Marriage non-existent

I don’t know where to start but need to vent.

Hubby and I have been married 3 years, together for 4. For the first 6 months, it was heaven: Lots of sex, he cooked meals for us, talked, helped out in the house.

Since we moved to our house (old one was mine) sex has gradually dwindled.

Just over 2 years ago, he was very stressed at work and eventually left job due to depression. He was out of work for months and sat on his arse playing computer games. The help etc dried up. Meanwhile, I had a v demanding job, was working hard to sort out legal matters for his nan and ended up stressed, depressed and on anti-depressants. I seemed permanently poorly and still carried on looking after him and my family. We had sex 3 times in 2007.

2 Jan 08. Diagnosis. Hubby withdrew still further. We last made love on 31 Jan, the night before my op. I cried buckets as it felt as though I would never make love again. Sadly, it seems my feelings were right.

All through treatment, hubby visited hosp once, came to just 1 of my chemos and I had to go to rads alone. I kept up with housework, shopping etc and still he sat on his arse with the computer games.

I must be mad. I still love him - just - and want him back how he was when we started out. But most of all, I want him to take me in his arms and love me. I’ve tried and tried to show him that I so much want to be treated like a woman, to be his wife, and yet the only roles I’m allowed to fulfil are landlady and skivvy.

I’ve talked to him many times and all he says is that we’ll get back on track…but WHEN precisely? Don’t suggest couple counselling or that he is still depressed and should have gone along with the treatment GP prescribed…he won’t. I’m at my wits’ end and feel so sad that he is not there for me.

I went to the Doc’s today to have a coil fitted, in the hope that no worries might help rekindle the odd flame. Sadly, due to colposcopy a few years ago, that didn’t work. I know no barrier methods are acceptable to him so am left with having to find out whether or not I’m still fertile. Really, really wanted him to hug me and say he loved me - I was so sad and traumatised by the whole damn thing - but no go. He basically sent me off downstairs as he has to get up at 5 tomorrow for work.

Sorry to ramble. I know that it looks unlikely from this that I’ll ever get back on track with this man and I should probably tell him to leave but I do love him still. Besides, I’m a shadow of the girl I was and cannot imagine ever chatting up a stranger again.

I just want to be a normal woman again.

Hi PinkyAnn

Support from nearest and dearest is so important when going through what we are. And it might help you feel more your old self if you had it.

Is he able to explain why things have changed so much? And does he understand how his behaviour affects you? Is he just struggling to deal with the emotion of all that has happened prior to dx and since? Or is he just being selfish and inconsiderate? Does he want to get back on track or is he just paying lip service? Is he happy with how things are? Is it convienient to him? Or is he unhappy deep down. Do you think he still loves you? Do you really want to stay with him and he with you?

personally, I’d approach this like a performance manager but oh so softly softly. I would set a good time and prewarn him whats coming. Then ask him to talk through what he sees as the issues. Agree with him, disagree with him and add to them but come up with an agreed list. Once you’ve outlined the issues I would agree an action plan for changes which you both agree to and timeline them - starting with immeadiate changes. Try to keep both of you objective and focused and take time out if need be but ultimately try to keep going til done. Before you start try to get in his shoes and have a feel from where he might come from but know he might suprise you if you can get him to open up and be genuine. I know its not as easy as it sounds but thats what I would do. in my experience Men hate all the chatter to resolve relationship issues but unless he’s prepared to start working with you on them talking will just keep you walking in circles.

I remember reading that Catherine Zeta Jones believes she and Michael have a good marriage because they respect each other and are nice to each other. I loved that as my hubby and I were rowing a bit at the time (only a bit nothing serious) so we agreed to be nicer and it worked. Things have got to be fairly equal in a relationship with balance however apportioned. Otherwise one is taking mnore than giving and thats not going to sustain happiness long term.

Re contraception, is the cap no option? Are you on hormone therapy? Does your OH use not being prepared to use barrier methods as an excuse? Contraception is a shared responsibility. My OH hates them and we’ve never used them in 9 years but he will use now as no other option at mo. It does sound mean that he wouldn’t comfort you. It worries me that he recognised things are off track but puts up objections to your solutions and needs.

Hope you manage to get somewhere with this. I wouldn’t leave my marriage easily but I wouldn’t allow myself to be treat badley and shown little appreciation, respect, help, support, love or affection. I’d give it so much and then more drastic action would follow - even if just to shake things up. If I went down that route, I’d be prepared for it to be permanent too though if needs be.

Hope this reads okay and is helpful. Its sort of hard to know whats right to say in this way

Take care, sending you a hug XX

Dear PinkyAnn

I am sorry to read you are going through such a difficult time with your husband, you may find it useful to have a look at a couple of BCC booklets aimed at partners of those with breast cancer. You can find these booklets by going to the following links:-

breastcancercare.org.uk//docs/sexuality___feb_08_0.pdf

breastcancercare.org.uk//docs/inittogether_web_0.pdf

I hope you find these helpful.
Best wishes
Lucy

Hi PinkyAnn

There’s a thread you might find very useful - Undergoing treatment: hormone therapy, tamoxifen etc.: Sex and relationships

G X

Good Luck I do hope you can work this all out. xxxxxx

Hi Pinky Ann,
Sorry to hear you are having a rough time and above all are feeling isolated and unloved. I have been having issues with my own OH but mostly related to external stresse and not as bad as yours. It does soiund to me as though things weren’t right for for a while and your diagnosis has just compounded things and provided an excuse / cover for other problems. You need to be honest withyourself here too. There is a web site called net mums which is doing an online couple counselling course. Would you OH be up for doing that? I know it hard to get men to do anything re talking about relationships let alone anything called counselling, but you need to sit down and make it clear to him that YOU are not happy and at the very least you both need to talk things over and things need to change or the relationship will end because for you it cannot continue the way it is. I hope you have good friends who can support you. Good luck. Sending you loads of cyber hugs!!!

sofadoc

Thanks, mates. I will look at the links. Funny you should mention the performanance management thing as I’ve been thinking about that too.

Hard to tell what goes on in hubby’s head. Both his parents died of cancer - dad this year - so it’s really worrying him, and I think his reaction when I was diagnosed (‘Oh bugger, just as things were going right’) was quite telling. He takes the mick mercilessly out of appeals for charity donation…yet what do I find on his bank statement? Regular donations to cancer research.

It is very hard. Some days I don’t think he gives a damn, yet today, I gave him a peck on the cheek on the way off to work and the way he looked at me made it clear that (right then) he loved me.

Oh, and there is the small matter of the fact that there are 3 people in the world I can talk to without feeling like a complete weirdo: Senior daughter, best mate and hubby. To be honest, we’re all a bit odd.

/sigh/ it’s not easy but I must get some sort of action.
x

I think because bc is such a cruel disease and attacks all the feminine bits and bobs it sends our confidence into freefall. Sometinmes the look of love , a simple touch, can help in a way we never thought possible. Good luck dont give up just keep telling him you love him, because reading this I think you really do and I think he loves you too.
Love Debsxxx

Totally agree with Debs comments above - perfectly put!

Have had very difficult talk and hubby acknowledges that things have been ‘a bit awkward’ of late and also that he hasn’t worked through relationship difficulties before. Having talked seems to have made things a bit better and I was impressed that he could admit things aren’t 100%. I will leave him to have a think and then mention the netmums course, which looks like a useful way to get talking.

Had a lovely hour or so with him today, admiring the new songs he’s writing. Haven’t done that for ages and I love it. Must tell him.