Family Matters
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The Big C

My father in law has been diagnosed with a strand of lymphoma.  Understandably so, my DH is not handling the news well.  I have had to deal with cancer on my side numerous occasions so I am trying to draw from my experiences to help my DH.  However, I don't feel that I am doing enough.  Any advice on how to be super-supportive during this time?  I talk to him about it, but don't want to push him.  I am always listening and doing research on the strand my FIL has as well.  I just want to make sure I am doing everything I can to help him during this time.  Any suggestions for coping strategies?  I went to a therapist, but my husband doesn't believe in therapy.  Thank you all for your thoughts and suggestions!

Re: The Big C

  • A social worker would be ideal for him to talk to. Hospitals, hospices and pretty much every town employes one.

    There are also cancer support groups; try the ACS's website to find one nearby you.

    Wishing your FIL well. Let us know how you're doing.

  • I'm really sorry you're going through this.  Everyone grieves in a different way- I would keep doing what you're doing- be available to listen when he needs you and follow his lead on what he needs.

    Are there things you could do to take other stuff off his plate (i.e. bills, chores, etc.) so he could spend more time visiting?

    T&Ps to you! 

    BabyFetus Ticker; Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • PRAY! Pray unceasingly! Take care of your husband and your household. Be understanding and listen to him. He may be emotional and he may be withdrawn but this is what marriage is really about it is a partnership. 

     When my DH was going through this I often just listened to him. Sometimes it was just him telling stories about his loved one. 

    Also see if there is any way you can serve his family (your MIL or other IL). It could be making a meal or cleaning a home or simply sending a card. Drop off something sweet or what not. Serving his family is a way to show love to your spouse.  

    For more info visit my blog: http://shockinglydomestic.com
  • while it's great to be supportive and knowledgeable make sure you're not bombarding him. always asking how he's doing or talking about it may do more harm than good. i know you've gone thorugh this before, so have I, but I find tha with my DH if he wants to talk he'll talk. if he doesn't then i dont pester him to talk about it because it's annoying. i'm the same way. be supportive when he needs, be quiet when he needs, talk about something else when he needs.
    Friday, December 28 2012. The day I had emergency appendix surgery in Mexico and quit smoking. Proof that everything has a good side!! DH and I are happily child-free!! No due date or toddler tickers here!! my read shelf:
    Alison's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf) 
  • I don't know what exactly you are saying to him, but my advice is to just let him be sad.  I understand the urge to cheer him up ( if that is what you are doing ), give him hope for the future, help him to feel better, but it is also ok if he just wants to be sad. HAving a parent with cancer is sad and scary and he is allowed to feel those emotions and for a while if need be.

    I haven't had a parent with cancer, but when my daughter passed away, I remember being very frustrated with people always trying to cheer me up or help me look on the bright side. I just wanted to scream "Dear God people, my baby just died, just let me be sad and angry."

    Honestly, the only ones that did help me feel better were the ones that simply listend to me talk about what I was feeling, told me how terrible it was and never tried to insert a pep talk. 

  • Don't try to change his emotions. Emote with him.

     If he's angry, scream "This sucks!" for him. If he's crying - cry too. If he is laughing at memories or photos, reminisce with him.

  • Sorry to hear about this. My MIL just died of cancer so we have been dealing with this as well. I tried to avoid the subject with my DH but I found that was not necessarily helpful because it created a barrier in our relationship when I felt like I couldn't talk about it. I also suppressed my feelings about it which made me feel isolated from the situation and not a part of the family. I think talking about it is important but you are right not to push him. I wish I could tell you what to do but I don't really know myself. I got to edit her obituary which made me feel very happy (weird?) just because I felt like I had a purpose. The most important thing is to support him but don't ignore your own feelings because it hurts after a while.
    Anniversary Birthday
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