Follow
Share

I want to be a compassionate - and have for years gently suggested that his continuing to smoke and choose the very foods he should avoid are not only affecting his health and mobility but the attitudes of those who love him. I've watched as his loving family has grown weary of responding sympathetically and now it's happening to me. What I've come to understand is that we care more about losing him than he cares about losing us. This is a sweet-natured, well mannered, successful, generous Christian man - who because of his addictions to smoking and sugar can't take more than 20 steps without falling, can't sleep, smokes while he is on oxygen (two bedroom fires this year), sees Doctors weekly and is hospitalized several times a year - all crises to which those who love him are expected to rally to his side. Sadly, these crises often impact holidays and family/friend events - our own choices to be with him or not almost guaranteed to affect us negatively. If we don't go, we feel rotten and if we do, it's at the cost of cancelling or disrupting meals, travel plans, performances, etc. Despite repeated death-bed vows to reform, I no longer believe that's a realistic expectation; or, for that matter, that lifestyle changes at this point would do anything but make his remaining life miserable. I want to live as long and as healthy a life as I can - and I work at that both so that I'll feel better and hopefully not cause my family and friends to fret. But, my friend has chosen the unhealthiest of paths and I have come to understand that's not going to change. I just want to know how to give up more graciously and not spend the time I have with him encouraging (berating) him to change.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
I have these same type of people in my life. You have to come to a place of acceptance that their choices are just that, their choices, and there’s no amount of berating, begging, or encouraging that’s going to change anything. Change comes from within a person, and if they lack that, it’s simply impossible to “want it” enough for someone else to make things different. You have to adopt an emotional distance, and possibly distance in other ways, to cope with it. The Serenity Prayer is wonderful in its line “accept the things I cannot change”
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

It certainly is. I know from experience
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thanks for supportive answers. I know what the sensible action should be - it's just very hard to do.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

If this has been going on for years then I would no longer say anything. Harping on the subject doesn't help. Both are addictions and until he I ready to do something, it's a mute subject. Just tell him u love him that u hate what he is doing to himself. You will miss him if his lifestyle causes his death but your no longer going to try and change them. It's like someone who is extremely overweight and people keep harping on them so they go home and...eat.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I think you can be angry, and express your feelings about this to others (us) while working to talk about neutral topics with him. However, with it comes to being with him at your own expense, as a Christian, he shouldn't want to cause you any distress so don't feel you have to cancelling things, etc. to be to him. It doesn't sound as he is behavior according to his beliefs. And he isn't being generous to his friends by expecting them to rally around him several times a year. Certainly, there is no need to pander to him. After all, he is creating these crises. I'd set a time for visiting, let him take his own path, and talk about the weather.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.