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Prostate cancer is destroying our lives

Posted 24 May 2019 at 21:04

I haven't posted on here for a while, I dont speak to anyone about what's happening anymore as I think everyone has got sick of hearing it to be honest. I feel like there is no one that can help anymore. We have no family support, quite the opposite in fact, friends have drifted away and I'm alone in a relationship that cancer is destroying. Right now we should be away in Cornwall for a bank holiday break but his vile outbursts have stopped that, the same as it stopped two other trips away that can't be got back. He complains about money but is quite happy to waste hundreds of pounds on wasted breaks. I'm living in a vicious circle of being verbally abused, told how much I'm hated how everything is my fault, that I control everything (completely untrue as I spend everyday trying not to upset him) I'm told that I'm the biggest mistake of his life, that I don't compare to others, that he wishes he never married me 9 months ago, shouting at me in the street this morning, telling me I'm pathetic because I cry and how he's going to destroy me. He constantly criticises our 13 year old son, he can't do anything right. Sometimes it goes on for a day sometimes several. Then comes the words of apology (just words never actions) then apparently I'm the love of his life, he can't live without me, I'm everything to him, it's not him when he turns into what has been named as 'the monster'. But every time this happens I'm finding it harder and harder to come back from it. Every time it destroys a little bit more of my heart. We have nothing to look forward to anymore because I know that no matter what we plan he will destroy it, we don't socialise, we don't go anywhere, everything we've booked he has thrown back at me. His wedding ring is taken off and thrown back at me on a weekly basis. How long can I carry on like this? It's emotional torture. He promises to get help which has been offered to him many times but he never sticks to it. I don't think I can believe he loves me anymore, if he did why would he want to destroy me and our marriage when I've done everything possible to love and support him. I feel so lost and broken and alone. I just don't know what to do anymore. I appreciate that he must be going through hell trying to deal with a metastatic diagnosis and I've tried so hard and done everything possible to support him but now he says I'm just controlling, just because I like to know as much as possible so I can support him and make sure he's getting the best treatment. One minute he wants me involved the next he's accusing me of being controlling. I'm walking on eggshells every day trying not to upset him, wondering what mood he will be in each morning. I'm emotionally and physically exhausted to the point where I just don't know how much longer I can continue to take this when he won't get help 

Posted 24 May 2019 at 22:24


I really feel for you and your son, and your husband too who's clearly struggling.

I think you should ring the PCUK nurses *now* on the number at the top of the page. Most of the calls they get are emotional issues, so I think they may be able to provide some suggestions, as they will have heard of this many times before. Your husband's mood swings could be due to hormone therapy, combined with his depression and struggling to handle his situation, and not knowing how to handle it.

Posted 24 May 2019 at 22:28

Hi,  I'm sorry to read of your situation and am not really able to add much.  My first thought was whether you have visited the GP or Macmillan by yourself for advice for your own situation and if possible about what they can do for him at his next appointment.  Although there is a risk if he finds out you're talking about him behind his back so you could restrict it to advice about your own situation.  Regards Peter

Posted 24 May 2019 at 23:00
This is domestic abuse - having cancer is no excuse for his behaviour. Never mind the GP or PCUK - phone Women's Aid or your local domestic violence service and talk to someone.
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

Posted 24 May 2019 at 23:01


You elaborated on the situation that you have previously told us about here:- https://community.prostatecanceruk.org/posts/t16524-Depression-Advice-Needed#post202908 but you do not say what action you took to get professional advice as was recommended by us. This further cry for help has again resulted in suggestions for expert help. Have you done anything about this???

Edited by member 24 May 2019 at 23:02  | Reason: Not specified

Posted 24 May 2019 at 23:29
I feel sad for you and the situation you find yourself in and the mood swings may be a result of the medication or anger that is difficult to control. When you say that the breaks are wasted, are you able to go yourself with your son or do you feel you cannot go because you are afraid of consequences or do not drive?

Perhaps you need to speak to your GP to see if you can speak to a counsellor about how you feel yourself. You need support through this and you have to work out what you really want to do. Cancer is hard to deal with but you have to look after yourself whilst being supportive to your husband. You do not deserve to be abused in any way and you can only control the way you deal with it.

There is help available and I hope you find that soon.

Posted 25 May 2019 at 07:39
Helen, you need to do something. As Lyn says, this is domestic abuse, plain and simple, and having cancer does not excuse it. Have you taken any professional advice as you were advised when you posted about your husband's abusive behaviour last October?

You don't have to put up with this. Go to the police and report it. It's a crime.

Posted 25 May 2019 at 12:01
Dear Helen, I do feel for you and for your children. This sounds an intolerable situation. I know it’s hard – and I’m sure your self-confidence has been worn down In recent months - but please don’t feel you must accept it.

Having incurable cancer and being on HT is life-changing and beyond hard – but it isn’t a ‘get out of jail free card’ which means that abuse is allowed. Tell him, ‘Please don’t talk to me in that way,’ or ‘I’m sorry you feel that way’, and leave the room. Don’t stay around to soak it up.

There is support available for him including : counselling through his GP or through Macmillan; antidepressants; support for depression through SANEline, mental health helpline – ‘… offering specialist emotional support, guidance and information to anyone affected by mental illness, including family, friends and carers … open every day of the year on 0300 304 7000’ (www.sane.org.uk); CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) – www.thecalmzone.net, which focuses on supporting men in crisis (0800 58 58 58); PCUK specialist nurses; this forum; Samaritans ……. None of these can change his diagnosis but he can get support and know that he isn’t alone.

BUT you can’t do this for him. It’s a well-used phrase but we can’t change others’ behaviour, only our own. His illness isn’t your fault and you need to look after yourself and your children.

As I understand it, you hadn’t known him for long before you married (?) and it could be that he has an abusive personality which pre-dates your relationship and his diagnosis. He has repeatedly said that he wants a divorce - so arm yourself with information. Many solicitors who practice family law offer a free half-hour consultation and it would be empowering for you to know where you would stand. See www.resolution.org.uk, whose members ‘follow a Code of Practice that promotes a non-confrontational approach to family problems. [Their] members encourage solutions that consider the needs of the whole family - and in particular the best interests of children.’

Whether you pursue this route or not is up to you, but do get informed. I feel so strongly that your life and the lives of your children are just as important as his.

As Lyn says, you can also get support and advice from Women’s Aid helpline (0808 2000 247, www.womensaid.org.uk). Another source of advice is Rights of Women (www.rightsofwomen.org.uk) who offer free and confidential legal advice to women. Call: : 020 7251 6577.

You can find a safe place to talk this all through and be heard by calling Family Lives (0808 800 2222, www.familylives.org.uk).

This is a really hard situation for anyone and I think some counselling help would be good – as with your OH, perhaps through GP or Macmillan.

Do your best to have an independent life that will give you pleasure and strength. Remember you are your children’s role model. I’m not saying it’s easy.

Walking is good, running is great. You can start as a complete beginner with www.parkrun.org.uk. Find out what’s going on in your area through www.meetup.com.

Sorry for the long post. Pick out the bits that seem useful and ignore the rest.

Thinking of you and hope this helps.

Betty xx

Posted 25 May 2019 at 13:38
Hi Helen

I have to agree with Lyn and others on here, it is domestic abuse and it will only get worse, please do something to get away from the situation

barbara x

Posted 26 May 2019 at 07:49
Hi Helen

So shocked to read this sorry tale. You're married to a weak and selfish man. For the sake of your son's wellbeing and your sanity you need to cut your losses and give this schmuck the old heave ho.


Posted 05 Jul 2019 at 20:46

I am so very sorry that you and your son are having to endure this behaviour - It has been a while since you posted but I have just joined so only just seen the thread. 

I was wondering if things have got any better?? 

You say that cancer is destroying your life however I have to say that it is actually your husband that is destroying your life. 

Everything you outline is abuse - As much as you deep down love him, want to support him through this etc, you also have to look after and think of yourself and importantly your son. 

My eldest daughter tolerated this with her father (without cancer being a contributing factor) and it has resulted in anxiety and PTSD.

I do not know where you are but I would 100% contact the team here at Prostate UK but see if you have a local Nextlink (they were fabulous for me, when I wanted support). 


Hope things have improved sweetheart  xx


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