth is made for that, dating, and seeing what is worth and what is not worth the effort in relationships. This one seems to run its course, in my opinion.November 2, 2020 at 9:29 am #963917Dear WendyKeymaster
This pandemic has really been an opportunity to see people’s values and sense of judgment in action. Pay attention to how the people you love, like your boyfriend, are behaving and how they are treating you and how they are reacting to the way *you* are behaving. If you are not being listened to, if your concerns are not being validated, if you are not being respected and affirmed and treated with care, if you are being dismissed, if your concerns are treated as invalid, if you are being manipulated, then really think about what role you want this person to have in your life longterm. Even with family members, you can practice creating strong boundaries when you feel you aren’t being respected. You can say no and be firm in your decision. You can decide that even if people are hurt by your decision or don’t understand, that’s their problem, and you don’t have to let it affect the boundaries you’ve set.
Your boyfriend and his family are being irresponsible. Grossly irresponsible. That doesn’t make them bad people, but your boyfriend pushing you like he is is worrisome. Be firm with him, and honor your own comfort level. How would you feel about seeing him outdoors with masks on? Maybe before he gathers with family? If even that feels too risky to you, level with him: tell him you don’t feel comfortable spending time with anyone coming from a high transmission area – even someone you love. Period. And if he can’t accept that, maybe he’s someone who doesn’t value you in the way you deserve to be valued by the person you’re building a relationship with.November 2, 2020 at 2:53 pm #963925LisforLeslieGuest
We all understand the reasoning, but it’s flawed reasoning. You can miss the dinner and disappoint your boyfriend. You can attend the dinner and potentially kill your boyfriend’s mom, his other family, and depending on the time between early TG and chemo, the doctors, nurses and other patients. Or you can bring it home and potentially hurt those around you.
Even if the risk is 1%, why should I take that risk when I don’t have to? I can live with disappointment a hell of a lot easier than I can making someone sick or killing them.November 10, 2020 at 12:50 pm #964220PheebersParticipant
1) You told him multiple times you wouldn’t be comfortable with something.
2) He says if you don’t do it he’ll be angry.
He’s a total jerk. You can be there for them via FaceTime/Zoom/whatever, but he’s putting pressure on you and not respecting your boundaries. Does it matter what this is about, really? Because if he’ll do it for this he’ll do it for other things, throughout your life.