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really!!!!! hubby says I am always angry

maglets's picture
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

it was like a big reveal for me today my friends.... out of the blue hubby tells me he thinks cancer has changed me forever...I am filled with anger says he.....and the anger results in my being constantly piz-ed off with him!!!

I must confess to being quite shocked....totally agree that many years of stage IV have changed me....constant flight response, sense of detachment but anger I never thought of.....he is a very smart guy and I do not doubt his words but I just never thought anger was an emotion I felt about my cancer....changed my life completely....of course.....hurt those around me .....yes....

gosh I am reeling......anybody else ???? thoughts on anger???/



Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

Yes, cancer of any stage changes us forever...I think the stage only influences how big the change.

Foregive me dear, but you have been at this a while now...and he is just now sharing this with you?

A cancer diagnosis brings anger about many things...some of which seem totally unrealted...such as someone not taking enough care about their own health...someone not understanding that every TODAY is precious...someone not understanding that looking good on the outside does not mean all is good on the inside...someone who doesn't understand that some measure of fear always lurks.

I hope that you and hubby have a long talk about this and each of you can see how the other is viewing this anger.  It seems that our loved ones expect that once "cured" we will revert to our old self again, and don't understand that person is in fact changed forever.

Hopefully the talk will help you both find a new even keel and happiness.

Hugs and love,

Marie who loves kitties

Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

Tell him if he would stop doing/saying stupid things you wouldn't be so pissed at him all the time.

I don't know Mags - I only "see" you on here, but you don't seem angry to me. You seem pretty laid back and caring.

Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

Hi Mags. I've been thinking about you. I've noticed that you've been quiet lately. Perhaps all that anger has been distracting you. Lol. I'm sure dealing with stage four, for all these years has changed you. It is a very stressful way to live. To me, you come across as being very happy, calm and sensible. You seem like a wonderful person. Some people here, in this group, do strike me as being angry. I myself sound angry in many of my posts. I have never picked up on any anger at all from you. At the same time, I suspect your DH is a pretty bright guy. Maybe he has a valid point? I think this wretched disease has hardened us all to some extent.

Cathleen Mary
Posts: 827
Joined: May 2011


Could it be your husband is angry that you got cancer...and it changed his life?  Yes, we are different people; sometimes for the better!  None of us asked for cancer and certainly hate the pain it caused our families. Hope you can work this out.  It is impossible to go through cancer and all that it brings with it unscathed. 

We think you are just wonderful!!!!


Cathleen Mary

maglets's picture
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

ahhhh thanks guys......you are all so wise and I mean that from the bottom of my heart.  a lot a sh-t gets said on this forum but I am always amazed at how thoughtful and helpful and wise so many responses are.


I took half an ativan last nite.....first one for a very long time....so i had a good sleep but I am still thinking about all this.  I am going to run a new theory past you today....when I started into the heavy cancer treatment my hubby decided to retire.  I have always run the house and done the child care.....is it possible when hubby is around 24/7 there are some asjustments to be made?Surprised Another stressor for me is fear of falling through the financial cracks....our pensions are small....just barely carry us through the month....

Cathleen Mary maybe he is angry.....mayb this is not the way he saw his retirement with a wounded old gal

thanks so much, maggie

ron50's picture
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov 2001

I live alone because my wife couldn't handle my illness ,then she couldn't handle my survival and constant ongoing illness. It doesn't mean she doesn't love me or like me ,she does. She just can't handle the way I live my life. I don't think much of it either but it's the only way I get thru. I saw my kidney specialist yesterday. He wanted to put me in hospital for a week or so just to de-stress me. People see me as angry and lots of other things ,lonely , depressed ect . I'm not I'm just tired. I've been left to live in a body that's been wrecked by cancer and the drugs used to treat it and subsequent problems. I have congestive heart failure, pulmonary oedema ,my heart skips every second or third beat ,I can't feel my legs from the knees down or my left hand , I have severe psoriatic arthritis, my kidneys are leaking protein like a sieve. I have type two diabetes ,I have chronic diahorreah after losing my gall bladder , something to do with intolerance to bile salts and acids and ninety percent of medications have an adverse effect on me. Surviving survival ain't easy. Our partners think that our illness is tough on them. IT IS. BUT it is tough on us. People think it is marvellous that I have survived for over 15 years, these days most people don't get that for murder. I don't know how to de-sensitise anyone who has had cancer. Unless it has barely touched you and you have survived with just surgery there is not much chance of dodging the collateral damage. My wife did not want to talk about any of it. That is the only way you are going to fix things. Lay all of your feelings on the table ,the both of you, and deal with the problems one by one. You won't agree on a lot of things but you can reach a compromise on most. Above all be kind to yourself and each other. Hugs Mags from what remains of the wild colonial boy.

Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

You have brought up a couple of significant issues which are probably contributing to the anger issue.

Many have found, even without the cancer card, that retirement changes the personal dynamics for a couple.  The person who retired may be at loose ends not knowing what to do with all that free time.  The person who retired may feel that they need all their partner's attention.  The person who retired can also go thru a depression, questioning their worth, feeling their best years are behind them.

Financial worry is somethng most all of us face with this disease.  Most of us didn't plan on spending our savings and going in debt to try to save our life.  We have had to cancel lots of dreams for the future.  We have to watch every penny and rethink every expense.

All of this is a terrible adjustment, but we can't change the past, we can only try to deal with today as it is.

I really hope that the two of you can discuss all this and find the place where you can both be happy.  Communication will not change the facts, but can help with understanding.  And being understood is the thing we need most other than a cure.

Hugs and love,

Marie who loves kitties

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

"Is it possible when hubby is around 24/7 there are some asjustments to be made?"

The truth of the matter is that Man and Woman were not meant to spend every moment of every day with one another...

Familiarity can breed contempt....

At least, that's been my experience, LOL!

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

...but I'm afraid you'll take my head off! Surprised I know that often people seem one way online and another way in "real life" but you've never struck me as being angry at all. Maybe there are other issues going on for your husband that may or may not have anything to do with you Mags.
You should kick him in the nuts! (joke)

I do know that cancer changed me but anger isn't something that's grown for me, if anything it's lessened.

Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

I have to agree with Phil.

Coloncancerblows's picture
Posts: 296
Joined: Feb 2013


I don't know if I'm angry as much but I do know I say the "F" word a lot more than I used to!



annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

as everyone has already said some great stuff.  I can certainly echo the sentiment that you seem like a positive person online and I'm always glad to see your posts.

I guess I wonder what your husband was trying to achieve with his statement.  I mean, what do you think?  Was it just one of those "heat of the moment" things without a lot of meaning, or was he really expressing his feeling that his perception of your mood is a problem?

Because if he perceives it to be a significant issue, than it probably needs to be addressed somehow, even if it's not how you perceive the situation.  Have you asked him to elaborate?  If this is really bothering him, what does he want to do about it?  What does he want you to do about it?  If my husband said that, I would want to know more.  And if it is a "real" problem  (quotes used to indicate my belief that a problem can be real for one person and not for another, but still need fixing, either way), then I would try to brainstorm together on what steps needed to be taken to improve the situation.

I think cancer is super hard on relationships, especially marriages, for many reasons.  Stress, financial worries, fear of death, chronic pain...fun!  I would be shocked if there was a marriage out there that didn't start to tear at the seams a little.  Doesn't mean it can't be stitched back up.

Lots o' love to you~AA

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Arent' we all really 'angry' underneath all the layers? 

Cancer changes us from the inside out...WE change, but the world (and our partners) don't always change with us...and inevitably, everyone wants you to slide back to the way things used to be...but how can that be, when we've been changed or transformed.

It could be anything that drives a wedge into a relationship.....cancer...the loss of income....the death of a child...

Life changes, especially with the cancer fight.....some of us grow....some of us do not....and when the Great Divide gets big enough, it can swallow you whole - no shaking, no tenderizing, just down it can go.

 I know that we all want things to return to normal in our relationships....and with a lot of fortune and hard work, certain aspects might return.  I despise the term 'New Normal'....somehow, it sounds so condescending and lacksadaiscal with its terminology.

As with anything we encounter - once confronted - we can never truly go back...and I think to a large degree, that we really don't want to...

Part of me longs for the naivete - and the other part of me is glad for the changes that occurred inside of me. 

Our spouses want to forget it...and part of us wants to shelf a part of it...and over time, I think we do compartmentalize some aspects of it....but, do we ever truly break free from the reigns that steer us?

Your post is poignant in the fact that my wife walked in on me last night when she got into work.  I had Dr. Stanley on again and the message was on Healing From Damaged Emotions....and Anger was the hot topic of the service.

And my wife jumped right in....see there!  She said, you're angry. 

And there are two different kinds of anger.....I'll have to finish up the tape before I could go on.....

But, the first part of it was 'justifiable anger.' 

Like if you were hurt or somebody hurt the one you loved or cared about....their would be an appropriate part of anger that would be deemed reasonable.

The other half he's going to tell me about is Anger that festers into bitterness...at least, I think that's going to be the slant. 

But, truthfully, dear Mags....

 "If we can't get angry with our significant others, where the hell else are you gonna'?"

 The true victory comes from knowing where the source of the anger is - and who are you really directing it to? 

 Alot of times, I think we are just angry with ourselves - and we project that anger outwards in an effort to rationalize and justify how we are feeling....

 And I think that is the crux of the matter......we just want to be heard.

 Love you, honey-pie:)

wolfen's picture
Posts: 1329
Joined: Apr 2009

I was going to keep my mouth shut, but you know how hard that is for me.

First, the Mags I know & love does not have an angry personality.

The man I lived with and loved for so many years was angry 24/7. I was not the only who recognized it. He seemed to be angry at everyone & everything. In his case, cancer was not the catalyst. It began in 2000 when he had part of a foot removed and later found out that it had been unnecessary. This event changed his lifestyle & he could no longer do many outdoor things that he loved. That, combined with his diabetes and heart problems just ate away at him. And then along came cancer. He completely lost his independence and his sense of being. He could no longer even drive. So many things he could no longer do. Getting older bothered him a lot & he began to think he was just on this planet taking up space & breathing air that could be used by someone else. Only near the end, did he ever admit that he was afraid.

I agree with Craig that "familiarity breeds contempt". I'll always remember the statement that someone made to us about whether or not we could stand being around each other all the time after I retired. At the time, I thought it was an odd thing to say. I simply responded "Of course, we like each other." And we did, most of the time, but there was no real breathing space between us & that grates on your nerves, like it or not.

I spent a lot of years "walking on eggs" as I never knew what would set him off. I did love him, & still do, & I know he loved me, but there were times we were like "fire & ice".

Just try to talk it out. We all have fears. Maybe your fear comes across as anger to him without your knowledge. It is simply your defense mechanism and he is reading it wrong. And don't worry, I've said this a million times. The ones who say they have the perfect marriage are full of BS. There is no perfect marriage.

Luv Ya,


Posts: 1154
Joined: Jun 2010

I the payroll patient, but the big c has made all of us have a short fuse in my family. It seems as though we are more on edge after my mom's sand dads diagnosis.

marbleotis's picture
Posts: 715
Joined: Mar 2012

He may be upset about the cancer because it changed his life.

It is so hard to deal with this. No one should judge how we handle it.  Some days good some days not so good.  We try........ don't judge me until you have walked in my shoes.  I would not wish this on anyone to have to walk in my shoes.

I am happy I am alive, I focus on only positive things and people.  If someone cannnot deal with the "new" me, then bye.

Stay strong.  I am not being mean.  I do not want to hurt anyone, but this is sooooo hard to manage through.

I also say that I did not want this but these are the cards I was dealt.  I cannot put my head in the sand or hold hands and be Polly Anna and skip down the garden path.  We need to remain sharp and vigilant toward cancer.  This takes alot out of us.

I like you did everything and worked too.  When I stopped doing some things they didn't get done.  I for the first time in my life put ME first.  And i do not think he likes it too much.  He needs to learn a new normal also.  I think that is the real answer. 

There is improvement, but like everything else, it is a process.

From what I talk to other cancer people - this is very common.  No matter how you look at this - it sucks most of the time!

We need support, not to be critized.

Posts: 308
Joined: Mar 2012

He hasn't said it yet but I think he thinks it alot.  Unfortunately, I feel the anger or maybe lack of patience.  I used to have lots of patience, now, not so much! :)  Today is perfect example, really cranky today...  Cancer changed me, physically and I know it changed me emotionally.  I have a scan coming up next month, my CEA moved up a hair and I do mean a hair, everything makes me worry, I'm really tired of worrying and I'm still a newbie. 

I never see anger from you, you are an inspiration.  I invision you sipping tea and reading books, and being a joy to sit and chat with...I imagine you have many wonderful stories to share. 

This rambling probably makes no sense but even though my battle has been short, I think I know how you feel.

Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

Perfect description....I can imagine a cup of tea and chatting with Maggie...at her little cottage.

Ive been thinking about this all day.

It makes me really sad how this terrible disease destroys so many lives in so many ways. Just unfair :(

Posts: 308
Joined: Mar 2012

He hasn't said it yet but I think he thinks it alot.  Unfortunately, I feel the anger or maybe lack of patience.  I used to have lots of patience, now, not so much! :)  Today is perfect example, really cranky today...  Cancer changed me, physically and I know it changed me emotionally.  I have a scan coming up next month, my CEA moved up a hair and I do mean a hair, everything makes me worry, I'm really tired of worrying and I'm still a newbie. 

I never see anger from you, you are an inspiration.  I invision you sipping tea and reading books, and being a joy to sit and chat with...I imagine you have many wonderful stories to share. 

This rambling probably makes no sense but even though my battle has been short, I think I know how you feel.

Aud's picture
Posts: 480
Joined: Oct 2009

Maggie,  I have no words of wisdom...only that it is always a joy to "see you" and to read your posts and comments.   With that, I wonder if your hubby is perceiving anger where it simply doesn't exist.   And I believe that all of our life experiences shape and change us, including our experience with cancer and treatment.  I think that we have an understanding and empathy that is common among us here.  Anger?   Maybe.  Maybe not.

What's wrong with anger anyway?

Back to reality and perceptions, which may be different than each other, there were times when my Boyfriend misunderstood my expressions and body language,  assuming inaccurately how I was thinking or feeling.  Of course, I would clarify things for him.  And there were lessons for me there.


Posts: 36
Joined: Sep 2011



My husband was DX in 2011 with stage 4.  He is doing well now and is still NED.  However; I do know that when a loved one has cancer, it changes the whole family. It's anger, fear, thankfulness, and any and all other emotion you can think of.  The thing is, I think that we lash out to those we are close to.  My husband will get kind of mean sometimes.  But I know he is the sweeties soul I have ever known.  It's always around the time of his examine. 

I have a friend that has breast  cancer and she told me when she found out about my husband, he is going to get mean sometimes. LOL

We all know that just because you are NED at the moment, it is a chance it will come back. So I think that you guys are the one who is dealing with it hand on.  It takes courage and perseverance.  So I think you should get a pass.  Just remember we have a lot going on inside of us also.  My number one think is he may not be with me for ever.  Lord knows that was never any guarantee this would happen anyway. But cancer kind of made it real.  You guys will be fine, just be patient with each other and each others feelings.



RickMurtagh's picture
Posts: 590
Joined: Feb 2010

the issue, no matter how you slice it, is not whether or not you are pissed off at hubby.  the issue is that he perceives you are pissed off at him.  remember when you first got married and things were so great and then sometime down the road you felt like some of the qualities in your hubby you thought were endearing, started to annoy?  well. maybe being together more has brought out more of that!  sorry if this does not apply to you, but it seems a possibility.

a therapist once told me, when i asked if what my wife and i were going through was common man/woman problem, he said, "perhaps, but it is most definately a rick and sally problem."  it takes two to tango.  i know it is more work and who wants to always be watching their words so closely, especially around their hubby, but isn't he worth a little extra effort and attension?  we know you are and knowing you a bit makes me believe hubby is a down to earth, reasonable man.  maybe all the situation needs is an extra pat on the butt (his not yours, but that might not hurt either) or a peck on the cheek to let him know how little anger you have towards HIM.

anger, bah, i name thee sunshine.  you flood our dreary little worlds with light, thank you.




herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

First off my dear woman, let me tell you that you are my Zen.  When I see your picture sitting there in your cabin, I know that there will be kind words to whomever you are writing to, I enjoy all your posts and they just put me in a peaceful mode.

Secondly, it's the RETIREMENT!!  My goodness, thank God I went back to college, being in the house 24/7 with your loved one who has decided they retired as mine did is nerve racking.  They have lost their sense of purpose and money isn't what it used to be and for some reason they like to blame their unhappiness on who ever is handy. I wish mine would find a hobby or a charity to go spend time at so that his sense of purpose in life can come back to him.  They just do not realize that staying at home is hard on them when they were used to going to work 5 days a week and interacting with others, they do not realize that they miss that.

Here's hoping things improve, and thank you, you wonderful lady for being whom you are. I can honestly say I love your personality, your wisdom and your kind words.

Winter Marie

bspangler47's picture
Posts: 145
Joined: Sep 2010

Hi everyone,


I havent been on here for awhile.  It seems one thing after another..............


Gosh, I can relate to so much "anger".  I am on my own with two children still at home, 13 and 11.  Being married I know isnt easy at all, and then to add cancer to it, adds alot more stress and other emtoions.  Maybe its him being home now.  To much togetherness?.  My father became ill a few yrs after he retired, he had bladder Cancer, COPD, end stage renal disease etc.  My mom because more and more angry with him.  They live in a small town, so my sister would have to take him to the bigger city for his drs appts etc.  My mom would rarely go.  She would call me being very upset.  I would go home on leave, she has horrible with him.  Then when he did pass away it wasnt any better.  But it was my moms way of dealing with it.  She was mad at the end for him passing away and leaving her behind.


As for myself, since this fight with CA (I am in remission) I am finding myself getting alot more angry, my younger kids help settle me down.  But I do realize I get mad alot more now etc. 

Posts: 124
Joined: Mar 2011

I started to post this individually but realized it should probably go here. My aunt, stage 4 colon cancer, diagnosed in 2011 (February), her son diagnosed with Esophageal cancer in Jan 2011, her husband passed suddenly in May of 2011, her son passed away April 2013. She's so angry at everyone. For the most part my brother and I take care of her (she is still struggling to do her daily things for herself) we try to be there for support and to do household/outside things that she can no longer do. But, she acts like she hates us. Whatever we do is wrong--even if we do it exactly as she says. Everything (and I do mean everything) makes her mad and hateful towards us. She's not happy we are there but if we aren't around she's not happy. If we are sitting she's mad but if we're standing she's mad (that type of angry). NOTHING makes her calm. Sometimes I wonder how she cannot realize that we are giving up our own lives to help her--not that we mind, what I mean by that is: my house stands empty for weeks, my mail is gotten by my daughter, I miss time from work, I've hired a person to do my lawn, and I'm thinking of hiring someone to clean my house too since I'm not there enough to do any of those things anymore. I know she has plenty to be angry about and I understand that, I can even understand taking that anger out on us now and then---but it's all the time. Someone here mentioned that it's like walking on eggshells---THAT is how it is with my aunt. We can't even tie a bag of trash the right way to suit her or sit in a chair the way she thinks we should! Should we just give up and leave her alone? She threw a temper last Sunday saying that she's NEVER alone--in two years she's never been alone (that's what she said) but I left from her home and went to work 10 hour days two of 9 days last week. I've left her home in tears and drove home crying (I live 90 minutes away). I guess I just never expected the verbal abuse I'm getting.

Helen321's picture
Posts: 1428
Joined: May 2012

I've been angry for years and thought that may even be what "caused" my cancer.  Ups and downs of life and nothing ever seeming to go fully the way you expect or are taught it's supposed to be.  Most of the world seemed to be having no problem living.  I had friends who were stay at home moms while I'm breaking my neck working to have more than just the basics of life.  There were whole years where I was tired and stressed and that made me angry.  Cancer just pushed me over the edge in anger.  I found myself snapping at people and saying things like yeah that's such a major problem, we should all have such problems.  I realized at some point that they are entitled to their feelings even if whatever it is seems petty to me at the moment.  I've had my share of petty complaints in my day.  Cancer does change your life forever.  It never lets you just live carefree the way you used to.  Today we went to the beach, quite an enjoyable day.  While I was there, I had a great time.  I covered my ostomy with waterproof tape, that went well.  We played in the water, had a great time.  It's now 1:06 in the morning and I'm in an irrational panic because one of the 16 year girls (who is Irish and very white!) that was with us today got a sunburn on her shoulders and back.  Now kids get sunburns and parents don't think twice about them.  Her whole house is probably sleeping.  Meanwhile I'm up thinking oh my God I should have been more pushy and made her put on more sunblock, she's going to get skin cancer!  Her mother is probably very angry that I let her burn.  I'm sure this is not the first time she's burned or the last and yet in my head I'm thinking I just caused this kid to get skin cancer.   I'm usually so aware of sunblock and I make the kids reapply but because of the radiation, I had on a lot of clothes (in addition to sunblock) and so I wasn't so focused on burning and just wasn't thinking.  I have to get up for work in 6 hours and am not even close to sleeping.  So heck yeah I'm angry.  I want my safe world and my rational thoughts back!!!  And I wouldn't blame you for a minute if you are angry too.  The fact is those without cancer don't get it, they think they do but they don't.  I didn't get it until I had it.  Maybe one day the irrational thoughts will go away but until then, there's a part of me that's angry.  I just want a day at the beach to be a day at the beach!

Maxiecat's picture
Posts: 544
Joined: Jul 2012

Maybe your husband is a lot like mine... He needs something that he can fix...a problem that he can help you solve.  My husband is a fixer...give him a job and he is on it.  This cancer thing...he knows there is nothing he can do to fix it..  my husband said one time last year that he thought I am more angry and more on edge ..actually I have been much more patient with other people and things no longer have to be perfect.  cancer has changed me and my family forever.  


geotina's picture
Posts: 2123
Joined: Oct 2009

Just catching up on some posts......

Unfortunately George was  angry and he said he didn't realize it.  

Most of the time I simply walked away muttering damn cancer under my breath.  Then, I came up with telling him the cancer was talking again and he would ask what the heck I meant and after saying this a few times he realized what he was saying.  He had no clue he was using his "sharp tongue" with me.   I just figured it was part of the journey and he truly was not conscious of it.  I will say on so many occasions he said I'm sorry, I just didn't realize so I just stopped saying anything and simply walked away.

Tell hubby I said he just has to ignore it. 

Love ya - Tina

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

OMG, get him out of the house!  My husband and would be at each other contantly.  Everyone needs space.  I alwyas iiked my time home along, just to sit and nothing or what I wanted without asnwering to anyone but me :)


In the begining, I was on an antidepresent to take the edge off my words.  I was working full time and tired and had a lot of BS going on at work.   I hate being tired and in pain all the time, it really sucsks and it doesn't make me a happy person.    But the antidepressent made me reflect that the little arguments stopped, was it me!  Made me step back and think before I said anthing.  No reason to bite his head off, because of issues I had to deal with.  Married 30 years. 


Cancer changes us forever. 

Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I've always perceived you as calm and nurturing. I realize I don't live with you 24-7, but that's what's leaking out to me - always....


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