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loss of spouse support

need support
Posts: 40
Joined: Feb 2012

Last april I found out I had stage 3b colon cancer. At 52 years old, I was prepared for the fight of my life. Actually after 9 months and going through surgery and 6 months of chemotherapy, I actually feel pretty good. My wife who supported me so well in the beginning started to get upset with me I didn't seek help sooner having some signs of having a problem. Wasn't long before she was making weekly trips back to her home town. In the mean time I've spent the entire time making sure she would be financially secure along with planning out many things should my cancer reoccur. While this past week after several sleepless nights my wife confessed she had rekindled a relationship from her past. She was 17 at the time and is now 47 and I find it hard to believe she has such strong feelings towards this person. We had a great family and I am currently setup to seek some psychological help to get through this. She was always a great wife and mother and I'm not sure how to handle this. All of a sudden fighting my cancer battle has taken a back seat to all that has been exposed the last several days. I just need someone to talk to

Posts: 141
Joined: Sep 2011

Dear Need Support,

I am so very sorry to hear of your wifes poor decision. I feel so very bad that your spouse has made this choice ~ she must be scared ~ and no doubt about it...this cancer is scary stuff! On the positive side of things...isn't it great that you are a cancer survivor!
Life is a gift ( I can tell you believe that in the way your first paragraph is written). As you found your "new normal" after cancer you will also find your "new normal" in this difficult time in your life as well. I only wish you the best but please remember to keep yourself healthy during this time so the "beast" stays away. God's blessings to you~


need support
Posts: 40
Joined: Feb 2012

I've always been very quiet about my personal life. I feel the only way to deal with something like this, is to just openly talk about it. Not sure if putting my picture on here was a good idea or not but I feel i'll deal with this head on just like I did my cancer. Thanks for your kind words

plh4gail's picture
Posts: 1238
Joined: Oct 2010

I know its not even close to being the same, but at my diagnosis I a year and half ago I was 46. I was in a 4 year relationship with the man I was intending to spend the rest of my life with. We talked all the loving marriage stuff. At my diagnosis he stopped seeing me, calling me...everything. I tried to explain my fears and needs and he told me "I dont like to be told what to say, what to do, or when to call".

I am so sorry that your wife is also having a poor judgment at this time. It may have started before you realized it. It does hurt for quite awhile but it will get easier as you get stronger. I think she will see her mistake, but it might be too late if the damage is done.

I think the counseling is a good idea. Your health has to come first now for you and your kids and that means to find ways to ease the stress.


need support
Posts: 40
Joined: Feb 2012

I'm not to much into this internet and my computer literacy is marginal at best, but I live in a small rural town in PA and not many people to talk to about situations like this. I was at church today and thinking of a way to reach out and talk to some folks that may be going through similiar situations or just dealing with the stresses of cancer. I was hoping to find a few friends to just talk too. After all the doctor appointments in 2011 I never thought seeing a psychologist would have been on my list, but after 27 years of marriage and 2 great children, I just don't won't to get angry and make matters worse. I tried to fall asleep this past 2 hours but having a hard time, was nice to see your response. thank you!!!!

Brenda Bricco
Posts: 579
Joined: Aug 2011

Welcome Need Support,
Yikes! as if things aren't tough enough fighting cancer you get your heart broke in the middle of it. It's good that you posted... I suspect that you probably felt a little better just by posting.
I have had my Husband's family thank me many times for not leaving him to which I was sort of shocked at. I was almost offended that they would say such a thing until his sister said that I wouldn't believe how many people do walk because they can not handle the situation. Honestly, I wish I could run away from the whole cancer situation but I wouldn't want to go with out him.
I am sorry you are going through all of this and I hope it all works out for you. I imagine she is scared and didn't react to the fear as well as we might hope are partners in this life would.
Hang in there and do not put your health on a back seat, no matter what happens between you and your wife your children will always need their Dad. :)
God bless you.

Sonia32's picture
Posts: 1078
Joined: Mar 2009

I'm so sorry about what you have been through and still are. I think cancer changes the majority of relationships, I know mine did. Some partners can cope, others can't, even those who think they can cope sometimes break down later on. You have come to the right place for support, we can all relate to you in one way or another.

ron50's picture
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov 2001

Except for the name and a few other changes the story is the same one. Funny how songs always capture our lives. I was 48 at DX stage 3c. My wife was ok for a while but she had a lot of baggage from her past and she became tired of my constant illness. She started to spend alot of time away in another town with supposed work friends. As in your case it was an old flame and thus ended my marriage. That was around six years go. I have survived the heartache and the cancer. I have stayed friends with my wife and have done all the right things. I think she realises now that the other geass certainly isn't greener and perhaps one day we will get back togeather. Keep the peace and work on getting well. Then work on being friends with your wife.PS I am 14 yrs clear of cancer,All the best Ron.

joemetz's picture
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011


this was an excellent response.
too many times people don't remain friends and for the health of any kids, its so important.

Jane822's picture
Posts: 50
Joined: May 2010

As if you didn't have enough to worry about. You know the expression.......when the going gets tough.......Right now, your first priority is taking care of yourself and getting better. You have your children and they must be feeling very scared and vulnerabe(even more so than you) to have their life turned upside down. I think the counseling is an excellent idea. Take advantage of every resource available to take care of yourself both emotionally and physically and don't hesitate to reach out to others. You'll be amazed how many love you and will support you.

tommycat's picture
Posts: 790
Joined: Aug 2011

Well you've certainly come to one of the right places to help sort out your feelings. Welcome to the Board~

Posts: 157
Joined: Jul 2011

one of the most important things my mom's cancer has taught me is that human beings are selfishly disappointing ... there are no words I can offer to you that would lessen your pain but you should (and likely do) recognize that you deserve better than this.

Posts: 370
Joined: Aug 2011

I am so sorry to hear you are going through all of this right now. I am glad you are feeling physically well. Please continue to take care of yourself and your psyche. Counseling can be very helpful when you need to sort out your feelings. I'm glad you posted on here. There are so many folks on here that will be here to listen when you need more support.
Take care. Sending light and prayers your way.


geotina's picture
Posts: 2123
Joined: Oct 2009

I'm sorry your wife is not as supportive as she should be. Geez, blaming you for getting cancer, well, thats just dumb. No one chooses to have cancer. I'm glad to hear you are seeking help getting your feelings in order. You have cancer, you MUST be number one without question. If your wife can't handle your disease and all that comes with it well, boo hoo, she needs a kick in the rear end.

If she wants to stay and work it out that is teriffic if you are able to get past it. If she is unsure, well, tell her don't let the door hit your *** on the way out and change the locks. She has a choice, she can stay or go but she simply can't have it both ways.

My hubby is the one with cancer. Do I want my old life before cancer back, well of course. Is that gonna happen, no. Walking out or crying boo hoo for me was never an option and never crossed my mind. Remember you are the one with cancer. You are the one that needs a supportive partner. This cancer journey is a tough one and if she can't tough it out with you as a team then you really need to dig deep as to what is best for you and you alone.

I wish you the best and hopefully your wife will come to her senses that life is not always greener on the other side. You marriage can be saved if this is something you both want but no more out of town trips.

Take care - Tina

Posts: 207
Joined: Jan 2011

You have to worry about you. Your kids will be there; you'll find that you can lean on them much more than you thought. In fact, I think it makes my girls stronger. It's probably kind of weird to say but, my focus on my relationship with my guy took the back burner when I was diagnosed. And even now, a year later, I feel like I have to focus my energy on being around for my kids more than anthing else. I'm sorry she broke your heart; I think we all have experienced that pain. But you, I'm sure like all of us, want to beat this cancer. Focus on doing all you can to fight this fight. It is what it is and if she decides to come back, that's great; if she doesn't, then you're all the better for it if that's her true feelings. Being the partner of one that has cancer is a very frightening position to be in. The same way we have had to adjust to having cancer, our partners have to deal with it in their own way as well. Hang in there. You came to the right place for support. This board is full of caring and giving people. Keep fighting!

need support
Posts: 40
Joined: Feb 2012

I'm simply overwhelmed by everyone's encouragement,thank you so much, I just wished I would of known about this sight 9 months ago. Ok i'm knew to this stuff, never joined a discussion forum or facebook or anything like that. What is my next step, it took me an hour just to get a photo on here. I'm not real happy with the user name I picked either "need support", is there a way to change it? It's a shame my kids are so good at this, I just always let them handle these computer situations. Only problem is at this time I have not confronted them about their mom, they are not kids anymore being 20 and 26 but I just don't have heart to tell them right now. I'll at least wait until my first appointment and see what my therapist says to do. Sad thing, a therapist is the last thing I think I need, but it may help reduce some anxiety. Honestly, I can't thank everyone enough for their support, it's been a tough 9 months as many of you know that are dealing with cancer let alone a situation like this. I'm a forgiving person, but I will never forget this ordeal. I hope to hear from many more of you on this board. I honestly do need help with this setup, what other screens should I go into or are there ways to "friend" people on this sight. thanks again, chuck

tommycat's picture
Posts: 790
Joined: Aug 2011

When you are dx with cancer, the dx might as well then say, "and soon some anxiety and most likely some depression."
How could you be human and not be anxious and scared after being diagnosed?
Believe it or not, you will figure out a way to get through all this stuff.
Believe it.

Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

The others have said pretty much what I would have said about your cancer journey and your wife's actions, so I will chime in about some of your tech questions about this site.

First, the name sticks unless you start a who new user. I think the name is a good one since it says why we are all here...we all need support!

Second, about 'friending'...it doesn't work like on facebook. Here to be a friend, you click on the screen name of the person. At the bottom of the page which comes up it allows you to add that person as a friend. That person is notified next time they are on and may add you to their friend list.

The friend list here just gives you an easier way to send "PM's" (Private messages). On the left of the screen here you will see lists on a tab called CSN. In that list is CSN Email. Click on that and it will take you to screen where you can send a private message to anyone using their screen name. Not everyone accepts PM's, but you will get a message to that effect if they don't.

Probably easier for you to ask specific questions and folks will answer. This site is pretty basic.

Best wishes for good resolution for your health and family issues.

Marie who loves kitties

Carl_Renee's picture
Posts: 84
Joined: Jun 2010

My comment is basically same as Brenda. I am sure she is scared. we are 1 1/2 yrs in with my husbands cancer journey. Started out as colorectal he really hasn't felt good since and last month dx with liver cancer and we currently sit in ICU due to complications from the surgery 6 days ago. Where I want to run away from the cancer I want it to just get out of our lives, I couldn't imagine leaving my husband over something he had no control over. Maybe someone is coming your way that understands and willing to be by your side. For now take care of you, your kids and just don't let this drag you down or your health will suffer as a result.


Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Just to put in my 2 cents, I think your wife is missing an amazing opportunity. It's not every day we get a chance to be a blessing to someone else on such a large scale. Her rekindling of her past relationship is a form of running away from responsibility and her vows. Perhaps she'll grow up. If not, she's obviously missing out on being with an amazing person. Hang in there.

karguy's picture
Posts: 1024
Joined: Apr 2009

I'm sorry you have to go thru your situation,but it happens alot.I know of alot of spouses who couldn't get out the door fast enough.I guess it must not have meant much when people say for better,or worse.You have survived cancer,and you must stay strong for your kids,and yourself.It will be hard,but you have to stay strong,and survive.You must never give up no matter what.I will survive no matter what,and you must too.Good luck.

karguy's picture
Posts: 1024
Joined: Apr 2009

I'm sorry you have to go thru your situation,but it happens alot.I know of alot of spouses who couldn't get out the door fast enough.I guess it must not have meant much when people say for better,or worse.You have survived cancer,and you must stay strong for your kids,and yourself.It will be hard,but you have to stay strong,and survive.You must never give up no matter what.I will survive no matter what,and you must too.Good luck.

tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5065
Joined: Feb 2008

Hi, Chuck.

I'm so sorry this has all happened to you. First the cancer, and now this.

Congratulations to you on doing so well physically. Praying that continues always.

I'm also very sorry about your wife's decision. That is such a hurtful thing, I'm sure. Praying she will realize the error in this, and the two of you will find a way to rebuild your relationship and your family.


pete43lost_at_sea's picture
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

asking for help when you need it is a really healing thing to do!

you said "She was always a great wife and mother" with the focus on was.

unless she finds some love and strength in her heart, you are probably better off with out her.

as you have experienced first hand, life deals up lots of challenges, deal with them each day as well as you can. thats all any of us can do.

hang in there and vent away. you find strength in yourself, in unlikely places like on this forum. everyone who has lived with crc has something to offer.

smile if you can.


need support
Posts: 40
Joined: Feb 2012

Yesterday I felt so strong about dealing with all of this, and now sitting at work all I can think about is going through 6 months of chemo and my wife was socializing with another man. That's a deep hurt that is hard to explain. I have my next pet scan on march 3, 2012 and I'm fearing what might happen with all the stress i've been put through. I do have a lot of friends praying for me and by the support of this group it looks like I may have a few more. I don't want to sound like I am here for just help and would like to be as supportive as I can be to others as soon as I learn to navigate around this sight. Thanks everyone for all your comments. I'm doing my best to hold everything together. chuck

Posts: 370
Joined: Aug 2011

There's a time to give advice and a time to accept it. With what you are going through, don't worry about what you are giving. In fact, to me, I feel good to write you if I think it helps in any way, so in essence, you are giving even as you ask for advice.

When I first posted, I was always asking for info, still do. That's why people are here. No one understands our situations more than other survivors. And from posts, it sounds like there are others who have been through your same situation.

Take care of yourself, and keep an image of healthy cells for your upcoming PET. I will do the same, picturing you in incredible health ready to keep moving forward.

Sending light and prayers. Laura

Posts: 428
Joined: Jul 2011

Your children need you more than ever as cancer has already rocked their world. It is not fair that you are called upon to be the strong one while also battling this beast but these are the life experiences that separate the "men from the boys". You will find the strength to rise to this challenge and feel proud of yourself on the other side of it. I wish you good luck and peace. Lisa

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6722
Joined: Feb 2009

Although I'm taking a bit of a break from the board, I opened the forum today and your message caught my eye. I'm so sad to hear of this, however, it does happen as many have told on this board. Glad you are starting therapy as this can help tremendously. You are in a vulnerable situation right now and going through what you have has to be taking a toll on you, especially holding this back from your children. I'm glad you have found this site as we are here to help with many different kinds of situations, all including what others have been through. Ask away with anything as there is probably many that have been there. We discuss many issues on here also. Wishing you the best and please post often and let us know how you are doing.


LivinginNH's picture
Posts: 1458
Joined: Apr 2010


I don't think that I can say anything to you that already hasn't been mentioned, but I just wanted to say hello, and welcome to the board.


need support
Posts: 40
Joined: Feb 2012

Hard to believe 2 weeks ago, I thought a had a partner for life and now this evening she has asked for a seperation, no marraige counseling no nothing!! Oh well, I always told my self I work well in a crisis, I guess I'm going to get a good taste of another one. I guess i'm kind of in shock right now, I treated that woman so good, I guess cancer can scare anyone away. Well i'm going to be a grand dad soon and I love the outdoors, I always felt a little guilty going on hunting trips, she used to text me about every half hour to make sure I was OK. Probably will be the hardest part of losing her, we were such good friends. Good night everyone, hopefully someone will write something on hear to cheer me up tomorrow. It's been another long day.

joemetz's picture
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011

i woke up around 4am this morning thinking and praying for you.

I've been around women who have affiars after 20+ years of marriage.
Hollywood movies and shows usually portray the MAN to be the cheater... but it's not all a mans world there. there's lots of this going one, and the fact that you have a cancer battle on your hands just makes it more sickening.

the part that really pisses me off, is the guy on the other side of the affair.
what kind of man temps a married women, mother and wife.
Believe me, in HIS final days... unless he seeks forgiveness... he will find himself standing in front of Satin at the gates of Hell.

and, what stinks... is your wife (or possibly future x-wife) will be with him.

Be true to yourself... yet also fight for your marriage if you think its savable.
many marriages can be, but it's focused on you and her.
and the other guy needs to back off.

have you reached out to this guy to remind him of what an idiot he is?
not sure if that's a good idea or not, but it's definately what i would do.
i would just put a little "fear of God" into his mind and his heart. (if the butt-head has a heart).

also, point out to your wife... the goal of this life for you as a Husband, Father and as a Son... is to Get to Heaven. And, to make sure all your family knows the way and you'll all be there one day. But, the ten commmandments are real. And, she (and the idiot that she has been with) have broken some pretty big commandments.

thou shalt not...

sorry if i sound "over the top" here... but focus on YOU and Your kids.
Focus on your health and prove to her that 2, 5, 10 years from now... you'll be "enjoying life" and one day she'll have so many regrets of her decisions back in 2011 and 2012!!!

You sounds like a solid guy and you do not deserve this. But, you've been dealt another bad hand of cards. God is challenging you. The ball is in your court and you don't know what the hell to do. Its hard. There is no wrong or right decision. There is only YOUR decision and YOUR choices.

do you fight for her, or do you let her go?
do you contact this guy, and ask him to step away?
do you talk to her and ask her "why" ?
what are her goals for the future?

obviously her goals are not in line with being a "family".
she has made some real bad choices.... and she needs to understand that the Grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence. But, once she gets over there and looks down at the grass... same damn grass. (or even worse).

i'm so mad at her, but i'm more pissed at the butt-head that on the other side of this.

Keep your head up.
YOU are a great guy.
SHE made bad choices.



my best to you and many prayers for healing.


Kenny H.'s picture
Kenny H.
Posts: 503
Joined: Aug 2010

Not much I can add that hasnt already been said. So much for "till death do us part" sad this had to happen to you at this time of your life.
I feel blessed to have my wife/caregiver with me during this troubling time.
Hang strong, have faith and you will be rewarded. Glad you came here to vent & keep us updated.

Posts: 207
Joined: Jan 2011

I have already put my 2 cents worth in but I just have to tell you...if after fighting this cancer and fearing for my life like I have and my man came to me and said he was leaving me for another woman; well, I wouldn't be human if it didn't hurt but having and keeping a long lasting relationship with someone who in my darkest time ever would turn to another woman and throw away the 11 years we have together....so be it. I want to live. I want to be here for my girls and see them grow. I used to say I don't want to be old but brother, I want to get as old as He will allow me to get. I'm not ready to go and all of my energy is directed to making that happen. It is what it is. I'm not trying to sound 'flip' about your situation. Yes...it would probably hurt me terribly as well if I were in your shoes. But the big picture is...I'm fighting for my life. If I'm not meant to be with him then there will be something else in my future if it's meant to be. Live every day like it's your last. Concentrate on beating this awful disease. Focus on you. Don't let her steal any of your joy like cancer tries to do. I am praying that you will get to a place with this where you don't feel like every day you get up that it's the main thing on your mind. Try to relax and get strong so you can fight. You have to fight this mentally as well as being in shape physically to battle cancer. I am praying for you. Keep your head up. And know that you can always come here to vent and find comfort.

My best,


need support
Posts: 40
Joined: Feb 2012

I've noticed as the replies continue that the feeling and sincerity have increased as well. My wife went to two 1 hour sessions with a psychologist and came home and told me she wanted to be seperated. I can't imagine any one giving that type of advice unless that is exactly what she wants to do. I just looked at her and said "a woman with a boyfriend that wants a seperation is looking for a free pass to test a new relationship" So I told her it's like this, i'm willing to get some type of counseling before she moves out, # 1 so we can look at each other some day and say we at least tried. #2 we have children together and I think they would want to know we at least sought some type of outside help, and #3 hopefully after we sift through all the wrong doings we can at least be friends. For the heck of it i'll throw in a #4 I did nothing wrong other than fight the worse disease a person can imagine, a part of me says she was scared and turned to an old friend where feelings developed, the other part of me thinks any woman(man) that would do something like this to their partner of 27 years isn't worth working with. Does anyone out there have any experience with marriage counseling or am I just wasting my time. I try to think about my condition all the time, but as many of you know this disease is hidden and it's hard to tell what is going on in your body. She woke up this morning and said she would like to stay till I get the results of my next pet scan on march 8th. Again, mixed emotion why she wants to stay just in case I get some sort of bad news or again a free pass to leave. This is unbelievable. Some of you may be thinking I sound a "little weak" but honestly I was always looked at as the head of household and hold a job where i'm in charge of over 60 people, i'm not one to be pushed around, just a difficult situation. I really enjoy everyones input , i'm trying to move forward. thanks everyone

Posts: 306
Joined: Jan 2010

Two years into this battle my wife started seeing a counselor which has helped her a lot. You need clarity now.

Best to you.

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