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Spousal support

manna1qd's picture
manna1qd
Posts: 48
Joined: Dec 2007

I am a survivor of breast cancer. Seven years ago, I got the bad news and my husband literally fainted. The doctor and I ended up taking him to the doctor's office sofa to recover. I called our pastor, told him the news. We went right over to his house for prayer. While praying, my husband was on his knees with back pain! He was present, was good with the kids, kept working etc. I would sit on the floor next to the couch if he was sleeping there and tell him I was scared. He would tell me I would be ok.

Today, I got the results of a biopsy I had because I saw some skin changes on my other breast. I was glad to hear no cancer. When I went to this new surgeon, they asked who I want present when I get results. I said a friend or chaplain. I do not want my husband to be there, or at least not to be the only one there. And I have been thinking, if he is there, he needs to bring somebody to take care of him.

That question made me face the fact that I took care of him when I found out I had cancer and I think I deserve to be taken care of if I am given horrendous news like that. I expected to hear this biopsy was benign. I was actually getting a second opinion because the first surgeon didn't think a biopsy was necessary. I never thought twice that my husband didn't come with me for the results. I didn't ask him. I am concerned that he didn't call me before to wish me luck at least or after the biopsy results to see how I did. He even called to give me a message about picking up my daughter while I was in the doctor's office...When we got home, I asked him if he remembered the reason I went to the doctor was to have a biopsy. He remembered. Then, he asked how it went. I told him I wished I could tell him I had breast cancer but I don't. Of course, I would not do that. I would never lie about that but when that came out of my mouth I thought, this is a terrible relationship. I wanted to hurt him, scare him, make him think about how I might not always be here. I am seeing a counsellor right now and will discuss this with him. But, I am wondering, is this a guy thing? Do I expect too much or not enough? I am wondering what some of you are thinking about this because you have been there on one side or the other. I am embarrassed to share this but it's time to be honest about it.

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2041
Joined: Oct 2008

Hi , My husband was absolutely uncaring also, People used the excuse for him that maybe HE was scared, maybe HE didn't know how to cope etc. etc. He had just lost his mum to cancer and I was diagnosed with breast cancer last nov, he freaked! After the op, lymph nodes too, I couldn't manage the vacuum cleaner.... He called me a lazy ***** and threatened to hire a maid. He *****ed and moaned about having to drive me to my chemo appointments, and walked out on me halfway through chemo because my sex drive was zero. The day after I finished radiation and was burned up to hell, he started banging on about when I intended to return to work. Your husband sounds like a dream in comparison, and I left everything I owned in England to be here with him 6 years ago. Good Luck Sister... Why do we even bother with 'em?

Dreamdove's picture
Dreamdove
Posts: 175
Joined: Sep 2008

tasha, I was sad to read about your experience with your husband. I was feeling sorry for myself because I have no husband or boyfriend but I would rather have no one than be treated like that. Here at one of the worse times of your life you need support and instead get abused. Yes, sorry to say it: ABUSED. I hope for your sake that you have other support in your life; family, etc. who are caring towards you. You need it. Take care.

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2041
Joined: Oct 2008

Thank you for your warm reply. Yes it was awful and yes my family and my one friend here in Canada were great.... but it really didn't make up for his actions. He is still being awkward with me, because I cannot go back to work yet (chemo brain, Dizzy spells and neuropathy) and that hoovering is still a bug-bear for him, I just can't do it, it hurts so much. You are right though, It is abuse. Thanks for replying to this Julia

slickwilly's picture
slickwilly
Posts: 339
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi. I am a male NHL survivor and I can say that this is just not a male problem. On a supportive and emotional level my wife of 28 years was worthless. Not until my 4th chemo treatment and only after a fight did she meet my Oncologist. And while I was away from home for 5 weeks getting radiation she managed to visit 2 days. And even though every bone and muscle in my body hurt I was still mowing grass, blowing snow, doing dishes, laundry and cooking. There is no excuse and after 5 years cancer free I have not forgotten that it was a friend that I had to dump my fears, frustrations and pain on. I think we are all left wondering if our spouse was not waiting to collect the death insurance. And I have to admit that I would be gone in a second if I found the right loving and caring woman that would accept me as I am. I guess it makes a person wonder how we could be in a relationship with someone for so long and not see this major flaw. Slickwilly

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2041
Joined: Oct 2008

Some people eh? I didn't expect the red-carpet treatment, but a little compassion/empathy would have been acceptable. Good luck to us both. Julia

Cindyjoy's picture
Cindyjoy
Posts: 8
Joined: Nov 2008

My husband and I have been apart since August. He got tired after 3 months of it being all about me. He doesn't like all the family and support people "sticking their noses into our business" He is also very mad about my emotions being so volitile. Basically he says he can't deal with me or this. But...he doesn't want to discuss divorce he just wants to call occassionally to say 'i love you' and visit me if it can be pleasant. I just don't feel pleasant around him anymore! I'll take all the loving caring supportive people thank you. It is hard not having a sweetheart after alot of years but I agree better alone than upset all the time. I'm glad when I hear of a husband really care giving it gives me hope! We are so not alone! Cindy

Dreamdove's picture
Dreamdove
Posts: 175
Joined: Sep 2008

When I hear all the problems those on here have with their husbands (and wives too apparently), I realize that maybe I was lucky I went thru cancer alone. I kept going to chemo by myself while I saw others there with their husbands at their sides. I was abit envious, I have to admit. I just don't understand the problem people have when their wife or husband "gets" cancer. There are many other serious illnesses like heart problems, high blood pressure, strokes, prostate, etc. Do people leave their partners when they have those health problems? Is cancer different in some way? I believe heart problems are often fatal. Cancer is not always fatal otherwise there would not be so many, many survivors like myself. I kind of have the impression that there might have been problems and issues before and the cancer crisis just brought them out. I would really hate to think that a husband or wife would turn away like that. What happened to the LOVE?

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2041
Joined: Oct 2008

You are right with me...........we had major problems before the big C. His Mum had just died from multiple myeloma and he turned into a very angry monster. He took it all out on me and wasn't at all supportive. You may be better off without this millstone around your neck, I often thought so, going through this alone is better than carrying someone else through it with you. Thanks for your compassion tho.............Julia

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2041
Joined: Oct 2008

You sound so nice and reasonable......he sounds like a control freak. I have one of them too. He sees support as sticking their noses in.........I welcomed it, I needed it, and I don't know how I would have survived without it. Especially with him as my main support. Good Luck Hun. we both need it

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2041
Joined: Oct 2008

Tonight he got drunk (started at 9 am) stormed off to 'HIS' bedroom telling me we now have a 'Business relationship"..........because my sex drive is zero. I think I'll slip Bromide in to his beer in future. Even us up a bit LOL....... Julia (thanks all)

slickwilly's picture
slickwilly
Posts: 339
Joined: Feb 2007

Julia. I am sorry. You have a much bigger problem than the spousal support issue. You have a mentally abusive husband that is acting like a child. Even worse is the fact that he is taking advantage of your illness to add to his abusive bahavior. He does not care what you have been through and are going through. It truly amazes me that he would expect you to sleep with him after the way he has treated you. Your not going to change the minds of his family and friends as I have been in the same position with one of my daughters. I had to remove her from their home, get her a car and a job and within a week she found the strong person inside that had been buried under the abuse. She is now independent again and loving life. If you have access to a shelter for abused women I would start there. I think you could use some third party counseling at this point to help you make some serious decisions about your future. If your putting blame on yourself stop it! You didn't go looking for cancer. Slickwilly

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2041
Joined: Oct 2008

Thank you for putting my thoughts into words, I think I am pretty pathetic for sticking with him, No doubt you all do too....He admitted tonight that he needs and would like help and support, so I sent him the link to this web site, if he uses it it may be useful.......who knows. Thanks all for your replies............. Julia X

slickwilly's picture
slickwilly
Posts: 339
Joined: Feb 2007

Julia. You are no better or worse than the rest of us on this web sight. We all have issues to deal with be it relationships, finances, the initial stages of cancer or the side effects. Cancer can bring out the worst in people and also the best. And I can have nothing but respect for those who open up on this sight and try to get some help or comfort from others. We all know how hard it is to keep things inside as we have all been there. None of us has all the right answers and I have never seen anyone claim that on this web sight. But we will be here to support you and your husband and if he reads some of the letters on cancer and its emotional toll and the side effects he might have a better understanding of what you are going through. I will admit that 5 years into my cancer and side effects my parents really don't have a grasp on what is going on with me. It might help to make a list of your physical problems and sit down with your husband and go over them. And then work together to deal with them. When we complain about one pain or side effect at a time I think people don't take the time to add the whole story up. I know in my case I have so many issues I hardly ever get a break from pain. The frustration and anger can build in me and I have to make sure I deal with it and don't take it out on others. You are not pathetic for trying to hold a marriage together. I wish everyone would try as much as you have as the world seems to have a 2 year marriage limit. My spouse was not perfect in many ways. But the bottom line is we do many things together that we enjoy and I have not found anyone else that would put up with my large amount of issues. And once she understood that I was willing to leave the relationship if I was not supported she made efforts to correct her behavior. Stay strong and determined to have a better life with or without your husband as you deserve no less. We all need respect, dignity, love and caring or life is pretty worthless. Slickwilly

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

manna,

I was a cancer patient and experienced the gradual decline of my marriage, resenting my wife for not being more compassionate and understanding. "After all, I was the one who had the mutilating surgeries and had the "poison" pumped through my veins. She still had her "normal" healthy life!"

Years later, I became caregiver for my sick elderly parents and began experiencing the same feelings of helplessness and of being overwhelmed that my wife must have gone through. Today, I am haunted by some of my stupid thoughtless words and wish that I had been "more compassionate and understanding".

We are, after all, only frail human beings with vulnerable sensibilities, anxieties, and limitations. "Disease" is like a demon that calcifies the spirit, causing resentment and indifference. Regretting one's thoughts, words, or actions can be a permanent hell.

Love and Courage!

Rick

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

Since I am going through the 'ex' thing again with the holidays here and my son home for a week, this has all come to the surface again, my Ex being unkind and unfair. I agree with how cancer changed my outlook on expecting too much from others but I do think that because of our illness there should be a certain amount of respect paid to our individual situations. I just can't jump into a visit with no warning, my health won't allow that since the biggest issues for me are a sick heart and extreme fatigue, both from treatments. Yup, maybe I am expecting more than I should from both my son and my Ex, it's just so hard though and I am only human, well actually more of an alien now with all that the treatments have changed in my body. lol. Oh well, this too shall pass - won't it? The holidays I mean? lol.

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

blue,

"Holidays, like kidney stones, will soon pass."

Love and Courage!

Rick

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

It dissolved on it's own. Whew. Yup holidays pass, hopefully I won't under all the stress. No fibs here, it's a tough time for me and many others too under this topic I'm sure. It needed to be said as I feel it. Take care, Blue.

zjrosenthal
Posts: 45
Joined: Dec 2008

Hi all...I am new to this site and finished radio/chemo in Sept for anal cancer. My 3month post treatment exam showed only scar tissue so I am hoping to avoid surgery. The treatment was very painful with radiation burns making visits to the bathroom excruciation for the last few weeks. My spouse freaked when I was first diagnosed and was making all kinds of demands sexually. I was just too sick to do much defending of myself but I let him know in no uncertain terms that if I was going to get thru the treament I had to have some support and if he wasn't going to be there I would have to find it elsewhere. Well he finally stepped up to the plate and did help out and stop making inappropriate demands on me.
In some ways this cancer has helped our relationship as I have been able to express my needs and for the first time in 33 yrs it is not all about him! We are in counseling (a mutual decision) and I am hopeful that our relationship will grow. I wish all a very Merry Christmas and health and peace in the new year.

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

Hello zj and welcome to the site. I read your post with interest, especially when you talked about standing up for what you need, especially at this difficult time in your life, to your husband. I am pleased that he understood and that you are now in counselling and he has agreed to go with you, that's wonderful. It never ceases to amaze me at how cancer patients, often in the thick of painful treatments oftentimes, rally enough strength to stand up for their rights in many different situations. I was in a couple of similar situations when I was in isolation during my transplant and had two very bad nurses, right when I was at my weakest I let them know in no uncertain terms that they were off my case and get me some caring nurses instead. You hear this over and over with cancer patients, how strong they can be when they are in fact the weakest physically. Have a very Merry Christmas and better health in the New Year to you and yours.

CancerSux2013
Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2013

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ailuj33
Posts: 8
Joined: Aug 2012

On May 23rd 2012, i went to the ER because i was having stomach problems, a few hours after the Doctor show up and said, I had a tumor in the colon and is Cancer. My husband and my 6 year old daughter were there with me, my first reaction was what am i going to do by myself, the Doctor told me i was going to stay in the hospital. I didnt ask anything because i was in shock. When the Dr left the room, my husband told me he want to go outside and drive around, and I said, yes you do that. Now i think i was the one that need it his support, but anyway I stay in the hospital for 9 days, on Jun 22nd I was at home, my husband and I have a fight I dont even remember what it was about??? But he told me to leave his house, because anyway he was paying all the bills, so my mom, my daughter, and me left the house. We went over his sister a few days after i move the 29th in to my own apartment that the people at work helped me to find, and pay...

Now i know that one of the reasons of this disease, is to make me realize that  I was wasting my time with my husband, he is not worth it, he never cared and he never will... And is better be by yourself, that somebody that dont care...     

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