The topic of cancer, sex and partners is a sensitive subject. There are no winners just plenty torment, frustration and tears involved. My parent’s marriage was destroyed after thirty-eight years because of my father’s behaviour changing. Unbeknownst to the family he had an aggressive brain tumour growing in his head. My mother at the time repeatedly requested help because his behaviour had gradually become erratic, but her pleas were met with silence. She had started to refuse his advances within the bedroom because he had become not the man she married. In the end because of her own health worries she started divorce proceedings in hope someone would finally listen. Two years later he was diagnosed with the brain tumour and the divorce had been finalized. My mum said I tried and I told them something was wrong and no-one would listen what could I do? When she found out what had finalised their marriage she could only grieve in silence. They still loved each other right up to my father succumbing to the tumour within seven months of the diagnosis, but neither side had the support to reach an understanding on what truly was the problem. My father passed away without my mother by his side.
My marriage too has had its moments of unanswered questions. I discovered that my husband had been seeking attentions elsewhere January 2010. I can’t prove it was sexual because I was never in the same room as the two love birds, but every now and then in a fit of rage even now I show my discontent at finding a love note in his bag. Of course well before the cancer diagnosis there had been other tensions for my husband to seek attentions elsewhere, but all the same he was in the wrong.
When I discovered that love note my husband insisted it was done in jest, but it did not read like a jest to me.
‘Stefek (means Stephen in polish) That’s for you small but still yours…’ written on letter headed company paper with a tiny heart.
I felt like my world had crumbled and my marriage had become a farce. When I look back I remember him jokingly threatening me with going in search of sex elsewhere which he now denies. When I discovered the note I reached out to friends asking why? And their reply was simple he was an idiot.
The pressures he had placed on the marriage meant it was only a matter of time before cracks appeared. Even my husband’s father had said clearly there were pressures placed on the marriage that should not have occurred, but it was down to both of us to ride the wave. My cancer diagnosis had become the wake-up call for me to remove those building tensions, but I was not prepared for the threat of another woman as well.
Like must who become a victim of betrayal I take responsibility for some of the issues within my marriage, but I refuse to blame cancer. I have warned my husband I too despite my cancer can find attentions elsewhere. Not only that I freely discuss those men in the side lines. His polish cleaner is not the only one that can be added to this marriage. Oh yes I had narrowed down who it might be too.
I clearly discuss my husbands’ Mr Meaners as a way of showing him I am not the one who will sit on the side lines. Whether he did or did not I was going to freely talk about it. If he was innocent then he had nothing to worry about and it would be me under question and my behaviour.
Cancer is not the reason for a couple breaking up. It is one of the many ingredients’ used as a pathetic excuse for communication breakdown. Sex whilst an essential within a marriage can be an unwanted pressure whilst going through the mill of treatment.
I personally know that I am not in the mood for sex, but there is sex and there is making love. Sex is a quickie and you roll over with zero emotion. Making love involves foreplay and romance that is not one sided.
Cancer treatment and making love has a delicate balance which involves patience and foreplay. You need to be reassured and to be stress free. If you want to rekindle the flames of passion try taking your time and court your partner. And if you truly respect your partner you will put the effort in.
I personally don’t know where my marriage will end, but I have noticed since my recent recurrence my husband’s behaviour is now more supportive. He has a guilty conscience because he strongly believes stress is the reason the recurrence developed. Yes every now and then when he is late I do have my doubts and I clearly voice them, but for now my priority is to completing my radiotherapy. This is from my husband’s mouth not mine and we are communicating more.