How do you deal with the hating? - Prostate Cancer C...

Prostate Cancer Caregivers

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How do you deal with the hating?

Caring7 profile image

I know that's strong language, but really, my husband gets into these places where he treats me worse than a stray dog. It really feels like he hates me. I get it -- it's the cancer, and I know that. And yet, it's really hard to believe one person can treat another person this badly. It's like he's mad at me for not having cancer, and nothing in my world matters because I don't have cancer. I cherish the times when he is out of the house right now because I can actually breathe and relax.

I am pretty good at taking care of myself, getting a massage -- took myself to the movies the other night ("escape to the movies" became quite literal!), continue with my career, get love from my dogs, get support from friends. It's more the day-to-day, hour-to-hour, feeling on the verge of tears, frustrated, upset, resisting the way he seems to be trying to make me feel -- worthless.

Any shared tips?

15 Replies

I am very sorry that you are going through this. It is terribly unfair. Is your husband receiving therapy of any kind? My oncologist recommended a nurse practitioner with advanced training in psych for me and it is helpful. She understands the medical and psychological aspects of the disease and can prescribe medication to reduce anxiety and bring things into perspective.

If he doesn't have one, his oncologist or primary care physician should talk with him about seeing someone. He may need both a therapist and a psychiatrist to attend to the psychological and emotional issues, as well as be able to provide him with meds that help him be rational.

Hope that helps. I would definitely seek advice from his oncologist the oncology nurse and/or primary care doc.

Hang in there but seek professional help. There is no reason to endure the abusive behavior on top of all the rest you must do. Take care and let us know how things are going. we will be thinking about you.

Caring7 profile image
Caring7 in reply to dmt1121

Thank you! Unfortunately this is in the "out of my control" zone. He did try an antidepressant about a year ago, and it was awesome. He was mellowed out, reasonable, but then he stopped, and I asked him to go on again, which he did, but grudgingly, and then stopped. He won't see anyone. I am seeing someone as needed and try to get to the Caregiver group here when it gets this bad.

Also unfortunately, I told the nurse he was in bad mental shape before the last visit, and that didn't really work either. I think our oncologist just doesn't get into that. He's usually quite good and we get along great, but this visit he ended sort of abruptly, and he didn't address it at all. Oh well. I don't think it would make a difference if the oncologist said something anyway.

Hoping that the new treatment starting will help, although that is Zytiga + Prednisone (argh!) but one day at a time!

Thanks for your encouraging words.

KingRasP profile image
KingRasP in reply to Caring7

I am so sorry for all that you are going through. Was he always like this or has this behavior started with his illness.? If not, could very well be the hormonal therapy.

Sounds like there is some underlying issues with his own inability to cope. (Frustration, anger, resentment etc)

If he isn’t opened to help there is very little you can do. He must first acknowledge he has a problem. If “you are the problem,” he will not see the need to seek help or to change.

I encourage you to continue to take care of your own mental and emotional wellbeing or else you will become ill yourself. Stress is a silent killer.

Darn this disease is horrible in the way it affects them and us!

Until things change, know we are here to listen and support in any way we can. Wish if there were more we could do to make this process easier... sending bear hugs for you my dear 💚🙏🏽💚

dmt1121 profile image
dmt1121 in reply to Caring7

I would not let go of the issue with other healthcare providers. Mental and emotional health is part of what they are supposed to deal with. Also, your husband needs to be held accountable and know that because you are his wife does not give him the right to treat you with disrespect. Does he do this with outside healthcare providers? He needs to know that there are limits just like we place limits on the behavior of children.

I hope you can find a way through this but you do not need to sacrifice yourself for his anger about his condition. You are trying to help him and maybe someone (another family member?) can get through to him.

All the best to you.

Dear Caring7,

We understand that our husband's are that ones going through all the treaments and that horrible side effects. However there's no justification for anyone to be treated baldly. I'm sorry that you are going through this. It takes courage, patience, strength and unconditional love to do what you do. I appreciate you.

You matter, you are not alone, God bless you.🙏💖

Thanks everyone. It seems to have reached a fever pitch through last week, and I just needed to hear good stuff. So thanks. He does not have coping mechanisms - I know this, and he's afraid to go into his head. Somewhere he knows that this is all a screwy way to treat me, but long complex psychological history there.

He started new medication today, so I think there is some optimism for a while. He is being nicer and more considerate. Breathing easier.

And I have a trip coming up for work, which I extended for a few days to hang out with friends. Really looking forward to it.

Truly -- thank you all!

I am sorry to hear what you are going thru. It sounds like you are doing all the right things. The problem is his and not yours. There are times when Chuck seems madder than normal. I tend to walk out the door and walk around the block. When I get back I can then broach it without getting mad. That is how I’ve coped with it. You are not alone.

Hope your trip afforded you tons of fun. Hugs my friend. Take good care of your health!

Still here in Nawlins, having fun, oh yes, and attending a professional conference! Thanks for thinking of me. It's a really great break where I have very little responsibility for a few days!

Caring7 profile image
Caring7 in reply to Caring7

P.S. Things are better. He's on Zytiga with fingers crossed that he will be in the 10% category for whom it works decently after Xtandi. But for now, we have hope and optimism for a couple of months. His mental state has improved -- thank goodness!!

:'(

erjlg3 profile image
erjlg3 in reply to erjlg3

Close your heart. Self preservation caring7.

Huge hugs 💗

WOW! that is exactly what I am going through. It's tough. I love my husband so much and just can't understand his treatment towards me. I have called his doctor and she said she finds it very hard to believe because he's so kind in the office. I wouldn't know because he does not want me to go to his appts with him. I'm very saddened by this and push through each day. I "escape" to the movies as well. Some nights I can't wait for him to go to bed so I can putter and just relax without being yelled at. I cry in private a lot, my heart aches, and my soul hurts. I have very little family support. I am very glad my husband has quite a bit of family support. I see this was written a while ago. I am hoping things have gotten better for you. I understand exactly what you are going though. Best wishes to you and your husband

Sorry to hear about your situation. I don't think mine was ever quite as thorough-going as yours! Is there anyone you can talk to -- and/or maybe talk to with him? He may be trying to "protect" you from the doctor's visits? and/or trying to maintain control when he feels like his life is totally out of control.

Our situation goes up and down, a lot. He usually uses "you can't come to my appointment" with me when he is particularly amped up about something. I've been in this with him from the beginning, and I manage almost everything about his care, so he doesn't have much of a choice about involving me in that regard. But then resents it at times.

You are doing good things for you -- just take yourself out of the situation as much as possible. Consider massage as well. I have a massage school nearby with cheap intern massages! I still don't go often enough.

But yes, it's just brutal. And EXHAUSTING!!! I just get so extra tired from dealing with the moodiness and anger on top of whatever else!

The other thing I try is to just be direct and say things like, "that comment hurt! did you mean to hurt me?" Just matter of fact -- not complaining, not escalating, just neutrally pointing out a fact. Sometimes this stops things dead in tracks. My husband is also the type who will never apologize or anything, but he often will process stuff I say and I notice an improvement for a while.

Another realization I had was that he wanted to fight, because if we fought, then he was "right" that I was the worst person in the world (ok, that's probably exaggerated). But he wanted to fight, so I learned not to engage. I silently say the mantra, "do not engage" until I can calm down. Also force myself to take deep breaths. That usually diffuses the immediate situation. I don't feel great (because I've just sucked it up!) but I definitely feel better than a full-blown fight, which I always "lose" because it's not a real fight, a rational difference of opinion, but him not being self-aware and just wanting to lash out.

Even if you don't generally like support groups (I don't) -- you might try a caregivers group. When I was really low with this, I went to one, and it was something of a relief to know that I was not alone, and I was not crazy, and it wasn't me. There's also perspective of some people having it even worse, and maybe giving advice (this reply helps me too). Hubby has been so up and down, even within a day from euphoric all good with me to just hating the fact of my breathing. I almost wish he'd be the same way all day, even if it's grumpy. So this is good timing for me to get perspective by writing to you.

Last idea for now -- you said he has good family support, so maybe there is someone in that mix who can help mediate and bring you into his treatment? A good start would be being able to go to the doc with him, and just take notes. Aside from the outbursts, he needs to realize that you are in this disease with him, and he doesn't have a choice about that, so he can push you away and make it harder, or let you be part of the treatment. If you can get some help with him understanding that, I think maybe maybe it could get a little better? (he will still have anger outbursts but I think the overall dynamic could improve).

Hears hoping things get better. Also note -- I'm leaving for china is a few days and won't have a lot of access to the internet so check back with me in August! Feel welcome to send a private message too.

HUGS

- Brenda

oops! Here's hoping!! just couldn't let that go! ouch!

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