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Picture of Topic  'Today I am feeling' - managing emotions


Topic 'Today I am feeling' - managing emotions

Share how you are feeling and swap tips for managing stress with other members and the online team

  • 186 conversations


Started by Anonymous on 19 September 2009 at 23:40

I started dating a man casually, and a few months in he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He's a lot older than me, and quickly I realized I didn't want to be with him -- we just weren't right together, the age difference was too big, we didn't have much in common and didn't want the same things. I'm 26, he's 41. But he was undergoing operations, radiation, chemo, and still his prognosis never really improved much. His tumor came back very quickly after his last operation, and he's now on Avastin, which he views as a "last ditch" attempt and feels certain he's got no chances left. I felt too guilty to walk away. It was hard, I was growing so resentful of him, I felt I was spending the best years of my life with someone I didn't want to be with, but at the same time the thought of leaving him alone with his disease (he has no family and very few friends nearby -- we've both moved to London quite recently) was unbearable to me. Finally, last night, after two years of my not being happy (but being extremely supportive as a girlfriend, and there for him 1000%) I had to come clean, and broke up with him. I told him I loved him but not the way he wanted me to, and said I very much wanted to keep being there for him however he needed or wanted me to, that I desperately wanted to stay friends, but that I couldn't keep being his romantic girlfriend. He's crushed, told me I was the only thing keeping him going, and that now he sees no reason to keep fighting. He said he feels sure he has only a few months, two years tops, left. That he can feel his brain dissolving, that "the words are just falling out." He was angry at me at first, but now he just feels lost and betrayed and sad, and too exhausted and spent to put any effort or will into going on. He says he doesn't have time to start a new relationship, and is convinced that no one would want someone so sick anyway. The guilt is eating me up and I don't know what to do. I just don't know what to do. I feel excruciatingly awful, and I know it's nothing compared to what he will be going through every day for the rest of his life.  This is too much. Please, someone help me, or at least help me help him.

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  • From Anonymous
    16 July 2011 at 20:04

    If you don't want to be with him it was the best thing to be honest with him.  You are staying as a friend to help him and that is very kind of you. His feelings are his and not yours - you cannot stay with someone out of guilt or any other reason other than love and wanting to be with him more than anything in the world. Make your own life, include him in it and you will both be OK. Best of luck to both of you.



  • From Anonymous
    20 September 2009 at 12:22

    Well one thing's sure; that's about as difficult a life decision as you're ever likely to make.  

    When he's no longer in your life, you can feel proud that you told the truth, and that you offered him support as a friend.  

    You spent two years with him; it's quite a long time to come to the realisation that you don't have much in common. Are you 100% sure (or 1,000% as you put it) that you really don't want him, and sure there's not an underlying reason you want to leave him (i.e. you're scared to deal with his death; your age difference).  The way you know you've made the right decision is if it feels better after you've left, even if it's only a little bit.

    It's perfectly natural that you feel guilty, especially if you feel as if you are abandoning him, but his future is for him to deal with and I don't think there's never been a terminally ill patient who hasn't met someone to share their last months with, so you don't have to feel as if you are his only hope.  

    I know that at 26 you feel that this is "the best years of your life" but trust me, every year can be the best year of your life, depending on what you're doing with it.  I explained to my friend of 102yrs that I don't feel any older, physically or mentally, than I did when I was in my twenties (20 years ago) and she said "you never do, dear".  That's the thing no-one tells you when you're young.  Your mind doesn't change, and life really is what you make it.  

    Good luck for the future, whatever you do.  You're very brave and kind and those qualities should see you in good stead for your old age.  x

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