struggling with my relationship

Hi, i had a mastectomy nearly two years ago and recovered well, haven’t had reconstruction yet as i have had a shed load of health problems which has delayed it i have been so desperate to have the op as i can’t bear seeing myself naked and feel my husband must feel the same way even though he has told me a thousand times it doesn’t matter i don’t believe him. Anyway we have been struggling along most of the time happily until recently i have really hit a wall and get very down no matter what i do to get out of it. My gp has given me anti-depressants which my husband and family tut over as though they are my jury, recently when we were having yet another loud discussion my husband said he felt i showed him no love, affection or attention. I was devastated and he realised how his words have hurt me and yes he said they were only words, however i now feel almost as if he has betrayed me and feel that i want to distance myself from him. He was hugely supportive and always has been but i think i have made such a good job (or so i thought) at running around keeping everybody happy as if nothing has happened this has been a slap in the face for me. He says that im so busy with our family he feels we have nothing together, i already felt that i didn’t have much confidence and low self esteem and now because of his honesty i feel ten times worse. I feel angry and that i have let everyone down and i don’t know how to deal with it. Lin lin

Hi Lin Lin

First of all, I am sorry that all this has happened to you. I am no counsellor, but my biggest concern would be that you are suffering from depression. This horrible illness distorts all thoughts, all perceptions, everything. So when you husband tells you he doesnt find you unattractive, you can’t believe him etc. You need to get this depression treated and your husband needs to understand that at the moment, you are most definitely not yourself. You won’t be able to make decisions too well or think straight, so don’t make any important decisions until you are feelilng better. As for your family judging you on antidepressants, people who haven’t suffered the pain of depression think you are stringing them on and can somehow snap out of it at will. They simply dont understand and often are frightened. Have you seen a counsellor? They will help you make sense of your problems and along with the pills, help you feel better.

Please get your doctor to refer you or try Depression Alliance for help - you will get better, believe me!


Dear Linlin

I just wanted to echo Cathy’s advice for you to call for some help, our helpliners will be able to suggest where to go to get the help you need. If you feel able to call our helpline they will offer you some one to one support and advice regarding further support you can access to help you through this difficult time. The number is 0808 800 6000 and the line is open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and Sat 9am-2pm.

Best wishes

HI Lin Lin - Sorry that this is such a horrible time for you and I hope you get effective help for your depression. Men are sometimes rather simple creatures! Your OH has been telling you he loves you and he does not mind how you look. He is frustrated that you can not believe him. But it’s true. To him you are the sexy woman he loves and all he wants is you to have the confidence to respond to him and his love for you. He’s frustrated that you can’t accept that what he says is what he really feels. He doesn’t care less if the house is tidy, if you are holding it all together and being strong for the family or anything else - paramount to him is to know you still love him!! You say he has been wonderfully supportive and I hope you can forgive him what he said, feel less slapped in the face, and more understanding that he loves you, and wants to feel loved in return. You are both really emotionally vulnerable and have been through so much - time to face the world together - don’t let this tear you apart. Good luck! Sarah xx