Many couples find value in identifying and discussing their love languages, but this terminology is no excuse for disrespectful behavior. Take it from this poor Redditor, who is currently battling cancer and her boyfriend’s unrealistic expectations for “acts of service” in their relationship as she undergoes grueling chemotherapy treatments.
Writing in the infamous /AmITheAsshole Subreddit, user @Felfeyyy provided some context: She (31F) has a rare cancer called synovial sarcoma and has been undergoing regular rounds of chemo since January. “I do 8 hours in the cancer center, 5 days a week, every three weeks,” she wrote. “Treatments are very taxing on my body — mostly nausea and extreme fatigue among other side effects.”
The night before her most recent chemo cycle, @Felfeyyy’s boyfriend (24M) asked her if she would meal prep a week’s worth of meals for him. She was hesitant, and rightfully so — the last thing anyone in her shoes should feel obligated to do is cook for another fully grown adult. Still, her boyfriend is “sensitive” and prone to fighting, so she approached his request thoughtfully.
“I said it would depend how I feel, but I thought it would be better if I did it in a week and half when I felt recovered from this chemo cycle,” she explained. “He was insistent and kept asking if I could ‘just try’ and wasn’t taking no for an answer. I started to become agitated because if I’m being honest, I want to feel coddled and taken care of during this time in my life, not pushed to do chores. It’s not as if he was asking for a single meal; he wanted his entire week’s worth of food made by me after being in the hospital for 10 hours.”
@Felfeyyy’s pushback was even more understandable when you consider her boyfriend’s lifestyle: As she explained, he works mornings and gets out early in the afternoon, so he definitely has time to cook for himself.
“I think his point is that he still wants to be taken care of as well,” she continued, “which is understandable, but it’s not as if I never do anything for him. Whenever he is at my place, I offer any food I have on hand, will cook meals, or make a sandwich depending on the day. I rub and massage him when we are on the couch, ask about himself and his life, etc. In other words, it’s not like our entire lives are about me and my sickness.” (For the record, if their entire lives were about her sickness, that would be totally valid. Cancer is hellish, and anyone who’s suffering from this illness deserves ample care and attention.)
But when @Felfeyyy defended herself, her BF became irate. “He blew up on me saying acts of services is his love language, and that our relationship is one-sided,” she wrote. “He went on and on sending angry texts.” Now, she’s wondering if she’s the AH here for refusing to prep his meals.
According to AITA Redditors in the comments, @Felfeyyy’s relationship is definitely one-sided — but not the way her boyfriend sees it. Most commenters were gobsmacked at this man’s immature, audacious request. @Felfeyyy is out here fighting for her life; meanwhile, her BF wants to fight with her about cooking for him.
“NTA,” one person wrote. “Girl, run. You have cancer, and all he can think about is himself.”
“Fellow cancer survivor married to a wonderful guy. My husband was so amazing during treatment. I can’t believe this guy is such a jerk,” another commenter opined. “OP — when people tell you who they are, believe them.”
Many Redditors also highlighted how her BF’s use of love language rhetoric was manipulative.
“My ex was like OP’s BF,” one commenter shared. “Her love language was acts of service, therefore it was my responsibility to cook for her. When I mentioned she should be responsible for cleaning up, she argued that she didn’t make the mess, so why should she clean it up? These people are just lazy and manipulative.”
“So many dudes just say [their love language is acts of service] to get out of doing chores,” someone else noted. “They don’t realize that if it really was their love language, they would also be doing it to show love.”
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