Relationship damage from cancer

Has anyone experienced significant damage to their relationship from a cancer diagnosis?

My partner has stayed by my side and supported me throughout my treatment, but now that I'm coming out the other end into survivorship, instead of bringing us closer together, we are in a very bad place. He resents me because he has lost a year of his life due to my diagnosis and treatment. He has a lot of anger towards me and has been pushing me away for months, and it's causing me a lot of pain and extra stress which isn't good for me. Pushing me away is his defense mechanism because he is scared he will lose me, but it feels as though has already written me off.

We both very much love each other, but we aren't in a good place and I'm so hurt that he is blaming me for something that was out of my control instead of being grateful that he didn't lose me. I feel so alone and like I have to hide my fear and emotions from him because he cannot handle it. 

Has anyone been in a similar position and come back from it?


  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,567
    Message sent xx
  • June1952
    June1952 Member Posts: 1,827
    Hello @Brianna - you are not alone !  I am sure @arpie has given you some good advice by private message so I won't repeat it.
    I think we all eventually get into a pattern of a new type of relationship.. Would your partner consider some counselling, with or without you ?
    Sending a hug  💖
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,370
    I can only suggest time, for both of you, with a good counsellor. A good relationship, even if rocky at the moment, is worth keeping. This forum can’t be all that helpful about such personal matters - for example, I can understand why you may feel you have lost a year but not quite so clear why your partner does. In any event, resolving the situation, however that may be, needs some open discussion, which may be painful but necessary. My best wishes for you both. 
  • Julez1958
    Julez1958 Member Posts: 1,114
    Hi @Brianna
    I can’t help from personal experience, but many ladies have posted on here and other forums about how their partner “ went missing” after their diagnosis mentally and in some cases , physically.
    It might be worth couples counselling.
  • Brianna
    Brianna Member Posts: 10
    Thank you all, he's not particularly open to counselling but I'll try.
  • GorgyS
    GorgyS Member Posts: 61
    edited December 2023

    To be honest, I cannot offer advice to younger couples; it must be challenging for both parties in such relationships. However, I would suggest providing some form of support to your partner in his caregiving role. What I've noticed is that many women diagnosed with breast cancer worry about their families instead of focusing on themselves. I've had to work exceptionally hard to prioritize myself as well. I was the one taking care of everything.

    We've been married for 35 years, and I expect both of us to support each other when needed. If I notice that my husband isn't fulfilling his responsibilities, I would communicate my concerns. Conversely, I'm making every effort not to become dependent. Despite not starting chemotherapy yet, having only undergone surgeries, I still manage a lot around the house. Perhaps discussing your expectations openly would benefit both of you. My husband also takes time away, which I encourage as it doesn't affect me. I value having my own space too. I'm 64, and he's 67. As we age, various health issues may arise, but it's crucial for us to support each other.

    By the way, we can sometimes become toxic and argue over trivial matters. I try to avoid this as it drains our energy. However, this is the way I express my emotions. It must be hard to hide your fear and emotions when you need so much support. Honestly, not helping but just sharing a little bit of my situation.  But I feel for you Brianna. You should not be dealing with additional pain and stress because of your relationship.