In sickness and In Health

I finally watched the movie Love and Other Drugs.  It came out around the same time as No Strings Attached, which seemed to have the same premise – guy and girl are friends with benefits, not interested in a real relationship – or are they?  I liked NSA, especially how the guy (Ashton) was so interested in the girl (Natalie Portman) and SHE was the one who was commitment phobic.  She had some issues with men that stemmed from her father’s infidelity.

Well, it appeared to be the exact same story line in Love & Other Drugs…at first.   The guy (Jake Gyllenhaal) was calling the girl (Anne Hathaway) his girlfriend and she wasn’t having it.   She wanted no attachment, just sex.   But then it came out WHY.    She secretly had Parkinson’s Disease and felt like the ‘sick girl’ who someone would pity and not love.  Well, he DID love her and wanted to be with her, but she just couldn’t deal with that.   She broke it off with him.

There was one scene where a man whose wife had the disease was giving him advice.  He said he would run from the relationship if he could do it all over again.  He loved his wife and had stayed, but if he could go back to when they were just starting out, he would have left.  It is a terribly hard life taking care of someone who will get progressively worse, with no cure in sight.  Since they had just started dating and were already having commitment issues, the man told him to let it go and get out.

Of course there was a Hollywood ending with Jake chasing after Anne’s bus to tell her he still wants to be with her, despite everything and the illness.    But what about real life stories?

What would you do?  If you started dating someone and found out within a few months that they had a serious illness, maybe something even fatal, how would you deal with it?

 

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