View Full Version : How do you handle your illness and your spouse's cheating because they can't

on the verge of losing
Mon Apr 11, 2011, 09:20 PM
Dx'd with low risk MDS three years ago. Just found out my spouse of 20 something years has been enjoying someone else's company for the last 6 to 12 months. How does a person handle this when you really care for them and are not willing to throw away so many years of marriage. I am fighting but devastated!

Neil Cuadra
Tue Apr 12, 2011, 01:26 AM

I'm really sorry to hear about what happened to you. When you're fighting for your life you need the support of everyone around you, and being betrayed must be a huge blow.

Illness puts a huge strain on everyone in the family, not just the patient. Although that's not an excuse for a straying spouse, it partly explains why relationships often suffer when there's a serious illness. When your roles change from romantic partners to patient and caregiver, you can start thinking differently about yourselves and each other. Physical intimacy can become a problem both because of role changes and because of disease or treatment effects like fatigue. And fear of the unknown outcome of an illness can lead people to make bad decisions.

I'm not a relationship expert. I'm just telling you what I've learned from sessions I've attended at patient conferences. In fact, if you go to the agenda page (http://www.aamds.org/aplastic/conferences/2010_national_dc/agenda.php) for the 2010 AA&MDSIF national patient conference, you can still download a PDF of the slides from an excellent talk by Sage Bolte, a licensed clinical social worker who gave a talk on issues of intimacy for bone marrow failure disease patients.

I hope you'll find the way to move forward and come to a point of resolution. I think you'll get the best support from the people around you: family, trusted friends, professional counselors, clergy, etc. Do you have people there who you can count on?

on the verge of losing
Tue Apr 12, 2011, 07:13 PM
Thank you for your response. Some very good points that you made, ones that I am just now realizing. This ilness is not just about ME. I am NOT the only one involved in this process and shutting out and shoving away the ones that you love most can do more damage than you know. Hopefully I have not opened my eyes too late.

Neil Cuadra
Mon Apr 18, 2011, 05:34 PM
As it turns out, Dr. Bolte is going to be giving a webinar on Intimacy, Sexuality and Bone Marrow Failure Diseases next week. Details here (https://live.blueskybroadcast.com/bsb/client/CL_DEFAULT.asp?Client=680927&PCAT=1422&CAT=1422#Aplastic) for anyone interested in signing up.