caregiver and sex

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caregiver and sex

by dogfood on Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:00 AM

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I am a 50 year old male caregiver, my girl friend of 2 years has liver and bone cancer, we met after her first round of chemo, she was in remission. She is a beautiful woman, strong and happy. we share all of our wonderful time together, we are best friends and I dont want to lose her.. I care and respect her very much. She has cancer again and during this round of cancer treatment with chemo, painkillers and all she has no interest in sex. I fully understand and respect that. But now after many months of non sexual activity, I find myself needing the comfort of a woman. I have been keeping these feelings to myself, because I feel selfish in thinking those thoughts. At night as we sleep together and I hold her, I have tears in my eyes because of our lost sex life. The thoughts of having an affair are strong. I know that there is no answer but I just needed to talk aloud about it. There is no one in my life that would understand, and I am afraid that if I did say anything to any friends, I would be seen as a cad for even having such thoughts. I feel trapped and I feel terrible for even having thoughts of feeling trapped. Thanks for reading.

RE: caregiver and sex

by Barb1453 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:00 AM

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I don't know if this will bring you any comfort, but you are not the only one feeling this way.  My husband of 30 years and I have been battling this wicked disease for almost one year.  There are times I want to run away and have fun doing things I like to do; but when I feel this way I ask God for the strength to go on one more day.  Don't beat yourself up too much about feeling like you are being cheated out of living; because both of you are.   You might want to check out joining a support group; it could help both of you deal with your issues and concerns.   Since this has all happened; I have a much better appreciation for anyone who has taken on the role of caregiver.  

RE: caregiver and sex

by Miasma on Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:00 AM

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I am so sorry, and I do understand. As caregivers, we often feel selfish when we remember our own needs in fleeting moments of introspective thought. My lover showed me a beautiful world of lovemaking before and immediately after he was diagnosed with late stage lung cancer 15 months ago. I have never known this type of desire and love before meeting him. Only 7 months after we started our relationship we found out that he had it, that it was inoperable, and would eventually be terminal. As a woman I would tell you to stick by the one you love. Anti-depressants have killed my own once vigorous sex drive, but if the tables were turned, I'd simply tell my lover to see about an escort. Sorry if that seems crass, but I am just being honest. I would ask that he be discreet and honor me as best he could. I hope you are able to find peace on your difficult journey.

RE: caregiver and sex

by joves on Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:00 AM

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When you have cancer you are fighting for your life. You are combating a variety of ailments from constipation to nauseousness, pain all over, and fatigue. The chemo has huge impacts. Think of it as the worst cold you have ever had that goes on for long periods of time. I think that is the perspective you should have. Would you have an interest in sex under those conditions.

RE: caregiver and sex

by lily33 on Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:00 AM

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I understand what you are going through.  My husband has been battling stage IV kidney cancer for the past 5 years.  We have been married for over 10 years and I love him more than words can say.  The thought of losing him crushes me.  I am 33 years old and he is no longer interested in sex.  I have done everything to please him or interest him and I am rejected constantly.  I often go to sleep at night crying because I am in need of the comfort of a man.  I know he feels like he is failing me as a husband and I am wracked with guilt over thoughts of having an affair.  He has changed so much since the cancer and I know it's not his fault.  My desires are constantly on my mind and it's impossible to talk with anyone about this because of the shame and thoughts about what people would think.  I'm glad you wrote about this because I thought I was the only one.

RE: caregiver and sex

by Joan_l_3 on Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:00 AM

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I, too, understand what you speak about.  I don't think we need to be ashamed of how we feel; it is natural to still want the close, loving intimacy we shared with our loved one prior to the onset of cancer.  What matters is what we do about what we feel.  For myself, I feel that when I made a promise to my partner, before God, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, I don't think cancer was excepted.  I personally would not want my spouse finding solace elsewhere if I were the ill party.  My relationship with my spouse is not one-dimensional; it comprises many parts of which sexual expression is only one.  And there is still cuddling, hugging and kissing which are all good, positive actions that can go far in keeping intimacy intact between 2 loving partners.  

RE: caregiver and sex

by Jeffs_wife on Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:00 AM

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Im in the same boat my husband of 20 years has brain cancer and our sex life has been put on hold. I miss my husband and how his makes me feel and how close we can be together. But I try to think about how he feels about this and I try not to make him feel bad becuase its not his failt it this Monster that we live with. At my house in the past 3 month I find out that he had an afair on me 9 years ago and I would never think that he would have done this to me but he did and im trying my hardest to forgive him and forget it becuase it was at a time that I guess our marriage was not to good. But I thought we had a great marriage and I still do he made a mistake and he has to be the one to ask for forgiveness and I believe he has done that. Well since I found out I have too thought about going our and having one and making him hurt has bad as he made me but I don't think that is the right thing becuase I made a promise in from of family and God to love Jeff and I do Love Jeff with every bit of my heart. So I just pray alot and ask God to take this feeling away from me and let me love my husband and if we don't have sex anymore that will be ok we will learn how to cuddy and kiss and hug and love eacher everyday that we have with each other. Becuase we are not promise tomorrow.

Missy (jeffs wife)

RE: caregiver and loss of intimacy

by WAcarehubby on Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:00 AM

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I just joiined this site.  thank you to all who ahve the courage to write about your most intimate issues when faced with the huge illness of your spouse or partner. My wife fell ill with Glioblastoma MF IV in 2005. It has been a journey I would not want again but, like they say, would not take a million bucks to give it up.  We have run the gammet from most wonderful to absolute worst one could imagine.  It has been an honor to be married to this owman and to be here caregiver. She never complains and although acceptance is not giving up, she fights it every day but also moves on when needed.  Oh God, I love her so.  She is slowing down and we are making plans for her full time care at home.  No re-occurance thank God, but she is deminishing.  With all that is good and with all that is tough, I miss the intimacy the most.  we ahve been celibate for nearly 5 years and although I am no youngster, I am healthy and it has begun to consume me.  Am I being tested? Am I really better for remaining celibut? Going outside of marrraige is not possible. relations in the marraige is impossible, therefore, the makings of pure frustrations.  I want it over. I do not want her to die, I want it all back the way it was before she was ill...and I know that will never happen...never!  I agree with one of teh postings, I want to go away and have fun.  I do that in my mind and fantasize which is frustrating when I finally wake up.  I am in a caregiver support group and we are all furstrated with this issue..no answers. Thank you Cancercompass for this forum.

 

 

RE: caregiver and sex

by bootss on Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:26 AM

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Finally someone who feels as i do!My wife has severe COPD with minor brain damage.It has been 2 years since she has had any desire to have sex.We are both older than you but my disire is very strong.I find myself looking at websites that portray sex and that makes things worse.When tension builds up i take care of it myself.

That does not help my feeling the need for intimacy with a women though.I think that is the root of the problem,more so than the sex.The holding,smell intimate talk and touching of each other is missed the most.My wife has actually told me to get a girlfriend!This makes it even harder as i know it would hurt her terribly!

I truely feel sorry for you as the pain can be great at times.Use the gift of memory and it will help you getthrough the bad times.Best of luck and God help your girl

RE: caregiver and sex

by vanessa88 on Sun May 27, 2012 07:07 PM

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I became friends with a man whose wife is suffering with Stage IV breast cancer.  She's been in Stage IV for about 5 years now, I think, and she's had cancer for over 10.  He and I had been emailing each other for a few weeks, sharing feelings because we are both going through difficult times (mine having to do with stress after divorce).  I absolutely loved his emails. 

In one email, though, he told me his wife suggested he get a girlfriend...that she worried about him.  I thought to myself that if I were in her shoes, even if I worried about him, I wouldn't want to lose him emotionally to another woman.  I am very attracted to this man, but finally I told him we needed to stop communicating.  He didn't want to let go (and neither did I), but he respected my request.

We have not been communicating, but I'm feeling very guilty because I am following his wife's progress on her blog and her posts on his Facebook page.  In the last picture I saw of him he looked so sad and stressed out.  I keep telling myself "thou shalt not covet" and "do unto others" and "stop!" But I keep thinking about him.  I look at their pictures and think about how much they are both suffering.  Before this experience I'd never realized how much the caregiver suffered.

I will never again communicate with him while his wife is alive, but I do think about what will happen if she passes.  Will he contact me then?  Will it be right to re-connect with him?  Or should I simply tell myself right now that that is out of the question...that I should put him behind me forever...?  I want to do what's right.  What would you do?  I'd be happy to hear from anyone.  

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