Caregiver burnout and betrayed


I'm new to this forum but I will jump right in and share. I've been with my fiancee for 3 years and he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in March 2013. Our relationship was rocky then, but all was put aside to deal with this. He completed his treatments and had surgery two week ago and is now home recovering. I work full time, but did everything I could to be there at appointments, come straight home from work everyday, pick up prescriptions, up at night with him, whatever needed to be done. It was never much of a burden because I love him and wanted to do anything I could to help. His siblings were also very involved, they came over to stay and would be here while I was at work and would keep me posted on things docs said and everything else. I am so grateful for them.

There was an issue pending that I knew would come to a head during his surgery. he has 2 children by 2 women. One lives out of town, the other is close by. I know he speaks to them often but I always had an inkling that there was still some unfinished business with the one that lives near. Well she showed up at the hospital while he was in ICU, caressing his hand and crying over him. His whole family was upset that she was there. I knew the only reason she was bold enough to be there the way she was, is because he asked her to be there. I checked his text messages a few days later because I wanted to know what he said to her about his surgery and I got alot more than I bargained for. Without going into too much detail he wanted to get it in before his surgery. He asked her to take a day off work so they and his child can have a picnic, he asked her to find a hotel room, she even talked about moving closer to us so she can live close by! I am very very hurt by this and know this wasn't the right time for all of this, but I confronted him, told his mother and confronted them both over a group text.

He is now home from the hospital and I'm experiencing massive caregiver burnout. Not to mention he also had his second child mother come in from florida and visit with him at our home without so much of a conversation with me or any regards for how I felt about any of it. I was out of the house because I just couldn't deal with another one after the first baby mama drama. After everything we just went through, I feel very disrespected, my feelings disregarded and just taken for granted in the worst way. I'm conflicted now because his mom is staying with us during the week while I am at work, but I want no parts of this anymore. I'm numb, sad, overwhelmed with emotion, negative and just plain pissed off. He is fresh from surgery and still have tubes in him am I wrong for just wanting him to leave? Please be honest, I'm conflicted on how to handle this.



  • 4 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • That's such a shitty situation... I can't believe that he didn't even discuss any of this with you. I'm sure he wanted t make sure he saw them in case of complications, but seriously...

    I think you should have a real talk with him. You mentioned a group texting intervention (haha), but I really think he should hear it from you. I know from my own experiences that it's easy to start treating our SOs with "kiddy gloves", afraid to upset them or burden them because they already carry the oppressive weight of cancer. But even though he's a cancer patient, he is still your partner, and he still has obligations to treat you right whenever possible.

    Don't feel guilty for telling him bad things, for being angry with him or hurt by him. He should know. He might seem fragile to you because yu've seen him at his worst, but he isn't made of glass. I think he would appreciate it, really-- that you treat him not as a child or as a patient to be pitied, but as a man.
  • This sounds like something that needs to be discussed frankly and openly. He needs to know that the way he's handling this is very hurtful to you, and that he owes you honesty about it. It doesn't seem odd to me that he'd want to talk to the mothers of his 2 kids in light of his situation, but he needs to talk to YOU about that because you're technically his CURRENT relationship.

    A lot of people use a cancer diagnosis (or other injury or illness) to be jerks. Sometimes in general, but also sometimes in specific cases. My father uses an injury of his that way sometimes. I've seen cancer patients do it, too. Your fiancee needs to know that you're not going to tolerate that.
  • I agree, open honestly, blunt honesty, is needed. You need to be true to yourself first and foremost, you shouldn't feel guilty about that because of his diagnosis. I feel for you and hope you find some peace soon.