My wife has stage IV endometrial cancer, and I cannot stand her

I have been with my wife for 16 years.  Together we raised a blended family (I have one son and two stepsons).  I raised her kids, shopped, cooked and cleaned.  I helped the kids  with their homework, and tutored one with a learning disability.  He is a good boy, and he is graduating from college next month.  All this, while keeping a demanding IT job, and while my wife practiced medicine like Albert Schweitzer.  I loved my wife, and my stepkids, and was intensely loyal to them. I was proud to support her in her kindess to her patients.  That has all changed.

  My wife was diagnosed in late 2014, had a hysterectomy shortly afterwards, and found that the cancer had spread to her lungs.  She responded well to the first round of chemotherapy, but the tumors are coming back with a vengeance.  She is now in an experimental trial, but I don't have much hope.  That her illness was not caught earlier, when the cure rate is over 90% with a hysterectomy, is due to a medical mistake, that should not have been missed.  

Since her diagnosis, and subsequent treatment, I have waited on her hand and foot.  I have used up my vacation days taking her to treatment, visiting doctors etc.  I got in the middle of a fight between my stepkids, and put one of them in a headlock, for which he called the police had me arrested, and put in jail.   I am 63 years old and he is 21, 6 ft tall and outweighs me by 30 lbs.  After the legal issues were settled (for a cool $10,000)  I came back to live with her when he left for college.  To this day I must leave when he comes home.    I have been ignored, taken for granted and walked over.  Why have I stayed?  I believed that I had a duty to take care of her, even though I was living in an emotional desert.

I must mention that she would not have relations with me for almost three years, even though after her chemotherapy, there was no physical reason for her refusal to have relations.  During a particularly lonely period, I met a nice woman and began to correspond with her.  I became infatuated.  Here was someone who liked me, and was much kinder to me than my own wife.  Here was a bit of sunshine in my otherwise dreary and thankless life.  One day,  my  wife went through my emails and discovered this correspondence. She became hysterical, even though my extramarital romance was largely literary.  I sent this woman a few gifts - some books I liked, and some music.  When my wife found out about those (snooping through my emails again) she again became hysterical.  All I have asked was to be allowed to keep this woman as a friend and correspondent.   I certainly wasn't planning on running off with her, though now it is tempting.

Judge me harshly, but I think I have been ill used.  I won't leave my wife unless she throws me out.  I have promised to take care of her - I have experience doing this for sick parents and siblings - and I believe that she needs me.  She cannot stand the idea that I have affections for this other woman, and that I am only caring for her out of a sense of duty.  I have tried to explain that the compulsion of duty is derived from love, but she wants me to love her as I did when we were courting.  I cannot.  She has changed, and I have changed.  I still love her, but the romance is certainly gone.  But romance is what she demands.

What am I supposed to do?  Don't caregivers have rights too?  Or are we only supposed to subjugate our lives for an indefinite period to the wishes and whims of the cancer victim.  I have promised to care for her, and I expect that she will really need me, more than she does now.  Even this she denies, saying that she has good friends who will care for her.  I don't believe it for an instant.

If you have advice, or even scorn, help me please.


So I am angry.  I am ashamed that sometimes I wish the worst, but it is true.




  • Noellesmom
    Noellesmom Member Posts: 1,859 Member
    I hear you

    I can empathize.

    Will not post details here. Send me a private email if you wish.

    Either way, know you are not alone. Several here post with very similar issues. Others will chime  in and remind you that caregivers are people, too. With very real issues of their own.


  • Catholic
    Catholic Member Posts: 86
    Send me a private email and

    Send me a private email and we talk more.  I have struggled as well.  It is difficult.  You sound really burned out.

  • phuckcancer
    phuckcancer Member Posts: 63 Member
    I'm so sorry you are dealing

    I'm so sorry you are dealing with this. I think most of us understand and we support ya!