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Chemotherapy seems to be making my pregnant partner hate me?
199

Sweep89 · 17/01/2022 14:31

I'm completely new here, and to forums in general so forgive me if I'm not as up on the lingo as others. I'm asking this on a forum rather than of friends or family as I want unbiased answers and not just for people to take my side. I also chose mumsnet as I think the predominantly female user base will be helpful.
My partner is 8 months pregnant and is pretty uncomfortable and just generally struggling with being so pregnant. I believe that I've been supportive both emotionally and physically and until recently she's seemed happy. However, I started chemotherapy at the beginning of November and am now getting to the point where I'm starting to struggle with things. This is especially true in the days after treatment but I'm also just generally tired and weak. My hair has started falling out and I'm losing weight pretty fast. I'm still working full time as we need the money, although I'm fortunate to be able to work from home whilst having treatment. The division of labour is the same as it's always been. She cooks and I do the house work and shopping. However, I'm not as quick and have on some days put things like the hoovering off until I feel better.
Recently she has been obviously off with me and has started saying that I'm unsupportive. I've asked her to just tell me what support she needs but she doesn't seem to know. I derive a lot of self worth from being there for my family and it scares me that she would hit me with this at a time when I'm likely to get less able to support her, at least physically. I've expressed that as treatment progresses I will possible be less able to do things on certain days. Her response was that everyone has stress to deal with and they just have to get on with it. Which is true but not particularly relevant. I feel like she doesn't get what's happening here. She's also started behaving weirdly in other ways. Like the day after I've had chemo and am essentially too sick to get out of bed. She's started saying that she has a migraine, or sciatica or indigestion, then getting angry with me for being in bed because she's sick too and needs support. Again, when I asked what supporting her looks like she suggested I could bring her tea.
I'm beginning to get resentful, she's never been emotionally supportive, which is fine, I don't need it. But at this point I'm starting to ask why I should bother went she's never asked me how I feel about anything, never asked if I want tea when I'm sick and is increasingly stomping around the house huffing and puffing. I don't know what to do. She won't talk to me without getting angry.
I hope it's just hormones or her being in pain with being so pregnant. But I fear that this is the first time I've needed her and she's not very aware of other people. Maybe this is just her. Or maybe I'm missing something and only seeing it from my perspective. If that's the case please tell me. I accept that the above is my side of events and maybe I'm being selfish not doing more when she's pregnant. I had really hoped to be there for everything. I'm not deliberately withholding support I'm just struggling to keep up with everything at the moment.
I'd really appreciate some outside opinions on this. I would also value your honesty.
Thank you!

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

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CloseYourEyesAndSee · 17/01/2022 14:32

That is quite shockingly uncaring
I understand that we all need support when having a baby but you're having chemotherapy!

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AryaStarkWolf · 17/01/2022 14:35

That's disgusting behaviour from her, shocking that you're going through Chemo and she's making you feel you're not supporting her enough, that's awful.

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Westmeathtip · 17/01/2022 14:36

It’s not a justification but this time in her life is when she would ordinarily be being looked after and cherished etc and now due to the chemo that isn’t happening, and she can’t moan really without looking massively unreasonable.

Also at 8 months I was so uncomfortable I wanted to scream so to have the extra responsibility of a poorly partner must be hard.

But more than anything she is facing the biggest challenge of HER life and may feel that there’s a possibility that she’s going to lose you and that is TERRIFYING.

She isn’t being fair, and I’m so sorry for what you’re going through.

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Laiste · 17/01/2022 14:37

Just for clarity - this baby is yours?

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Lazylegend · 17/01/2022 14:37

I think she's scared and pushing you away as she doesn't know what else to do. Talk to her and tell her your also scared. Reach out to midwife and cancer specialist and see if they can offer any support.

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Chikapu · 17/01/2022 14:41

She sounds appallingly selfish and unaware that chemo knocks the absolute shit of a persons body. To pass it off as stress is really shocking.

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CherryAndAlmond · 17/01/2022 14:44

The first thing that springs to mind for me is that each one of you is going through such demanding physical changes and needs support which the other simply isn't in a position to provide. Perhaps she resents the fact that pregnancy 'should' be a time when her partner can do extra for her, but you can't? You hear those stories of partners going out at 2am to find ice cream, for example. Maybe she feels she's missing out on being able to be excited about parenthood due to worry about your health? Perhaps it's too hard for her to really contemplate the impact of your illness? Could be all sorts of things. But you need support too, and it sounds like you're trying to carry a lot of the burden for someone who is having chemo. Can you sit down together, maybe with a takeaway/tea and biscuits, and really talk? And really listen to each others' fears and worries? Maybe from that you would be able to identify what each of you needs from the other, and how you can meet that. And also what support you might need to get from outside. If it's hard now, it will be much harder with a newborn. Communicate.

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Fl0w3ry · 17/01/2022 14:44

I think she is being very unfair to you.
Being that far along in a pregnancy is draining and can be uncomfortable, but although it isn’t a competition, I do think you are the one in greater need of support right now. You sound like you are taking on far too much cleaning, shopping and working on top of chemo. She certainly shouldn’t be adding to your load. She should be grateful that you are still stepping up to help her when you are going through the hardest time of your life. She might be heavily pregnant, but she is not ill. Is there anyone outside the 2 of you that could support you for a while like parents or friends? It sounds like you both need support from an extra pair of hands.

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twointhemorning · 17/01/2022 14:45

Well done on working while going through chemo. I have cancer and I have been signed off work since having abdominal surgery and subsequently chemo. I am still off work 2 months after chemo finished.

I understand a little of your situation as half way through chemo my DH had a serious accident and had surgery. We were both ill and struggling with mobility. Can you get in some help, either from family, or pay for a cleaner? That would take the pressure off you both.

You need to be kind to yourselves and each other.

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passionfruitpizza · 17/01/2022 14:45

The behaviour sounds horrible and must be so difficult to deal with when you're feeling so awful anyway. Is there any chance she could have antenatal depression?

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Ireolu · 17/01/2022 14:46

Hope your treatment works OP. You are not being unreasonable. Not sure she understands the magnitude of chemotherapy and much it wipes people out. It is obviously quite clear she does not get it. Maybe have her present when you are discussing treatment with your cancer specialist nurse? So she gets an idea?. Unfortunately if she is like this pregnant when baby arrives it may get worse. Do you have family around that. An support you both?? Most importantly OP look after yourself. Cleaning and hoovering can definitely wait if you don't feel up to it.

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Schoolchoicesucks · 17/01/2022 14:47

This sounds really difficult, OP.

In practical terms, are there any options for making thing easier for you both as you're both going through difficult times and it's likely to stay that way for the next few months. Are either of your parents near and could help with things like batch cooking, or even move in to help with the baby? How about a cleaner or buying in a bulk load of frozen COOK meals?

I wouldn't make any sudden decisions. Both of you need more support than usual. In normal times, it would be unlikely that you would both be so "needy" at the same time. Perhaps it is her hormones, discomfort of late pregnancy, feeling "cheated" of this time when most pregnant women would be "coddled" by their partner. She does sound as though she's lacking in empathy from what you've said.

I hope your treatment goes well and the birth of your child. In 6 months time, life will look very different for the 2 of you.

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HappyDays40 · 17/01/2022 14:48

Sounds to me like she is probably feeling like she should be he centre of attention as she is pregnant and she is not getting what she wanted as understandably you are unable to fulfill the amount of attention she craves.
Chemo is a shock to the system and so is pregnancy but I think chemo trumps anything at the moment. You are ill with a health condition and she is not. I think you need an honest chat maybe with someone from your oncology team about how chemo can make people feel (with her there). Sorry you are going through such a tough ime.

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WhatToDo1988 · 17/01/2022 14:48

She's massively masively unreasonable but she may be lashing out out of frustration. 8 months pregnant, about to give birth, this is the most difficult time in her life too. She would be very uncomfortable and doing it alone, it would scare the shit out of me. BUT it's not as bad as chemo and she needs to snap out of it because she's being horribly uncaring. Maybe a calm conversation on a day when you feel better and you're both calm would help.

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WeeFae · 17/01/2022 14:49

I am also going through chemo at the moment, I know how awful it is. I can only work part-time from home just now, so well done to you!

Your partner sounds like she doesn't get it, how debilitating this is for us, and how terrifying. She is also probably terrified herself. It is really unfair though.

Can you steer her towards a charity or forum for those who support cancer sufferers? I know my family found them helpful. Breast Cancer now has a forum section, especially for friends & family supporters.

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AllThePogs · 17/01/2022 14:49

I would advise you to talk to MacMillan for support.

You will get a lot of people saying she is being unreasonable and on the surface she is.
But cancer brings up a lot of emotions for everyone involved and does not always lead to people behaving reasonably.
It is the same in any traumatic situation. Even the most loving couples do not always treat each other well.
I hope your chemo is successful.

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InTheNightWeWillWish · 17/01/2022 14:50

You’re both going through something that is psychically and mentally draining. On a practical sense, do you have some family nearby that can help with shopping, cooking? Or do your finances allow for a cleaner and some ready meals, just allowing some of the everyday pressure to be taken off you both?

If she is usually caring, takes on the chores etc then I would assume it’s the situation. It could be hormones and feeling irritable. However, she could be scared. Perhaps she’s wondering if you’re going to be well enough to be there for her during labour. Or how you’ll cope with a newborn. Or whether she’s going to lose you. I think she’s also probably angry at the situation. Sometimes when we’re angry at the situation, that anger manifests itself as anger against people and usually those people in that situation. I’m not saying that’s the right way to react or that it’s OK that she’s angry with you but it’s a human way to react. Try contacting MacMillan, they might be able to offer both of you some counselling and support to understand your feelings on this.

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SummerHouse · 17/01/2022 14:50

Some people struggle to deal emotionally with illness. To the point that they seem to develop physical symptoms themselves and resent or disbelieve the person who is ill. I guess you need to talk it out. How is she feeling? I would be terrified if I was her. She is probably exhausted emotionally and physically. Her response is not a healthy one though and she needs to recognise that. I am not sure I could forgive and forget this.

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mynameismaybe · 17/01/2022 14:50

I agree with a lot of what @Westmeathtip has said above. Sounds like there's an element of "he's stealing my thunder" about her actions. That you're need is greater than hers and its eating away at what she thought 3rd trimester pregnancy would be like for her, so she's acting up to get more attention.

I dont think the fact she is pregnant is a reason why you can't communicate about this. I think asking for a discussion and laying out your points is fine. If she escalates the tone of the conversation, you can take a time out so as not to cause her unnecessary stress. But I would be ending the discussion like "I can see you're getting upset, so lets call time on this conversation for now. But I will be picking u this topic again soon. I am entitled to my opinion and I think its important for our relationship that we can both communicate freely when we have a problem. If you're unwilling to speak with me about important things, thats a bigger issue"

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XelaM · 17/01/2022 14:51

Pregnancy is not an illness despite what many women will lead you to believe (I'm and woman and I've been pregnant before people jump on me). It's really shocking on her part not to support you through chemotherapy, but unfortunately my friend's wife had the exact same reaction to his chemotherapy as yours. You're not alone in this situation

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Ozanj · 17/01/2022 14:55

In your position I’d raise it at the next midwife appointment. Sometimes you need to have it out with a professional present - at the very least the mw will be aware of what’s going on and so might be able to provide you with links to support etc

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Oddbobbyboo · 17/01/2022 14:56

She’s pregnant not ill!!! I’m so sorry that you are going through this! She is incredibly selfish and clearly doesn’t care deeply for you. You are by no means in the wrong here. She should be looking after you!

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LittleOwl153 · 17/01/2022 14:57

I think this is a case of you both need support and neither of you are perhaps getting enough from your partner due to what is going on with them too.

I appreciate you said money was an issue - however could you stretch to a couple of hours a week cleaner to take the pressure off you on the housework front and help get the house ready for the baby. If not do you have family/friends who could do you a one off 'spring clean' Because lets face it in 4-6 weeks time you are going to be a family of 3 still undergoing chemo I assume!

Talk to the cancer nurses - see if they can offer any help. Your partner should also speak to the midwife - there may be organisations perhaps homestart who could help her get prepped.

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Sweep89 · 17/01/2022 14:58

Just to clarify. Yes the baby is mine. And also I completely understand that she would normally be cherished and looked after and I'm still trying to do that. Whilst I'm not able to all the time I can still do it most of the time. Aside from that I'm not asking her to look after me. She's clearly struggling and even if I can't do things for her I can at least make sure I'm not a burden to anyone else.
I don't know. I hope it's just hormones. I had already considered that she might be struggling to accept what's happening and what might happen but if she won't talk about it I can't help. I guess I'm going to have to wait it out and see if she's more open to talk when the babies here. Am I over or under estimating the effect of hormones during pregnancy? If it could be hormones or discomfort from pregnancy when will than no longer be a factor?
Thank you all for taking the time to reply btw.

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GrannyWeatherwaxsBroomstick · 17/01/2022 14:59

Oh sweetheart, that sounds terrible. I have been pregnant and had chemotherapy (not at the same time) and both are exhausting. I think that another op has the right idea & a chat with the midwife would be a good start. There are going to be a lot of conflicting feelings at the moment - excitement for the baby, worry about the birth and fear that you may not be able to share the work and joy of little one fully. Not to mention the real physical issues of tiredness and sickness you are probably both going through.
Good quality ready meals will be a start, but you are going to have to talk to each other honestly.
When I was diagnosed, I remember being terrified that I wouldn’t see 2020 and got snappy with DH and DS. But I realised that I couldn’t just squash it down forever and so sat down with DH to talk (& have a good cry) and I’m still here - still grumpy sometimes but mainly ok.
Sending good thoughts to you both

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