I survived cancer but my marriage is dying... - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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I survived cancer but my marriage is dying...

Let me start off by saying I have am very appreciative for any advice on this matter! My name is Shar and I am a believer; my husband and I are both fervent believers in our faith and have a deep love and understanding for Jesus Christ. But despite that my marriage seems to be failing. My husband and I have been together for almost 4 years and married for almost 2. We have had many ups and downs but have always worked through them. In January before my 25th birthday (my husband is 34) I was diagnosed with a rare form of Non Hodgkin Lymphoma in my throat. We were devastated by the news but fought the good fight with chemo and radiation and now I am healed, much of that being because of Christ. But throughout my treatment and now that we have moved my husband has been more and more discontent with his role and with me. I had to stop working (I was a full time HR Generalist for the county) and had to stay home to do treatment and heal. During this time all the bills and finances were on him. At first he was ok with it but as time went on he became increasingly negative, telling me I need to go back to work and support him when this is over because I am young and he has supported me. After completing chemo we decided to get a fresh start and move just the two of us to Oregon; since we had no family support during my illness we didn't think it would be that hard just having to rely on each other. But from the moment we arrived he has been ornery, nasty and unloving. We have watched sermons together on marriage and faith by his favorite pastor John Macarthur and despite his preachings about what are the man's responsibilities to the marriage he disagrees. His conflict with his role in our marriage has made life unbearable for me. You would think that a man, any man after the possibility only 5 months ago of losing your wife after only being married a short time would be grateful and happy but instead he calls me horrible names (the B word daily, yells at me, always tells me how I am not doing things right or at all) he bullies me and than tells me he can talk to me however he wants. But if I tell him to stop he tells me to shut up. Its saddening really, I didn't want to go back to working before but I am praying I get this job so I can be away from him. I am exhausted, I am still mentally and emotionally recovering from being sick and moving across the country, something he has never asked me if I am recovered from (we moved to Oregon from Texas in June). I am getting closer and closer to the end of my rope. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated, I am at my wits end.. I just want to know what can I do to make this situation better?

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013, 11:54 AM
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Re: I survived cancer but my marriage is dying...

I'm sorry you are going through this, you do not deserve this kind of treatment. I hope you get this job too, so you can move on with your life away from someone who is causing you so much pain.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013, 12:17 PM
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Re: I survived cancer but my marriage is dying...

I am interested to know what his internet and phone use has looked like.... My main question would be is that if this was typical behavior of his before the diagnosis/treatment? It doesn't sound like it...which is why I would question why his sudden irritation and blaming. Sometimes people who don't know how to face pain and the possibility of death, start to withdraw from the relationship and sometimes finds soothing comfort in other relationships. But geez, don't let my opinion upset you, I just would suggest that instead of looking at yourself at what YOU did wrong, perhaps there is more top the story with his abrasive behavior. Sorry you are going through this just as you are trying to get comfortable in your remission. I am a believer as well...and He has carried me through storm after storm...and I can say this with peace as I am still in the midst of my own storm. Just absorb God's peace that surpasses all logical reason...and just listen to His voice and don't ignore what your body knows is true.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013, 05:05 PM
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Re: I survived cancer but my marriage is dying...

Stress? PTSD? The non sick spouse has a big burden to carry, a lot of worry. Maybe he hasn't had a healthy outlet for all that anxiety.

Is there such thing as insanity among penguins? - Werner Herzog
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: I survived cancer but my marriage is dying...

Quote:
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I am interested to know what his internet and phone use has looked like.... My main question would be is that if this was typical behavior of his before the diagnosis/treatment? It doesn't sound like it...which is why I would question why his sudden irritation and blaming. Sometimes people who don't know how to face pain and the possibility of death, start to withdraw from the relationship and sometimes finds soothing comfort in other relationships. But geez, don't let my opinion upset you, I just would suggest that instead of looking at yourself at what YOU did wrong, perhaps there is more top the story with his abrasive behavior. Sorry you are going through this just as you are trying to get comfortable in your remission. I am a believer as well...and He has carried me through storm after storm...and I can say this with peace as I am still in the midst of my own storm. Just absorb God's peace that surpasses all logical reason...and just listen to His voice and don't ignore what your body knows is true.
Thanks so much for this!
What you said made a lot of sense and we sat down and talked this past weekend about all of our issues and why he has been withdrawing the way he has been. He says he was feeling inadequate and insecure. I am trying to be understanding and hopefully we will work through these issues but man it has not been easy. I am praying we continue to work through our issues but only time will tell. Thanks for all the advice!
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 10:25 AM
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Re: I survived cancer but my marriage is dying...

My first wife died from cancer. Even though I prayed a lot, it was still very stressful to see her get worse and suddenly die. Even though it is illogical, after her death there was the feeling of what could I have done to prevent her death. It was emotionally devastating to the point that I could not trust enough of life to get into another relationship for two years even though I really tried because I missed the emotional closeness of marriage.

It might be that your husband is feeling somehow responsible for your well being, and not feeling up to the task.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 05:08 PM
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Re: I survived cancer but my marriage is dying...

Quote:
You would think that a man, any man after the possibility only 5 months ago of losing your wife after only being married a short time would be grateful and happy but instead he calls me horrible names (the B word daily, yells at me, always tells me how I am not doing things right or at all) he bullies me and than tells me he can talk to me however he wants. But if I tell him to stop he tells me to shut up. Its saddening really, I didn't want to go back to working before but I am praying I get this job so I can be away from him. I am exhausted, I am still mentally and emotionally recovering from being sick and moving across the country, something he has never asked me if I am recovered from (we moved to Oregon from Texas in June). I am getting closer and closer to the end of my rope. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated, I am at my wits end.. I just want to know what can I do to make this situation better?


we sat down and talked this past weekend about all of our issues and why he has been withdrawing the way he has been. He says he was feeling inadequate and insecure
Feeling inadequate and insecure is not a good enough excuse to be treating you the way he is treating you. I wonder if he resents you for being sick and not bringing money into the household?

Last edited by Mr Blunt; 07-12-2013 at 05:23 PM.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 06:51 PM
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Re: I survived cancer but my marriage is dying...

Men have a tougher job taking care of women then vice versa. He is entitled to say, this was very hard and stressful, taking care of you. That said, he needs to get beyond it. I would try counseling. If he can't get over it, you two have a problem, and ultimately should evaluate splitting if he is verbally abusive.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-18-2013, 07:54 PM
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Re: I survived cancer but my marriage is dying...

You have received some great insights. I am excited for you both that you were able to sit down and have a real conversation about real feelings. You started your story with "...are both fervent believers in our faith and have a deep love and understanding for Jesus Christ."; but, the rest of the story contradicts this. If you have not already, come together in His name, seek Him together, and your path will become clear again.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 11:26 AM
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Re: I survived cancer but my marriage is dying...

I personally can't imagine how difficult it would be to learn my spouse had cancer...and could DIE... leaving me forever... There is no fear I have in life greater than this one.... I think the blood would rush from my body and I'd faint...I'd be angry as well...

I don't feel people, regardless of faith, handle this the same way...it's not something that is supposed to happen in life.... it's like our children dying before us, its pure cruelty and the unfairness of it -unspeakable......you are so very young, the both of you have been handed a bitter cup to swallow here.. in the emotional, the unknowns, potential loss... not to mention the stress of the financial as well....this is more weight than most can bare...without busting at the seams somewhere.

I would imagine he even hates himself for what he has BECOME before you even. I am not making excuses for him.. just trying to express the powerful emotions one may feel faced with this..and how it could get out of hand. There is always the fear Cancer may return also..lurking. But true, we could all die tomorrow.

Some Do need others to talk too, get a break from the devastation they may face in such a horrendous loss... I have nothing but sympathy for those who step into a Caretaker role, for instance.. loving, giving, doing...with all that has been ripped from their relationship... it's heart wrenching , too, for the one who will go on living, if the worst comes to be.... their lover dying in their arms.

Quote:
FormerSelf said: Sometimes people who don't know how to face pain and the possibility of death, start to withdraw from the relationship and sometimes finds soothing comfort in other relationships.
I can so easily see this.

Quote:
Bobby5000 said: Men have a tougher job taking care of women then vice versa.
This has been studied... the care taking role , because of the nurturing aspect comes more naturally to women....I am sure this depends some on temperament also..

Quote:
Survivor2013 said: You would think that a man, any man after the possibility only 5 months ago of losing your wife after only being married a short time would be grateful and happy but instead he calls me horrible names (the B word daily, yells at me, always tells me how I am not doing things right or at all) he bullies me and than tells me he can talk to me however he wants. But if I tell him to stop he tells me to shut up. Its saddening really, I didn't want to go back to working before but I am praying I get this job so I can be away from him. I am exhausted, I am still mentally and emotionally recovering from being sick and moving across the country, something he has never asked me if I am recovered from (we moved to Oregon from Texas in June). I am getting closer and closer to the end of my rope. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated, I am at my wits end.. I just want to know what can I do to make this situation better?
Is there anyone you both could talk to....that has walked a similar road.....I think your husband may be hating himself for how he has handled this also.. and he is stuck somehow.... letting it all spiral out of control...emotionally he has lost it...and he is taking the brunt out on you... and this IS devastating .. he has to stop!! It's like a Train loosing control -going off the rails... It will destroy you both.

It would be good to talk to a professional... get to the roots of his ANGER here...to where he can find acceptance to what has happened and yes.. Gratitude / happiness for his wife being saved.

How badly are you struggling financially - did the insurance leave you with mountains of unpaid medical bills?

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-09-2014, 10:44 PM
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Re: I survived cancer but my marriage is dying...

[QUOTE=Survivor2013;2976745 His conflict with his role in our marriage has made life unbearable for me. You would think that a man, any man after the possibility only 5 months ago of losing your wife after only being married a short time would be grateful and happy but instead he calls me horrible names (the B word daily, yells at me, always tells me how I am not doing things right or at all) he bullies me and than tells me he can talk to me however he wants. But if I tell him to stop he tells me to shut up. [/QUOTE]

I am sorry to hear about your battle with cancer and even more sorry to hear how it has negatively affected your marriage.

I am also a survivor of cancer for almost 3 years. I had stage 3 colon cancer and currently battling a recurrence and currently doing IV chemo for the 2nd time. I had my last surgery in June and my sugeon said I had no other sign of cancer and am hopefully cured.

I know first hand the strain that having cancer can put on a marriage. My marriage hasn't been easy the last 3 years between raising kids, eventually not being able to work and going on disability, dealing with side effects of chemo, 3 surgeries, and the normal everyday problems common with most marriages. I do have to say though that my wife has been loving, respectful, and supportive of me through this ordeal.

In your situation, it sound like your husband has become at least verbally abusive and very disrespectful of you. You or no woman deserves to be treated like that. I feel if this is not addressed or dealt with, this may lead to physical abuse, then it would be time for you get out and leave. For now though I would recommend marital counseling for both of you but if he won't go at first, you should still go alone. Your husband may feel overwhelmed and depressed over his role as the caregiver and may need some help to sort things out.

Also I would let your oncologist or dr. know about the problems you are dealing with. The cancer center or hospital that you go to probably has social workers who can help with some of the challenges you face. If your community has a cancer support group, you may want to attend since hearing from other survivors and the challenges they faced and how they coped may help you find solutions. Also calling the American Cancer Society hotline may be of help.

I hope these suggestions help. I wish you the best of luck regarding cancer and hope you succeed in rebuilding your marriage.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-09-2014, 10:49 PM
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Re: I survived cancer but my marriage is dying...

arman - this thread is more than a year old. The original poster hasn't returned to the thread.

Please feel free to start a new thread of your own instead of bumping up an old thread.
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