Boyfriend left after depression from testicular cancer

LM109907 Member Posts: 5

Hey Everybody,

I don't know what to do in this situation or what to think so here I am reaching out to others that may have had similar situations or may have something to offer.

My boyfriend and I started dating in March last year. We were so happy and everything was great. We had discussed marriage and were planning on getting engaged either at the end of this year or early next year. I'm 26 and hes 28 so we knew what we were looking for and we both thought we had found it. Well back in August he found a lump on his right testicle. He got it checked out right away and it ended up being cancer. Everything moved so quickly. From the time he found it to the time it was removed it was probably only 3 weeks and one of those weeks we were on vacation. He really struggled with the surgery and possible infertility but he had caught it extremely early so he didnt have to go through chemo and his sprem counts were normal after visiting the fertility clinic. I was by his side for everything. It never even crossed my mind that our relationship was so new and this was a lot to take on. I didnt care, I love him and I wanted to be there for him. I went to every appointment, missed so much work, drove him to and from the hospital, stayed by his side the weekend after his surgery and even cooked dinner for him and his family. It seemed like things were looking up when he was told two weeks after surgfery that they couldnt detect any cancer. We were hoping we were through this and happy to continue on with our lives. At least thats where I was, but I wasnt the one dealing with having cancer. My boyfriend ended up pulling away. He would get really quiet and I could tell he was lost in his head all of the time. I'd ask him if things were okay and I'd try to perk him up but it just kept getting worse and worse. He also would hardly talk to me about it. Only when it was really bothering him and he needed to say something but otherwise he would just bottle it up. I suggested going to see a councelor a couple times to him. I wanted to go together and help him through this. He told me he would rather go alone, which was fine but he would never make the effort to see someone. Even through all of this though we were still happy together and really in love. We still talked about our future and had as much fun as we could. Last weekend we had a big discussion about his depression and struggle with coping and he seemed more open to the idea of seeing someone. I gave him names of places I had found that were all free places run by volunteers and had one on one counceling services that wouldnt show up on any medical records in case he was worried about that. He seemed like he wanted to try and even spent some time researching the places as well. As the week went on he seemed happy, he said he felt better after talking to me and he was having a good week at work. I was so excited to see him that friday because my work week had been terrible and I missed him. Well he ended up coming over Friday night to break up with me. He said that we wanted different things, he wasnt ready for marriage and he loves to travel but thinks I dont like it as much. These felt like cop outs to me. These were things that we should have discussed as a couple instead of just jumping to a breakup. I told him I felt it was really because he was struggling with dealing with his diagnosis and this is why I had asked him to get help. He admitted that he can't go to see a councelor because thats admitting that he had cancer and he can't do that. He said he can't face his feelings because hes too scared of them. I told him he was a survivor and hes stronger for it. He told me not to call him that. He said that he was so lost right now and didnt know what he wanted for anything. For his carrer, his future, where he wanted to live, anything. He told me that he really just needed some time and he felt that he needed to be alone right now to deal with his depression. We talked for five hours where he was back and forth and couldn't decide if breaking it off was what he really wanted. I ended up ending it because he couldn't do it and I couldn't keep going through not knowing. And when I did end it he looked so hurt and said "Are we breaking up??". This really makes me believe he didn't want this at all  but he was trying to convince himself its what he needed to do. I'm planning on giving him some time to work through things but I'm worried he will never figure it out. Its just so hard not knowing whats going on and I just want to be there to help him. I really don't know what to do. I love him and I still want to spend my life with him but I'm worried that his diagnosis took that future away from us.


  • JerzyGrrl
    JerzyGrrl Member Posts: 760 Member
    edited January 2017 #2

    Realizing we're mortal makes us question what we're doing and what we want to do. Getting a cancer diagnosis -- whether we want to acknowledge it's true or not -- screams "MORTAL!" right in our faces, not to mention throws pretty much everything else into a turmoil.  Where we were darn sure about the future, suddenly we realize we can't be. 

    Your boyfriend may genuinely just need some time and to be alone and deal with his depression right now, as well as what he's been through in the last few months (That is a lot to process in a short period of time).  His diagnosis hasn't taken your shared future away from you. Sounds as though things might be on hold. Or not. Right now he needs that space, hopefully to work things out (or at least think about working things out).  If you do love him and you're willing to wait, that's good.  Let him know that. Your willingness to support him making decisions about this time may very well go a long ways.  You mention "not knowing" and "It's just so hard not knowing what's going on," which actually is what it seems he's going through, too. Only the two of you can figure out how much space he needs and when / if you're trying to hard to help (and even then it's tricky). 

    Patience and respecting another person's need for time and space is tough.  All the best...

  • Noellesmom
    Noellesmom Member Posts: 1,859 Member

    LM, you have both been through a lot. Just breathe right now. You did the right thing.

    Healing takes some time.  

  • LM109907
    LM109907 Member Posts: 5
    Thank you

    Thank you so much for your responses. You are both right, I need to just give it some time and see where it goes from there. Hopefully he will be able to start working through everything in time.

  • jm_22
    jm_22 Member Posts: 3
    Stay strong

    LM, I understand how you feel. I am going through something similar right now apart from that my boyfriend is still going through his treatment but I feel like he's pushing me further and further away. I think in this situation there's not many options apart from waiting. **** as it is, but we can't do much about how they feel. I hope he'll figure everything out soon and you'll be happy and together again. Sending you a tight hug!