Sometimes the people who need the most support ask for it the least.
Occasionally I will mention S and his mom. S is a friend of husband’s who is taking care of his mother as Alzheimer’s continues to take an increasingly negative toll on her. Around the time he began to take care of her he also quit drinking. The combination of the two resulted in a decrease in his level of friends.
The longer he takes care of her the less his remaining friends offer to come over. He doesn’t want to go to the bar anymore and his social life is almost non-existent. As for dating, he doesn’t have the time to put into a relationship so he doesn’t try to start one, just sticks to the occasional fwb opportunity. He does go visit M and he’ll come to our house and I try to find the time to go walking with him in the evenings when I can but he spends the majority of his time alone with a woman who may still look like his mother but there is almost no trace of the woman she used to be left. It’s a lonely life. I can see the toll it’s taking on him and it’s not good.
Since the majority of his friends are men, and selfish men at that, he’s long since stopped asking people to come to him or accommodate his schedule. He almost never asks for any sort of help at all and none of them take it upon themselves to offer any. When people chastise me for going walking with him or sending him a funny picture or just a text to check in and see how his day is going I want to shake them and ask them why they think it’s inappropriate to offer a bit of support to a guy who really needs someone to show they care about his well-being or offer an ear to vent to. Why don’t more people offer the same support?
Is it a female trait to want to offer emotional support to people who are in a touch situation? Is it a male trait to not want to ask for any? Why is it so easy to dismiss the struggles of other people? Does society try to push us apart and discourage the concept of supporting each other to make it easier to control us?