Sasha Answers: Love after cancer
Hi Sasha - I am a 45 yr old woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer last April (2013). I have been married to my husband since 2007 but had been dating him off and on since 1998 before we decided to get married. It is the first marriage for both and we have no children. We have had our share of ups and downs prior to my diagnosis. We argue...about everything...but I have to be honest that Ive never felt truly happy since we got married. I love him but I don't believe it is the way I should be in love. Then BOOM. My entire life changed with my diagnosis. I under went 20 weeks of chemotherapy and then had a mastectomy. I have finally received a clean bill of health (knock on wood) after battling for the last 8 months. My entire perspective on life and happiness and the future has been truly altered. I am a new person now and I don't want to live with anymore unhappiness. I feel I should be happy every single day. My husband on the other hand, never truly grasped the severity of the situation and now that I am through it....often acts like it never happened. Continues to be a grouch and argumentative. My family and friends are fed up with seeing his lousy disposition all the time. I want to separate but feel guilty about this. There isn't any HUGE single issue...it is everything, but mostly how I feel now. Would love to know what you think? B
First off B, right the f-ck on for kicking that asshole of a disease right in the nuts. I'm so happy to hear that you came out on the winning side of this fight; as you know, many people don’t come out the other side, so it's wonderful that you have this new found respect and appreciation of life. If there is anything positive that comes from this horrid disease, it’s that. And I'm with you; I absolutely think that you - in fact, all of us - should be striving for happiness every day.
So now, let’s talk about your husband here for a second, because I have to say it’s pretty surprising to hear that he was, and still is, so disconnected from your experience. Have you pressed him to find out why? I think you may want to poke around there, because what you may have perceived as indifference could really have been a coping mechanism for being scared sh-tless. I'm not excusing his behaviour, because to be honest, no matter what his answer is, it’s still crap that you felt like he wasn't there for you. But I guess what I'm hoping for here is an attempt to open the lines of communication between the two of you. I think you owe it to your relationship to give him the opportunity.
It reminds me of that song “Say Something” (attached below) - have you heard it? It’s all about giving your partner that one chance to reverse it all, and that one chance to speak up and save the relationship. I could be on my period every time I listen to it, but it makes me cry every time.
Look B, ultimately the decision is up to you, but it’s plain and simple to me – if you’re no longer happy in this relationship, if it no longer fulfils you, if it’s starting to feel like its own emotional cancer, then you've got to take a hold of your life once again and fight for what you want.
Thanks for writing in and keep me posted! xx