My husband asked for a divorce during my chemo

Dear Guys,

My husband came to me a month ago, smack in the middle of my breast cancer treatment, and told me he is not happy and hasn’t been for awhile. He told me he wanted a divorce. He said he used to be crazy about me, but he’s just going through the motions now.

I did not see this coming. I have had some trust issues with him because in the past I found flirty messages on his phone. I confronted him about them but have never really gotten over it. Things have been strained lately and I noticed for a couple months he’s been withdrawing, drinking more, and spending a lot of time in the garage.

I had a miscarriage, then got diagnosed with cancer, and on top of that, we bought a house together five months ago. He suggested a counselor, but then admitted after that he just didn’t really want it to work anyways. I’m devastated. The stress was too much for me so I decided to move out and get an attorney. We’ve been lashing out at each other with anger mostly about the house. I also found out he was seeing someone behind my back for a couple of months although he says it was emotional, not physical. (Yeah right.)

As much as I hate him for doing this to me right now, I love him and I miss him. Did I do the right thing by leaving? He had already checked out anyway and my pride wouldn’t let me beg. I’m so confused. When I went to move my things out he had taken all of the pictures down from the wall. He brought a list to the counselor of problems he saw with the marriage, including I don’t dress nice (same way I always dressed), I dont trust people (his self esteem; he has a history of depression), my self-confidence (which has obviously suffered from my treatment). He’s made it very clear he is not willing to invest any effort into fixing things at this point, and I’m pretty sure since I’ve moved out the other girl has been there.

Can anyone help me make sense of this?


Dear Keri,

Thanks for your question. We’re really sorry you’re going through such a difficult time right now. We’ll try our best to make some sense of your situation.

When people think of marriage they think of two people falling in love. However, some people get married hoping that the other person will somehow make them whole, or make them feel happier. If they’re depressed this new person makes them feel better. If they have low self-esteem their new spouse boosts their confidence. If they’re angry this new person calms them down. If they’re adrift this new person serves as an anchor. But only for so long. Only until the “newness”wears off. From what you describe—the comments your husband’s made to you about the way you dress, the fact that he drinks and has been likely cheating, and the fact that he blames you for everything—the “newness” of your marriage has worn off and now he feels like something is missing.

We’re not saying that every marriage can be fixed. And we’re not saying people shouldn’t split up. (We believe that until you walk in someone else’s shoes you never really know what they’re going through.) But we will say the timing of your split is very unfortunate even though it makes sense in a way. If your husband has looked to you to solve his problems, then it only makes sense that he leaves when you’re least able to provide what he needs.

It also makes sense for you to still love him even though he’s treated you so poorly. Feelings don’t just disappear overnight; they fade over time with with repeated emotional blows by the other person. But even though you still have feelings for him that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have left. Most importantly you need to look after yourself. You need to be in a good frame of mind and as stress free as possible to help your body heal. And if your husband is not going to support you then you need to do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself.

Once again we’re really sorry this has happened. We can only offer our opinion based on the information you provide, but frankly, sometimes it’s hard to know exactly why people do what they do. Is it possible he could wake up one day—next week or ten years from now—and totally regret what he did? Absolutely. But you can’t live for that day. You have to take things a day at a time and do everything you can to stay positive for your own health.

Take care of yourself. We’re sending you positive thoughts.


ps. Please let your friends know about us. Thanks.

Other questions involving divorce:

I didn’t want the divorce; how do I get him back? 

Divorced and online dating

Dating as a single mother in my 20s

Divorced women in her 40s dating bachelors

Will he ever leave his marriage for me?

I realize I still love my husband after getting divorced

Divorced with kids dating a bachelor 

Divorced and now online dating; am I booty call or more?  



2 Comments on My husband asked for a divorce during my chemo

  1. what confuses me even further was that a week before he dropped this bomb on me, I sensed something was off and I asked him if he wanted me to leave and stay with my mom, and that it was pretty clear he didnt want me around. he then cried in my lap and said dont go, and that he loved me. He thanked me for saying that. After he broke the news to me, I asked him why he didn’t just let me leave and why he said he loved me, he said guilt. I’m totally baffled by this. ?

  2. @Keri……..He’s definitely confused by all the feelings swirling around inside of him. A part of him realizes how much he cares for you and a part of him wants to be free. What he should realize is that marriage is not easy, and that many people in relatively happy marriages, at one point or another, feel like leaving. It’s only natural to want to flee a situation that’s stressful, difficult, and sometimes no fun. But marriage also comes with love. It comes with someone to grow old with. It comes with someone who supports you even when times are tough. Read what we said in our last paragraph to you. He may already be regretting all of his actions. Please keep us updated on all fronts. Take care Keri.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Maximum comment length is 1500 characters.