Frustrated with Husband

My husband doesn't handle stress well. He doesn't handle change well. Unfortunately, this appears to be two of the things that cancer is made of. I was just diagnosed a few weeks ago, and I am having a hard time with it. It's so scary, and at this point it still feels like I have more questions than answers. Waiting to get the ball rolling with the surgery next week and my treatment plan revealed after that... I also work full time, and have two young children. My husband works full time as well. I have other commitments (A ton of paintings I have been commissioned to do, that I can't bail out on) that keep me up late most nights since that is my only time left to work on them. I have had a hard life. I get really down sometimes. When I do get down and am not my "normal" self in his eyes (happy and happier), he gets mad. He gets mad when I am sad, short-tempered or frustrated. Mad if I want to go to the store by myself or just relax. I don't get it. I have to deal with my feeling sometimes, and right now, it feels like I get punished for it. Anyone else understand this?


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  • Completely. Not on the husband level, but my boyfriend was like that. We actually broke up because of it. A lot of it (I came to understand) was from fear, and non-understanding. Especially if he doesn't like change and stress, hearing the woman he loves has cancer pretty sufficiently blows up any "normal" understanding of life. My advice would be to deal with it like you would a child. Lots of patience is going to be necessary, especially as you both come to understand what your new life entails. Help him rationalize and verbalize his anger even if it's just blaming someone or something. That was the hardest battle in my relationship - wanting to place blame for the life change and not having anyone/anything blame. Make him understand that the woman you were is no longer who you are. EVERYTHING changes once cancer makes an appearance. There are going to be days when you won't even want to get out of bed. You're going to want time to yourself to grieve (and trust me you will grieve) and he needs to understand that having that time to yourself is just as important as going to the doctors as you go through this. It's going to be a tough battle but if you stick together, it'll be easier. Wishing you the best and that the frustration dies down soon. And hope this helps you somehow
  • Thanks, I appreciate the reply. Not gonna lie, some of those words were pretty hard to read. But I know they are true. I had my intake/pre-admission appointment at the hospital today, and it was hard. Hard to hear the nurse tell me about chaplains and counseling options. I went by myself because I feel like he makes things more difficult when he is there because he gets mad and tries to run the appointment. I hope we can figure it out and get through it together. I don't know what I want or expect him to do.... but I know I need to be able to deal with my feelings sooner than later. I can tell its definitely coming to a boil.... I threw my breakfast sandwich out the window at a stoplight this morning and scared the crap out of the guy in the car next to me because I got so upset that I was running late to my appointment and I hate that I even have to go! So, I need to have a way to deal with my feelings, or more sandwiches may get thrown!
  • Yeah, you've gotta become a pro at stress management. My wife has always been bad at that and it was really hard for her being my caregiver. But she HAD to do it because the course of my disease basically turned me into a child for several months. My brain was GONE. She had to do EVERYTHING and no amount of complaining or getting angry would fix that. So she had to learn to handle stress better than she had in the past.

    Yoga helps her IMMENSELY. It really helps her de-stress. It works for me, too, but I manage stress better in general. I'm a very mellow person for the most part so I de-stress on my own pretty well. But yoga is certainly helpful. For me, exercise and the outdoors are stress reducers. You've just gotta find what works for you.

    What my wife and I have found, and it will sound cliche, but communication is huge. Be open books to each other about how you feel. Don't get angry about your feelings.