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Woman refuses to let cancer-stricken husband stay with her during treatment; 'Not after all we've been through.' AITA? UPDATED 4X

Woman refuses to let cancer-stricken husband stay with her during treatment; 'Not after all we've been through.' AITA? UPDATED 4X


When this woman doesn't know if she's being a bad wife or not, she asks the internet:

"WIBTA for not having my cancer stricken ex husband stay with me through his treatment?"

For most of our marriage my husband (39M) and I (37F) had a very happy relationship. We had good jobs, decent money, two kids and loved each other. Then he got diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and we went through years of painful treatments and recovery together.

We moved to a small house to be close to the research center where he underwent treatment. His parents paid half of the down payment on the house, the other half was from our savings and investments. In the divorce he gave me the house and took all of his medical debt.

We have been divorced a year, but now his cancer has come back and he needs treatment again at the same research hospital.

He wants to stay in what is now my house while undergoing treatment and his parents expect me to house him and look after him because he was generous in letting me have the house without taking his rightful share from the equity.

When we were married and he was undergoing treatment, it was new stuff that was expensive and also very physically draining on him. We were lucky that both our jobs were supportive and flexible, but with his health issues, little kids and expenses, we had to downgrade our lifestyle a lot.

That plus the physical changes in his body made him very depressed. Whenever he felt a bit better, he'd go stay in his hometown. It's a small town where most of his family and a lot of his childhood friends live.

I was doing all the care-taking of him, while also dealing with insurance complications. I was also managing the kids, the entire household and my full time job. We had help from friends and neighbors but it was very hard.

I wasn’t happy about him spending his healthy days away from us, but it was good for his mental health so I didn’t feel like I could object.

While he was staying there he had reconnected with his high school girlfriend. A couple years ago he admitted to me that he was sleeping with her and I filed for divorce. He had fully recovered from his cancer by then.

There are other aspects around the cheating that left me very heartbroken and feeling betrayed. His giving me the house and taking all the debt was an apology of a sort.

His parents feel that I owe him for getting the house and should let him stay there for the 2-3 months his treatment is at the facility. I do want him to be well and I don't want my kids to lose a loving father.

But I can't deal with having him around me, especially not if I end up being his nurse and caretaker again. I am still very bitter about how our marriage ended. A lot of people close to me are telling me that I should support him for the sake of my kids. WIBTA if I say I can't do that?

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

teresaj writes:

NTA. You received the house as part of your divorce settlement. You could have gotten his retirement accounts or something similar instead of the house, if there were such assets to be had.

Stop thinking of the house as being "given" to you. It was awarded to you as part of the divorce settlement, not "given" to you as prepayment for future caregiving.

But you getting assets from the divorce don't entitled your cheating Ex to free housing, utilities, food, and caregiving. Your Ex and his AP can find their own housing near a cancer center.

If it's important to his parents that your Ex get care and housing, they can figure out how to help provide that. He's your Ex which means that it's no longer your responsibility.

"While I empathize with Ex's plight, I won't be housing nor providing care for him. Due to the circumstances of our divorce, it wouldn't be appropriate for me to provide those services.

At this time, Ex needs the support of his family and close friends more than ever, and I am not longer either of those. I hope that Ex recovers from his illness quickly, and I'll be praying for him."

tata writes:

NTA. If his parents has enough money to put a down payment on the house, they have enough to rent him an apartment for a few months, along with a caretaker.

I don’t even know why his parents are getting involved, though. Tell your ex that while you wish him well in his treatment and recovery, you are not in the same place that you were when he had it the first time.

And the fact that all those warm and fuzzy feelings are fine is due to that fact that he cheated on you - the woman who stood by him while he has cancer.

I really don’t understand why you should do it again (and the excuse of the house is pathetic - you are 100% correct to be worried about caretaking). Anybody who has an issue with it - he can explain the truth as to why you’re not willing to look after him now.

I am still astounded by this audacity to ask to stay, and even more so by the gaslighting to say that he was generous. Do they really not know why he gave you the house in full? Does he really think you owe him anything?

iamgrott writes:

At first I was going to say YTA. The beginning of your story sounded like you guys had a good relationship/life, he got cancer, it became too much to deal with a sick husband, and so you bailed...

but then I kept worked, took care of the house, the kids, and your cancer stricken wouldn't even object when he would spend his healthier days in his hometown...

away from you and your kids even though it hurt you because you wanted him to feel happy, etc..and he repays you by cheating on you? NAH..most definitely NTA. You deserve so much more, and while I pray he'll beat cancer again (for your kids sake) you should not be his nurse again. He has a gf for that.

quilver writes:

NTA. OP, I hope you read this. TL;DR spoiler: your kids should get the good days this time. When I read through the paragraphs about how your ex-husband spent his good days in his hometown...

I got confused, because I would spend my good days with my husband and two children, because I love them more than anyone.

Then I read that he was cheating on you. And I went, "Oh, there it is." The people who think you should support him for the sake of your kids are misguided.

The physical and emotional care support he needs should be provided by his current spouse. You will in fact be providing support by taking care of the children.

I'm sure your children understand that their father left their mother by his choice. Having him stay with you could be very dysfunctional for them. They already had to process the divorce.

You don't want to give them false hope that you're getting back together. You also wouldn't want the spouse visiting, because, frankly, how dare she, and also the kids probably resent her like crazy.

When he was sick the first time, he wasn't sure if he would live, and he spent what could've been his last good days with his old flame rather than his kids. For your children's sake, I hope he survives this time too.

But this time around, his old flame can take the bad days and you can drop your kids off to visit him on his good days. THEY GET THE GOOD DAYS THIS TIME!

And now, OP's updates:

I am struggling with this so much. I don't think I hate him, a part of me still loves him as an old friend. I definitely wouldn't want my kids to suffer the devastation of losing their father. He loves them and is loved by them.

When I look at it as an outside observer, I can understand what he was going through in falling in love with someone else. During the worst parts of his illness I was frequently cleaning up after him, his vomiting, his loss of bowel control. I pulled muscles and injured myself helping him move.

He found that emasculating. So I can see how he'd find it appealing that someone still saw him as the old him when he was healthy and strong and I became the nurse figure. So I tell myself that and I don't hate him.

But I went years without se% because he was sick. The loss of libido was an expected temporary side effect of his medication.

I accepted that and made do with being celibate. I feel guilty talking about how painful it was because I should be greatful he survived and that is so trivial given the situation.

But I would m~be in hiding, didn't even get a v&%$r because I didn't want him feel bad or awful for not being able to do it. And all this time I was making do thinking he wasn't able to, he was sleeping with a whole another person. And that disloyalty still makes me cry.

Update 2:

OP: The last time I did it out of love, I can just not do it now. It was very difficult. The big upside to me in getting divorced was not having to deal with that anymore.

As difficult as it is to take care of a sick person, dealing with the insurance bureaucracy and keeping track of all the medical contacts and treatment details is a pretty big logistical nightmare.

Maybe for the sake of his children you could allow him to stay there but he or his parents pay for a nurse or aid to care for him.

You are certainly not obligated to help him in anyway, but your children are old enough to know he's ill and if you choose not to help him, it will likely adversely impact your relationship with your kids.

If not now, later, especially if something happens to him and he dies, if you dont help him, i fear they will blame you for not.helping him by at least allowing him to stay there.

OP: I hadn't started thinking on those terms yet, but yes you are right, I have to measure how my kids will react to this. I haven't told them yet that he is sick again.

They were very little back then and only knew that Dad was sick and got better. Now my oldest is big enough to understand cancer and what that means. My ex has been the fun Disney dad since we separated. They adore him.

.The chances of his parents being unaware that their son was sleeping with his high school girlfriend when he came home is zero.

OP: Oh they knew and supported him. They were always good to me so it wasn't like they wanted to break up my marriage, but they were in whatever makes him happy because he survived cancer.

I think he received some sideeye for this from people who knew what we went through. And my ex inlaws did damage control by making overly gushing social media posts about how the gf always looked out for him and made him laugh when they were kids and did it again when he was going through a hard time.

As if her comedy skills are what cured his cancer. I was just the background maid/nanny/assistant character that can be ignored.

.About the inlaws: They are my kids grandparents, the only loving grandparents my kids have. They dote on my kids and drive hours to spend time with them and take them places. I resent them, but they are good grandparents.

Update 3:

Update: WIBTA for not having my cancer stricken ex husband stay with me through his treatment?

The Sunday after I made the post to AITA, my ex inlaws picked up the kids for a zoo trip. They sometimes come to pick them up to entertain them and so I thought nothing of it. A few hours later a very teary and contrite MIL dropped off two bawling kids with me.

She told them their Dad is sick and will die if he doesn’t stay with us and go to the hospital. We hadn’t had a talk with the kids yet about the diagnosis and she dropped it on them that he is dying from cancer. He is not dying! It’s a painful treatment but he’ll recover.

I was so furious I was raging. I called the ex and tore him a new one. He was shocked too and we together exploded at his Mom. She broke down and cried begging me to not take away her grandkids from her, as if I’d trust her after this.

Ex and I together talked to the kids (him on video) and assured them that yes he is sick but he’ll be fine. He just needs to go to the hospital and they’ll make him better like the last time he was sick.

The kids settled after that but my oldest has been at me crying and begging to make Dad come live with us. I promised them I’d talk to Dad and figure out what's the best thing to do.

I swallowed a lot of bile to talk to him about why he was doing this. We had a pretty long and detailed discussion. The bottom line is that he’s broke, he still has a decent job but his credit is ruined, he has a lot of debt and he stupidly got the cheapest insurance that barely covers anything.

Fiancee is no help either, she’s worse off financially. So he needs a place to stay, he can’t afford this otherwise. His parents are funding some of his medical payments and are already stretched. He was financially alright when we broke up so I have no idea what happened in such a short time.

Anyway, ex and his gf moved into my daughter’s room. My daughter happily gave it up to her Dad and is sharing her little brother’s room. Both kids are over the moon happy to have their Dad in their home.

My daughter keeps checking on him every few minutes to make sure he’s still ok. MIL traumatized my kid, I’ll never forgive that woman for this.

I let the gf move in with him because I was too angry to care about who came to look after him as long as it wasn’t me. I didn’t know how I could bear having her in my home, but it appears to be more misery for her than me and that strangely makes it more tolerable for me.

She is teary eyed and crying all the time. It’s only been three days but I am so annoyed I want to shake her and tell her to pull it together. The current treatment plan is for 3 months, I am counting down the days.

I am thankful for the many people who gave me great advice on my last post. I wasn’t expecting things to go this way, but they played me by manipulating my kids. I’ll slowly pull myself and the kids away and move, but for now I’ve to deal with this for my kids sake.

I was trying to make this update more than a week ago. So to add to that, ex's treatment is coming along nicely. The tumors that grew again are much smaller than before and the new stuff that they are giving him is more directed too so he's not having as many bad symptoms as he had last time.

I had promised myself I would do nothing to help and I stayed away from both ex and his fiance. But I did end up helping him deal with insurance.

His fiance has the personality of a wet noodle and cries all the time, it was easier for me to do it than deal with her struggling. Ex is polite enough to me, but his personality has changed. He is a different person and not very nice towards his fiance. I didn't expect to, but I feel sorry for her.

Update 4:

I haven't dated yet since the divorce. I want to, but online dating scares me and my social life revolves around my kids. I am pretending to have plans just so I am dressed and out and feel good about myself. I didn't leave the kids with them though. I managed to arrange sleepover for kids with their friends on those nights.

I have been amazed by how much love and support my kids and I are receiving from our neighbors and friends. I told a few close people whats going on and I suppose most people know now. I have received a lot of offers for help, people can be kind.

We got invited to a camping trip on easter weekend and I am taking kids to that. Ex-MIL was making noises about having kids over and I've shut that down.

I am just trying to protect my kids and my sanity. I am keeping myself very busy and staying on task. I am working hard to avoid thinking things because that way is misery.

This is very petty of me, but I have to admit that seeing they are not doing well has been somewhat mollifying for me, emotionally.

Might be worth looking into dating events that companies run, might be a smoother way into the re-introduction to dating world (when your ready) than dating sites.

I haven't done online dating, but a friend of mine just married her husband who she met at a dating baking class, have a look at what's in your area!

I need to look into dating events, I didn't know this was a thing. I need a detailed guide on how to do these things now!

I have started looking into selling and am researching places to move to. But it is so very difficult. I don't have the budget to put the house on the market while I live elsewhere, especially if it takes longer than two months to sell. I also don't feel secure opening the house for showings while my kids and I live here.

The other issue is that I dont have close family I can rely on and here in this neighborhood I had built up an awesome support system between neighbors and friends. Giving that up and starting somewhere new with two little kids in tow is daunting.

I am trying to evaluate which option is the bigger con. Is an alternative sitting down with your husband and kids to explain this is a one-time offer? After these three months are up, they need to start saving and planning for any future care.

Talked to my ex about it before he moved here. He agreed never again. With my daughter though ... I am going to wait to have that conversation when she's not so freaked out about her Dad's mortality.

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

Sources: Reddit
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