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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?

Ownyrvoice 5 Jan 22

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Wait. Your wife was diagnosed a month ago, and you're "devastated", but you're open to meeting women?

Pardon me if I have my doubts about anything you post.

Yeah! His profile status is "seeing someone" and he's looking for hookups.


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.


Thanks for the time you took to explain your thoughts.


Your profile lists your status as "seeing someone" and that you're interested in "Friends, Hookups". With all due respect, go sell your shit somewhere else!

Can't be all that "devastated".

Whoa. Disappointing. Now I feel sorry for his wife on so many more levels.

@Deb57 if he has a wife.

@Deb57 with all the PolyAmory on this website I am surprised how some are turning on our Atheist married to an xian liver cancer patient.....have people forgotten Mister Terry Schiavo's 2 children with his mistress while his wife was waiting to die a brain dead vegetable ???.... life is not black&white binary folks unless those are the terms of your endearments

@Larry68Feminist then let him tell the truth about himself. If his wife is dying why not list himself as "married" or "separated"? And if he's all depressed about it why is he looking for hook-ups?

@BitFlipper I do not demand women tell me who and when and why they sleep with zero to many others..... why hold this Atheist to a binary standard? I suppose he could be trolling but that is quite a bizarre months or year in the making....????? Have you joined the ETHICAL SLUTS group ?? I have not read a single offensive post there from any Poly person..... at face value this Atheist seems sincere engaging and grateful for all the advice and accurate empathy
.....but has replied to only one criticism of his open marriage lifestyle....I am reminded of Dorothy Kilgallen polyamory and how people "believed" she overdosed on the eve of reporting her interviews with Jack Ruby....she was OBVIOUSLY murdered and prim proper New Yorkers snickered over her sexual freedom and her loyal husband

@Larry68Feminist I don't care about his lifestyle. I just think he's fake.

@BitFlipper I do not see how fake he is ....every post seems thoughtful caring transparent and responsive to most of us who shared with him....many xians think us Atheists are fake and threaten us with hell deservedly..... now Bill Cosby and TrumpOLINI are fake pussygrabbers who deserve zero empathy for their crimes against women

@BitFlipper Harvey Weinstein & Epstein too

@Larry68Feminist If he has circumstances that are so pertinent to his relationship status, and to any kind of other intimate situation, the decent thing to do would be to state that up front. I had zero tolerance for infidelity before I was ever on the receiving end of that type of marital abuse. These days I will call an abuser out, even if I'm not the victim. It is possible to cheat even in a polyamorous relationship. Betrayal of trust is always wrong, regardless of the head count. The guy has proven his dishonesty by marketing himself as single and then talking about his wife. Why would you defend that?

@Deb57 I certainly do not defend any of those assumptions you perceive him "marketing" singlehood .....I definitely agree PolyAmory "cheating" goes on in triangles quads and serial bed swappers..... nonetheless I accept his words at face value....not being gay, I don't read any threat to me from the perception of infidelity nor marital abuse....frankly the word " WIFE " is offensive to me as I also refuse to be called husband or boyfriend ....spouses lovers mistress paramour even slut is a word that fits promiscuous people not just dicks&cunts.....It would be nice if Mrs Liver Cancer shared her side of their marriage here..... but I doubt if her religiosity and prEyers would be well received..... there are many single women here who divorced their mates without the details of bringing home STDs or child support payments to another woman.....I am sure more than one Atheist woman felt sorry for some poor slob Atheist in a religious sexless marriage..... I have avoided all those emotional ethical minefields in my life and never been infected nor bastard children.....if Mr Liver Cancer seems to be begging for sex here during a cancer religious scare, I did not read that ....I don't see him responding to any but one criticism our COMMUNITY here going to enforce dating status standards ? Good luck with that.... I upon the other hand am not being asked out for coffee or a movie nor anyone offering a hug....2 years no kiss in 49 Teri went to sleep on our love seat and did not wake up 3 years ago....the death of my lovelife has not resurrected Atheist or gawdless....poor guy is staring into the death of his marriage and already looking for bereavement sex....I am not him nor casting stones

People are pointing out that his profile contradicts his story posted here. Dishonesty is never okay.

@Deb57 he posted how he joined a year ago and is in an open marriage while declaring he would change his profile to be less confusing...he is not resisting condemnations while grateful for our advisements.... he does not appear to be dishonest while admitting his promiscuity AND scholastic devotion to his bride and her cancer .... the primary concern is how to handle her praying and relaying telephone prayers from believers to her....OBVIOUSLY you don't want a hook up with him nor do I

@Deb57 I have been an American Atheist leader since 1981 and people turn to us as well as turn upon us ..... my peers call this scenario a siege with breakout.....defeating theocracy.....most Atheists are in mixed marriages with religious spouses.... I have read many women here declare they divorced religious spouses while frankly I don't pay much attention to Atheist men, boys or gays here but I am respectful of Atheists who ask for my help as has this GENTLEMAN.....serving the freethought community is best under the Green umbrella while many of my peers are desperate to support corrupt Blues.... the TrumpOLINI Atheist boys are numerous here and have learned to mute their fascist pussygrabbing mouths


Does your poor dying wife know you're "open to meeting women?"

But only for friends and"hookups"....πŸ˜‰

@Freespirit64 Ah, well, I'm sure she'll find that comforting.


Maybe she's telling you to pray cause she found your profile here.

I understand and deserve the sarcasm, but that's not why. Thanks


well in your profile you seem to be looking for Women and looking for Hook Ups too. I'm not being judgemental but sounds like you either have plans already or maybe your story isn't as truthful as you would have us believe


Probably got to say get over yourself!

If she has liver cancer she is probably looking for solace wherever she can get it.

This is not about you!

What he said.

I was initially sympathetic. Then I read his mini-profile.
I think he's just fishing for the gullible.

@KKGator Yes, I looked it up also. Said he's looking for hookups.

@KKGator maybe he should change his term devastated to annoyed.... as in annoyed with the religious folks showing up to care for his wife. I feel sorry for her, and can understand why she is looking elsewhere for some solace.


i Can hear the violin paying . Sad sad music . And here I am , laughing as usual . I must be such an asshole .

Nah, you're not an asshole. You're awesome!

You are a real hard ass. Have you lost anybody close?

@Bilbobagins Being a "hard ass" does NOT mean loss has not been had, and felt. You have NO idea. None. AT ALL.
Don't judge.

This guy is a scammer. Way to fall for his bs.

@KKGator you two are the judges. Look at my reply to Shawno above.

@Bilbobagins I don't have posts from him in my feed.

@KKGator ok . I lost my wife to cancer. And I lost a close workmate to prostate cancer. Not to mention both my parents which most of us experience sooner or later. So to say I have No Idea is not so.

@Bilbobagins Sorry for your losses, but your experiences and how you dealt with them, is no gauge for how others do with theirs. Or whether or not they choose to share ANY of that kind of information. There are no rules for how people are "supposed" to deal with that stuff.
Especially a guy whose profile says he's looking for hookups, but now he's "devastated" by his wife's (who may or may not exist) diagnosis.
Pardon me, but if my (or anyone else's) reluctance to to believe this person's
story makes me (or them) a "hardass", so be it.

If you want to be sympathetic to him, have at it.
No one else has to.

@Bilbobagins u got it right buddy , congrats . Very hard ass . Biggest asshole u ll ever meet . That’s me . And try to remember so we don’t have to interact in the future .

@KKGator I tend to be gullible. I hate liers like Trump. You never know where you stand with them. And I never checked his profile. Guess I should.

Pralina, you have no empahy for ownyrownvoice? You take pride in being a hard ass and asshole? I'm always amazed at some people I run across on the Internet. πŸ˜€

@dare2dream While she definitely doesn't need me to defend her, you are absolutely barking up the wrong tree with this.
The OP is most likely a lying sack of shit. She has no sympathy for him.
Neither do I.
If you want to believe I'm a hardass and an asshole, I'm proud to share those adjectives with her.
The most awesome part of the whole thing is that we are both the same in RL.
If you want to be a gullible rube and a bleeding heart for every liar who comes along, knock yourself out.

@dare2dream I guess you have not seen hid profile. It is hard to have sympathy for someone who, while claiming to be devastated by the prospect of losing his wife, who is still alive and communicating and somewhat devastated herself by her diagnosis, is looking for hookups. Yeah that is way sympathetic. Hand me one of those violins, please.


@dare2dream nope . None . 0 . Happy ? I don’t even have to explain y .


:::: 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.

Thanks for sharing.


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.

You have done well with your words. Thank you.


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.

Thanks. You see things exactly the way I see them. Why pray now when we didn't pray before? If this god is smart, will he not see through the pretense? Although this is how I feel, it is not the time to talk about it. We are focused on healing now. If it takes complacency and genuflecting to an inexistent deity for that to happen, I will.

@Ownyrvoice My thoughts are with you in this fight. Chin up.


I just deleted my sympathetic post after reading your profile ... what's up with that !?

I did the same thing.
Feels like this guy is a scam artist.
Either way, I'm not playing along.

I understand why you would do that.


You love your wife , who was just diagnosed with cancer , but your bio says you're seeing someone .

That’s interesting. Could change my view.


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.

These are things one needs to declare right up front. For some of us, fidelity matters a great deal. The one time I unwittingly got involved with a man I discovered had a wife, it sickened me. I would never want somebody else's husband, no matter how fine his Mrs. was with such an arrangement. Ultimately, though, this boils down to trust. Once it has been discovered that someone has been dishonest, it is foolhardy and self-destructive to assume that they are ever telling the truth about anything.


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).

I'm sorry to hear about your wife. I think I understand how hard that must have been. You're right about one thing. We have to do the best that we can.


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.

You're right. Thanks.


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.

Your story is the reason why I wrote the post. Believe it or not, this community is the ONLY one that can come close to understanding how it feels for someone in my situation. Sorry to hear about your wife. Thanks for sharing.

@Ownyrvoice I am also glad this community is here because it is so seldom that I can tell this story and have anyone hearing it relate to it or even understand it, much less benefit from it. Thank you for reading and replying.


If it's a comfort to your wife, it may be worth going through the motions of prayer, even though you know it's a silly thing to do. I wish you both all the best. Hang in there. Comfort your wife as best you can.

I agree. When I was an RN with Hospice, I just let the patient decide what spiritual care was most comforting to them. If possible the chaplain visited. If they asked me to pray, I told them I would. They were scared, so it was not the time or place to debate; my job was to give comfort whether physical or emotional.


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.

True. I am doing my best to keep things normal. Hugs and kisses have not changed. Sometimes a wince reminds us about her pain...

@Ownyrvoice holding hands brushing with a soft hair brush ....offer a shampoo scalp massage GENTLY ....DO the little things for her.... breakfast in laundry a day early when she is asleep....dust and polish windows she peers out for natural beauty....get her fragrant flower bouquets....potted plants are better than dying cut her the nicest confections....tiny chocolate covered cherries....coconut macadamia currants....cherry tomatoes.....ask her if she wants you to boil an artichoke and share each leaf to scrape the edibles with her favorite fondue

Thanks for those suggestions. I am doing and will do some of them.


I think this guy is a scammer

My thoughts exactly.

Really? That’s pretty low if so.

@Bilbobagins I’ve seen this post or a similar post before.


dude, you should be willing to tell her any damn thing she needs to hear so she can be comforted. deal with the personal consequence later. the world is not about you.


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.


Look at his profile.

@BitFlipper Hmmm . . . "seeing someone"?

@Gwendolyn2018 and open to hookups

@BitFlipper Sigh. I wonder if his wife knows.

@Gwendolyn2018 if he even has a wife.

@BitFlipper Sigh.


Do your best to comfort her as much as possible. Simply love her. I hope not to sound callused but a little annoyance right now will mean nothing in the future. I wish you both the best.

Thanks. I am doing all that right now. It just seems never to be enough. I would not hesitate to trade places with my wife.

@Ownyrvoice I hear you. "It never seems enough". That means that you care enough to do everything you can and still feel insuffcient. Your wife is lucky to have someone who loves her like you obviously do. Again I wish you both the best.


I am so dreadfully sorry.

Thank you.

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