Unfaithful husband

Hello - i am 42 , married with 2 young kids and was dx last July with an mx and expander in August reconstruction followed in December and I have been on Tamoxifen for about a month.

Last week I found out that my husband had been unfaithful to me - effectively he had a mistress abroad who he could visit whilst on business. It started in October and then restarted in February. I caught him out and it has stopped with assurances it will never happen again - that he has always been faithful until then and that he found the pressure of being a breast cancer husband so much that he needed an escape ie her !!

What on earth shall I do ?! Has anyone else had experience of a husband reacting like this ? How can I ever forgive and trust him again ?

Hi Cazza
Im sorry to read of your hubby troubles. I havnt had same situation, but, as Ive used this forum for three years, Ive sadly seen several threads on this topic. Im sure others with direct experience will be along to help you ‘get your head’ round the situation.
Suffice to say, men dont always deal with their partners BC well…
Best wishes


Hi , I didnt want to read and move on without showing some support here.
Firstly, the fact he has used your condition to justify his own behaviour is pretty low and shallow.
He has been caught out, so it’s easier for him to use your ‘lack of support’ to him as a way to justify his actions andinfidelity.
Please try NOT to deal with this as a woman who has had breast cancer, please deal with it as a woman who has been let down.
Dont try to make sense of his actions while you were otherwise ‘engaged’, deal with this as though you didn’t have cancer, how differently would you feel. You must feel so let down and betrayed, which probably hurts more now that you have been ‘his excuse’ for his infidelity…
You must decide if the marriage is worth saving for ‘you’… Too many times us woman keep it going for the sake of the kids, that is important to consider, but you must walk tall for you, don’t feel that you must put up, don’t be the one prepared to bow down.
You are feeling too many emotions right now, vulnerable, tired and ‘different’ from Tamoxifen, maybe not as attractive now ‘body image’ issues from surgery, to make any decisions. I would suggest a counsellor who deals with this type of let down. Your husband used your cancer as an excuse, so we are not dealing with him saying that he fell out of love with you. You need ‘special’ advice one that deals with YOU.
I hope you find strength
Maggie x

I disagree with the previous poster - if it were me, I would very much look upon it from the point of view of a woman with breast cancer, because that is precisely the context in which this previously uncharacteristic behaviour on the part of your husbnand occurred. How can you NOT consider it in context?

Right now, this is very new, and you are furiously angry with him and deeply hurt, not to mention vulnerable and frightened and weak from the breast cancer and surgery. But decisions made in the extremes of emotional upset are often not necessarily ones that are in your own best interests, or those of your children.

I’m not going to try to excuse your husband’s behaviour, because it would have been an awful lot better if you hadn’t had to deal with such a horrible betrayal right now, but it’s important to remember that a diagnosis of breast cancer has a devastating effect on our nearest and dearest, and not just on us.

I would imagine that your husband is absolutely terrified of losing you, of what might happen next; and he’s probably never had to deal with a life-threatening disease before, in any context. It’s all a massive shock to the system. and people, and by people I mean men, because it’s usually men, find different ways of escaping from these kind of stress levels in such dire circumstances: drink, drugs, sex with strangers, just upping sticks and leaving altogether. It’s not admirable, but it happens. An awful lot of men simply leave partners with serious illnesses, while women rarely do; there are lots of statistics on this.

If you love your husband, if he’s a good father and not a serial adulterer, and has simply cracked temporarily under the strain, then I wouldn’t do anything in a hurry.

You’re both going through a terrible time, and he has failed you once - it doesn’t necessarily mean he will fail you again. Your illness is still quite new, but its legacy is going to be with you for a long time - you will need his support. You have a whole history, a family, a life together - I hope you can get though this, and come out the other side, without losing all that.

I know how very angry and hurt you are right now, but take a deep breath, and try to stay calm.

Best wishes and good luck xxx

Hi Cazza,
What an awfull thing for you to be going through , being unfaithfull is unforgivable in my view and if it were me i think i would kick him into touch and find someone who loved me for who i realy was ,breast cancer and all, (but thats just me).There realy is no excuse for husbands or partners cheating ,breast cancer or not, YOU are the one who is going through this awfull difficult time, copeing with this desease and all its horrible treatments and the awfull emotional impact that haveing BC brings , you deseve to have someone who will be supportive and understanding not someone who is only thinking of himself and his own needs. There realy is no excuse for infidelity in my opinion. (sorry proberly not what you want to hear) but that is my own view .
I hope whatever you decide to do Cazza that everything works out for you , always remember that breast cancer does not define the person you are inside , and if your husband cant see that, then maybe you are better off without him.
All the best to you pet
Linda xx

To Cazza40
This happened to me last year , not my husband but boyfriend was cheating on me for many months whilst I was in chemo.

I felt let down betrayed. He said he could not cope with me being ill or the thought of him losing me to cancer.
Like a fool I forgave him and he went and cheated again on me.
I would never trust him again and happy to being single now .
Going on my first date on Sunday to try and start and have a normal life again
Hugs to you

Rosie xx

Why are men so weak at times ? They pretend to be big and strong but underneath they are vulnerable and cannot cope . BUT having an affair is not necessary to feel okay about themselves. They must not use BC as an excuse to embark on another relationship. We need their love help and support more than ever. WE are strong and look after them so much. It is time to make them tough inside and see that the world can be a hard place, nobody said it was going to be easy. Why should we cope alone ?
Sending you lots of love and gentle hugs to cope at this awful time. Tracy xxx

I am sorry to hear what has happened to you. I believe that with time and maybe some couple counselling you can try to work through it. Whatever the outcome you have to decide what is best for you. Relate do couple counselling to help people work through the issues. I believe using your bc as an excuse is unacceptable. More likely he was feeling neglected and scared but that is not your fault.
i have only recently been diagnosed and can already see a change in my husband’s behaviour. He seems angry and snappy. I feel guilty for having cancer and not being able to focus time and energy on him and our relationship as I previously have. I have considered using relate myself.

I am totaly agree with Maggie1964 . But an other things are We can not make anyone love us with breast cancer in some way maimed. I think it is not fair. I immediately told my husband that if he can not accept and cope then do not need. I dont want to put him all life to suffer of my body. It was before my mastectomy. May be you have speak to him and faind out what the reasson exactly it is. May be before all your health problems he was thinking of this - just was not reasson to do? I know this things are boody horrible and cruel but life is life and nothing is forever. Even love.

I too agree with Maggie. The counselling should be for you. It is you that deserves it. I know you must be feeling let down and fed up but please ask for help if you need it. Dont try and be strong all on your own, involve your family and friends .
We are all thinking of you and sending you gentle hugs. Love Tracy xxx

I can only speak for myself but my head has been tourtured since diagnosis, god knows how my husband feels. Breast cancer affects not only the sufferer but the whole family and if your husband has pressed the self district button to cope then maybe it is about looking beyond what is acceptable. It is a difficult journey for us all, life is too short if you love him and he is sorry then it is about understanding why? Good luck I hope you can resolve your problems.

Cazza40 at the end of the day you must do what is right for you and only you can decide what that is whether you forgive him or kick him in to touch it has to be your decision but let family and friends be there for you xxx