My wife was diagnosed with liver cancer a month ago. I am devastated. It is hard. I love her and have a hard time accepting this diagnosis. She has become a lot more religious now. It is not unusual for family members and friends to call and pray with her. Yesterday, I told her that one of her friends called and said they were praying for her. My wife did not like the way I said it and went to the extent of telling me that she now relies on prayer and that if I wanted her to get well, I'd better start praying.
I feel awkward with this prayer thing because I am an atheist and I neither pray nor prey on vulnerable people as her religious folks are now doing.
Can anyone relate?
i will post this for other readers who may be in a position similar to the one you say you're in. i am not sure you're in it, since your profile conflicts with that, rather. but this is not for you. you have issues well beyond what you post, if your profile and post are taken in tandem.
for everyone else:
i was at my mother's death bed. she was never religious. the only time i ever heard her mention god was when i asked her if she believed in one, and the only reason i asked her was the someone else asked me and i didn't know the answer. her answer (after some thought) was "i think i do."
dad died first. mom died two years later. she did become fond of a man she met at HER father's funeral (in between) and they had a relationship, and he came to see her at her death bed, making her smile even though she couldn't open her eyes at that time. still, she confided in me that she expected to see dad in heaven. this was the first time i ever heard her mention heaven. indeed, we're jewish (and i am an atheist, and i have reason to believe dad was too). there is no heaven (or hell) in judaism, although those places do figure into some jewish folklore.
so what do you think i said? "mom, there is no such thing as heaven and dead is dead and you are about to become worm food"? well, NO. i smiled and reassured her. what would the point have been in upsetting her less than a day before she died? there is no need for anyone to be cruel.
:::: stray cat struts into room, looks at all the posts pointing out the inconsistent "devastation" post v "open to meeting women" on bio :::
Yikes! Well, that done did it, son. What now?? I mean, if credibility were currency, your wallet is mad empty right now.
I understand. I was the speaker at a Native American dinner program when the leader announced a prayer before eating. My usual fierce & angry internal response jumped from dismay at having to participate and hatred of those pious white missionaries who had forced their beliefs. What followed changed my life. He prayed to a Great Spirit, a Grandmother, to the natural world. Before I thought prayer was only to a christian god. Today I pray to a Great Spirit that is in all of nature and to the essence, the soul, the spirit in each of us. Prayer is other than religion.
I feel for you. This is awkward for all of you. I cannot blame her looking for any shred of hope. I hate to say it but you could fake it for her sake. I do not know if it is something you are willing to do. I find myself in situations where the group goes into public prayer. I bow my head and go over my to do or grocery lists in my head. This situation you are in however is far more graver than any of these situations I am in. I am a at a loss on how to advise you. I will say you have my sympathies and I hope medical science can save her. You have my sympathies and I sincerely hope she goes into remission.
Yes, I can relate.
If an all knowing God gave you cancer, why would you expect the same aasshole who gave it to you to cure you of it? That "all knowing" doctrine never makes sense..
In this position though, your wife is vulnerable, processing her own demise, and then exploited by well meaning friends with a different worldview, who think their worldview will help her, she adopted that and now expects your support.
She ought to know you better.
Reminds me a lot of when my own mother passed.
Although many people who read my post could see beyond my desire for hookups and were willing to forgive me for not disclosing that I have a wife, I feel that I owe everyone an explanation, especially to @Larry68Feminist. It certainly will not absolve me from the wrath of the "righteous" amongst us. Most of you took a chance on me and resisted the urge to judge first. Thank you.
My wife and I got married on September 11, 2018. My last post before this one dates back to 09/05/18. Although my profile was created before my marriage, I understand that I should have updated it. Although our marriage is recent, my wife and I have been together for over 12 years. We have three daughters, 11, 9, and 1 (21 months). I love and respect her. I have been faithful, supportive, loving, caring, and very dependable. I encouraged my wife's ambition, supported her while she studied to qualify for medical school. When she went to medical school overseas, I took care of the children (I know it's my duty, but it is tough doing it alone). I suspended my pursuit of a doctorate because there were not enough hours on the clock. One of my favorite actors, Saint Exupery, said: "love is not looking at one another but looking together in the same direction."
Now about the hookup. I have always told my wife that given the right conditions, I would cheat on her. Her response has always been, as long as you respect me, I'm ok with that. I have not cheated on my wife, but that does not mean I don't find other women attractive or that I have not flirted with other women. I owe no one an apology. What has always held me back is the mantra that I use as my email signature "As far as I am concerned, if I conquer greed and fear and exercise restraint, my contribution to the world would have been positive." At my age, 49, expending a lot of energy for a few seconds of pleasure is just too much trouble: hiding communications, finding the time, and overcoming the resultant guilt. Besides, there are emotions, feelings, and all that.
I did not join this site for hookups. I am very skeptical/and cynical about internet dating. I intended to connect with people who share my skepticisms about life and the too many insipid and obsolete traditions we observe blindly. I am looking for a place to exhale from the asphyxiation of religion. I get people's sensitivity and aversion to cheating. I don't share it. I refuse to draw equivalences in human desires and behavior.
Today, the topic of hookups is insensitive, considering my wife's condition. She started chemo on Saturday. One person on this site sent me this message:
"FYI, if she's going to do chemotherapy, raw hemp may help with nausea. Raw hemp has CBDA, the precursor to CBD, and CBDA is supposed to be especially effective for nausea. THC works for nausea too, but it is also intoxicating, whereas the CBDA is not."
The above message is what I hoped for when I shared my post. What the person describes is precisely what's happening with my wife now.
My wife is a great person and I would do anything to help her fight this disease. She does not deserve to suffer as she does. No one does.
Thanks for reading.
My wife was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of dementia. She was catholic and I took her to church every week even though I am not religious. I did the best I could for her. What other people did was not under my control and I was not going to waste my energy on them. Sometimes it's really hard to help a loved one through the end of life just do the best you can. I made mistakes, but I am human and not perfect (or ever will be).
If she believes it works, then go along with. Do whatever it takes to make her happy. I mean she's dying for heaven's sake. You will eventually be alone and think whatever you want to. She's using it as a crutch to get through a very difficult time. She's probably scared.
I can totally relate because I was in exactly the same position when my wife was dying from bile duct cancer a decade back. We were both religious nonbelievers when we first met, though we tied the knot in a Buddhist wedding in Seoul, where we were both working at the time. And this is how we led our spiritual life, such as it was, for almost twenty years. But she had been raised Catholic, and as the cancer worsened, 2008 or so, she announced one morning that she was returning to the church, and in so doing, was going to start attending mass at the church in our town in Kentucky.
Though this was an obviously unwelcome development, I could understand her fear of the unknown and how she was searching for meaning as the end was drawing near. I could also see that she was trying to please her very devout grandmother, whom she adored. Mostly, since she rarely discussed Catholic theology but rather her childhood memories associated with her grandmother and her religious experience in Milwaukee (her birthplace), I could see a kind of psychological regression at play.
However, her return to the Catholic fold did not make our end-of-life discussions easier since she was in dismay that we would not see each other again in the afterlife she believed in but I did not. And when she finally died, it only got worse. First off, the local church arranged a funeral mass behind my back because the priest knew I wouldn't consent, and "the good religious folk of Berea" (as the priest put it) "wouldn't put up with" the secular memorial celebration my wife and I had agreed upon for services in this community. And then there was the aftermath with her spiritual-but-not-religious hippie friends who accused me of "not being there for her spiritually." What was I supposed to do--lie??
So yes, Dude, I totally relate and empathize. I'm sorry you have to go through this shit too.
The best you can do is be there for her. It's not about religion or prayer it is about love. This possibly last journey may change how you either like or don't like your wife as she goes thru this but it is always about love. Remember what makes her laugh and instead of being maudlin try and make her laugh. As to relating prayer messages; let the answering machine take the prayers and play them back for her. Seriously, get caller ID so if she is sleeping YOU don't have to deal with it.
I am so sorry to hear of your situation. My sister has been in remission from Stage 4 breast cancer for about six years. She is religious and she and her friends do pray, but she knows that it is medical science that has kept her alive. I wish that I had some words of wisdom, but I do not.
Be patient is all I can say.