Originally Posted by dntsdad
and I guess here lies the issue...even though we all are proud fucks, and continuously say what we would do definitively in a variety of situations that we have never been in, we don't know for sure. Then to condemn others who are in those situations because they don't act in the manner that we subscribe to on our best days is par for the course. I do it as well.
I have been through what the OP is describing. It's easy to paint a picture in your head of what living with a terminal spouse would look like on your head. Ok, they are "sick". They live with you. Life moves along.
I would venture that I had about a good a marriage as you can get. My wife and I got along fabulously. Almost never fought. Honestly, I would say never but then it appears to be revisionist hyperbole so I will say "almost", even though its closer to never. Sex life was good. No real financial worries other than not having fantasy "things". Kids are healthy, good jobs, etc.
What I am saying is there was no foundation for infidelity in our marriage before she was diagnosed.
One day, after work while meeting her at the doctor on my way home, our lives changed 100%. Just like that. Things would never be the same. Not even close. A slow fade from having a wife and a best friend to a "patient" that you are the caretaker for. While this person looks like my wife (minus the massive weight changes, the 1/2" long hair, the moon face from the steroids and the lipoma benign tumors on her back and neck also from the steroids) mentally, that person was not my wife anymore.
I still fucking loved her more than myself though.
It sounds cold to say, but that person that the cancer ate up, was not my wife anymore.
My wife always knew our dogs names.....and that they were in fact dogs.
My wife always knew that when the water got to the top of the sink, you turn it off and not let it keep running and flood the ktchen.
My wife knew that when the kitchen was flooded, there are better ways to clean up the water than a broom and a dustpan.
My wife knew that.......well a lot of things that she frequently did were wrong and dangerous.
I could go on and on and on and on. List out the heartbreaking things that I saw, did. I won't though.
Over two years, you find yourself isolated. Everyone else around you, people that you consider your friends.....lifelong friends, family, etc. They move on. They have lives in which they do things, go places.....live. You get to see it on Facebook.....Every. Day.
You don't. You are tied at home because nausea is a real thing and a fucking bitch. Because fatigue is something in which I thought I knew about until cancer came knocking. Then I learned what fatigue and sickness really were. I learned a whole new vocabulary of body parts, drugs, side-effects, medical terms and procedures, etc.
Eventually, you are isolated. You may have work hours to be out and with people. but at home, its you and your spouse. When your spouse is for the most part bed-ridden 23 hours a day........its you.
Everyone's situation is different. They may have kids at home, more friends and family that still are involved. Whatever.
That will never displace the loss of the person that is your spouse and hopefully, your best friend. Even if that person lays in bed with you every night. They are not that person anymore.
Affection, love, joy, etc. are basic human needs. Some can go without them more than others. Some can't. Take away the ability of the person that you want to, and should, get those from, and people make choices.
No, I am not saying it OK. Not saying its OK just because a lot of people do it in this situation. It's wrong. It's a betrayal. Its heartbreaking.
Like many things that people do though, even though I chose not to do them, I can understand how people would is all that I am saying.
I would have been married for 25 years on May 19. I never cheated on my wife......never.
Even when I had gone a 1.5 years without even a meaningful kiss, or any real affection like that. Like I said above, chances were there. I almost took them. I am human and a man who gets horny. My wife would have never known, and in fact, my wife repeatedly gave me the go-ahead many times. She wanted me to be happy, and she knew(as did I) she had zero desire for sex nor did she even have the energy for it. Again, I never did.
To wrap up, I am not saying that its ok what the OP friend's wife did. Again, such a betrayal under perfect conditions. Add the factor of cancer, and it feels worse. A man so vulnerable and at the low of his confidence and self-worth.
What I am saying, is that with the percentages of people who seek comfort from others that are out there (depending on who you believe I guess) is that all those people are not horrible monsters of people. Life, and its terrible situations that it can throw at you, cause good people to do shitty things. Things that feel right in the moment. Or maybe they don't but you do them anyway because they are what you need.
Again, I didn't take that path and I am glad that I didn't. I can hold my head high, if only for myself.
Grief does strange things to a person. Grief has caused many a people to kill (themselves or others), stalk, rant, fight, lose massive amounts of weight, become depressed, and on and on.
It's not completely outside the realm to think that it can cause someone to seek their basic emotional and sexual needs in comparison. Especially, when that assumingly makes that person happy in the moment.
Again, I don't condone it any more than I would condone this man beating the hell out of his wife with a bat for her actions.
All that I am saying is that I understand both actions, even though both are deplorable.