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DP's ex has told him she has cancer.

(463 Posts)
LuminousLaces Tue 06-Nov-12 13:06:43

Been with DP for around a year now, he split with his ex about a year before we met. She's had issues letting go, and has made things quite difficult for us. That said, I wish her no ill, and have met her at events a few times, as we work in the same sort of business. She doesn't know we're a couple.

A few weeks ago she told him that she been to the doctor, told she had cancer and that she needed chemo. This week she has told him the three sessions of chemo haven't done anything, that its too far gone for surgery and that she is now terminal.

DP is understandably upset - they were together for a long time, and as much as he is happier not being with her, he still cares about her. He's going to see her tomorrow night to find out exactly what is going on.

I don't really know what to say to him. I don't know how to be there for him without appearing to be interfering, because I don't know her very well, and don't want to appear like I'm suspicious or anything when I ask how she is.

Has anyone got any advice or suggestions as to how to deal with this?

Thanks.

(Have namechanged, by the way, as am quite identifiable from my normal screen name, and want to preserve both of their privacy.)

ClippedPhoenix Tue 06-Nov-12 14:08:32

She's an ex and they don't have kids together.

It beggars belief why she doesnt' know about you.

Very weird.

Portofino beat me to the punch. I would be awfully suspicious of this, particularly as she "has told big lies in the past in an attempt to get him back". And why, FFS, is he not aware of these past lies?

Sorry, Luminous, I just meant that it didn't ring true. What kind of cancer has she been diagnosed with?

LuminousLaces Tue 06-Nov-12 14:10:28

Munty - I know. If she is lying (which I really hope she is, as it would be the lesser of two evils) then he will find out. But in the meantime, DP is facing the possibility of someone who was a major part of his life for a long time dying, so I am trying to focus on that.

It does make me feel like less of a bitch that some of you are raising your eyebrows though!

ProphetOfDoom Tue 06-Nov-12 14:10:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NatashaBee Tue 06-Nov-12 14:13:36

Given the history of lies, I'm also a little suspicious. Could he maybe take her to a doctors appt or something and clarify things? From there, he ca decide how much support he can offer her (and get help from other agencies if necessary), but he does need to come clean about your relationship.

LuminousLaces Tue 06-Nov-12 14:14:11

Breast cancer.

She doesn't know because she has threatened to kill herself, and when he tried to end their relationship a few years earlier, she did herself some harm. He is frightened for her, and frightened of being the cause of her doing that.

He isn't aware of the lies I know (that several of us know) she has told for several reasons. Firstly because it would just make me look malicious. Secondly because she would deny it, and it would end up being my word against hers, which is a position I don't want to put him in. Thirdly because actually that would be giving her more impact into our relationship than she already has, and I don't want that.

So she has terminal breast cancer? And has only had three sessions of chemo? No radiotherapy? Any biopsies or lumpectomies?

mutny Tue 06-Nov-12 14:16:27

I do see your point OP about him telling her now. It would seem pretty bad to tell her now she is dying.

has he spoken to her parents?

There is no knowing if she is lying. You are not a bitch for doubting. I would say your dp will probably have doubts as well. But he just doesn't say. Just keep that thought to yourself, even if he asks if you think she is lying. Just in case.

Tbh, I would not have put up with this. I have no issue with dh being friends with exs but not with ones that spend their time trying to get back with him and that he is scared to tell about me.

ClippedPhoenix Tue 06-Nov-12 14:20:28

I think you've got yourself in a very bizaar situation here.

You do also seem to come second to an ex.

Maybe now is not the time to say anything but just to think whether this relationship is right for you.

ProphetOfDoom Tue 06-Nov-12 14:20:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LuminousLaces Tue 06-Nov-12 14:21:14

DP said she had told him that the chemo hadn't worked, and it was too far gone for any type of surgery. That's all he knows. He's going to see her to clarify things, and work out what is going on.

I have put up with it because aside from her ocassionally raising issues, things are fantastic. I also have a mental health condition / have friends with severe mental health issues, so maybe I am slightly more patient and understanding on his concern for her than most would be.

Gigondas Tue 06-Nov-12 14:21:19

It's hard to say if true or not as there are so many types of cancer and ways it can progress (I have advanced cancer so I can see that this could be true but equally with amount of tests that they do before you start chemo it would be unusual/unlucky to find out during treatment that cancer was Incurable as its usually indicative before you start).

If she really does have this diagnosis, then Macmillan, hospital Etc will have plenty of support (including counsellers and psychotherapists) to help the ex.

i think that your dp needs to be honest about what support he can offer and that means spelling out that they are no longer in a relationship and you are. If its true (and I agree that there is some Chinny reckon about this grin) then sounds like ex is mixing up old and new problems- by that I mean she is dragging ex she can't let go of into try and help her with her health issues.

And I certainly don't think you should stay quiet about your own issues as you deserve support of your dp .

AmberLeaf Tue 06-Nov-12 14:21:21

It sounds to me like she is lying in some way.

I thought that was what you were going to be posting about when I read this bit;

A few weeks ago she told him that she been to the doctor, told she had cancer and that she needed chemo. This week she has told him the three sessions of chemo haven't done anything, that its too far gone for surgery and that she is now terminal

LuminousLaces Tue 06-Nov-12 14:22:29

Thanks, Matilda, I will do. Know from experience how wonderful the work of Macmillian is.

SweetSeraphim Tue 06-Nov-12 14:24:12

My mum is just coming to the end of treatment for breast cancer. She's had 2 lumpectomies, a mastectomy, chemo and radiotherapy. It's taken a good few months for that lot. I thought that there had to be a certain amount of time in between chemo sessions for recovery?

LuminousLaces Tue 06-Nov-12 14:24:37

Gigonads, I'm sorry about your cancer, sending love and thanks your way.

SweetSeraphim Tue 06-Nov-12 14:25:58

thanks to all suffering in whichever way from this hateful disease.

LuminousLaces Tue 06-Nov-12 14:30:17

Amber, as I've said, I am faintly suspicious, but the friends and I have lost to cancer mainly fought long battles before they passed. My Nan died within a few days of it being discovered, having been admitted to hospital for an entirely separate operation. So I do know every case is different.

Gigondas Tue 06-Nov-12 14:39:57

I would agree with your instinct luminous (and thanks for good wishes).

LuminousLaces, I'm sorry but your DP is coming across as a bit pathetic. He stays in touch with an ex of 2 years because she insists. He doesn't tell her he's in a relationship. He can't be told things because he's frightened of/for her, he would have divided loyalties between you and her, or he would think you are being malicious? Really? What a catch!

I think it does him a great disservice to be kept in the dark like this, because it leaves him open to being manipulated (which is what I believe she is doing).

You say that the lies she has told in the past are known to several people, presumably some of these people are known to your partner? I really think you should sit him down and say something along the lines of "I need to talk to you about X. I think she may be trying to manipulate you into getting back with her, through pity. The reason I think this is because she has told lies before, for that reason. Y and Z know about these lies. We kept them from you because we thought it would hurt your feelings. But this is too big, and I think you need to consider that this diagnosis may be another lie."

LuminousLaces Tue 06-Nov-12 14:50:30

And if I do that, WhereYouLeftIt, and she dies? How exactly does that make me look? And can you imagine how that would make him feel towards me? It would make me look heartless, malicious, a liar, and just down right cruel.

Because as much as I suspect she might be lying, she might also just be confused or overwhelmed. She might also be telling the truth, and that's the way I need to treat things with DP, because otherwise if she does die, I won't be there to comfort him when he needs me.

Portofino Tue 06-Nov-12 14:55:13

You are not coming across as having a very strong relationship. The ex and what she thinks, says and does seem to hold WAY too much sway here. I would be questioning where I stand here. What if she says something like "I am dying - I need you to be with me" to him.....

ClippedPhoenix Tue 06-Nov-12 14:57:36

Why are you so worried about how you will look OP? Why are you so emotionally involved in this woman?

What WhereYouLeftIt said made perfect sense to me.

LuminousLaces Tue 06-Nov-12 14:58:47

Trust me, I am frustrated by the scenario. But if she is telling the truth, I am then guilty of accusing her of something really terrible. I did consider telling him about the lies she has told in the past, but again, if she is dying, then does he really need to be conflicted any more right now?

Whoever said up thread it was bizarre, yes it bloody is. You couldn't write a script like this as no one would believe it.

So you all still think I should tell DP what the doctors say with regard to my own health? What if, in the unlikely event, they tell me I have cancer or something as equally sinister? Is it really fair to burden him with that?

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