When my husband and I got married- although he was 40 and I was 25 the simple act of slipping that ring on my finger somehow miraculously bathed him in a fountain of youth (in HIS MIND). He truly came to believe that being with me-whether conscious or not- he had shaved 15 years off his real age and in a sense had morphed into a 25 year old as well.
Almost 16 years later into our union, I think it’s also his very stubborn nature that refuses to let him acknowledge the fact that he is indeed 56 and not like me, his counterpart- 41 although to be quite frank- NEITHER one of us is much a spring chicken- but I digress. He’s also one of those men who “HAS NEVER GOTTEN SICK”- i.e. he could be shivering under a blanket, coughing up a lung, misty eyed and ask him if he’s okay, or if he needs anything and he will tell you- no I’m fine. The man could be laying in a pool of his own SICK, and if I ask him if he’s indeed not feeling well and his response will be. “I”m fine, never better”. And while his physical being is clearly staging a revolt- mentally in the almost 16 years of our wedded bliss- he has NEVER, EVER admitted defeat in the face of illness. In fact, one of the badges of honor he proudly boasts is the fact that he worked in a hospital for 15 years and NEVER called in sick — and hey I give him credit for that.
So I NAG HIM to get some rest and he gets annoyed (and then I remind him that: Nagging=Love. Silence=Be very Afraid.)
Of course I am the POLAR opposite if I feel even the slightest tickle in my throat- I plead with him to take over my dog walking and kid watching responsibilities so that I can hole up under the covers and let the Lifetime Movie Network lull me to sleep. I also am quite vocal about his needing to bring me tea and soup- and heck if i could get one of those tiny silver butler bells to ring- I would.
So why does my husband not take full advantage when he is under the weather? Like this weekend, where I can see him wincing in pain as he bends over to tie his shoe and SWATS my hand away when I attempt to tie it for him? YES HE REALLY DID THAT! I tend to think because of his inability to shed his macho ego …and it’s at times like that I wish he’d let me play Florence Nightingale, because I TOTALLY make him play Florence when I’m under the weather. And yet I have friends who swear when their husbands come down with even the tiniest sniffle they revert back to little boys who need their mamas…which has me convinced either my husband was raised by wolves- aka at seven years old when he felt sick he climbed into the medicine cabinet and fished out a bottle of aspirin and dosed himself- or he has no recollection of a mother damping his head with a washcloth and soothing his hot temple.
My husband–admits he’s not good at asking for help..what about your man?