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How do I keep sane

Answered 2 years ago

We have been married ten years and have two children. I gave up working when my first child was born seven years ago. My husband is a psychiatrist and we are reasonably well off.

I was recently diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer and am struggling with low energy levels , fatigue and depression, I would love to have some emotional and physical support from my husband but none is forthcoming.

We haven't once sat down to talk about how I am feeling about the diagnosis. Every time I try to talk about it, I get a big psychology style lecture about how I should cope with my feelings.

Further, since the beginning my husband does nothing at all around the house. If I complain , he says we have enough money and I should employ people to do things for us. However somethings can simply not be outsourced. Even now, with all that's going on, I have to beg him to occasionally make a cup of tea for me.

I don't know what to do and who to reach out for just some sympathy and support. I would have walked out a long time ago but can't do that to my kids. I have no money to raise them and if I leave them with him, he will ruin their lives.

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2 years ago
Start by using what he has offered. Hire a cleaner 3 times a week to do house cleaning, bed changes, laundry etc. get them to leave you a thermos of tea the way you like it so you don’t have to ask him. Don’t start your queries with “can you....?” But instead with “I need...” so that he does not see it as an option. Instead of “I can’t pick the kids up today “ try “we need to find someone to pick the kids up”. Men (especially our husbands) are amazing at being able to ignore our health issues - as long as it LOOKS like we are coping - because it is too scary for them to accept it. We pick up on anything out of the ordinary and ask our DH’s “What’s wrong?” But they are so differently wired to us that they see you go to the loo on your own and they breathe a sigh of relief that everything is fine. Use what he is fine with you using, and when it is more than he is expecting, he can either step up himself or dig deeper. My DH has taken over ALL household duties because he depends on my extra income and I had to make it clear that my health did not allow both. He just needs to know what the choices are (not find the solutions on his own). Good luck!

2 years ago
I’m going to be real with you.
You have stage 3 ovarian cancer which yes you can get treatment for and live the rest of your life healthy or you die.
No one knows how much time we have left but why the fuck are you going to spend the rest of yours unhappy?
I don’t want to hear the excuse “i can’t I have kids” “I can’t I don’t have the money” I can’t I can’t I can’t.
“How do I keep sane” you have already given up.. you’re question shouldn’t of even been a question it should of been “Iv got cancer and I’m leaving my unsupportive horseshit of a husband”.
See what support you can get from people around you, organisations for your condition.
Move with your parents.
Move with a friend/family.
You are going to need the help.
Instead of saying you can’t do this blah blah you need to think how you are going to achieve this.

I don’t know how bad the cancer is progressing or whether you are going to get treatment ect but I would hate if my kids all they remembered there last time with me was how fucking miserable I was.
I hope when your kids are older they have this story to tell when they were little there mum had cancer and while she cancer she left there horseshit excuse of a father with not a lot of money so she could give herself and her kids a better life because she was a fucking strong woman!
And I hope in 20 years time when they are telling there friends/loved ones this story that you are still sitting there with them.
I wish you all the best ❤️

2 years ago
Huge hugs my love.
I think it's time to find support for yourself in a group or get a home care nurse to help. I would out source as much as possible.
You need to rest and focus on getting better and bearing this. Your husband doesn't deserve you. So when you get better,.kick his ass to the curb x

2 years ago
Shit babe. I'm so sorry about your diagnosis 💔
In your husbands defence, his behaviour could be a coping mechanism for him. Although being a shrink he should have the tools to deal with it in a way that benefits you both. As for the housework, well that's definitely him being selfish. If that doesn't change, maybe you should hire some help as he has suggested. You should be resting as much as possible and not worrying about the dishes. Good luck with everything xxx


2 years ago
Ps. Speak to your gp. He or she will have all the information you need to find support groups ect 😘

2 years ago
I had a girlfriend / workmate who got into a relationship with a psychiatrist, and she said he was the most psychotic bully she had ever been with. The things she described that he did to her, verbal manipulation and blaming mostly, and constant belittling and undermining her self esteem, was like something out of a Hitchcock psychological torture movie.
I watched a really strong career woman (one of the strongest I have ever met), being steadily destroyed in front of my eyes.
Fortunately she was in her 30's, saw the light, and got out of it within 6 months.
Yours hopefully is not that bad, but at the least he has absolutely no empathy, or caring side at all.

The only advice I can suggest is to see another psychiatrist for some counselling in what persuasion you could use to wake up his humanity. Normal persuasion is not going to cut it. Maybe someone with the same training as him might know what buttons to push.

Also, I would suggest seeing a matrimonial lawyer, to see what your options are, but make sure you keep that very quiet & confidential. You are entitled by law to half of your joint assets, and child support, so could probably raise the children successfully, but possibly not in as financially rich an environment as currently.

You may have lost some of your self esteem because of his treatment of you, and the fact you have not worked for years, so you are probably a lot more capable than you think, as long as you are healthy, which is not the case at the moment.

In the meantime, I would suggest you do outsource every bit of physical housework that you can, as he advises, which will leave what energy you do have for basic self support, and see if you could also employ a carer so you have someone to talk to, and who can give you some of those little supports, at least through the daytime. That may make life a bit easier.

To be fair to him, some men simply do not cope at all with this sort of challenge, and just plain avoid even recognising that it is happening. Pure avoidance, which I am sure he would criticise any of his clients about !

I hope that helps. I certainly feel for you.