FOF friend, Vivian, is married to a man who complains on a daily basis that he doesn’t feel well. His back hurts. His legs hurt. His stomach hurts. He’s exhausted. Some of his maladies are legitimate, Vivian says. He suffers from diverticulosis, for one thing, which has to do with the lining of the large intestine (half of all Americans over 60 have it). But he doesn’t always renew his medications and then starts complaining about his aches and pains. There are also grimaces, sighs and a few moans. “That drives me crazy,” Vivian said. “How can I feel bad for him when he doesn’t help himself? The medications make him feel better but it’s pretty dumb if he doesn’t take them.”
I once read a book by a woman whose cardiologist husband had a heart attack and became fixated on himself. He was so worried about his heart, he could think of nothing else, including his wife. The medications on his nightstand took over his life. I believe his wife left him, if my memory serves me correctly.
Vivian’s husband is as bad as the cardiologist. One doesn’t take care of himself and complains, and the other treated himself like a china doll. No FOF woman I know has a world of tolerance for either. Even my sister, Shelley, who loves brother-in-law Russ with every fiber of her soul, can become exasperated when he starts acting like a baby about a little twitch here, a cramp there.