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    Smaug asked a questionBreast Cancer

    How do the male caregivers cope with their girlfriends, fiancees, & wives having breast cancer

    6 answers
    • fiddler's Avatar
      fiddler

      My husband suffers. In silence mostly. He lost his first wife after an auto accident and he had to "pull the plug" because she was not responding. That was 1980 and he carries it with him to this day (I don't mind, I feel as though I know her well, like a bff, and we are very close to her family - because of my husband's son, who was almost 2 when his mother died). Men can go two ways: they can buckle down and get the job done and put off grieving (something uncomfortable for them), or they can have an explosive temper and leave the situation. Open up to your wife - use words like "scared", "triggered", "helpless", but do it in a way that she doesn't have to take care of you. Seek grief counseling - a good male counselor personally familiar with loss - a group facilitated by such a person is best. You CANNOT do it by yourself - you were not meant to, and this is a good opportunity to get in touch with your inner self (not what men had in mind, I'm sure!).

      Your wife cannot touch raw meat, cannot clean the house ... so much is on you right now. Stop at Whole Foods on your way home and pick up already prepared dishes, hire a housecleaner for every other week. Cut down on work hours (if you're salaried) and prepare simple Mediterranean meals - make it an adventure.

      You will need to get away, too. Here's what my husband did. He planned a weekend at the shore (it was mostly for him) but he also said it was for me, to remind me of the good times life has to offer while I'm in the "throes of yuck". It's like me going to the grocery store for hot cocoa mix because we're out of it and I'm jonesin' for it, bringing it home and saying, "Look what I got for you, honey, your favorite cocoa mix!" Win-win.

      Men need their tribe. Go to a reputable men's grief group where you feel comfortable.
      Cead mile beanachd leibh!

      almost 4 years ago
    • SandiD's Avatar
      SandiD

      You have great suggestions here. The fact that you even asked this question shows how much you care. My husband was so supportive, calm and positive through all my treatment. It really helped having his encouragement. I suggest you go to www.breastcancer.org. Learn all you can about breast cancer. This Site also has a section for caretakers that might help you. Also, take really good care of yourself during this time too. It is important for you physically and emotionally. Please remember that breast cancer is not the death sentence it was once thought to be. As long as your partner knows you love her unconditionally, she will be ok. As for uncertainty, try hard to live in the present moment. Make happy memories now because this moment is all any of us know we have! Don't forget your sense of humor! It helps! Surround yourself with positive people and experiences as much as you can, you both need that now. Good luck to you!

      almost 4 years ago
    • carolchristao's Avatar
      carolchristao

      I have a sad thing to share here... I discovered breast cancer a week after the religious ceremony of my wedding (we have been living together before that for a year and a half). He just couldn't make it and this week we are divorcing.
      Sorry to share a sad story.

      almost 4 years ago