Newly-married wife stressed over husband’s cancer illness

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Dear Gilbert

My husband and I are turning 30 this year. Unfortunately, we’ve been married only since last July and are already considering divorce. I’m unsure if we’re eligible to file for a divorce but here’s the gist of our story and I seek and would greatly appreciate your invaluable advice.

It hasn’t been easy. He was diagnosed with cancer just about 2 weeks into our marriage. Albeit shocking, I willingly accepted our sudden twist of fate and took on the role of his primary caregiver. I ultimately left my job just to care for him full time. I have minimal emotional support to turn to, as I prefer keeping things to myself. My relationship with my own family is also a weak one. We live alone at our own place and so his family members became his secondary source of support. In other words, I would think a lot is on me.

Throughout his battle with cancer and up till today, I acknowledge that it’s natural and only normal for him to feel beaten, negative and especially apprehensive over his future, which is why I never gave up encouraging him every single day on this difficult journey to recovery. However, despite that, during treatment and even now that it has been almost 4 months since his treatment ended, even when his doctors appear optimistic about his condition and due assurances have been time and time again given to him that it is highly curable, he remains extremely negative.

The doctors too, feel helpless over his pessimism. He has become a different person; paranoid with weird behaviour; a husband I gradually can’t seem to fathom nor tolerate. He even refuses to return to his job full time because of his many doubts about his health that I worry for our finances. Looking at how things have turned out, I absolutely regret sacrificing my job and jeopardising my financial stability. As my husband, I feel I cannot at all rely on him both emotionally and physically.

He has also been turning to acts of violence to vent his frustrations whenever we quarrel. I acknowledge that it’s normal for couples to quarrel but I feel utterly disheartened to witness my own husband displaying violence in this household. It is just not right to use violence to solve things Many objects in our house have been damaged and thrown away; our walls, floor and furniture have been chipped, scratched, and discoloured and I’m always the one attempting to mend the damages after his violent episodes. Eventually I felt I had to keep evidence of the damages he caused, which I subsequently did with my mobile before clearing the mess. I feel extremely intimidated by this and extremely fearful of his erratic violence. I can never predict what will ignite his violent fits. There are also times he would threaten to destroy the things I treasure just to shut me up.

I feel so mentally drained and stressed out trying to protect this marriage and this home. What should I do? I don’t deny we’ve had happy times but I feel I’ve reached a point where I can no longer forgive and immense frustration, discouraged and lost are all I feel towards him and this very young marriage.


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