That’s One Sick Prick

Dear Dategirl:My husband and I have been married about 10 years. This week I had to have outpatient surgery. I assumed he would come with me; instead, he was a total dick. He claimed this is his busy season, so I arranged for a friend to come instead.The surgery was a little more complicated than originally thought and the doctors found something suspicious, so I'm waiting for biopsy results. I was still out of it when I asked my friend to call my husband for me. She said he was too busy to talk, but I could tell he had been rude because she looked shell-shocked.My friend was great. She drove me home and made sure I had everything I needed, but she had to go get her kids from school. At about 6 p.m., I called my husband and tried to tell him how scared I was about the biopsy. He said he didn't have time to talk and hung up on me. Because I was on pain pills, I don't know what time he came home, but the next morning he asked me not to keep calling him at work! When I started crying, he accused me of guilt-tripping him and stormed out of the house! He's furious at me, basically, because I got sick and he has to take care of the kids until I'm back on my feet. I don't know what my question is, but do you have any advice?—Sickness and Health?

My advice: Get a good lawyer. Your husband is a giant, pus-encrusted, gaping ass-sore. You got cut open and might have cancer and you're asking him to change a diaper?! How dare you ask him to take care of HIS CHILDREN!For now, you need to ignore him as best you can and concentrate on getting better. Gather outside support, because it doesn't sound as if you'll be getting any from him. Do you have any relatives or friends who can come stay with you for a couple days? Maybe with a third party giving him the stink-eye, he'll realize what a jerk he's being.Once you're feeling better, try having a civil conversation. Many people have trouble dealing with illness—my mother's brother never visited her when she was dying. Did your husband have a close relative die of a similar ailment? Lose a parent at an early age? These are not excuses for his inexcusable behavior, mind you, but it might help explain it.My man doesn't handle illness well, either. I had a major health scare a few years back, and he freaked the fuck out. He didn't morph into King of the Pricks like your husband did—he was panic-stricken and flew into as much of a tizzy as a 6'5" Greek with a thick Brooklyn accent is capable of flying into. Not helpful!The sick person shouldn't have to be calming down the well person. I get that it's scary to think that a person you love might die, but oddly enough, instead of working with you to ensure that doesn't happen, he has chosen to shut down. You might want to consider whether he deals with non-health-related crises in a similar fashion. If it's just illness that makes him hostile, maybe, with the help of a mental-health professional, he can figure that out—as long as he's willing to admit he's being an asshole. But if he reacts with cruelty every time you have a crisis, what's the point of being with him? There's no such thing as a stress-free relationship, and without help, he's only going to continue to let you

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