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How do we help Spouse/Husbands cope?

My Dear Husband (DH) is handling all his emotions about my diagnosis primarily by expressing anger and assigning blame. I am not strong enough to endure his coping mechanism. So … I invented a code word that when I say it he knows he must take his attitude elsewhere or lose my company for the duration. I have lost my temper in response to the negative energy, which I can’t do without two steps back from peace.

How do we help our care givers troubled in this way?

  1. Hi . That sounds like a frustrating situation to be in on top of dealing with your diagnosis. I hope others can chime in with their experiences because I know you are not alone here. I love the strategy that you came up with to deal with your husband's outbursts - how has that been working? Does it help him take a step back and recognize his actions? Coming to terms with advanced breast cancer can be difficult for everyone. Have you considered, or tried it already, talking to a therapist or joining a support group for spouses? It could be helpful for your husband to speak with others who have gone through similar experiences. Sending you strength and support! Warmly, Patty (Team Member)

    1. Thank you Patty. We are trying to find a support group for him. But until we find one, the code word is working 80% of the time. Because I’m a little brittle this week since the diagnosis, I have not been very understanding and my own anger has boiled over in response to his. I met with a mental health professional this morning and he recommends counseling for us both and together as we get started on this journey.

      By the way, thank all of you for being a beacon of home this week!

      1. ... I realized, yesterday, that I am brittle emotionally because I am not talking to anyone about my feelings and my fears. I remedied that with this forum and with a close friend who has been an OB/GYN nurse for 30-years. She has given me permission to be transparent … what a relief.

      2. Well I am so proud of you for taking care of yourself and letting yourself be vulnerable with both us and your OB/GYN friend! I know what a relief it is to be able to let your guard down and connect with folks who genuinely want to listen and help. Keep us updated on how you’re doing, and we’ll be sure to check up on you, as well!🥰

        Sending love and hugs,
        Kay (Team Member)

    2. Hi Trish!!!

      That sounds really crummy, and I’m so sorry to hear that is been affecting you and your partners dynamic. The code word situation sounds GREAT honestly, that’s a good way to just say how you feel very simply, and the consequences are very clearly laid out.

      I think you are doing all the right things and checking all the boxes looking into mental health support. Even reaching out here can be helpful! I’m glad you can find community here with us, Trish.

      Keep showing up for yourself by dedicating time to healing your body and mind. Hopefully your partner will see that and follow suit!

      Take care!

      1. Steph … thank you for that encouragement.

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