He IS Sicker Than You Are!

April 13, 2016

in Uncategorized

A study (see bottom) found men suffer worse from respiratory diseases than women do. Apparently estrogen is a benefit when it comes to dealing with a cold. (See, your ovaries are not totally evil!)

Sick man © theartofphoto | dollarphotoclub.com

So the next time he gets the flu and says he’s dying, don’t be too hard on him. He might really be suffering more than you.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I deal with illness by sleeping till it goes away.

“Man Flu” Is Real: Estrogen Makes Women More Resistant To Respiratory Diseases Than Men | Medical Daily 

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

libl April 13, 2016 at 3:03 am

It isn’t so much the “I am dying, take care of me” that bothers me. I enjoy nursing him. It is the imbalance where I don’t get the same treatment in return when I am sick, or on pregnancy bed rest. Hey, I don’t even need to be coddled or babied. I just want to not be treated like an inconvenience, or that I am faking it, and be allowed to rest when needed without fear of the household caving in around me leaving me mountains of dishes, laundry, vacuuming, and damage control when I do get better.


TB April 13, 2016 at 11:22 am

And when you do get sick with something mild he suddenly gets sick with the flu. I stub my toe and he thinks he broke a bone. It’s always worse for him. Even now I have an injuring on my arm and am supposed to be resting (aka not using) that arm. After three days of the dishes piling up I finally do them, then he comes into he kitchen saying he was just about to do them. What gives?


Paul Byerly April 13, 2016 at 7:51 pm

@TB – The practical answer, which does not address the underlying frustration, is to tell him “I’m doing the dishes in two hours unless you do them first.”
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libl April 15, 2016 at 3:11 am

@TB. Oh my gosh, YES! The, “I have it worse than you” thing happens here! Used to happen all the time, but thankfully he is getting more compassionate. He reminded me of this yesterday when I injured my hand and he cuddled with me until it felt better. But when I said it would be hard for me to wash dishes, he said, “yes it will,” and proceeded to go to bed. I washed the dishes. To be fair, I didn’t come right out and ask him to wash dishes. I think men know this is the implied request but use it as an out to avoid it. Any loophole. Like when I ask the kids to put their coats away and they just throw them on the bedroom floors. “You didn’t tell me to hang it up!” I bet this attitude wouldn’t fly on the job!!

But, yes, the I have it worse-itis comes into play.


Paul Byerly April 15, 2016 at 8:35 am

@libl – If I said “It will be hard for me to _____” I would not actually be asking for help, I’d just be showing I’m aware of and up for the challenge. If I wanted help, I’d ask for help.
But we’re funny that way.
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libl April 22, 2016 at 2:15 pm

Here ya go. My son and I were in the kitchen together having a chit chat when I tell him, “the dog needs his water and food refilled.”

He responds, “yep, he does.”

I look at my son.

He looks at me, sighs a big sigh and says, “and you want me to do it.”

I was like, “ah ha!!! You makes DO know, but use the lack of direct question or order to get out of it!”


Paul Byerly April 24, 2016 at 4:04 pm

@libl – But it’s still a gender-based difference. His dad would have said “Please feed the dog” and that would have been that. In your son’s mind, there is a valid sentence that would have gotten you what you wanted. Your choosing not to use that sentence and then getting frustrated seems odd to him. It’s why men accuse women of playing games.
On the other hand, had you said what you said to a daughter, she would either have fed the dog or complained about being asked, because to her it would be a request.
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Paul Byerly April 13, 2016 at 7:45 pm

@libl – A very valid request.
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Andrew Budek-Schmeisser April 13, 2016 at 7:29 am

We’re sort of the opposite. I have to be literally immobile before I give up what duties I still have and accept care, while I try to make sure that Barbara has the minimum required of her when she’s not feeling up to par.

She deserves this; she lived alone for many years before we met, and had no-one to take care of her. Now, as imperfect as the situation is, she does.

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J April 13, 2016 at 1:55 pm

This is funny. My husband & I have always joked that my immune system is superior to his. He gets every little sniffle that the kids bring home while I rarely get a cold. Looks like we were right! I love your posts that hint at the science behind gender differences. I think it is a fascinating subject.


Paul Byerly April 13, 2016 at 7:46 pm

@J – One of my favourite things too!
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Kay April 13, 2016 at 5:53 pm

Let me guess; all the researchers behind this study were male. (Sorry, I had to.) I, for one, do not believe this is true; however, that doesn’t matter. My mom friends and I do make jokes about the “man flu,” but we all try to care for our husbands as best we can anyway. When you are sick, you are sick, and really all anyone (male or female) wants is to be taken care of, and I don’t think that is too much to ask. I do, however, make sure I get “sick days” too, which I didn’t used to do but having a third kid has pushed me over the edge, ha. When I am sick, I no longer just suck it up and push through; I ask him to take the day off. And he will. I am so thankful for that, but it was something I have to advocate for myself. The trouble is when we are both sick at the same time. Funny, I am always the only one that remembers that our children still have to eat…


Paul Byerly April 13, 2016 at 8:17 pm

@Kay – Men and women from five different countries, actually.
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IntimacySeeker April 14, 2016 at 10:30 am

I wonder if in addition to being sicker, men are more bothered by being sick because it renders them incapable of fulfilling their responsibilities? They may even associate being sick with being weak or cowardly or unmanly. Thoughts?


Paul Byerly April 14, 2016 at 7:27 pm

@IntimacySeeker – That may well be true for some men.
The other side of this is how men will keep going when they have an injury that should cause them to stop. Do men treat illness and injury differently? And do women do the same, in reverse, for themselves? My experience suggests both of these are the case.
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Me April 14, 2016 at 8:18 pm

Yes, Paul. My husband is notorious for this. He will work through almost anything, even illness. I am generally submissive, and he definitely wears the pants in our family. However, the one time I had to actually “put my little foot down” with him was when he woke up with pain and a rash. I recognized it as shingles. He went to work anyway – and he’s in construction. I told him he needed to go to the doctor, but no – the job needed to get done. I did something I wouldn’t normally do. I called the doctor anyway, made an appointment, and forced him to go. I insisted! I knew it was shingles and my dad had suffered so much with that same illness when I was little. The doctor was able to give my husband antiviral meds because they caught it in time and he was better in less than 24 hours. But oh he can be stubborn.

Another time, he was working in the city. A tool kicked back and gashed his forearm. He took a spare t-shirt out of the truck, wrapped it up, ran over to the hospital, got it stitched up, walked back to the job and went back to work. I love him but this behavior can drive me bananas. I always just figured it was a guy thing.


Paul Byerly April 15, 2016 at 8:28 am

@Me – It is a guy thing. In part, we are taught to be that way, but I suspect it’s just that on top of something we would tend to do anyway given how God made us.
I’ve always figured if duck tape stops the bleeding, I’m good to go. The one time I asked Lori to drive me to minor emergency “when she finished what she was doing” she nearly had a heart attack. (They fixed the finger and it works just fine, thanks for asking.)
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