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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?


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

BerylStreep Fri 22-Feb-13 20:18:29

Oh, I have ust noticed you updated recently - don't know how I missed this on my 'threads I'm on list'. Glad to hear it's all out in the open between you both.

How are you feeling - didn't you have a health issue of your own to contend with?

BerylStreep Fri 22-Feb-13 20:14:44

LuminousLaces, how are things going?

I saw this story about a woman fraudulently claiming she had cancer and thought of you. It would appear to be a fairly common scam judging from posts on here.

Anyway, hope all is well.

dundeo Mon 11-Feb-13 01:10:26

Does she know about your relationship yet?

LuminousLaces Mon 11-Feb-13 01:06:23

Definitely relieved. I'm so pleased to hear that although he is upset for her that she feels the need to tell these lies, he's not longer so emotionally invested.

Also no longer feel that I'm keeping something from him, which is a wonderful weight off my shoulders, selfishly.

He's distanced himself from her massively, which again, is better for him as an individual, and us as a couple, and we can work on our relationship without her overhanging it now.

Yes... Very very relieved.

caramelwaffle Mon 11-Feb-13 00:41:58

You sound relieved: communication is the key.
Good luck with everything.

LuminousLaces Mon 11-Feb-13 00:36:07


Was brave tonight and told him about some of the lies as they came up again in a conversation with someone else this afternoon... He knew about them. He'd known about them for a while, said they had spoken about them a long while back (before I met him), when she had admitted to them, and apologised.

He seemed to be relieved that I knew, actually, because he then told me she has - as I suspected she would - tried to do the whole "I'm dying, you need to be with me", and that on top of other emotionally controlling bullshit that has happened for years has made him suspicious, but he hadn't wanted to say anything, as, like I said way back at the beginning of this thread, who the hell wants to accuse someone of lying about cancer?!

I feel better to have had this conversation with him and kind of wish I had asked him way back when blush But as it is I have now.

Lueji Thu 31-Jan-13 05:30:23

I'm sure he must be getting skeptical.
My first reaction now at seeing the thread title was, hasn't she died yet? (not that I expected her to, I didn't believe her)

LuminousLaces Wed 30-Jan-13 23:46:36

Hi Leopard, no update, really. He's decided she is not coming to the work event that we will all be at at the end of March, no matter how well she says she is feeling, though I confess I am still partially waiting for a miraculous recovery just in time.

Whenever I ask how the ex is, he hasn't spoken to her since the last time I asked, or she is avoiding the question. From the way he's talking about it, I think he is now skeptical if he wasn't before.

A few issues have come up between us that we're trying to work on - mainly centered around (and emotionally fueled by) some problems for him work wise. Hopefully she is okay, and she will get bored when she realises he isn't willing to run to her side every time she calls.

DeafLeopard Tue 15-Jan-13 22:46:09

Was thinking about this thread yesterday and wondering how things are going Luminous

stifnstav Sat 22-Dec-12 11:26:06

How are things OP?

forgetmenots Thu 13-Dec-12 14:08:39

last time: it isn't about her, it's about your DP continuing with this, regardless of motive, and your inability to raise this for fear of everything except the only thing you should be fearful of: him (with your implicit support) putting her needs first, regardless of whether he sees that or not.

Unless you're willing to act, you're waiting on a development from her. She is in control. I'm sorry LL but I really don't think any of the good advice is going to help you at the moment, you're stuck because you and DP have chosen to be. Take the focus off her story. There are still problems. Deal with those.

LuminousLaces Thu 13-Dec-12 13:48:31

I haven't told him about the big lies because of the nature of them. They would upset him, massively. And in the slim possibility that she is actually ill (even if she is exaggerating etc) I don't think its fair for me to damage his memory of her, if the worst should happen. She spent at least the last few years of their relationship on a destruction mission, damaging the opinions others held of him. Because of that, I also don't want to ruin his mental security. Because if I told him what she had been saying, the fact she had said it at all would destroy him, swiftly followed by the fact that other people would have been thinking these horrible things for the last few years.

Zombies, that link is really useful, thank you. I might mention the statistics. Its sounds even less plausible having read that.

I don't know if she is off work, I haven't actually asked him.

Degerd, I'm sorry to hear about your DH, I do hope he's okay now. Yes it wouldn't surprise me if that's what she's aiming for, she's certainly desperate enough to try that.

I feel hideously sorry for the woman, actually, whether this is true or not. She is obviously highly insecure and that is another reason I am hesitant to tell him about her lies.

If we lived closer to each other, I would possibly speak to her, but we are a good hour apart, and I don't drive. Did consider sending her a Christmas card, but she would tell DP, who would then ask me why on earth I had done that... No, it just gets way too complicated.

NettleTea Thu 13-Dec-12 11:12:43

Aggh, I still DONT understand why you havent mentioned the big lies to him.....

NettleTea Thu 13-Dec-12 11:12:02

you know, I still do understand why you havent mentioned the other big lies to him now, especially as you are suspicious about the cancer. Its totally relevent, and you can justify not telling him before because it wasnt causing an impact upon YOUR relationship. But truly, its cruel to him to allow him to keep going along with this. If he is the sort of guy who doesnt want to hurt her (and I CAN believe that as have encountered a similar situation, though not in my relationship - in that case it did come to a head when it was revealed she was lying about something else, and he chose the new girlfriend because of the lies) then he is probably agonising about someone he cares for, although doesnt want to be with, being terminally ill.
I can also sort of understand why he has kept the info about the 2 of you from her - if she was as abusive as you say he is probably trying to protect the 2 of you, but it isnt working out like that. It has repercussions on how you feel about the relationship which possibly havent occurredto him. Is it possible that he has AS? I know you may dismiss this because he is caring and aparantly empathic, but he could be someone who is very in touch with his own feelings and he puts those feelings onto others. So, in his mind, he knows that he is with you and is in no doubt about that, so its beyond his comprehension that you dont feel the same. It just might not occur to him that his behaviour (which seems logical and is totally well intentioned to him) could possibly be hurtful to you, and would be horrified to think it. AS people are also easily abused or lied to - they can appear very guillable but its because it wouldnt occur to them that someone might be lying.

MordecaiMargaret Thu 13-Dec-12 10:54:21

Fair enough Andrew, I see your point in it could seem that way. I didn't put it very well but what I meant was that OP just confront the situation one way or another, the ex is holding them to ransom by making the guy keep it a secret therefore not getting caught in the lie. Even if she's telling the truth and she is sick, the offer of help is a nice one from the guy's new gf and a way of introducing her as such, if she's lying the offer of help would bring the lie out in the open.
Even if it's true 'I'm dying of cancer, you're the only one who knows and you can't tell anyone' is an unfair burden to put on the guy.

AndrewMyrrh Thu 13-Dec-12 09:52:20

Margaret, I think that suggestion in practice would just be a bit creepy - and cements the idea in the ex's head that in fact she and he really are still perceived as being a couple to the outside world.

MordecaiMargaret Thu 13-Dec-12 07:14:02

This sounds a tough situation. Her lying about him, you and others knowing about it, you withholding that from him, you and he together, everyone knowing about it and withholding it from her and now all three of you knowing about her 'cancer' but witholding that from everybody. What a lot of work to keep things straight, it must stress you out a lot.
If she knows you and dp are good friends could you approach her and say something like 'I know dp has been really worried about you lately and he's finding it hard, he hasn't said anything about what it is, but I'd love to help both of you if I could' or something along those lines?
If she's really that sick, she actually will need the help of more than just her ex and being jealous of you and dp will be far down the list of things to worry about when she's in pain or (hopefully not) dying. If she's making it all up, then she can't really be angry at him for breaking the confidence.

kilmuir Wed 12-Dec-12 18:04:32


digerd Wed 12-Dec-12 18:00:44

She may be angling for him to marry her in her last weeks, and then have a miraculous recovery - that his love healed her even.
After 1st cycle of my DH's chemo - 7 days- he lost his hair during the next 3 weeks. And it is usually 3 months of trial before they decide it is not working. My BF'd sister went through 5 months of chemo, then they found it wasn't working and changed the chemo -. Doesn't add up to me as true.

forgetmenots Wed 12-Dec-12 17:30:26

You don't have to mention suspicions, though, Luminous. Just the dependency issues and the secrecy would be enough for me. Start by talking about those (very real) issues, with no reference to her 'illness'. This isn't actually about that, or whether she is telling the truth, after all.

OhComeAllYeZombies Wed 12-Dec-12 17:10:27

Luminous, I can't help but notice that it's gone from being breast cancer to being a lymphoma. Lymphomas can develop in the breast, but it is extremely rare.

The longer this goes on, the more bizarre it seems to get.

izzyizin Wed 12-Dec-12 17:05:18

That false beard fools them every time, Ms Streep Mr Marr AM grin

AndrewMyrrh Wed 12-Dec-12 16:57:02

<& thanks for ego stroke> Am Beryl in Xmas disguise, which I thought was very witty, but no-one has any idea who I am, and think I'm a bloke.

AndrewMyrrh Wed 12-Dec-12 16:55:00

Is she definitely off work sick?

LuminousLaces Wed 12-Dec-12 16:31:41

Andrew grin

I can't confide in colleagues as much, but I can gently mention how concerned DP is about her to the people that warned me about her when we first got together. It was probably your word colleagues that I reacted to rather than your suggestion, I'm sorry for that <strokes Andrew's ego gently>

I'm seeing DP tonight, will have a chat with him about things. I've been standing my ground more with everyone recently.

Thing is, I can't really raise my suspicions without raising the lies she has told about him in the past. They were big things, and will upset him hugely to find out. But if I don't tell him about those, then the suspicion that she is lying just sounds nuts. I may try and mention some more of the medical information you have all shared with me. I did ask him a while ago what 'type' of cancer it was, and he just repeated what she had said. When I asked him if NHL sounded familiar, he looked at me blankly, so she either hasn't told him, or hasn't done enough research to pull this off.

Still feeling like a terrible person for not believing her, but does reassure me that none of you lot do either.

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