OM's WIFE HAS CANCER- PLEASE HELP! - Forum

Please consider registering
guest

Log In Members

Lost password?
Advanced Search:

— Forum Scope —



— Match —



— Forum Options —




Wildcard usage:
*  matches any number of characters    %  matches exactly one character

Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

The forums are currently locked and only available for read only access
Topic RSS
OM's WIFE HAS CANCER- PLEASE HELP!
December 26, 2012
6:39 am
Bronze Member
Forum Posts: 30
Member Since:
February 14, 2011
Offline
1
0

Greetings to everyone!

I am a regular lurker here but rarely post. But I could really use some perspective from all you wonderful people.

My MM and I have recently had our 2 year anniversary. We have exchanged ILYs since almost the beginning of our affair. I had a Dday over a year ago and we went even further underground.

Our relationship is long-distance. We have made an effort to meet up every 4-6 weeks in various cities. He has NEVER cancelled on me or shown any hesitation in meeting. He has been consistently good at communication. I, on the other hand, have struggled with guilt and have broken up with him about 6 times-- the longest break being about 5 weeks, though we remained emotionally very close and in constant email contact (not much of a break, I guess). I am definitely a guilt queen. Laugh It is my first affair.

Last spring MM and I had gotten emotionally deep enough that we began discussing leaving our failed marriages (both sexless and roommate-type situations) and finding a way to be together IRL. :P We began seriously talking about marriage-- timelines, how tos, where to live, etc.

Then his wife was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. She has a long family history of breast cancer, unfortunately. Her oncologist recommended mastectomy. She refused and opted for chemo instead (after waffling about what to do for about 3-4 months). She began chemo this summer and completed it about a month ago (about 4 months total).

I have waited for MM as best I can during this very difficult time. He does not want to pull a "John Edwards" on his wife while she has cancer. He doesn't want to be a complete jerk. I understand this, as I would do the same thing for my H if the tables were turned (at least I think I would).

We have talked about new timelines. MM's wife will have a series of tests this summer-- about 6 months post-chemo--that should provide a clear indication of whether the chemo has "worked" and she is in remission.

If she is in remission, he says he is fully ready to leave her and resume our plans. If the tests are not clearly positive for her, he says that he does not know what he will do until he gets there and has some sense of what it all means. If the tests are bad for her, he has made it clear to me that he will not leave her in her time of need.

So here is my painfully obvious question: Should I wait for him? Or is continuing the physical aspect of our affair-- a "full blown" affair-- too creepy?

I have recently told him that it is all getting very heavy for me and that I have a lot of guilt about his W. I told him I wanted to hit the "pause" button and not be together, physically, until he has a clearer sense of where things are going for her. I don't want to feel like I'm "waiting in the wings," even though, emotionally, I obviously am. But at the same time, I really miss him. I find it hard to imagine NOT being with him, physically, for another 6-7 months. :twisted:

He says he understands and that we will be "mates-in-waiting" if that's what I want. He clearly wants to continue the physical aspect of our affair, but he doesn't want to lose me. So he has agreed to hit the pause button for now.

I don't know if I can really hit the pause button this long, though. Part of me wants to, but I miss that connection with him. And I wonder, "Why am I hurting him this way?"

The only answer I can come up with is that I think if I stop having sex with him, it will protect my heart. If the tests are not good for her this summer, I would just be devastated that he could not leave her, and would not do so for probably an indefinite time. I would have to completely break with him just to preserve my own sanity. So a "pause" on sex may help me prepare for the worst and get a little bit of distance.

Has anyone here gone through anything similar?

What do you think about MM's attitude and decision-making? What do you think of the "pause"?

Part of me says that, if he really wanted to be with me, he would find a way, even if she has cancer. But another part of me says that it is too selfish to think this way, and that I would provide the same courtesy to my husband (I think!).

I am so sad and conflicted. I love him soooooo much. And he has given me EVERY indication that he loves me, too. But I feel so guilty, and so "in limbo," since we have been telling each other for almost a year now that we want to get married and start over together.

Please share your advice and thoughts.

December 26, 2012
7:44 am
Silver Member
Forum Posts: 174
Member Since:
November 5, 2012
Offline
135180
0

Honestly, I think there are a few things that trump an affair – one of which is cancer. If he could leave her at a times like this, would he really be someone you are interested in? My guess is he will need your understanding and support as he tries to support his W through this. R's are not all unicorns and rainbows. If you are really thinking about an LTR with him in the real world, I would pay close attention to how he handles this. You too will be ill one day… I think his plan seems very reasonable. RE your heart – even if she did not have cancer, there are no guarantees – ever. With that being said, you also deserve a life of your own and your own support. I do not see why you have to disappear on him or end the A. You were in love before the cancer and will be when it is done. That has nothing to do with her or the cancer. He is doing the right thing by supporting her – you are by supporting him. Now lets hope like heck she has a speedy recovery with no complication for her sake and yours and you can get back to plan A, B and C. All the very best to you – not easy.

December 26, 2012
1:22 pm
Gold Member
Forum Posts: 224
Member Since:
February 29, 2012
Offline
135197
0

"neversaynever" wrote: If he could leave her at a times like this, would he really be someone you are interested in?

My thoughts exactly. I could never truly love someone who didn't know this.

December 26, 2012
6:34 pm
Bronze Member
Forum Posts: 32
Member Since:
December 22, 2012
Offline
135220
0

The risk of crushing his W emotionally when she needs her willpower to fight cancer? I couldnt take that chance. There would be too much guilt if she didnt survive it.
It is a very diffcult time for him and he probably needs your emotional support, if you both really envision a future together it may be important to demonstrate that you will be there for him. Whichever you choose do to, this will be a time of much soul searching for you both.

Tangent is a 47yo MM in first EMR with 45yo MW. Crossed the line in October 2012.
December 26, 2012
8:41 pm
Platinum Member
Forum Posts: 1331
Member Since:
November 24, 2011
Offline
135230
0

I think I would probably let him go to really be with her 100% until it is resolved one way or the other. I would feel guilty about anytime he spent with me when she might need him. Pregnancy and life-threatening illnesses in the spouse are just things that I really want no part of.

December 26, 2012
11:11 pm
Gold Member
Forum Posts: 262
Member Since:
July 18, 2012
Offline
135236
0

Im willing to bet..if he left her now, it would not take long at all for you to "fall out of love with him"….isnt the fact that he wont a part of the man you love??
Finding a future with an A takes time and with illness, kids, whatever, it can take a long time…but by all means, cut the realationship to what protects YOU too..you do have rights…never forget that…let him take care of her, you take care of you…and I hope for you that you end up with just what makes you happy in the end! good luck~ ;)

I love with everything I have....that may get me hurt, but its the only way I know how...
December 27, 2012
1:18 am
Bronze Member
Forum Posts: 30
Member Since:
February 14, 2011
Offline
135249
0

Thanks jlsjts-- I'm grateful for the fact that you remind me that I need to do what protects me, too--not just my MM. I want to be there for him--truly I do--but it's like the more I'm there for him, the closer we grow, and the harder it gets for me, guilt-wise and just emotionally.

I am curious to get feedback on my decision to pull back from him, physically, while still remaining supportive of him and very close to him (daily) emotionally.

Is this realistic? Is it cruel to him? Is it a wise thing to do, for me or for him?

Would you do the same thing?

I can't decide if pulling back from him, physically, is mean, or wise. I waffle about this hourly. LOL.

I guess I'm still just very confused.

December 27, 2012
1:45 am
Bronze Member
Forum Posts: 32
Member Since:
January 8, 2012
Offline
135252
0

No matter what MM does,why are you stringing your H along? It seems you want him to be there as your backup plan in case MM dumps you.

December 27, 2012
1:56 am
Bronze Member
Forum Posts: 30
Member Since:
February 14, 2011
Offline
135255
0

No, Beautiful Soul. I am staying in my marriage, at present, because of my daughter. She loves her father and I am torn between leaving my H and staying a little longer for her sake.

I know I can't stay forever unless a small miracle happens and I can fall in love with my H again.

But I do have a long history with H. He is the father of my precious child, and she is happy and well adjusted.

It is VERY hard to leave a marriage when things are "okay" but you have fallen in love with another man.

Please try not to judge.

December 27, 2012
3:19 am
Gold Member
Forum Posts: 335
Member Since:
November 17, 2011
Offline
135265
0

"paradisegirl" wrote:

I am curious to get feedback on my decision to pull back from him, physically, while still remaining supportive of him and very close to him (daily) emotionally.

Is this realistic? Is it cruel to him? Is it a wise thing to do, for me or for him?

Would you do the same thing?

I can't decide if pulling back from him, physically, is mean, or wise. I waffle about this hourly. LOL.

I guess I'm still just very confused.

To be frank, I cannot understand why you are trying to decide what tone to set here. Your MM is going through a lot and I think he should be the one that sets the tone. Why don't you let go a little and let him know that you will follow his lead. Let him decide what works in his life right now because his is changing daily and about the last thing he needs is someone else making decisions for him. Keep the communication open and supportive, but whatever you do, don't blindside him with some decision you have unilaterally made without him. That would just rub salt into the wounds he is already nursing.

As I see it, you have nothing to decide here. He needs to make the decisions and you just need to go along with whatever he feels is best under the circumstances. For reference, over the course of my seven year relationship with MM, he has lost a job, started a more responsible, more demanding job, lost a parent, nursed a sick W and nursed a sick child, none of which prevented him from keeping me in his life, though our communication patterns have been adjusted according to what he felt was best at the time. I have also gone through some things that have required me to make adjustments. Throughout all of these things and through the years, we have continued to cross bridges as we come to them and have never made decisions about the relationship without the other. Well, except for one time, but I think MM regrets that and it's never happened again.

Please just let your MM decide what will work best for him and let him know to communicate his decisions with you.

December 27, 2012
3:57 am
Bronze Member
Forum Posts: 30
Member Since:
February 14, 2011
Offline
135269
0

I hear you, His Baby. But to be frank myself, I'm not in this relationship to remain an OW. You've been an OW for 7 years and it clearly works well for you. But I don't enjoy being an OW-- the guilt, the lying, the constant back-and-forth of emotions. I want a real relationship with him. He knows this and wants the same. We were making concrete plans to make that happen when this hit us out of the blue.

Now my feelings of guilt are getting worse because of his W's situation. I want to support him fully, but I have my own needs and challenges to deal with.

I would never intentionally hurt him but I don't know if I'm willing to wait for him indefinitely, in the role of a sexual partner/OW. I can easily support him as a friend, however. As a lover? I'm not so sure.

I know there is some selfishness to my desire to pull back from him physically. But hey-- sometimes we girls need to be selfish.

My love for him hasn't diminished one bit, nor his for me.

It's more a question of how can we both best handle this unusual situation, and remain connected yet give each other the mental space we need to deal with it?

I know one thing: I do not want to be an OW super long term. I am not cut out for it. For those of you who CAN (and do) handle it with grace and happiness, I salute you. It's just not for me.

PG

December 27, 2012
4:18 am
Bronze Member
Forum Posts: 62
Member Since:
December 20, 2012
Offline
135271
0

PG, I hear ya. I'm finding out this isn't a good fit for me either. That being said, I haven't made a decision to stop either because I'm just not that strong right now. I hear you saying that you want to support your OM but also look out for yourself. Seems like you trust him and have faith in his in his intentions but recognize that ultimately his W illness could cause him to change his plans. I respect that decision but just as he has to make the decisions that are right for him and that he can live with I can also see that you do as well. I'd follow your gut and your heart and throw in a little common sense in the decision making process. Do what feels right to you, and if that means supporting him at a distance while limiting the physical aspects of your relationship and that works for both of you then that's what you do. Good luck, I'm glad I don't have to make that decision.

December 27, 2012
4:51 am
Bronze Member
Forum Posts: 30
Member Since:
February 14, 2011
Offline
135273
0

Thanks much, Joy. It's funny-- we fell in love so completely and were willing to just hold our noses and jump into the great unknown together. So I wasn't planning on being an OW almost a year later-- thought we'd be well on our way to transitioning and making it all real.

So when this happened--shortly after our decisions--it just pulled the rug out from under me, emotionally.

At first-- for several months-- my attitude was "I'm here for you. Let me know how I can help." He hasn't wanted to share a lot of details about her treatment for understandable reasons, plus he's very superstitious and is afraid he's going to jinx himself if he gets too encouraged by her condition. It is very sad.

She is thankfully only Stage 1, but any stage of cancer is very scary. And she's only recently finished her first (and hopefully only) round of chemo. And then it takes 6-8 months when we just have to WAIT and see if it worked. We are obviously hoping for the good result, for many, many reasons.

If the results aren't good, or if the doctors recommend another round of chemo "just to be sure," then we'll have another 10 months or so of waiting.

It is just heartbreaking, and potentially an indefinite wait, depending on how things go.

I just don 't know if I have the strength to keep hanging on. I feel so guilty, so sad for her. But I love him desperately and I know he loves me-- and we want to be together.

I don't believe he'll change his mind about me, or about us. But he IS a very good man and he WILL wait and stay with her until he knows she is okay. This might be 6 months from now; it might be 6 years from now. And I know I can't/won't wait in limbo for 6 years. So I have my own decisions to make.

December 27, 2012
7:04 am
Bronze Member
Forum Posts: 32
Member Since:
January 8, 2012
Offline
135287
0

"paradisegirl" wrote: No, Beautiful Soul. I am staying in my marriage, at present, because of my daughter. She loves her father and I am torn between leaving my H and staying a little longer for her sake.

I know I can't stay forever unless a small miracle happens and I can fall in love with my H again.

But I do have a long history with H. He is the father of my precious child, and she is happy and well adjusted.
It is VERY hard to leave a marriage when things are "okay" but you have fallen in love with another man

Please try not to judge.

Sorry to be blunt but I call bullshit on " staying for the
daughter " excuse .you will leave only & only if your MM decides to end his M otherwise H is not that bad & its convenient . Why I say you are stringing your H along is because you already went through a painful dday & H thinks you are back in saving your M which is just a brilliant act on your part. And next dday is going to be much much worse than first one. Dday is ineviatable , theres nothing special about your affair that it might end differ

December 27, 2012
1:47 pm
Gold Member
Forum Posts: 335
Member Since:
November 17, 2011
Offline
135303
0

"paradisegirl" wrote:

It is just heartbreaking, and potentially an indefinite wait, depending on how things go.

I just don 't know if I have the strength to keep hanging on. I feel so guilty, so sad for her. But I love him desperately and I know he loves me-- and we want to be together.

I don't believe he'll change his mind about me, or about us. But he IS a very good man and he WILL wait and stay with her until he knows she is okay. This might be 6 months from now; it might be 6 years from now. And I know I can't/won't wait in limbo for 6 years. So I have my own decisions to make.

I don't see the dilemma here. If you want to be together, you'll both wait. If you don't, you'll both move on. It's quite simple, at least the way you've described it. There is no such thing as "too long to wait," for those who have made a firm and unwavering decision to be together. Unless they really haven't made a firm and wavering decision to be together, then everything is on the table.

If things with his W's cancer are not ideal and he doesn't leave on your time table, what are your plans? If they include you breaking up with him, well then I would have to say that you do not want to be with him all that badly. Your decisions are not based upon being with him, but something else. Seems to me, based on your discussion here, that he has been quite open and honest about what the time table is, about six to ten months, depending on her treatment success. I would say extend that out to at least a year. In the meantime, you are not ready anyway. You're staying with your H for your daughter's sake.

Not really a dilemma, unless you're weighing your options and planning to move on to some other knight in shining armor. As I've said before, the married man pool is the worst place for searching for a new husband, since the husbands in it are already committed to other women. If you are husband searching, try the single man pond.

And…not trying to be snarky, but I'm very curious how you guys decided in less than a year that you were perfect for one another and were going to each leave your marriages to be with one another. Perhaps you fall in and out of love easily? I know a few people who do, so I'm not criticizing it. However, if that is so, moving on to finding another future husband/rescuer should be relatively painless, albeit irritating since you already thought you had found the one.

December 27, 2012
6:25 pm
Gold Member
Forum Posts: 262
Member Since:
July 18, 2012
Offline
135324
0

"paradisegirl" wrote: Thanks jlsjts-- I'm grateful for the fact that you remind me that I need to do what protects me, too--not just my MM. I want to be there for him--truly I do--but it's like the more I'm there for him, the closer we grow, and the harder it gets for me, guilt-wise and just emotionally.

I am curious to get feedback on my decision to pull back from him, physically, while still remaining supportive of him and very close to him (daily) emotionally.

Is this realistic? Is it cruel to him? Is it a wise thing to do, for me or for him?

Would you do the same thing?

I can't decide if pulling back from him, physically, is mean, or wise. I waffle about this hourly. LOL.

I guess I'm still just very confused.

Pardise…only you can decide what to do about the sexual part of this (duh, right!! :D ). But, I actually see no reason to not be intimate with him, if that is something that brings you both pleasure, happyness, etc..You seem to be in for the long haul, so to speak, so why loose that closeness that is the first reason most of us step out of our marriage in the first place. Just again, be clear on what does and does not work for you! If its to much, then tell him, its to much..you cant do it! I can not say it enough-you matter! your feelings matter. I feel we get judged so much on how we live our lives, that we begin to think "how dare I worry about me, when I could be hurting others"?? I dont agree, If you are like I am, you work hard to not hurt others, it is not your intent or what you want from this, life is life and people get hurt. You have rights! If you want some mind blowing sex, by all means…have it!! If you feel its to hard on you..then by all means, dont! Good luck, this must be really hard!

I love with everything I have....that may get me hurt, but its the only way I know how...
December 28, 2012
5:59 am
Bronze Member
Forum Posts: 30
Member Since:
February 14, 2011
Offline
135382
0

"Beautiful_Soul" wrote: No, Beautiful Soul. I am staying in my marriage, at present, because of my daughter. She loves her father and I am torn between leaving my H and staying a little longer for her sake.

I know I can't stay forever unless a small miracle happens and I can fall in love with my H again.

But I do have a long history with H. He is the father of my precious child, and she is happy and well adjusted.
It is VERY hard to leave a marriage when things are "okay" but you have fallen in love with another man

Please try not to judge.

Sorry to be blunt but I call bullshit on " staying for the
daughter " excuse .you will leave only & only if your MM decides to end his M otherwise H is not that bad & its convenient . Why I say you are stringing your H along is because you already went through a painful dday & H thinks you are back in saving your M which is just a brilliant act on your part. And next dday is going to be much much worse than first one. Dday is ineviatable , theres nothing special about your affair that it might end differ

This is indeed blunt and rather judgmental, coming from someone who knows nothing about my history with my H. Many of us on Doccool are involved in deep emotional affairs--not just sex. We fall in love. This does not mean we quickly divorce, or that we divorce at all.

My MM and I want to be together but this may take a very long time. In the meantime, I could either divorce immediately or stay with my H. I am choosing to stay with my H, for the sake of my daughter. I figure more time in an intact family is better than a traumatic divorce. And if MM needs to be with his W for a long time, I frankly will let him go gracefully, and return to my marriage. It is tolerable, my H needs me for many reasons (that you dont know about and I won't talk about here). If I cannot be with MM (whom I love deeply)), I will stay with my H out of duty and security for us both.

Many here mKe the same choice. Many here admit that if their OM/OW asked them to run away, they would. Mine has, but it is now on indefinite hold for understandable reasons. It does not mean I will be caught again. Many here have had long term affairs with no dray at all

The way you judge me, I wonder if you are a BS? It comes across this way.

December 28, 2012
6:11 am
Bronze Member
Forum Posts: 30
Member Since:
February 14, 2011
Offline
135383
0

paradisegirl wrote:

It is just heartbreaking, and potentially an indefinite wait, depending on how things go.

I just don 't know if I have the strength to keep hanging on. I feel so guilty, so sad for her. But I love him desperately and I know he loves me-- and we want to be together.

I don't believe he'll change his mind about me, or about us. But he IS a very good man and he WILL wait and stay with her until he knows she is okay. This might be 6 months from now; it might be 6 years from now. And I know I can't/won't wait in limbo for 6 years. So I have my own decisions to make.

I don't see the dilemma here. If you want to be together, you'll both wait. If you don't, you'll both move on. It's quite simple, at least the way you've described it. There is no such thing as "too long to wait," for those who have made a firm and unwavering decision to be together. Unless they really haven't made a firm and wavering decision to be together, then everything is on the table.

If things with his W's cancer are not ideal and he doesn't leave on your time table, what are your plans? If they include you breaking up with him, well then I would have to say that you do not want to be with him all that badly. Your decisions are not based upon being with him, but something else. Seems to me, based on your discussion here, that he has been quite open and honest about what the time table is, about six to ten months, depending on her treatment success. I would say extend that out to at least a year. In the meantime, you are not ready anyway. You're staying with your H for your daughter's sake.

Not really a dilemma, unless you're weighing your options and planning to move on to some other knight in shining armor. As I've said before, the married man pool is the worst place for searching for a new husband, since the husbands in it are already committed to other women. If you are husband searching, try the single man pond.

And…not trying to be snarky, but I'm very curious how you guys decided in less than a year that you were perfect for one another and were going to each leave your marriages to be with one another. Perhaps you fall in and out of love easily? I know a few people who do, so I'm not criticizing it. However, if that is so, moving on to finding another future husband/rescuer should be relatively painless, albeit irritating since you already thought you had found the one.

LOL. I am not looking to be rescued. I fell in love with someone. It is very difficult to wait while OM's wife has cancer. There is an extra layer of guilt involved that you cannot feel unless you have gone through it.

And it is not all about MM and what HE wants. Sometimes women in affairs seem to become so focused on their OM's needs--neglecting their own--that it astounds me. I am trying to support him emotionally but also provide for my own emotional needs. It is that simple. I do not feel unconditional love for anyone except my child. I personally believe romantic love is inherently conditional. Look at all the good folks here on this forum who have suffered due to their spouse's behavior--emotional withdraw, sexual neglect, etc.--and have consequently lost their love and found themselves involved with another, seeking love.

And many here find themselves in "exit affairs"" in which their marriages are exposed as unhappy and their affair is a catalyst for change. It doesn't mean we are looking to be "rescued.". We are just seeking something that is missing. And sometimes we find it. Sometimes we don't.

December 28, 2012
9:29 am
Gold Member
Forum Posts: 334
Member Since:
May 2, 2012
Offline
135395
0

If I were your in shoes, and since you don't want to be an OW long term, I'd walk away (whatever that would consist of exactly… NC, no physical, not sure what you'd need). I would never "let" OM leave his sick W for me, even if she goes into remission.

December 28, 2012
11:20 am
Platinum Member
Forum Posts: 1876
Member Since:
May 13, 2011
Offline
135397
0

As I see it, you are thinking too much about "what if". I get it. We do that trying to prepare ourselves for the possible future pain. But the truth is – you can't prepare yourself for a heart-break and you can't protect yourself from it. If it's going to happen, it will, and you will be devastated. That's the fact.

Not having sex will not prevent you from possile future pain and it will not make you love OM any less. But it will cause you current pain, because you'll be lacking physical intimacy with your OM. You'll miss it big time, you'll miss the connection it gives to you and your OM. So I don't see any point in that, because all it will do is cause pain, not prevet you from it in the future.

You are in a really hard situation, I really feel sorry for you. But as I see it, the best (and easiest) thing for both of you is to just continue with your affair as before. And don't think too much ahead. You'll cross that bridge(s) when you'll come there. Just focus on what you too have now, be loving and supportive and hope for the best outcome. Because in this situation there is really nothing you can do. If you pause or end your affair now, you'll only be hurting – now.

Choosing a certain pain now so you won't maybe hurt in the future is just not a wise logic. It's better to choose not hurting now and if in the future pain would be inevitable, you'll deal with it then. It's no point in hurting in advance, because you'll only be hurting twice.

Good luck and lots of patience.

Forum Timezone: UTC 0

Most Users Ever Online: 192

Currently Online:
4 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 0

Members: 4420

Moderators: 4

Admins: 1

Forum Stats:

Groups: 1

Forums: 11

Topics: 6534

Posts: 74050

Moderators: ConflictedAffair (1347), Mumbles (1337), KJ CC (1267), lovergirl (1317)

Administrators: Doccool.com Administrator (444)