My marriage needs counselling

LisaO Member Posts: 38
edited August 2019 in Health and wellbeing
I'm 2 years NED.
I'm one of "the lucky ones" whereby I feel absolutely fantastic physically despite my medications which consist of Femara and monthly Zoladex injections.
However, mentally, I fell down hard with possible depression, anxiety and ptsd.
I sought professional help early in "my journey", but fired my psychologist week 4 as she told me I was "a very challenging case" and I felt I was not given any help with my situation at all.
I have never taken anti-depressants.
Anyway, fast forward to today and I honestly feel like "the dark clouds" have lifted...just like that. YAY!!!  I know I will always suffer scanxiety...but my mind most certainly feels clearer.
HOWEVER, my marriage has suffered.  My husband is the love of my life, but he has never been a good communicator when "the shit hits the fan"...hence cancer talk, depression talk etc etc has always been off limits.I have always tried to talk openly about "how Im travelling" but he has always put the wall up...maybe thats his coping mechanism..but this has left me feeling very isolated and misunderstood...and our marriage has suffered.
We have had "the talk" and want to move forward together from this point carrying ALL OUR EXCESS BAGGAGE.
My question we seek marriage counselling, or is it cancer counselling, do we go together for help...or just him or just me?  
Where do we start???


  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,373
    Dear @LisaO
    It’s hard to deal with one thing after another. Hard for you and hard for those who care about you too. Cancer, any life threatening illness, trauma and loss can stir up issues and difficulties that we may neither be prepared for nor really aware of. But whether it’s cancer and treatment that’s caused the current difficulty or a myriad of little things with cancer on top, it’s your relationship you want to sort out, not cancer. Men who find talking difficult (there’s a lot of it around) adds to the need for some professional help. Identifying what you need is important. At a very difficult time in her life, my daughter sought help. What she got was help to deal with the problems her partner was going through. What she finally realised was that what she needed was help for what she was going through. Make it clear it’s about your relationship, which you value and want to improve, not all about cancer. Cancer gets quite enough of our attention! There are other things in life. Best wishes.!
  • Flaneuse
    Flaneuse Member Posts: 899
    What a rough time you're having. Cancer and treatment alone are tough enough without relationship stresses on top of them. At a particular point in my life (long before cancer) I had multiple negative things happening simultaneously and it took me a long time to acknowledge that I needed professional counselling. It saved my life - well, my sanity, anyhow - and since then I've never hesitated to seek counselling when major challenges arise. If the individual counsellor is not the right one for you, don't give up on counselling per se - look for someone else who is right. It seems as if your husband might not be willing to go together; if not, I suggest you start alone, and see what happens from there. All the best to you.
  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
    The marriage of a very good friend of mine is in trouble. Eventually my female friend persuaded her husband to seek marriage counselling. He agreed when she pointed out that it would benefit their child. After seeing them both together for a couple of sessions, the counsellor asked to see them separately for several sessions. I would think a good counsellor would ascertain whether this approach was needed for you.

    I knew when I was diagnosed that with my baggage going into cancer (click on my @ for details) I was going to need some psychological help. I have moved past using the cancer specialising psychologist, to a general clinical psychologist. Which is a way of saying that I think at this point you need to treat the whole person, and the whole partnership.

    I agree with what @Afraser and @Flaneuse have written above. Ask your husband to do it with you. If he refuses, go for yourself (all of you, including but not entirely, the cancer). I don't think you'll regret it. Even if your husband doesn't go it will give you some good tools to use in your life moving forward.

    Best of luck, and let us know how you get on. K xox