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Need some help/support with relatioship issue

Posts: 45
Joined: Dec 2008

I was diagnosed, treated and most likely cured of anal cancer last fall. My husband of 34 yrs has always made the physical part of our relationship the deal breaker in our marriage. It was always his way or the highway. Well since the cancer I had been unwilling/unable to just do things "his way". To make a long story short I found out in August after we did a vow renewal that he had been seeing prostitutes and actually had them in my bed! He says he wants the marriage and has signed over the home to me. We are living in our vacation home as I cant be in the place where he was seeing those bimbos without getting nauseous.
The thought of ending things after 34 yrs is very difficult and I have been trying to allow him a chance to save the marriage but am having a terrible time with his angry outbursts and threats of suicide when I express my hurt over this. We are seeing counselors, our pastor and a 12 step addiction group. I dont know if I will be able to continue this path. Please any support, feedback or advice would be appreciated. This for me is much more difficult than the cancer itself. Thank you.

terato's picture
Posts: 383
Joined: Apr 2002

I can attest to the fact that relationships not based on mutuality and true partnership prior to cancer, are not likely to improve once cancer, or any serious illness, intrudes on the scene. As a "12 stepper", you know that you have to concentrate on yourself and your own progress, and your husband has to deal with his. You can't change your husband or his attitudes, those are his tasks.

Initially, my divorce seemed traumatic, driving me into near catatonia; however, in time, I realized that my ex was like another "tumor" preventing me from pursuing what I believed was important in life. "Divorce" probably did as much for my health as chemotherapy. But, ultimately, you must decide your own course.

"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

Love and Courage!


grandmafay's picture
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

I just wanted you to know that many of us are here for you. I can't offer any advise, but then you don't need my advise. You will find the answer that is right for you. I would suggest, if you haven't already done so, that you get tested for STDs. Who knows what diseases the prostitutes might have had. He was endangering both of you emotionally and physically. I have, unfortunately, met a number of people who have seen their marriages fall apart during or following cancer. We have two ladies in our support group who faced this, and it's a small group. I will give them an extra hug next time I see them, and assure them as I assure you that you are not alone. Prayers and hugs, Fay

trish07's picture
Posts: 141
Joined: Jul 2009

I'm just guessing, and correct me if I'm wrong. Is this the first time you have had to deal with his infidelity in your 34 years of marriage? Have you also had to deal with angry outburst and threats, be it suicide or something else, when you have expressed yourself. It would be hard for me to imagine that your husband [ before cancer ] was honorable, respectful,caring, and faithful for all those years.

Ending a union of 34 years that was loving, nurturing and had a base of mutual respect would be difficult. Again, I am just guessing, this is not the case.

Signing over property is not a gesture of love and respect. To him, apparently, it was to serve as a payoff. He signed over property and now you are not to express your hurt feelings over his infidelity [to put it mildly] again.

You were diagnosed, treated and most likely cured of anal cancer. If you did not value yourself I do not think you would have done what was needed to save your life. But you did, because you have Value.

This decision is not about him or how he feels or if he gets upset or if he threatens suicide or even if he signs over property.

This is about you. You have endured and fought the biggest battle of all, the battle to survive a life threatening illness. If you decide you can no longer continue on the path you are on, you will survive that also. There is no "Gold Star" given out for those that stay together for the most years. Do you have friends that respect you, care about you, love you and that you know would never deliberately cause you harm? Should you expect anything less from the person you plan on spending the rest of your life with?

No one can tell you which path to choose, but never forget that you have value and that there are good, honest and caring people in this world looking for others to share their life with......

Take care..I wish you only the best,


tiny one
Posts: 467
Joined: Jan 2009

I guess the question is, which is less painful. Staying married or divorce. Going it alone is so scary but so is the thought of living with this person for years to come. Remember that You are stronger than you know. I'm divorced and have been remarried for over 15 years. I have a husband now who is very supportive.

nudgie's picture
Posts: 1483
Joined: Sep 2006

I have been married for 27 years and am 45 yrs old. When we first got married in 1982, I was 17 yrs old and all he could think about was sex and all he wanted everyday was sex. I tried to commodate, but fell short. Also, during the first 7 yrs of marriage we were separated 7 times and almost divorced, but gratefully that never happened.

Now, I am 45 yrs old and the table has turned. I guess it is true when they say a women reaches her prime in her 40's. My husband and I laugh now, because he is more like I was when we first got married.

Marriage is the only job you will have in life that you have to constantly work at. When you stop working is when the marriage becomes bumping and unstable.

The correct decision for you will come, but it will have to be one that you make and feel positive about. What is good for someone else is not always the right choice or answer for another.

But I will say this: Marriage is not built on sex. Marriage is a partnership and friendship and love making is a part of that.

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