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From bad to worse

RAB73
Posts: 27
Joined: Oct 2011

Hi,
My partner is totally shutting me out now. No matter what I say to him, he says that he can't count on me to be there for him. That he is sick of hearing me say I'm sorry because of something stupid or inconsiderate that I've done. Yes, I haven't been the best all the time, but I am trying to be there for him, and now he is saying he will go through the rest of treatment by himself. My heart is breaking :-(. I don't know what to do now. How can I try to br there for him, if he can't trust me? We have some great friends here, but all our family is out of state. I hope he talks to someone about this, otherwise I may have to have a couple of our friends talk to him about what is going on. I hope he can forgive me eventually.

LilChemoSmoker's picture
LilChemoSmoker
Posts: 192
Joined: Oct 2011

Rachelle,

I hear your frustration with his behavior. I am hear for you and hope that this can be resolved in short order. Yesterday you said that he is "so hard to through" to him ( I am paraphrasing as I don't recall the exact statement, so correct me if I am wrong. You don't have to answer this back publicly or privately, I am just wondering if whatever it is you are trying to 'get through to' him, might just be the point of contention. If after thinking it through you find that it is not that or if this is his behavior 'generally' in response to all of your efforts then this won't help. But if it is, maybe you should just agree to disagree and choose your battles mindfully. I don't know the circumstances and really am not trying to pry, just taking a stab at it for you. Obviously if you truly think that what you are disagreeing so much over is in his best interest for his current situation than you have to follow your instinct, but if it is a 'topic' and not an 'issue', there must be a white flag to render balance again. Praying for balance and stability to return to your relationship.

-Michelle

RAB73
Posts: 27
Joined: Oct 2011

Michelle,
You may be correct that what I am trying to get through to him is a point of contention. I so badly want to be there for him and help him through these last few chemo treatments and radiation, but of he needs me to back off, than that's what I will have to do. A friend of ours finished treatments for the same cancer just when Jeff was diagnosed. I know that he has been talking with her about his experiences, so I guess as long as he has an outlet for his frustrations with his current situation, that's good right? I think I am trying to force the issue for the good of our relationship, but maybe that needs to be put on hold until he is ready to talk to me again. Nobody said this would be easy, but I never thought it would be so dang hard. I hate cancer!

Thanks so much for your support. I really appreciate it.

Rachelle

palmyrafan's picture
palmyrafan
Posts: 398
Joined: Mar 2011

in that you need to agree to disagree. Get that out of the way and you actually will feel a lot better. Sometimes the patients and caregivers (or others) constantly feel like they are walking on eggshells and are afraid to talk about anything because none of us knows what will set the other off.

It's good that your partner has found someone to talk to. Perhaps they feel that this other person, who has been through it, will truly understand in a way that the caregivers can't. My husband and I had the exact same conversation this morning. I told him that until and unless he has gone through what I have, he can't possibly understand. It got a little contentious but he finally understood what I was trying to say and we agreed to disagree (again).

Hang in there. You're in my prayers.

Teresa

RAB73
Posts: 27
Joined: Oct 2011

You guys are the best. Thanks for your insight. I guess I need to ask myself what my motives are. I would love for him to stop being angry and stop giving me the silent treatment, but at the end of the day it's not about me. So I will drop it and hope that in time his anger will subside and he will talk to me again.

Rachelle

LilChemoSmoker's picture
LilChemoSmoker
Posts: 192
Joined: Oct 2011

Rachelle,

You are such a trooper to continue to hope in the face of fear! There is much thinking and inventory going on with your husband right now and I am very happy to hear he is sharing with a fellow cancer fighter. He is getting much from sharing with someone whom can hear his concerns and empathize with him. Just as you come here for empathy and companionship as a caregiver. It helps us all to navigate through the process. We are here for you! When we are running on auto-pilot (our functioning part of the brain that kicks in during trauma like survival mode) is is hard to have meaningful conversations. The thoughts aren't clear and the security that once surrounded "the plan" before cancer is stolen from both of you. It is hard to regain balance and define the "new normal". I had to give it time and wait for him to be ready and to feel safe sharing his thoughts and feelings. I, like you took it very personal in the beginning, and then when he started talking I over reacted and tried to jump back in with both feet. That freaked him a bit and then I learned to take baby steps. Eye contact can work wonders too. Just watch him and adore him from a distance and if he acts like it's creepy, than just smile and turn. He will get it in time. You love him and so desire his intimacy and connection.

Love to you!
Michelle

KLScoville's picture
KLScoville
Posts: 161
Joined: Mar 2011

I completely agree with Michelle. Smile alot and say I love you alot. You guys may get closer as I have with my husband. Be his support system in any and all decisions he makes. Be his shoulder when he needs and be his spacemaker (giving him space) when he needs. I know it is hard for both the patient and the caregiver. Hardest job I have ever had in my life but wouldn't change it for the world. I am expected to lose my husband soon, don't want to but everything was his decision and one of the decisions was to not do any sort of treatment. I have the upmost respect for my husband and his wishes to die at home but if he doesn't start listening to me then that decision isn't going to happen. He is currently very weak and has no muscles anymore and he is trying to walk (succeeding for now). Constantly hurting but is a very stubborned man. I know when he needs me and I know when he wants to be left alone, guess I learned that along the way...Always have patience with the patient and things should be ok.

I hope that he does open up to you. Take care!
~Kelly

RAB73
Posts: 27
Joined: Oct 2011

I realized today that part of the problem is that he is getting a steroid (decadron) as part of his chemo "cocktail" of which side effects may include mood swings and irritability. He has been on the steroid (every two weeks) since June. So I'm a litle slow in figuring this out. Ufda! I'm not saying that's the entire cause of his anger, but may be a contributing factor.

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