My partner of ten years has prostate cancer, He has been treated with Eligard hormone treatment following radiotherapy and it has changed who he is. Its ended our relationship as a normal relationship and there is no support, no-one gets it I am just accused of being selfish by him, because he is now effectively both emotionally and physically neutered and cannot understand what has changed. We didn't have much common ground before in terms of interests etc but now there is no common ground, we went to a so called relationship councilor at relationships Australia who just declared we didn't have much hope in the first session, so gave that a miss, as I could see he wasn't going to give us any assistance. We had a bond that was based on intimacy, now its gone, I am alone and can't speak to anyone about it because I am accused of being self centred. My partner doesn't care he hasn't lost something he still needs, he is filling his life up with new male orientated hobbies and interests that don't include or interest me or that has anything in which i feel welcome to participate in. I can't even socialise with my fiends I am so paralyzed with grief and loneliness that no-one understands. My partner has accessed various support resources but none of those are available to me. We asked to be put in touch with support groups 3 years ago, it never happened, no-one gave us any contact information despite asking for it, now its pretty much too late, Our relationship has pretty much broken down completely we just live in the same house, I cant enjoy anything with him because I know its all just a chore for him and any affection is just a token gesture to placate me. He spoke to some nurse and came home with a range of brochures on erectile disfunction to which I just responded they may as well provide you with a knitting machine as having the mechanical means to function wont actually make him interested in doing so anymore than he would be interested in taking up knitting! The doctor gave him viagra tablets but he wouldn't bother taking them because he has no interest in doing so, He would sit up in front of the TV till all hours of the morning and fall asleep there rather than come and lie next to me in our bed so the tablets are a useless waste of money and the intimacy and the connection are gone and I am just going through each day to survive I go to work I pay the bills I clean the house and look after all his affairs so that he can have his life and enjoy it and I go with him to events I have to go too, and pretend for the sake of everyone else and dread any event in which I have to pretend I am his partner just to make everyone else happy and then I cry myself to sleep most nights. I don't know where to turn or who to talk too. Some may think me selfish and self centred, because he is the one with cancer but he is now technically in remission and I am alone.
If you think it's to be a permanent state of things you will need to consider your options for your future . Make 2 lists -positives ,negatives and it may help you decide . Another idea is to try another counsellor . Perhaps he will change too . All the best with this . There is more to a relationship than the physical but you have to work out the other things too , You need to know if he still wants a relationship with you and if you can both be happy ,not just him . For now ,don't rush the decision as he may be just trying to cope with what's happened .
Just a few thoughts from me as I'm not qualified in this area .
Cancer changes relationships just as much as life expectancies. I noticed what you're experiencing, that most support services are for the patient, or helping the carers be good carers, rather than addressing the grief and loss that partners feel when someone is diagnosed with cancer.
Even if your partner is not interested in improving things, you still have the right to the support you need, so maybe consider having counselling just for you. Your partner may not be interested in discussing these things just yet, but this may change in the future. You're not being selfish at all! It's very easy to feel guilty about looking after your own needs in this situation, but they're just as legitimate as anyone else's, and, let's face it, no one else will! : S Hugs, Emily
Thanks for your input and taking the time to reply guys, I need some hugs at the moment 🙂 He isn't a talker so I try to voice my hurt and isolation but he just shuts down and withdraws and invalidates what I say with accusations that I am throwing hissy fits tantrums etc , its all hurt and anger, I needed someone to listen so thank you, and thankyou vodka bottle for not being empty 🙂
I can understand where your coming from. I am the cancer sufferer and my partner has not been supportive. It is a difficult and lonely time doing this on your own. For you it's the other side and intimacy is important in a relationship. For me I have found that taking the time to focus on me has helped. Stop trying to rescue your partner you need to focus on healing you first. You have been through a lot, you may not have gone through the cancer but you have gone though every step with him. He has found ways to get involved in life maybe it's time you did. I have found that complementry therapy has helped me release a lot of my issues, eg meditation and self healing. Until we heal ourselves its hard to expect anything from those around us. In the meantime sending you a big hug 🙂
Hi first of all ((((((BIG HUGS)))))) I feel your pain as I am having problems with my boyfriend also. He has melanoma that has got into his lung, he had an op to remove a wedge from his lung. Then they found a couple of new masses on his lung and he was put on medication and a trial of a new med to help the other one. The whole time he has known about his cancer he has pushed me and his family away and now he has become so negative about every thing and has withdrawn from me so much we really don't have a relationship any more so I think I know how you are feeling. I also don't know who to talk to about this problem. If I go to him and give him a hug he hugs back but only for a second. He gets up to go for a nap without saying anything to me even tho I am right there in the same room as him. That I can handle but the negativity not so much. Even watching tv with him has become unbearable. Any way I won't rave on to much as I don't want to make you feel worse but if you would like to chat let me know and I will give you my Facebook or email and maybe we can help each other a little. Hang in there and know I am thinking of you and hoping things change for you soon.
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.