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Is it normal to be very selfish

Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2004

If this appears like a rant, there is a very good reason for that. I need to get it off my chest but more importantly, I need to know am I insane or are my girlfriend's doctors insane?

I have been with my girlfriend for since 2000 and from my side it is not a good relationship. By 2002 I simply had enough, and told her I was leaving her. I had just bankrupted my company, and felt it was time to look after ME for a change and go travelling for 6 months.

That's when she told me she had Leukaemia, and only 6 months to live. She had combined ALL/AML, and has received only biological treatment over the last 3 years. She has basically being dying within 6 months for the last 3 years, and the problem is that she's incredibly inconsiderate to me.

If I have a problem, she only pays attention to what I say if I shout at her. I'm serious I actually have to scream at the top of my lungs for her to take anything I say seriously. I screamed 15 times at the weekend that I hated clutter. I've been telling her this normally for 3 years, but she finally made an effort and threw out 40kg of paper piled high all around the bedroom. Of course she also tells me that a man who shouts at a sick woman is a real *******.

Why don't I leave? I'd love to leave her but I'm not cruel enough to do so. She loves me (unfortunately) beyond any levels of reason. Of course since I won't or can't leave her, she feels no obligation to anything, anything at all to make me happy.

But the crunch is that her doctors wrote to me, and told me that if I want to make her die faster I should continue being aggressive with her, and that her selfishness is completely normal in someone who is very sick, and in fact they think is being relatively unselfish by various standards.

I am furious with this. She should be helping understand her selfishness, and overcome it, not encouraging her in it, and lying to me, and tweaking my guilt strings. Remember I've stayed with a woman I don't want to be with 4 years now. I try hard to make her happy, but she tries nothing to make me happy.

So my fundamental question is "Are her doctors lying?" I expect a dying person to want to be remembered well by those she loves, rather than as a selfish, self centred *****. I expect her to be grateful to me for all my sacrifices, rather than always demanding more. She goes to work every day, and performs well, she is not incapable.

So what's the deal, is her behaviour normal and I'm misjudging her doctors, or are they so fixated on her needs like she is that they are willing to lie to me?

I will post more details about her selfishness, but I didn't want to make this post too long or too much of a rant.

Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2004

I was a caregiver to my husband as he battled Hodgkin Disease. As of now he is disease free, but we are still dealing with the emotional effects of having cancer. This has been a very trying time for him even though he is "cured". I can't even begin to imagine what his mental state would be if he was told what your girlfriend had been told. So, I personally don't believe that she is being unreasonable. I know how hard it is to deal with someone who is sick. What helps me is that I love him with all my heart and would do anything for him. He is my husband and the father of my child.

I'm hesitant to give my opinion, but here it goes. I don't believe you are doing either her or yourself any favors by staying with her. Not only is it unfair to yourself, but it's not fair to her to be spending the precious time that she has left with somebody that doesn't care for her. She should be surrounded by those that love her and want as much of her as they can get.

My husband tells me that his whole persective has changed due to cancer. Trivial things are just that, trivial. She may think that clutter is a very useless thing to worry about. She might want to spend her time doing things that mamtter to her while she can. I don't think she is being selfish, just realistic.

Try to be strong and make the decision that is best not only for her, but for you also.


Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2004


Thankyou for giving a thoughtful response to my post. I would just like to explain what I mean by really selfish, and emphasise that I'd love to leave her.

For the last 4 years I have been working unpaid on some software for mobile phones for which I’ve applied for 2 patents. In August I went to visit a company who could sell it for me. However I was worried about their finances, and as she is a financial analyst I asked her to help me analyse their balance sheet. This was 10 weeks before my trip.

For the last 4 years I have been working unpaid on some software for mobile phones for which I've applied for 2 patents. In August I went to visit a company who could sell it for me. However I was worried about their finances, and as she is a financial analyst I asked her to help me analyse their balance sheet. This was 10 weeks before my trip.

She said she'd write a report instead of going through the finances with me. Guess what. She gives me a 2 page sloppy piece of trash 4 days before I'm flying to the most important meeting of my life. In fact she tried to delay it further but I shouted at her.

Now my question was "Can I trust this company who is best suited for the job to sell my software ?". Her report answered "Of the 10,000 companies you can buy bonds in, you should not buy these bonds". So I wrote a report myself. She comes back from a job interview in Zurich, and starts talking about her fantasy of sleeping with one of her doctors. I say what about my report, and she says that her fantasies are important. I ask "More important than my report", and she realised how stupid she is being. But she was incapable of understanding that my visit to culminate 4 years of work and which might make me rich, is more important than her job interview. She was angry at me for saying that my visit was more important than her job interview.

Different example. She's Italian and likes to eat late: 22:30. A lot of my friends like to eat before 20:00. He line is that if they want to eat at a stupid time they can't eat with us. Then her sister and brother in law come to visit. We are driving back home and plan to eat by 21:00 when my 80 year old mother calls my mobile phone. The last time my mother called my mobile was to tell me my father had a heart attack. This time my mother was in a half panic. She'd messed up the computer I got her 2 years ago and it couldn't boot. So I told my girlfriend that we might have to eat later. Her response. My sister and brother in law don't want to eat later. I told her my family have needs too.

I told her she should have asked me "Is your mother in trouble? Does she need you?", instead of complaining that I'd delay the meal 30 minutes, especially when she has no problem making my friends wait 2 hours.

I could give you 10 examples per day of her gross selfishness to me, but that will do. I think she has a mental problem, that she is so used to me being there for me, and so used to me accepting anything that she is incapable of realising or respecting any needs or desires from my side.

BTW when she first got sick, she asked me to look after her, and keep the news from her parents. She expects to get everything she needs from me, and if I can't supply something she thinks I should, then I'm a bad person for being inadequate.

I desperately want to leaver her, but her doctors always talk me out of it. She has been dying within 6 months for 3 years now. I'm now 40, and I need to get on with the rest of my life having been sucked dry for 5 years by her.

Posts: 17
Joined: May 2004

Did I read this right, she went to Zurich for a job interview? If she is so sick she is ready to die in the next 6 months, how can she be working? Timelines are guesses. No one knows when any of us are going. My husband has a pretty lousy prognosis and he hasn't become self-centered. He has become more thougtful. He said when you're facing death you don't usually become so self important. I asked him what you should do. He said leave her. Staying with her isn't good for either of you. Perhaps you could suggest couples counseling and let her down there or work through the problems. I am sorry you both are in this situation.

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