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Woman reaches breaking point, 'My husband is using his cancer against me.' AITA? UPDATED 3X

Woman reaches breaking point, 'My husband is using his cancer against me.' AITA? UPDATED 3X


When this woman reaches her breaking point with her husband who has terminal cancer, she asks Reddit:

"AITA for reaching my breaking point with my husband who has cancer?"

3 years ago I told my husband I wanted a divorce, and a week later he was diagnosed with brain cancer. We have kids. So I stayed and told him I would see him through. It's been almost 3 years to the day, and it's just getting worse and worse every day.

He's mean to me, he lies about his condition to everyone including me, he won't see a therapist or a social worker and that's just for the illness. He is using his cancer against me. Not to mention he doesn't help around the house, there's no quality time or intimacy in our relationship (and I don't mean se%).

And I say these things because he's still functioning fine. He works, he hangs out with his friends. I feel like he's only mean to me.

I just feel like I am 3 years past my breaking point and I don't know how much further I can go. I want to leave so bad. But what kind of person walks away from someone who is dying from cancer? Who does that? Someone obviously horrible right? Am I wrong?

Then OP provides this first update, which has more details about her husband's cancer:

It's a stage 4 glioblastoma and gliosarcoma. It's in his brain. It's terminal. They just don't know when. He's had two surgeries, 2 rounds of radiation both a month each, and multiple rounds of chemo.

He does truly have cancer. I've been to appointments, I've spoken to doctors, I've seen the scans, and I was there for the surgeries. It's a real diagnosis

Then OP provides this second udpate, which includes a story about one of his MRIs:

He once came home and told me an MRI was all clear. We went out to dinner with our kids to celebrate. Told them the good news. Then a few hours later he said ok I just wanted to tell you there's another tumor and I have to have surgery again.

Some days he'll tell me he feels great but when we go to the doctor he tells them he feels awful or vice versa. I never know what's truly going on. I know that the diagnosis is terminal and that it is going to kill him.

They won't say how long he has because they truly don't know, and it's a guessing game with him because no one knows exactly how he's truly feeling

Won't be survivors benefits, we're in our 30-40s. But I will get a bit of life insurance, but not much. I'm not staying for the glory. Trust me when I say there's no glory in this.

purpleguna writes:

You're not wrong, OP. Consider this: cancer hits women much harder than men - and husbands STILL divorce their wives when they're fighting cancer. There is absolutely nothing to stop you from divorcing your cancer-stricken husband. Ask yourself this question: "If I was the one with cancer, would he divorce me?" And answer it honestly, even if it hurts because you know that he would leave you. Then govern yourself accordingly.

burneraccou7 writes:

My mother was absolutely vile to my father when she had glioblastoma. He still stuck it out even though his life was miserable and I respect him very much as a person for doing so. In my opinion if you opted to be married, it should be for better or for worse.

He probably feels severely emasculated and felt like you stayed with him out of pity, which kind of sounds like the case.

You should give serious thought into sticking it out and trying to mend things so he can die peacefully. Death from brain cancer is terrible as you lose all sense of self and will certainly get to a point where you can not take care of yourself.

At least this way YOU will not go on with a guilty conscious and did your best. Just my opinion from someone who witnessed events unfold in my house growing up.

solsavincet writes:

NTA. If you had a great relationship beforehand and now just wanted a divorce purely because supporting him through cancer was hard, then that would be an AH move, and I guess that's what it feels like you're doing when asking this question.

But that's not what you're doing. You want to divorce him because he's an AH. You've managed to stick it out for 3 years to support him through this while he continues to be an AH, which on your side is about the least AH thing anyone could possibly do.

But it doesn't change the fact that he is an AH and you are well within your rights to leave because of that.

pmmarmot writes:

The majority of men leave their wives while they are in the first round of chemo. The majority. In my oncology office it's called the chemo-quit.

Here's some stats: A 2009 study found that men are more likely to leave their spouse if they receive a cancer diagnosis. The study found that men are six times more likely to leave a spouse if they receive a cancer diagnosis, compared to women, and 10 times for MS.

The study also found that men are seven times more likely to leave their partner if one of them has brain cancer.

The study also found that the rate of divorce or separation among male cancer patients and their partners is 2.6 percent, which far less than the general population rate of 11 percent.

The take away is women stay if men get sick, men leave if women get sick. If you want out, get MS, he will ditch you faster than he can metastasize? Congratulations you are a statistic.

ccdlin8 writes:

Well... Behavioural changes associated with his brain notwithstanding - You told him you wanted a divorce, If I had been in that situation when I got MY diagnosis, I'd probably check out too.

He's probably wondering why you're still there, if you have been cheating, etc. Coming home is a reminder of that difficult conversation. Why don't you ask him? In a calm, level-headed discussion.

Additionally, work and social meets are probably positive outlets for him, he gets to feel useful, even accomplished and wanted, the opposite of what you're offering. He knows eventually you will walk.

I have a different cancer, but after being 'business friendly' all day, I am done - I have to overdo it to do work or social events, so when I am in my private space, I just want silence and/or my bed So walk.

EVERY DAY will be different for him, mood, pain, etc.. him telling you one thing and telling the Dr another might just reflect that process.

mintek writes:

Start taking some time away. If you have a place to go for the night, friends, b and b, hotel, parents, go.

As soo has he's rude, you can lay down a boundary, if you talk to me like that again I'm leaving for the night. Don't defend, just go.

When you come back, an if he starts again, just go. He refuses to get therapy, but honestly he likes having someone to take his pain, yoh are an emotional punching bag. Being shit on for three years has probably chipped away at your self esteem and sense of worth. And ypu are DEEP in the FOG. (Fear, Obligation, Guilt).

How you pull put of it is heavy therapy, and less contact from the abusive party. Which, I know, is hard. But if you are still hanging on, ypu need boundaries. Like not answering the phone if you leave, texts only, if it's an emergency, you call the ambulance.

The reason I say do not answer the phone, is, he's had years to install guilt buttons in you, to take his shit, to come back, to feel guilt. If he has access to you ,, you go back. But girl, you deserve a night to sleep, eat out, scroll your phone, be with a friend or family member.

Hell, you may even start to look forward to his rages so you can flounce out the door. Lol. Working that in tandem with therapy will most likely get you mentally where you can either power through or leave.

But make no mistake, you deserve to be treated well, and you deserve to have a therapist that you don't feel guilty talking too. I saw they have kids together, this makes it much harder. But not impossible.

Therapy for the kids, and I would look at getting a place for you and some space for the kids to come with you as well. I don't know thier ages , but if it's doable they may want to avoid his tyraids as well.

profeshemu7 writes:

Cancer can make some people incredibly selfish, which, to a point, is very fair. They are angry they have a fluid expiration date and living with that uncertainty can be hell.

You are the person closest to him so he may feel like he can behave how he likes and you will always forgive him BUT having cancer doesn't give him the excuse to treat you like a verbal punching bag.

If you walk away, you aren't walking away from someone with cancer, you are walking away from a situation that is highly damaging to your mental health. If at all possible, if you can get some therapy through a cancer foundation or similar, I would suggest you try that.

They will give you ideas on how to navigate all of this. I wish you the best of luck, no matter which way you decide to deal with this.

Looks like OP is NTA here. But should she just go ahead and leave? What would YOU do in her position?

Sources: Reddit
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