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Angela, Counselor
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  n/a
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Hi. My wife and I have been married for 13 years. We have

Resolved Question:

Hi. My wife and I have been married for 13 years. We have three children. My wife just completed 9 months of treatment for breast cancer, including a bilateral mastectomy. I'm sure you can see what is coming ...

I haven't been happy for almost all of those 13 years, but we have had at least one child for 12 of them. I always stay for one reason or another, but then something happens and I have to mentally sign up for another couple of years. I have come to realize that this will go on forever. There will always be something, but I just need to break the cycle.

The problem is that the cancer thing is a doozy. She still needs to get reconstruction surgery, and with the type of cancer she had, the chances of her dying in the first 2 years are around 40%. I could probably just get by like I have for so many years, but she needs to feel loved so much right now, and I am literally not able to scrape up the love that she needs.

Isnt that terrible for me to say? Of all the times to get separated, this would really be the worst, right? (Finances are not an issue - at least not as long as I can keep her on my health insurance.)
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Angela replied 7 years ago.
Hello Azutimioh,
Actually it is not terrible for you to feel the way that you do. You are human and as you said in your own words, you always stay for one reason or another even though you haven't been happy most of the time. Due to the cancer this would be a tough time to separate, however, you have to honestly weigh what you think you could handle. Could you handle staying longer without it harming you emotionally, mentally, and etc.? You also have to consider your 3 children, if you leave now, how will it affect them and your relationship with them? These are the types of questions you need to think about and weigh (-when you can do so quietly and alone so that you can actually process the questions and answers). Also, in addition to the questions, make a list of pros and cons to staying and leaving and carefully go over the answers that you come up with and how they affect you, your wife, and your kids. Again, be sure to do this when you can be alone and undisturbed (-maybe doing it outside of the home if necessary). Keep your list secure so that no one gets a hold of it. Also, I would recommend a support group for your wife so that she can be around other women who are cancer survivors. Also, by the same token, you could also check for a support group that focuses on those people who support cancer survivors, if you decide to stay so that you are also getting emotional support. Many support groups are free. You could do a search for cancer support groups on the internet for your local area and you could check your phone book for listings.
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