If you spouse developed an incurable disease, would you consider leaving him or her?
I believe the knee jerk reaction is to say "no" and stand on the soapbox spouting "until death do us part". However I've learned over the years oftentimes there is a big difference between "life" and the "hypothetical".
There are a lot of factors when it comes to long-term diseases. Does one have the resources to care for their spouse at home, are they placed in a nursing home, what is their life span prognosis, or (were you already considering leaving prior to getting the bad news). It would depend on underlying circumstances.
If I had already decided to leave (prior) to learning of the disease I wouldn't stay out of "guilt" because of the disease.
Interesting, it seems that perhaps for some people they have underlying problems in the relationship and the illness just becomes their excuse to move on.
I've actually seen it the other way around where a person was planning to end a relationship and an illness or some other catastrophe caused them to (stay) out of "sympathy" or not wanting to look bad. Some of these people end up having affairs.
No. What kind of person would I be to do such a thing? This is when the person you are supposed to love more than anyone will really need you. They are not only seeing their mortality, but to leave them heart broken and passing away is just not unthinkable.
No, I would not consider leaving him. I am here til death as they say. I love him dearly and if he faces an illness, as sad as that is, he would need me and I would never walk away.
Seems I recall something in the vows about remaining faithful "in sickness and in health"? No, I would not. Nor could I respect anyone who would.
Without hesitation I say no. I've seen several family members, friends, acquaintances, etc. in my circle who stuck to their "in sickness..." marital vows. I had and have wonderful expressions of these vows in living color. I have also witnessed the results of marriages where this did not happen. Of the two choices, for me, I will stay. No one says it's easy, and I comfort those that make such a difficult decision not to stay. I can't judge them. Not everyone can handle sickness in the end like they think they can in the beginning.
I would say that having the whole family involved in such an overwhelming life event contributes greatly to the caretaker spouse's decision to leave or to stay. We're talking about emotions, finances, day-to-day routine changes, etc.
The great news is that there are many church, community, and government resources available to couples who face this situation. Putting pride in the bottom of your shoe in order to save your marriage together is a critical first step, and goes a long way.
No, i would never do that. I believe that one should live life to the fullest, be it for two days or for a 100 years. Making it possible for him to live life to the fullest means i should definitely stay with him and create memories for him to recall and smile at. The same way, i need to do this for my own self, so that i don't have any regrets in future. Any doctor would admit that family support and love is essential for a patient and just might prove to be helpful. So yes, i would surely try my level best to do all i can for him. Atleast this way i would be able to say that i am not a bad human being after all, and i stayed with my husband till his last breath.
For me , NO , I won't . I never think to leave someone if someone being sick very seriously.
No, I would not even entertain the idea of leaving her.
In sickness and in health, till death do us part. Even in a civil union, I hold myself to those ideals.
She is my soulmate, the person who completes me - to walk away would be ....criminal.
Thank you for your comment jlpark - It is great to see that there are so many men willing to stick by their wives in sickness or in health and also in a civil union which in my mind is exactly the same - commitment. for life.
Am female, but I agree it is great to see that either gender it seems - loyalty is key.
My views perhaps don't matter so much in this but it is likely your friends might judge your wife for leaving you - even if it were with your blessing! That would be very sad indeed. Most people would wish to stay if it meant losing their friends too
Not at all. Like Jim says, the vows state in sickness and in health. I watched my mum help to look after my dad for a year before he passed away when I was 12, and I hope that I would have the strength to do the same for my husband if that ever happened.
After my husband developed Alzheimer's, it was just a natural instinct to evolve with the relationship and care needs, as the disease evolved. But it was very sad. They say it's hard on the care giver, and it's true, if you let yourself dwell on the implications of what is happening. So I had other things I could turn to that brought me pleasure and the balance was a big help. There was no way I'd walk away from someone so amazing and special and important to me. Someone who had given himself to me and supported me in my endeavors and allowed me to realize my abilities and dreams and achieve so much because of being with him. Love changes, but like the disease, it's just evolving.
Not even for a second. My first husband died suddenly, without cause. I would give anything to get the chance to have said goodbye.
overall it's your choice, society would look at you and say "no you should stay with him until the end" if your married then yes stay, if your not and it's just a bf/gf up to you on how you feel upon it. But community would look at you like a terrible person who abandon someone just because he is sick. I would not hold it agaisn't you. You also have one life as well if your not to attached or connect it's time to move on. Or you can still move on and lie to him lol.
Speaking from someone who has witnessed a similar situation, the choice to leave has to have more to it then just the disease. If you're leaving solely because they have been diagnosed with the disease, then I believe that is wrong. I understand how hard it is for you to have to watch someone you love die, but being the one with the terminal disease and dying alone? That is a whole different level and I could never imagine doing that to someone. Now, if there are other factors influencing the choice to leave, and the terminal disease is the last straw, then yes. I can see this happening. However, I would not stay in a marriage to someone out of guilt if I had made the choice to leave prior to the news being given.
And, I have seen the reverse happen - the marriage was falling apart, and the woman was given news that she had cancer, and with that, has made the decision to divorce her husband because she does not want the last moments of her life to be as miserable as the rest of her life was with him.
Honestly, the answer to this question is hard given that there really isn't enough background information to go by. However, I hope this helped somewhat.
A very well thought out and well considered answer. I applaud you lady, what a brave lady! We only have one life and with a only a short one left, we should make the most of it in that situation. I appreciate that! Definitely a thumbs up for me.
No. Obviously there are vows made, "in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live...'till death do us part" (basically). There should always be vows made as part of this union, and people should respect these vows.
Part of the problem with our culture now is that people see marriage as nothing more than a contract. And some see it as a flawed contract that doe not mean anything. If one views this as something much more, as a covenant between two people under God, then they will get and give much more in the relationship. Though one must remember that the 'getting' is not the focus... if someone is looking to just 'get' in their relationship they have not yet come to understand what marriage is or how important it truly is either.
First I have to say Thank You to all my fellow Hubbers; I’m proud of you. What a breath of fresh air to see that there still is love and compassion left in the world. Quite frankly, after reading this question I intended not to read any responses as I didn’t want it influencing my attitude, because I am a DEFINITE NO! When we love someone we cannot control it. Love is unconditional, regardless of condition. Though I give credit to those who do stay and support a loved one that is going through such a stressful situation, I don’t think simply, not leaving is enough. I think a truly dedicated spouse strives to thrive in the relationship despite the illness. The sick and the otherwise healthy party both need to feel love and so long as they are both giving and receiving the relationship can still be fulfilling.
I second the thanks Cantuhearmescream. I am so grateful to you and to all the people who have thus far responded. I just realized that you have all helped to restore my faith in humanity.
It was a great question and even Better answers! Today is a good day.
Though I respect what you said, I still would say that love is a choice. We can be 'in love' and fall 'in love', but feelings are not all there is to love.
I also respect what you said and I can agree to a certain extent. But I don't know that we can control our love; we control what we do with it. Say we love someone that is unhealthy for us, we either choose to stay or we choose to leave.
Though I can see your point we can begin down a path with a decision. Though we may not feel love for someone when we decide to love them, & then add action to that love, often times that will trigger feelings. Also, love is more than a feeling.
You're right that love is more than a feeling. If any relationship is going to thrive there has to be more than just feeling love. It absolutely has to be shown. Love is not just a feeling but an ACTION as well.
Interesting question since there is no other information or preface given. When I met my second husband, he told me that he was very sick and a "high risk" person. I didn't fully understand that comment but later learned a great deal about the reason he made such a statement. My hubby has Lyme's Disease (aka Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever). This disease targets the blood and all organs that interact with the blood. Fortunately, the disease has not hit the bone marrow, as far as we know. At the time we married, we didn't know the disease was able to be transferred. We have been married for 5 1/2 yrs and just recently we learned the disease is considered an STD. Therefore I have Lyme and our 5 yr old son has Lyme. Knowing this now and not at the time I married my hubby, would I still have married him? Yes, I think so. We are soul mates. Being without him would be more devastating than being with him and sick too. Have I thought about leaving because of the disease and infecting my innocent child? No. We are looking into treatments and resources to help keep the disease in check and prolonging our son's life. Without proper treatment, our 5-yr old could be cut short on life. That is sad and heart breaking, yet my faith in God sustains me and helps guide me in making treatment decisions for my son. Lyme Disease is not curable and can become a very debilitating disease. Love is stronger and I won't be leaving my hubby because of his illness.
I had understood that Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is spread to humans by infected ticks. I became interested in it when I was bitten by a non infected tick.recently. I am sad for your situation but reassured by your love and faith.
No, I absolutely wouldn't. But I developed a rare incurable disease and left my spouse when, failing to become understanding and supportive, he turned to abuse. Instead of seeing the error of his ways, he divorced me and left me with nothing. NOTHING. I was at my lowest needing love and care, yet had to summon strength to stand up for myself.. and take care of myself. It's been a difficult road that no one should ever have to face alone. Yet somehow, I have. Somehow, I do.
I offer you a cyber-hug. Obviously you are a very strong, couragous woman for what you have been through. I hope you find a way to see the sun in every day.
May this new phase of your life be filled with great supportive friends and lots of love and kindness, you deserve it! My best wishes to you tenderLaine
Never, i had a major disease 7 years ago and my husband stood by me, he used to get up 2 or 3 times a night to change dressings,and kept a kardex for the nurses comming in the next day, he has cleaned up sick,i had a colostomy which used to leak over the bed, he would put me in the shower,and then clean up the mess. to me he is one in a million. he now has developed anginia, i tell him to take things easy, and as for d.i.y. and show houses, to hell with them. if my house is clean and always has the love that is in it just now,then that is my dream house. he couldnever walk again and i would stand by him, and i wouldnt look at another man. no one could ever take my husbands place.
How could I consider leaving the person I love and share my whole life with? I could never do that. When I married my husband I promised him to stay with him the whole until death, both in good and bad times. I would stay with him even if he developed the worst disease ever.
My dad didn't have an incurable disease but he did suffer from serious injuries that inhibited his way of life and my mom stayed by his side. In the end, she was bathing him, brushing his teeth, giving him his medications, administering IVs, checking his vitals at regular intervals, dressing him, and doing pretty much everything. Don't get me wrong, the whole family was helping but it was hard. I believe that it is all depending on the relationship. If the couple is strong and really, truly loves one another the healthy one will want to take care of their loved one no matter how much stress or damage it may do to them. Honestly, if my husband had the same injuries my dad had or even an incurable disease I would stay. I know that our lives would never be the same but he is the same person I fell in love with and nothing will change that.
I hope my answer helps!
I shall answer your question with another seen as many have said unequivocally that they wouldn't.
If you found that your partner had AIDS and you knew that you were faithful and the other hasn't had any surgical treatments that could have resulted in their infection would you leave or would you stay?
How much compassion would you have if you found that your husband of 20 yrs for instance had been sleeping with different men every week all your married life?
I think as with many things it depends on circumstances and how they affect you personally.
AIDS or not; if my husband had been sleeping with different people very week of our marriage, I wouldn't have any compassion. Why would you after the betrayal, deceit and lack of respect of the marriage and spouse?
Hi Silverspeeder, a very interesting perspective. Having spent most of my life in Africa where Aid is rife, I understand completely and I completely agree with you about AIDS and infidelity. Without hesitation I would leave him. Thank you so much.
Yes I would consider leaving her if it would indeed have a positive affect on her outcome. Please don't misunderstand me. There is indeed a highly unlikely scenario where a loved one could affect his loved one's outcome by "exiting stage right" before she passes on. Perhaps if you were an atheist or agnostic and you realized your views were changing your loved one's beliefs yet you were not 100% sure that you were indeed correct in your beliefs (in other words you had a seed of doubt) then perhaps for your loved one's sake you would leave before it became worse or castrophic.
I would say if in doubt, it would be best to talk things over. So often we assume we know best. We will never know if we are right, unless we talk about it. Such a major decision I believe needs honesty from both sides. Thanks for your response.
Many centuries ago people looked like Siamese twins, with four arms, four legs and two heads that looked in opposite directions. Zeus decided to cut people in half and gave them the form that we all have today. But the problem was that people had only one soul. Starting from that day every soul is looking for its half part.....
So if it was me, I would never leave my half part....
No I would not leave my husband if he developed an incurable disease. That would be worse for both of us than the disease itself. I don't know anyone who could do that.
No, you should stand with her or him if your love is sincere. you know the persons real love when he or she stands besides you when you need them the most. Its easy for every one to be with you when you are happy and the real person stands close to you when you actually need them. so i feel that you should her all the happiness you can give and never make her feel she is sick.
No. I have several incurable health problems and so do my sons. We won't die and they aren't infectious but they can still be hard work. I would be understanding of someone else's problems. Sadly,I have met people who have shown interest in me and then cut contact when they find out though I can understand that they may feel it is too much to take on or may restrict their lifestyle and goals.
Never. Life is not something that we have a lot of control over. Stuff happens. If anyone I loved developed an incurable disease, I would chose to stay by their side right up until the end so that they were as comfortable as possible and more importantly so that their last moments were filled with love.
It is diffiuclt to be the caretaker and watch a love one suffer. It is scary to think of a life without the one you love. Either way, it is worth knowing that you gave your all to the one you love.
It depends on the types of incurable disease. How he came by it and if it is contagious like a sexually transmitted disease and if he got it from promiscuity.
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