Dating while spouse is terminally ill

We must strive for acceptance. This is both a Christian concept and a Buddhist concept.

8 Survival Tips for the Spouse of a Terminally Ill Person

It can take time. Hope may derive from a personal philosophy that is spiritual, mystical or scientific. We must identify the choices that we do have. Live like a surfer! We do not command the tides. We must use every available strategy that is positive; climb back up when we fall off. Enlist the help of friends and family. Assist those who want to help to participate in a way that is practical and manageable. Friends and family can help with telephone communications, child-care, meal preparations, hospital visits and transportation.

Learn to communicate effectively with the children. There are no stages. Denial, anger, sadness, relief, moments of joy, and waves of crying are a tossed salad of emotion. Sometimes grief is complicated by insomnia, excessive withdrawal, depression , irritability, alcohol or drug abuse, or suicidal thoughts. Second opinions are acceptable.

Was I selfish to cheat on my dying husband?

Medical practice provides no crystal ball. Beyond statistics, we are each unique.


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How are some ways you live differently now that you have lived through such a tragedy? You say your primary message is that we only have this moment and that love is a precious gift. What are some specific ways in which we might do that? This is a wonderful question. Prudence aka Emily Yoffe suggests that the woman get therapy.

8 Survival Tips for the Spouse of a Terminally Ill Person

Who has time for that with six months left? Unless the therapy is in Tahiti or some place the woman has always wanted to go to, that seems a grim way to spend your remaining months. Prudence also suggests that the gravely-ill woman hint to her family that she knows about the affair and is okay with it so they don't demonize her hubby after her demise. Yeah, that'll make everything cool. A professional weighed in suggesting that the woman not confront her husband at all -- that instead she give him the "great gift" of not saying anything at all so that when the wife dies, he can continue a relationship with the other woman without feeling guilty about it.

When did this all become about the husband? Seriously, dude, your wife is dying. Maybe this is your way of coping as another expert suggests , but she'll be dead in less than a year!

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Couldn't you "cope" with another woman after that?! That said, nothing will be gained by being angry at the husband now and having her main source of emotional support taken from her.

And who wants the last months of your life filled with gut-wrenching accusations and squabbling. It was just lovely to have someone to talk with, to laugh with, someone who was not making demands, who was not clouded by his depression. But I didn't want this. I wanted to keep the integrity of my marriage intact. But I also wanted Nick - as a friend and a lover. At first I felt guilt, but I knew that to survive I had to face the realities of my life head on.

I wrote them down, to help me think clearly. Everything was a paradox. Jack had been reduced beyond all recognition - he was alive, but he was dead. Our relationship had changed utterly - I was a wife, but not a wife. My pity and love for Jack was so terrible in its intensity that it threatened to destroy me, but to continue to look after him, I must not be destroyed - I must care, but learn not to care so much.

I believed in fidelity, but was choosing infidelity. This, then, was my reality. I had to live in the mess, holding both sides in tension, the good and the bad, the "alive" and the "dead", the hopeful and the hopeless. And I had to recognise that it was all right to have needs of my own.

In the end my decision to give part of myself to Nick and part to Jack, were conscious decisions, made with care. I was aware of what I gave away, aware of what I received in return. There was in this a sense of control over circumstances that would otherwise have threatened to overwhelm with their very intensity and complexity. Another woman might have been able to continue without help. But I was not another woman. And I could not go on alone. And so we became lovers.

We couldn't meet very often but the hours and days were joyful liberation. Nick's steady affection and friendship became one firm foothold in the quicksands of our life. As I carried Jack, hour by hour, wiping up the messes, holding him close to try and comfort him in his depression, as I hid my own grief in a feigned light-heartedness, as I got up, three or four times every night, to help him, I heard Nick's soft voice saying. A year after Jack died, Nick and I parted. I went to work in London and we gradually lost contact. But I wished, when writing my book , that I'd been able to contact him one more time, to tell him what he meant to me.

His companionship did not diminish my love for Jack by one jot; instead it gave me the strength to go on caring for that man of mine until that final hour when he lay dead in my arms, and I laid my head on his still-warm breast, so thin and narrow. To order your copy call or visit books. Accessibility links Skip to article Skip to navigation. Thursday 17 January