Same As Yours

We've been married 12 years. Three years ago she was diagnosed with cancer. Two years ago she became distant and secretive. One and a half years ago we stopped being intimate. Last year she started sleeping alone. She is sweet to me most days and likes when I hug or kiss her but won't allow anything more. I love her but often feel like a sucker for staying with her. My first wife cheated on me before dying of cancer. It's like being haunted. I'm at a loss.
GiveItToMikey GiveItToMikey
46-50, M
4 Responses Nov 18, 2012

You've heard of karma? I think there's some unfinished business between you and not sure what.



I have one sympathy vote to cast and I'm giving it to you. I have no idea what it must be like but even the idea of being the heel to a 'down-grader' doesn't sound like much fun to me at all. Always there is the notion hanging in the air of being 'second-best', of being a disappointment. Even if she was being abused, of fantasizing what if there hadn't been the abuse. It is possible that you have always been fighting against that. Only you can know for sure. And maybe all it has taken is a stab here, a pinch there and it has all unravelled. Has the thought ever crossed your mind that it wasn't 'if' but 'when'?

By the way, what is it with the "GiveItTo"? Sex? Two smoking barrels? I sincerely hope not.

I really find the notion that you are supposed to be her "supreme protector" or whatever extremely offensive for all sorts of reasons that make me weary to even put pen to paper over. But just let's say that it isn't exactly a great message for the great equaliser campaign. As for what it might say about "In sickness and health" and all that palaver is another discussion for another time. With the cascade of events that befell you both you needed to be able to lean on one another but that just didn't happen, and there has been nothing but recriminations and humiliation ever since.

The others are right, you are looking at a total write off and it looks to me as if you are engaged in a de facto damage-limitation exercise, especially in respect of access to your son.

Can I just wish you a bit of luck for the future. Everyone deserves it sometime, well most people.

I put the Give it to Mikey explanation below (responding to the wrong person). I'm not actually named Mike.

Your wife does not want a true partner, but rather someone who will take care of her. You are not to blame for her xcancer or the WFC. If those things combined unfortunately to reduce your income and your assets, this can NOT be your fault IMO.

However, what I believe is immaterial - I am not your wife. If your wife no longer respects or honours you, it is unlikely you can get back to a basis where your marriage will be happy and fulfilling for you both.

Her refusal to continue with marriage counselling is NOT a good sign. I think you need tp prepare for the fact that your marriage is essentially over. Then have a serious talk with her in which you both lay ALL your cards on the table. No aminosity, accusations or aggression - justy honest opinions and thoughts about your joint future. . . .

Give it to Mikey was a phrase from a Life cereal commercial from the 1970s. No one wanted to try it so they decided to give it to Mikey, presumably one of the boys' little brother. It follows, that Mikey tried Life cereal and liked it. It's just so hard coming up with screen names and this one popped into my head.


With no back story to put this into context, commenting is like a game of "20 Questions".

Did she receive any post treatment counselling ? Or is she seeking any now ? Are you in (or have you been) in a support group for spouses / family of cancer patients ?

If not, then they would likely be very good things to source and get involved in.

If, however, they have been trialled and proven of no value, then that puts you squarely in the **** with the rest of us with the same limited and unpalatable choices staring you in the face.

Tread your own path.

Her cancer is very rare and she's
decided simply to trust her oncologist and otherwise put it out of her mind.

I went to a support group until she found out and was displeased. We tried marriage counseling but she quit after several sessions.

Between her illness, my loss of a job, and our bankruptcy (losing all of our rentals), I was briefly hospitalized with depression. Once I returned home she dropped hints that I wasn't a real man.

She's since communicated with old boyfriends via email, but all I've seen is that she's received mail. So who knows if she's just reconnecting or cheating.

I think I'm just caught on the same road to nowhere as others I've read about here.

As a final note, we have a young son who I'd rather see as a married dad than as a divorced one, every other weekend.


Yep, you are deep in the **** with the rest of us, and you are choosing to stay in it.
You have checked out with a lawyer in your jurisdiction about how a divorce would actually shake out for you ?? and that the co-parenting would be as you say for sure ?

This is what I'm reading: While she was focused on trying to stay alive you managed to lose your job and all sources of income. This may or may not have been due to forces under your control. Regardless of reason all that matters is that she perceives it as a failure to protect on your part.

Those weren't hints. She no longer sees you as a man. No woman will sleep with or become aroused by a man she can't trust to protect her. Fix that problem and the other will solve itself.

You are absolutely right.

Just to get it off my chest, I'd like to fill in the blanks of my story. Catharsis, you know.

My company reorganized and I ended up losing a higher paying job for a lower paying one. All told, I lost around 20% of my previous salary. I've been looking elsewhere for the past four years with only a few nibbles but no bites. Seems I have too much education, too much experience in the same company, and too many gray hairs.

As for the rentals, they were mainly her idea. We had no other investments. After the housing crash, we couldn't keep our tenants. One summer we were paying three mortgages simultaneously. Then came the mix up with our insurance company right when she began treatment and we got stuck owing the hospital over $50,000.00.

Soon we began missing credit card payments and the rest just snowballed. I know she blames me for this happening as she has always wanted me to get a better paying job. Her ex-husband is a millionaire, but at least I'm not the bully he was.

She has a great job and has been resentful that she is largely taking care of our family. I work hard, but I work in social services and as you can guess, it's not a big money-maker. Before the bankruptcy she wanted me to get a second job, but I thought it was more important to spend time with our young son and stuck to the standard 40 hours a week.

We managed a chapter 7 because of the rentals and currently owe nothing. Whereas we have our house, the bank could put us out at any time. And, of course, we have nothing in reserve.

Nevertheless, you are spot on with your assessment. I am not supporting her. No matter what I do around the house, these things are not manly in her eyes. She wants a protector and in that I have failed her.

1 More Response