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relationship seems to be crumbling after cancer

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relationship seems to be crumbling after cancer

Postby Stripes » Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:22 pm

i was diagnosed with and rushed through treatment for stage 1b cervical cancer last year, ive had my cervix removed but i was lucky enough to keep my womb. I also had lymphs removed in my stomach. Both of these surgeries have left me with issues such as pain and difficulty with my legs and affected my day to day life very much with lots of silly little limitations. My depression has also been rearing its head more frequently since i was diagnosed and treated.

I'm currently in a massive flunk and relationship problems are making things worse. I have been lucky with my partner, he has been very supportive for the most part, but there are so many signs hes unhappy. He proposed after my second operation (which i was thrilled about as he knew i wanted to get married) but since then has stated that he felt pressured into it. This killed me, even though id mentioned it a few times i couldn't understand why hed ask if he didn't want to. Hes since changed his mind and said that's not what he ment but the damage is done.

Id like to stress that I'm still having tests every three months and am not in the clear, so I'm sensitive as it is....

Then recently, we've had some money troubles, which i know is a point every who suffers from cancer gets to. He has been providing for us both (he pays my phone bill and vets bills/pet food costs.) but i have moved back with my parents to ease the load on him. Because of this we see each other a couple of days a week at best.he tends to get very quiet and sulky if we don't see each other for more than a few days so every week in getting extended periods of the silent treatment while he struggles with the separation... But financially its much better for me to be here so here i stay. The trouble is my anxiety flare badly when he doesn't talk to me. I struggle badly to cope with it and end up having pretty manic episodes which is very draining when its every week. ... I just want a but of emotional support from him, i worry so much about my health and i feel so isolated when he ignores me, sometimes for days on end (he will speak to me again only if i text and call to the point i wear him down.) He tells me he doesn't know what to say hence the silence, ive told him i cant cope with this method but he slips back to it every time.it gets to the point every time this happens that u feel i don't want to carry on, after fighting this illness when it feels like even the person you love does not care how bad you feel... It makes me feel so isolated....

Then recently his ive felt pressured to work again (I'm out of work currently) but i don't feel ready at all, mentally or physically... I said that i would to try and help but admitted i don't really want to as i don't feel ready and he flew off the handle because 'i keep changing my mind' .. I'm applying and looking despite all of this and he doesn't seem to realise how big this is for me. I don't feel female let along human, and not ready for interviews, but ill try anyway as i don't want him to suffer. I'm currently getting the silent treatment for telling him i was upset because his nan (who suffers another illness that can be terminal if not managed properly) has been prodding and poking at me to get out to work and 'put this all behind me' ... Its not behind me, I'm still in it. Shes been very insistent and its really getting me down because now i feel his family feel I'm just money grabbing.

I'm trying so hard not to bombard him with texts and calls to 'fix' this tiff... I really want him to be the one who wants us to be ok.

This whole thing is killing me but i cant tell him that again... He doesn't listen, or maybe he doesn't care? I wish he could see and understand how much this is hurting me.
look through these blackened eyes
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Re: relationship seems to be crumbling after cancer

Postby my_hiatus » Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:03 am

It sounds to me like you've both got some heavy communication issues. In my experience a relationship requires self sacrifice, in those moments when our partner has flown off the handle, as long as they respect our most basic boundaries (of physical safety) then we've got to sacrifice our ego in order to pull them out of their pain. Doing so is tough, it requires letting go of our own pain, despite how unfair and injust it feels, it requires of releasing what we want, in order to give them what they need. But it only works if it goes both ways, so I guess, my advice would be to really sit with your issues. Don't turn on the tv, don't read a magazine (unless it's informative, like psychology today etc.), don't escape if you have the inclination. Ignore the temptation to offer him all of your pain, because what both of you need right now is to understand each other, but much more important, understand yourselves. What do you need from each other? What do you expect? Are you able and willing to fulfil each others expectations? Are you able to meet in the middle where you aren't? All of these questions are important but they come later. First thing you want to do is work consciously on your ability to communicate with your mind, and express the way that you feel with your words. Not communicate with your heart, expressing the way that you feel with your feelings (for that to be possible, you need to set the limits, build safety and cooperation etc.).

I'd suggest reading about relationships, not in forums, by the way, but from books that you'd find in the bookshelf of your counselor and psychologist.
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Re: relationship seems to be crumbling after cancer

Postby Looking_to_help » Wed Aug 13, 2014 5:32 am

I was reading your post, and a few things came to mind.

1-While its very important to have your partner as your primary support when going through both depression/anxiety and cancer, its also important and vital to have other emotional supports (ie family, friends...etc). This will take both the pressure off of your partner and of you, redistributing the emotional burden onto others. This can ultimately help give the two of you an emotional break, to help the relationshop withstand better the long term.

2-It sounds like you expect certain things of your partner and he is clearly not meeting your expectations. Good communication with him, might help in this regard, on exactly how you feel, what your needs are, and hopefully he will communicate with you how he feels...

3- Also, it appears your partner is likely emotionally affected by this and might not know how to manage-cope with his own emotions. Often silence is indicitive of this. Often times the stress of a major illness can get projected from the sufferer onto their family, this is known as caregiver stress, and unfortunately is all too common.

4-You might benefit from a Cancer support group, which can help give you emotional support and be able to relate to other cancer survivors. Perhaps your doctor or social services department might be able to refer you too one. Often times they are free. This can help supplement some of the emotional needs you might not be getting with your partner & allow you to express yourself in a safe, healthy environment, with people who understand exactly what you are going through.

Hope this helps!!
-Dan
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Re: relationship seems to be crumbling after cancer

Postby Jack_McGurn » Wed May 04, 2016 2:20 am

I had bone cancer when i was seventeen. I had six weeks of radiation and a year of chemotherapy. I actually met my wife in a hospital. she was working as a nurse and I was on another ward recovering from a surgery. We started talking as i would walk through her ward for exercise.

We were married for ten years and had a sone together, and then I had to have my left leg amputated above the knee because of tissue damage from the radiation treatments i received. It's an ugly story, but i developed a big, non-healing ulcer on my ankle.

After the amputation, she pretty much just failed to accept the fact that I was different and always would be. I remember being on crutches and trying to drag the trash cans out to the curb becuse that was "my job." She bought rugs that made it difficult for me to use my wheelchair in the house. Finally, she pretty much escaped our marriage by simultaneously joining a fundamentalist church and becoming an Amway salesperson. I would wake up alone because she would be at the church praying each day. I'd get our son up and fed and wait for her to come home so I could leave for work. Then I would pick him up from daycare and prepare dinner. She would come home, get her Amway stuff and stay out until after I went to bed. The year before I filed for divorce, we had sex once.

I began to realize that she could not accept my disability, which was shocking to me because she was, and still is, a nurse. It was just never going to be the same between us.

Other people here have suggested counseling, and that's great if you feel that you really love each other and things are worth saving, but, ultimately, there is another choice. Ithink you should really start thinking about yourself and asking yourself what is best for YOU. It may sound selfish to some people, but cancer is a monster that damages more than just the body. It can tear people apart.

Maybe you would be happier with a man who loved you enough to put your needs first at a horrible time like the one you are living through now. Thoughts of such a drastic change are scary when things are so uncertain anyway, I know, but you should think about maybe separating for awhile to see if it doesn't actually make things better for you than dealing with all the relationship stress. If your bond is strong enough, it will survive, and if it's not, maybe you will be better off with a more supportive partner.

I hope this post is not unwelcome. I really do feel for you and wish you the best.
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