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Man furious with wife when she lies about her cancer; 'This is the ultimate betrayal.' AITA? UPDATED 3X

Man furious with wife when she lies about her cancer; 'This is the ultimate betrayal.' AITA? UPDATED 3X


When this man is upset about his wife's cancer, he asks the internet:

"I am so mad at my wife for lying to me about her cancer. AITA?"

I...I don't know what even to do. My whole world has been shattered. We've known for awhile she's had breast cancer but, it was caught early and responding to Chemo.

She dropped a bombshell yesterday when I told her I'd be about an hour late picking her up from Chemo. She tells me "Don't worry. I don't need it anymore". Wait, what? How? Why?

As it so turns out she's stopped treatment. The cancer has spread everywhere now. She's dying. At best she has not even 6 months left. She says there's a good chance chemo will not work and at best all it'll do is give her time.

Of course I was mad. I've never yelled at her, I've never faught with her but, last night I felt betrayed. Like a part of me died.

She's dying...and she's lied to me about it. She's been skipping chemo treatments for the past 2 months. So that means she has 4 months at best to live? What was she planning not to tell me and just randomly die? She tells me she doesn't know but, she was scared and coming to terms with the fact her life was going to end soon.

I...I don't know how to even feel. I'm so numb. I can't face life without her. We have a family, kids, a life...she can't be dying, she can't be giving up. Am I wrong to feel so afraid of facing the future alone?

AM I wrong to feel so betrayed so upset over her lie? This is life or death. How could she lie to me like this? I feel so goddamn betrayed i've just been crying. I don't know what to even do.

Wife has terminal breast cancer. Stopped treatment without telling anyone. I feel betrayed and scared by her lie. AITA for being so upset?

Before we give you OP's updates, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

conchaaa writes:

NTA. I haven't been in your shoes, but I was diagnosed with cancer that was thought to be terminal (AML/ALL and Philadelphia Chromosome).

And I may have some insight as to why she wouldn't have told you and i would guess it's for all the reasons you are hurt about. She is your best friend, your partner in crime, the love of your life.

And she may have felt as I did and sometimes still do, that when it was early and treatable she could still be all those things and the moment she says out loud to the love of her life and father of her children that the diagnosis is terminal and her life will not turn out as planned and hoped...

it feels like you lose everything in that moment, now you are not a partner, you are a sick person, you are fragile, people don't know what to say, so many just stop saying anything.

She may have been afraid to lose you, to have you look at her like a sick person or a thing to be dealt with instead of your partner. She may have been afraid you wouldn't want to hold hands, go on dates or make love to a sick person. Most of all it's the realization that when she tells you, it is real, and there is no going back.

I remember the moment I had to tell my fiance that my diagnosis was terminal. I felt all those things and more. I didn't want every conversation to be about the future, the lack of me in it, I didn't want to be told to sit down, not to take risks to be coddled. I needed him to treat me like the rest wasn't happening.

We dug in, we got a trust, will, power of attorney, my doctors set us up with a psychologist who specialized in end of life care, that is where I could talk about it...

where we could look it head on and make a plan, and then I needed to be treated like normal and even when he didn't think he could and when it was breaking his heart. We set a schedule of days he got to go out with friends and blow off some steam and it helped.

Try to understand the pain of telling your husband you won't be able to up your side if the deal you made when you planned your life together. I felt like a failure.

This sucks and I am sorry. I wish peace for you both, and that your friend, family and those you come to know through this process will lift you up so you can lift her up. I know this isn't what you wanted and you probably feel cheated, so yell, scream, throw things and let it out. But not to her.

There is a theory another man in your position developed, he called it the ring theory.

Your wife is in the middle, you are in the first ring, then parents, siblings, friends, etc fill the next rings and any one can dump out but no one gets to dump in. Look it up and send copies to all the people you tell of your situation. It got us through so much. Love and light to your family.

gottago6 writes:

NTA. My mom kept her prognosis from me and my sister and we were too uneducated to realize what was going on and of course figured she’d tell us if it was as bad as it was.

It’s hard not to feel confused by that now but looking back I do understand a bit more that she wanted to protect us from the worry of it all and to live our lives, both in college at the time.

Luckily I moved home and was there continuously for the last 6 months of her life, that I didn’t even realize would be the last until about a week before she died.

Crazy. I went to school online halftime while she was dying because I thought it was just a long hospital visit?! So dumb. Just really grateful I moved back home, maybe deep down i did have a feeling. Sorry for the rant. I’m glad you’re better now.

graddde writes:

YTA. He's making it all about himself instead of asking what can he do for his wife. She's the one dying, knowing that she's dying, and deciding what she wants to do in the short time she has left.

Take the focus off yourself! When we are hurting, depressed... Go help someone, volunteer, and you realize how good YOU have it.

What are your plans for her? Take time off to be with her, what does SHE want to do during the next months, is she afraid /how does she feel about death?, what are her wishes for end of life care... In other words...

What can you do to serve HER. Don't make her deal with your needs... Cuz hers trump yours, wouldn't you say? Her world is upside down, and you need to support her in any way you can, not the other way around.

How would you feel if you were the one just given a death sentance and she's most concerned with herself? She needs what she wants right now. Give it to her. You don't want to have regrets, once they are gone, they're gone. Know from experience. Just love HER.

sasa writes:

NTA. Before I say anything else, I SINCERELY give my condolences to you. That's got to be the worst news of your life, and I wish I could give you some magic advice in this time of tragedy. I can't, and I don't know if anyone can.

But I do know that, as this post suggests, grieving counseling will help you massively with this whole situation. It could also help her a lot. The kids would likely get the most benefit, because I can't imagine how they feel either.

Hard agree with this post above. I also remember a post a while ago about someone who had severe and aggressive cancer that essentially would kill them regardless of treatment.

Had maybe a 15% chance of just delaying its progression, not halting it, and it would have all the horrible side effects of chemotherapy. Instead of doing chemo, they wanted to travel the world and see a bunch of cool shit to feel more fulfilled and come to peace with it.

I know you're losing the love of your life. I know your mind has to be absolute hell right now and it feels like everything is going to fall apart. But you need to be strong right now. You have to.

For yourself, for your wife, for your kids, and for your relatives. I know it's not easy, and I know it will be a long process to accept everything that is going on. The one thing I want to say though, is that your wife is choosing to have control over how she wants it to end.

Peacefully. Not with the hair loss, not with the sickness, the nausea, the frailty of her body. Not with the sunken cheeks and dark circles under her eyes. No. She is going to leave this world, but she is deciding that death is not going to rule over her time left.

She wants to be the same woman for the people in her life that she has been since your family came together. She is astoundingly brave to look death in the face, without any fear, and respond with a huge "f you". You are astoundingly brave to even remotely be able to deal with this.

I know this may be the darkest moment of your life, but you have to believe that there will be light again. Do not lose that hope.

conclusively65 writes:

I can’t imagine how hard it is. I empathize in a way because I’m going in a couple of weeks to be tested for cancer too. A couple of my doctors think it’s possible that I have some kind of lymphoma.

It may be something else, but if it is lymphoma, it’s highly advanced at this point, probably stage 3-4. I don’t really feel anything about it yet. I imagine getting news that I was terminal would be even worse.

I imagine it hasn’t sunk in with your wife. And it may not. I think that’s probably the way we cope. Do you have kids? Family? Friends? You’re going to need a support network. But like I said, she probably wants to live life as normally as possible for as long as she can.

Try to put your grief aside— there will be enough time later for that. More than you want once she’s gone. If you don’t, you’ll regret not making the most of the time you had left with her. Why can’t you take the vacation? She may be well enough. Just take it a day at a time. Don’t think of loss and funerals until it gets here.

grovvvv writes:

Maybe that’s a little bit of why she didn’t say anything earlier. Because she’s your other half. I imagine that facing her own mortality must be really difficult. I wonder also if she’s harboring some feelings of guilt about leaving you, her other half, behind. It’s hard enough to have those conversations with ourselves.

It’s much more difficult to say those things out loud, especially to the people we’re closest to and our other halves. It makes death more real. More final. It can make time move so fast that before you know it all the time is gone.

Your feelings are valid and understandable. I hope you can find the support you need to get through this. Perhaps see a counselor ahead of time about things. But I would also spend time asking her about what she wants it to be like when she dies. Where she would like to be.

Who would be there. What everything would smell, sound, and feel like. I think that would make it easier on both of you as far as handling final affairs and working through feelings. And remember that you aren’t alone. I know we’re just strangers on the internet but I’m sure you’ll find the subreddits that cater more specifically to your needs.

And now, OP's first update:

I made this topic in bad faith. I was a hurricane of emotions and in hindsight this was a bad idea. I'm not genuinely angry it's completely understandable why she did. You have to understand though I was blindsided.

I didn't have any time to prepare. It was out of the blue. I had stopped going to her treatments since the cancer was about to head into remission. I wanted too but, she thought it'd be easier if she went alone.

And to you folk saying I'm neglectful to my wife. Wonderful. Glad a person showing emotion is wrong.Was I a bit misplaced? sure and I felt bad about it but, I'm still a hurricane of emotions right now.

Was I self centered? Of course, I'm not stupid. I made this topic in basically a panic. Now that i've had time to think, to process things. I feel this topic was a bad idea and everyone gets the wrong impression.

I get super emotional and don't think rationally. I've always been that way. Hell, I cried during our wedding, I cried when we had our kids. We both are very emotional and aren't afraid to hide them.

Why did she lie? She was understandably numb. She still can barely process the fact her life is going to end soon. It's not easy. We haven't even told our kids yet. I don't even know how to explain to them without horribly traumatizing them. We both have to keep from breaking.

At any rate...I'm scared, I'm hurt because sh'es hurt. I decided to take an extended leave from work and if I don't have a job coming back...oh well. I'd like to spend as much time as possible with her before the end comes.

And now, OP's 2nd update:

Well, I've had time to collect my thoughts. I can't blame her or be mad at her for lying to me. I fully understand. I just get emotional and was overwhelmed. Truth is, all that is minor compared to what's coming.

Well, bad news, she had a seizure monday and we rushed her to the ER. Her timetable has shifted. She'll be lucky to make it through May. As we were told "6 months" is the absolute best situation but, even through May it's not set through stone. It's possible she wont' even last that long.

Her cancer is very aggressive and without treatment it's just everywhere now. It's a matter of which tumor kills her. The tumors have spread, she's got a few small orange sizes pushing into her brain now; and a large soccer ball sized one in her chest.

You can feel it too, it's pushing her ribs out and incredibly painful. The seizures are a bad sign. It's about to get a whole lot worse. She's lost a lot of energy and is in a lot of pain now. She's only awake for a few hours a day, that's all she can handle.

It's scary how fast it came over her. 8 days ago I thought she was fine. Neither of us are ready for the end. We can't even plan farewell party because, our state is locked down.

As for my wife. She's 50/50 the seizure scared her. She's finding it difficult to accept her life is over. Some days she's fine but, other days she's crying and can't accept it. I try my best to remain strong but, it's not easy.

I'm terrified like I've never been before. But, we can't spend all day crying. We're doing the best we can to make as much memories as we can before the end.

We've yet to tell our kids. I don't know exactly how to tell them "your mom is very sick and is going to go to Heaven soon". Neither of us can muster the strength but, we'll have too because, the end is coming.

My youngest is immature for his age and doesn't comprehend death, our daughter who is 13 understands. She's perceptive and knows something is up.

I apologize if I came off as rude in my last post. I was overwhelmed with emotions. I appreciate everyone for the advice. I don't think i'll be returning for another update. I'll probably delete this account in a bit.

OP's 3rd update:

I just want to thank every one of y'all for your warm comments and support. I'm sorry I never got around to replying to most your comments. We just got busy and reddit was the last thing on my mind.

Unfortunately, My Wife passed away Monday. I really want to keep this brief so i apologize. It was just so sudden. We were watching a movie Sunday with our kids and she had a seizure.

We were used to them by now but, this one was really violent, very different. The Nurse called 911 and we rushed her to the ER and that was that. She just never woke up. No final words, nothing, just gone. One moment shes laughing and then the next shes gone.

It's taken a moment to realize she's gone. I'll never see her again. I'm grateful we spent the final days making memories, ensuring we would never forget her. She was a wonderful woman and I will miss her.

I really appreciate everything y'all have done. As I said I won't be replying to most. I don't plan to stick around so please do not give me gold or spend money on me. I don't plan to reveal any personal information or elaborate further.

Still, I genuinely appreciate this sub and the kind people who have given me lots of heartfelt sympathies and advice.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Any advice for him?

Sources: Reddit
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