My wife wants to leave me for a woman

My wife wants to leave me for a woman. It's a long story.

This spring my wife, 41, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had the operation and is now on chemotherapy, and will be (plus radiation) for the rest of the year. She has been taking steroids to help combat her nausea for the chemo and they are starting to have an affect on her personality. She literally dropped a bomb on me over the weekend, that she is bi-sexual or has lesbian feelings (actually, the bomb wasn't coming out, as we had already spoken about the possibility), she had taken overt steps to light the bomb (she phoned a woman she thinks is gay that she is infatuated with for a lunch date, at least she was open about it) and that the marriage is probably over. She left me thunderstruck and I am still figuring it all out. While I knew about her sexual feelings I had no idea that she wants out of the marriage -- or at least to make it non-sexual. Fantasizing is fine, every one does it, but to hear her talk about leaving me for her friend (who may not even be interested even if gay) just hurts.

Everything literally felt normal, aside from the cancer and chemotherapy of course, until this past weekend. Maybe this is a chemotherapy phase, but maybe it is not. And even if it is, what do those words mean? Does she really mean it or is it just her tongue loosening up from the drugs? Or maybe it is the cancer causing her to reevaluate her true feelings? She said she probably would have come to this conclusion eventually so I suspect it is more the cancer accelerating things.

She has discovered some deep feelings, buried since she was a teen, coming to the surface as her body is filled with testosterone. If she were a man I'd suggest she was thinking with her little head and not her big head. For all I know this is just a side effect of part of her drug therapy and these mood swings will go away once her regimen is completed, however she said these feelings have been coming up since she went off the pill a few years ago due to blood clots. For the most part, she can't physically act on it due to her current physical condition, as the chemo starts drying her up and causing sores in unpleasant places, so nothing physical will happen for now. Mentally is another matter.

I feel like I am being blasted from all sides. I expected no s** in the short term while she undergoes treatment, I did not expect it to be permanent. Just after I thought I got over the fears that breast cancer may take my wife away from me, she said something else may do the same and once again my emotions are all over the place -- about as bad as in the immediate days after she was diagnosed. Her mood is remarkably chipper, of course she has time to think about this. I haven't. As to the future, who knows? It is very upsetting to me, but so far, at least, it is not affecting our children. They are going through enough stress now and don't need more so I am keeping this all inside, aside from this.

At the moment I don't have anyone to really talk to about all I'm going through. Sometimes I just want to cry. It will all have to come out soon, but I don't want to say anything until my wife is done with her chemo and radiation sometime at the end of the year, especially if her thoughts and feelings are due more to the drugs she is on. She has a habit on fixating on things and this is what she is currently fixated on. The question is, is this just a substitute to take her mind off of breast cancer and chemotherapy or is it something more. I sense it is the later.

It wouldn't be so bad if we hated each other and were fighting like cats and dogs, but we don't and were actually getting more intimate again in the bedroom (you do have to spice things up after almost two decades), actually exceeding the monthly average for people our age (as time allowed). Maybe I am just blind to my own faults and didn't see what was really going on in our marriage, faults that the cancer brought to the front. Maybe it really is just the medicines.

I actually feel like a humiliated fool at times and since I don't keep a diary, this is where it will all come out. Should I accept that she wants someone other than me? Should I just acknowledge that I am helping the mother of my children get through chemotherapy and not my wife? I had told her I'm OK if she wants something on the side (not that it is my permission to give, as she told me) but that I wasn't OK with the family being broken up. But with women, it is a mental thing, not necessarily a physical thing and she has told me she doesn't know if she can do that. Even she admits she may be making the stupidest mistake of her life, as an un-impartial observer I can't say I disagree.

I actually feel like a humiliated fool at times and since I don't keep a diary, this is where it will all come out. Should I accept that she wants someone other than me? Should I just acknowledge that I am helping the mother of my children get through chemotherapy and not my wife? I had told her I'm OK if she wants something on the side (not that it is my permission to give, as she told me) but that I wasn't OK with the family being broken up. But with women, it is a mental thing, not necessarily a physical thing and she has told me she doesn't know if she can do that. Even she admits she may be making the stupidest mistake of her life, as an un-impartial observer I can't say I disagree. I am more upset about her wanting to end the marriage then just her having a little fun on the side.

Sorry this wasn't an x-rated story -- I just needed to vent.

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  • I'm really sorry to hear the above, I think women want something more out of marriage or long term relationships nowadays. They want to express their feelings and want someone to listen and interact with them. Unfortunately no matter how much us men care the vast majority are unable to do this effectively all the time.

    My marriage has been in trouble since we got married, we never lived together and we out our difficulties down to money issues a few years back, but after 4 years of routine it finally hit me, i woke up and smelt the roses and realised that things need to be back to how it was when we first met, with spontaneous passions and interactions with one another. I opened up to my wife about this and how much I wanted it to work and what I thought we should do about it, she agreed but didn't seem to be that bothered by the whole thing. Anyway a few months passed and we had a holiday during that period on which I though we had a good time .unfortunately the following week her nan passed away, I was there for and tried helping out, she was very distraught and said she needed some space which I gave her and she went and stayed at her mums. During this period she came home for tea now and again and started saying some very unusual comments such as I wish I never got married i wish i lived at my mums. I was like WTF is going on, A week passed and she was due to come home and I said we need to discuss things when she is back because she didnt seem happy. Anyway we discussed and I forced it out of her that she didnt want to be together anymore because she said she had no love for me she cared for me but no love. we talked about the reasons for this and she said I had pused her away in the early stages, I agree with this and take responsability, she agreed to give us a few weeks as i would like to woe her and belived her emotions are all over the place. Anyway this morning i checked her phone for the 1st time ever and she is seeing a woman since the last few days!

  • I'm sorry.
    You sound like you truly care about your wife. I'm young and don't have much advice to give. But as someone who's bisexual, I know that it hurts when a partner doesn't take the confession seriously, especially when it doesn't come easily (and it usually doesn't). I do feel like it's an important part of who I am, and it's something I want to act on, not just fantasize about. Maybe the drugs and her cancer has made her decide to be honest and finally open up about who she is. I can imagine it really hurts that she suggested ending the marriage. Maybe that was just a reaction to your reaction. Or maybe not.

    I do hope things work out for the best for you both.

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