“After 25 Years Together, My Husband Plans to Depart Following My Cancer Diagnosis”

Studies show that women who receive a cancer diagnosis are significantly more likely than men to be left by their partner. Unfortunately, this is exactly what a Reddit user experienced when her husband suddenly decided to file for divorce while she was battling an illness.

After more than 20 years of marriage, a devastating surprise awaited the woman. Our marriage lasted less than 26 years. I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma two years ago. He was great at first. A total helicopter.

I had terrible results from the first few rounds of treatment. I felt so sick that I think I had every adverse effect imaginable. I started a third line of treatment last October after receiving the unfortunate news that my last one had failed. So far I manage to tolerate it.

But my body took a hit. I have several crushed vertebrae in my back and a huge plasmacytoma on my chest. My back is hunched over because of this and I can’t have back surgery to straighten it until my bones are strong enough to hold the screws. I was on a lot of pain meds, oral chemo, etc.

My husband started sleeping on the couch instead of going to bed and I’m not sure when that changed. I had to ask him to go to the doctor or he wouldn’t go. He refused to offer me a hug, or the one he gave was insincere. I started talking to him and it seemed that the more I tried to explain that I needed his love and support, the more he deliberately tried to reject me. Finally, just before Christmas, I brought it to him.

But he just gave up. I was stoned. The more I pushed him to talk to me, the nastier he became. He finally got furious and informed me, “Congratulations, your worst nightmare is about to happen.” I cried for him to tell me what was going on and he said, “You’re going to die alone.” What went wrong? How did I behave?

He screamed at me that he didn’t want to be my husband anymore. That was on New Year’s Eve. After he left that evening, he returned home to get tools or other supplies for his work. His failure to pay my car payment resulted in it being repossessed.

He defaults on the mortgage. Luckily my phone wasn’t turned off and the electricity is still on. I receive disability benefits from my previous job, but it’s not nearly enough. I have to take care of our two dogs and five cats. Even though I try my best, I am physically unable to do most household activities.

He still hasn’t revealed to me the nature of the problems in our relationship. I was completely taken aback by everything. I knew that neither of us were happy because I was sick, but I didn’t believe that the problem was in our relationship. He talked and called several times a day until he left and kept repeating things like “I love you.” But also punishing me almost subversively.

How could someone who had been your lover for over fifty years suddenly be so cruel and heartless? Until then, he had been a kind, protective and loving husband. I’m having trouble understanding it. How does he justify this in his opinion?

An upset woman provided more information in the comments. “Unfortunately, I don’t have anyone close to me. After the divorce, I want to move closer to family and friends.” I suppose it will depend on how much help the refs decide to give me. That’s one of the reasons I’m so scared. I used to work and make a decent living, but now I can’t. I can no longer rely on someone I am completely dependent on.

Even when they came into the room and told me I had cancer, I had never felt so scared and broken. I had him, so I knew I’d be fine.”

He is undoubtedly the coward and weaker of the two. Certainly not the man I married. He can live with his karma and I intend to go back to school and get treatment and go into remission and live the best life possible.”

“Also, I’m really angry right now. I’m trying to get to it instead of dwelling on my own self-pity. It gives me some small relief. Knowing I didn’t do anything to deserve this makes me easy.” I’m not sure what’s causing his meltdown – finances, stress – but I know it’s not my fault.

I am looking for legal help. I hope to find one soon. I simply want to get everything over with so I can continue planning my living situation, finances, etc.

As for household duties, I just do what I can. Luckily it’s not too messy when it’s just me.’

Redditors went out of their way to provide virtual support for the poster.

“My ex-wife of 25 years did the same.

Once I was diagnosed with lung disease, she slowly faded away and finally, after a lot of hurtful behavior towards me, she left. On the other hand, my dad has been there for my mom for the past 14 years, even during her worst illness.

Until we are judged, neither we nor our spouses realize who we are. Unfortunately, the test revealed that your husband – like my ex-wife – is cruel and not sick.”

“It’s a sad but regular scenario when a man leaves his wife when she gets cancer. You’re better off without him, even if you can’t see it now.”

“That there are actual, peer-reviewed studies on this is a sign of how bad it is. One I read said that after a cancer diagnosis, a woman’s chance of divorce is 1 in 5. It’s pretty depressing.”

“You should get in touch with some local divorce attorneys right away. They can help you get the funds to move sooner. Right now is a crisis.”

He is required by law to help you.

(Source: I Was a Divorce Lawyer Once).

I’m sorry for what happened. He wishes you all the best.”

“I’m really sorry. It sounds like you’re the strong one and he’s the weak one, despite your health issues. My mom was abused by my dad.”

I could never look at him the same way after that.

There are many selfish people in this world and sometimes it takes adversity to reveal their true nature. I want you to recover quickly, surround yourself with your loved ones, and let your husband live to regret it while you live life to the fullest.”

Dealing with the illness of a family member is one of the most difficult experiences a person can go through.

Unfortunately, not everyone is able to handle this problem. In our last piece, we told the story of a father who, after the birth of his second child, decided to stop caring for his sick child. 

A heartbreaking account shared by a Reddit user sheds light on the harsh reality faced by individuals battling cancer and dealing with abandonment from their partners. Despite more than two decades of marriage, the husband’s sudden departure with his wife’s cancer diagnosis reveals a devastating betrayal of trust and love. The woman’s vulnerability, both physical and emotional, makes her predicament all the more poignant. However, amidst the pain and uncertainty, her resilience shines through as she overcomes the challenges ahead with determination and courage.

The outpouring of support and empathy from fellow Redditors underscores the importance of community and solidarity in times of crisis. While her husband’s betrayal is deeply hurtful, the woman finds solace in the virtual embrace of strangers offering compassion and practical advice. Her decision to seek legal help and plan for her future demonstrates her strength and determination to rebuild her life despite the betrayal she experienced.

Ultimately, the story serves as a stark reminder of the fragility of relationships and the depth of human resilience in the face of adversity. While the pain of abandonment may linger, the woman’s determination to reclaim her independence and pursue a fulfilling life is a testament to the indomitable human spirit. As she embarks on a new chapter, surrounded by love and support, she stands as a beacon of hope for others facing similar challenges, inspiring them to find strength in solidarity and courage in the face of adversity.

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