Patakins Asked January 2013

My husband has terminal metastatic prostate cancer with about 6 months to live. How do I deal with his family?

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His adult sons and family are distant. They all live out of town, including 3 grandchildren and 4 step grandchildren who are all adults, ages, 22-31. The sons call periodically, no notes or calls from the daughter-in-laws....oh maybe an e-mail to me...not necessarily about my husband ...........and I'm wondering what to do? Or do I just let it be. He feels ignored as I do. Of course, this has been their behavior for most of our 14 years of marriage. Why do I think it would change now? They show no compassion in my book. Very much into themselves. Part of the "I" generation.

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It is the way of the world right now, sorry to say. But I like to say that it is not the way I am. When I was in the hospital after a horrific car accident, my sister did not even send a card or come to see me. I almost died and was terribly sick and injured, yet nothing. People are just not forgiving. The art of forgiveness seems to be gone in lots of people.
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N1K2R3 Feb 2013
Patakins: I am so sorry for the terminal cancer that has now affected your husband. Concentrate on him, not his family..........as long as they all know, there isn't much else that you can do.
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beadermom Jan 2013
My husband was diagonsed back in Aug. that he had stage 4 lung cancer...He has 2 daughters that live within 2 miles of us - he sees them about everyother weekend for breakfast - I don't go - I want that to be their time - I always have since we have been together. He has one daughter who lives in Fl. she does not call him , she calls her sisters. His grandchildren - GOOD LUCK - don't call or anything. He has great grand children he has never seen . He does have neices and nephews that he is close to that live out of state that contact him.
But at any rate when we found out I let his family know what was going on and that without treatment he had 6 months, with maybe 1 year. Then I let them take it from there. His 2 daughters here still contact and see him, and the one in Fl. made a trip up here to see him and he was with them all for 3 days - he said they were three of the happiest days in his life - all of them together. You see due to divorce and living in different states they had lost contact for a bit and when they got back in touch he has really made an effort to stay close.
One thing we have not done is let anyone come to visit is cry or be upset. We have kept everything up beat. He has told and tells everyone that he and God will fight this...Me I have no doubt -- just don't feel in my gut that it is time.. Well, good news for anyone and reason to have hope -- we got the resutls of a CT Scan and a mass that was in his lung is gone, not trace of specks of cancer on his lungs and not sign of it in the lymph nodes. For this I give God the Glory. He will continue with the treatment and do antoher CT Scan -- I will be expecting good news again. I can not say I trust in God and have doubt at the same time. So please do not give up.....Love in Christ to All......
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sharirose Jan 2013
My advice is don't waste your energy and time on these people. Take care of yourself, your husband and matters that need attention to help you servive.
For 33 yrs, I have dealt with step sons that did nothing but try to split my husband and I up. I had nothing to do with their Mom and Dad's split. He married someone else between their mother and I. They have told me they can have me killed anyday ect. When I was ill in the hospital as soon as I got home one of their Bimbo wives called me and said if I died they were filing a claim against my property. I have a small farm, they are nothing to me. One of them married a wanted female off the internet. I worked all the time as a professional person. I finally told my husband they were not allowed in my home any longer. You cannot waste your time trying to make bullies like you. They wanted my husband to give them POA over him when he was going to have surgery. I worked in the medical area. He did not do it. Just tell them their Dad is ill, but don't invite trouble in. Be realistic they are not in your corner. Best of Luck
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In responses to frustrated2 remarks..its good you can pick your friends isnt it? Sometimes family is really not family. Like an adoptee having a better parent who loves and supports them, versus a drug addicted selfish mother...Id rather be related in the heart to my friends or my family..blood is blood, and blood sometimes is NOT ENOUGH..
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ohreally51 Jan 2013
I like pennyc's remark because truthfully, I don't know how my husband and I could navigate everything in our lives without faith and without giving things to God.
The thing is, as people of faith, we often feel that we need to be generous, turn the other cheek, help where we are needed and often by doing these things, we feed the dysfunction in dealing with selfish people.
I am a Stephen Minister to an elderly woman who had no kids of her own. She remarried in her 50's after her husband left her for another, much younger woman. To this day, this lady still feels (not guilt) but how disappointed her mother would be to know that divorce was so much a part of her life (the man she remarried was also divorced, and he had kids). This woman's step children, now in their 40's and 50's were raised mostly by their mess of a mother and grew into 'users'; they have chronic employment issues, kids with several other people who they never bothered to get married to (of course, that was their parents' fault, since they put them 'through their divorce', etc - no accountability at all), drug addictions in one case, etc.
Although there was virtually no contact with my friend while her husband was living, as soon as he died they began to come around to 'see' her, meaning they wanted their 'inheritance' now. Their dad had left everything to his wife. But, as she is a Christian woman, she tried to help them out and did give them some money. This is when they 'renewed' a 'relationship' with her. Read that to mean, constant requests for more money. And some could argue they needed it as they had been so irresponsible in their choices all three are in constant crisis of some kind. Also, having had no kids of her own, my friend did not have anyone to leave her fairly sizable estate to. So they figured they were entitled to it.
She finally had to say no, and that's when she met with our pastor, who gave her the freedom to stop letting them use her. He asked her if she felt that this is the way God would want her to use her resources and she knew that in her gut they were just being opportunistic. They of course, no longer check in to 'see how she's doing'. Hmmm.
These are weighty issues and when you resolve to cut off a relationship or say no or do nothing in the eye of death or any other finality, support and help in working through those choices and decisions are important.
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ohreally51 Jan 2013
I guess I would share the information regardless and also avail yourself of the help of Hospice, as they are very practiced at helping in these situations, and I would talk to a counselor or minister, if you have one, about this. You after all will be the one dealing with whatever fallout occurs when he is gone.
I feel the same way about a number of my and my husband's collective six kids. I think OUR generation, as parents who went through divorces and remarriages, dealt with huge guilt issues and 'apologized way too much' to them, even if we did everything in our power to be good parents, give them opportunities for education, etc. We sucked up a lot of our own suffering and didn't ask our parents for much. We just handled things like grown ups. Imperfect and often stressed grown ups, but still, we didn't blame our parents for everything as our kids seem to do (and admit it, we have let them) and we didn't expect them to fix things for us either.
You will need support in this process and you will need to feel strong about decisions that you make. Your husband will be gone. This is mostly for you.
God bless you all. I pray your hurts will heal as much as possible and also for wisdom to discern what to do and what is best.
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IsntEasy Jan 2013
This may not apply in your family situation, but in my friend's family, there was a lot of unaddressed pain when their dad entered into a relationship after their mom died. Their formerly involved dad was completely absorbed by the new love in his life. The kids did some early reaching out, as did dad's new wife, but never connected well. They sadly grew apart, and see each other only for major holidays and weddings. The feelings are still there on their part though.
If this in any way could possibly apply to your situation, I'd encourage you to offer some space for your husband's children to spend time with him alone. It sounds like there's no love lost between you and they, but for your husband's sake, give it a try. He deserves to connect with his family before it's too late. You could call one of them and say you have to go out of town for a couple of days (or all day, if you don't want them staying in your home). Ask one of them to come stay with him while you're gone.
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My husband has three adult kids and two grandchildren. I did not break up the marriage, he was single for 15 years. His ex/kids was extremely upset when he married me, I am 23 yrs younger than him. We have 2 sons together, have been together over 21 years, one is 16 the other 19. All his relatives including his kids were selfish in my opinion, I reached out when our kids were babies/toddlers and told them I would like them in our kids lives. Before the kids, you never heard from them unless they needed money. I told them, you cant and I wont allow you to manipulate my kids lives (by not being consistant with love, visits, phone calls), you are either "in" or "out" of their lives, but I would love if you were "in" Well, instead of that, they took an inventory of our home and they told thier mother what we "had"...things like a radio for example..yes, a nice radio, and the boat that my husband was trying to rebuilt with plaid moldy seat covers became a "yacht"..so when I was pregnant with my second child, she wanted an increase in alimony. Now keep in mind, I was about 8 mo pregnant. And our income had gone down, not up..and this woman ruined her health through smoking marjuana and swigging tons of alcohol. Anyway, after this display of stupidity they are now cut off. Do I wish they would be in my sons lives? I sure do. Thier dads life? sure..but they are more trouble than they are worth. I wanted to include his brother and his other family, but they had no interest. His brother who is wealthy has not seen our kids since they were two and four. He is wealthy, gives to charities, sails, and travels to Europe with his wife. My husband has invited them over and over while the kids were growing up and they are always "busy"..it took awhile to figure it out...but he eventually did. So as a result my boys grew up without anyone on his side of the family. My family except my mom is deceased. I told my kids, they do have relatives on my husbands side, but I told them the truth about the situation. But I told them that people grow and change, and they should feel free to reach out, but if they get rejected, its not them,, its his family. I do feel bad as my kids were missing, aunts, uncles, cousins, half sibs..their whole lives. But my point is they did make a choice. I will respect my husbands feelings if he is terminal or something regarding them. Somehow, I dont think HE will be there for THEM!
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pennyc Jan 2013
I am so sorry you are having to go through this. I know it can be stressful and overwhelming at the same time. I believe giving the situation to God. He is a loving God and He knows your pain and what you are going through. He is willing to walk by your side and give you comfort and strength during this time if you just let Him. He has not forgotten you or your husband. Will you just turn your life over to Him and let Him take care of everything? Just say a simple prayer: " Lord, I ask you to forgive my sins, I believe you died on the cross for me and I ask you to save my soul and to take over this situation. Give me your strength, courage, comfort and wisdom on how to handle this. I can't do this without you. I need you Lord. Write my name in the Lamb's book of life and help me. In Jesus name. Amen." Reading the Bible helps with comfort also. Start with reading the book of Psalms. God will help you through this if you let Him! Get your husband to say the above prayer also and the two of you read the book of Psalms together it will give him comfort as well. Do this daily and look to the Lord for guidance. He loves us sooo much and He wants to help. God Bless you both.
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