How to cope with husbands emotions

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My husband has just had 30 radiotherapy sessions and 6 chemotherapy. He is still very unwell but as to be expected according to the nurse's.

He emotions are all over the place he pushes me away sometimes won't let me help him. He tells me I'm useless to him and I don't do anything for him which is not the case.

Hes quite aggressive and I hold my tongue because he is unwell. Last night I did tell him to stop being cruel I'm doing everything to help him. I am his only support and I am my own support. If I told anyone how he treats me they would tell me to leave. I am living my own kind of hell trying to duck his emotions and doing with a warm heart, I'm beginning to not like him.

Please tell me this is normal and it will pass. He was the same 5 years ago when a brain tumour was removed. He hated me every day and resulted in telling me the same things. Do other people do that aswell or am I alone in all this?

Thank you


  • Hi  

    I am so sorry to hear about your husband diagnosis; it sounds as though you have both been through a lot. May I take a moment to ask, how are you coping day to day as it sounds as though you are very much alone?

    I can appreciate that as well as the emotional impact of the cancer diagnosis, there is the concern within your relationship. Pacey I would like to explore “I am living my own kind of hell trying to duck his emotions” would you like to tell us a little more about this situation? I would imagine this is very stressful for you and we want to make sure you feel safe.

    With this in mind, I will post, additional support, should you like it, but always feel you can talk to your GP or the Police if you need to.

    Supportline is an organisation that supports a range of concerns that you mention in your post. The Helpline is primarily a preventative service and aims to support people before they reach the point of crisis.


    I am also wondering, if you would like to reach out to your local Adult Social Services for a Carers Assessment? For example, it’s possible they may be offer some respite support should you feel you need a break.

    NHS Carers Assessment Guide

    Please know we are here on the Macmillan Support Line as a place you can contact us privately and confidentially to talk through how you’re feeling and access emotional support. We are here  every day of the week from 8 am-8 pm on: 0808 808 0000 or via web chat. Do keep in touch as much as needed: we don’t want you to feel you have to cope with this on your own.

    Indeed you may feel, for your well being, you would like to reach out for additional emotional support, as well as keeping in touch with us. Perhaps have a look at the link below to see if this organisation is offering the type of emotional support (for you) that may be welcome.

    Penny Brohn offers support for anyone in a close supporting role because they believe you are just as important as the person with cancer.

    Supporting Someone with cancer

    Regarding your partner, and his feelings towards you, it is normal for a cancer patient to experience a range of emotions, and anger may be amongst them. He may feel angry towards his diagnosis, the changes he needs to make to his life and coping with treatment and it’s side effects. He may also resent you for feeling well. These are normal reactions, but become more likely when someone feels frightened, stressed or unwell. Some people become impatient and shout, whilst others are sad or scared. However its never OK to make you feel useless and behave in a cruel way.

    If you feel your husband might like support to explore how he is feeling, Macmillan has the offer of free counselling, should he feel that his cancer is impacting the choices he is making now. He may refer himself for a Wellbeing Assessment via the link below, or maybe he would like to ring the Support Line to speak to an advisor and we can help him with a referral over the phone.

    Macmillan Specialist Counselling

    One last option, you may both find these booklets helpful: sometimes people like to read and/or listen during a quiet time.

    Life after Cancer Treatment

    Cancer and Relationships

    I am mindful not to overwhelm you, as you can always come back to us, and I hope you do  

    Take care


    Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Advisor

  • Hi Helen, thank you for your response.

    I am not in any danger whatsoever.

    I was hoping to hear from people in a similar position to me so I know it is all very normal albeit difficult.

    Thank you.


  • Hello Pacey and thank you for your reply.

    Our Family and Friends Forum is a place to share your feelings and get support from others who might be going through something similar. You can also look for local support groups and services on our website.

    I’d like to echo Helen in saying we’re here for you during this difficult time so please stay in touch if it helps to talk or if you have any further questions.

    Take care.

    Alex, Information and Support Adviser

    Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email.