A Man Vented About His Wife's Illness To His Friends & They Turned It Into An Online Joke — Now He Wonders If He Was Wrong

Caregiver burnout is all too real and venting is essential. But it doesn't sound like caregiving is exactly this guy's priority.

Wife is home sick with Cancer, while her husband lives his best life in a float taking badly about her Oneinchpunch via Canva / FatCamera via Canva

There's no denying that watching a spouse battle a life-threatening illness is incredibly stressful and difficult.

But one husband on Reddit seems to have taken the stress way too far, and it seems to have totally thrown his priorities out of whack too, resulting in some truly callous behavior that has people online taking him to task.

The husband vented by mocking his wife's illness to his friends, who posted his rant on social media.

In his Reddit post, the man writes that wife is locked in a harrowing battle with cancer that has left her not only weakened and miserable, but incontinent on top of it all — and he's having quite a difficult time coping with it, especially because it's changed their marriage entirely.


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"Prior to her getting sick, we had a great marriage," he writes, going on to say that they were both accomplished professionals with a great home life. But when she got sick, everything changed. "Before she was a confident, fun person. After that, it was like she saw the entire world to be something she needed to protect herself from."


This has resulted in her being a bit short-tempered and impatient with him, which he's not particularly understanding about. "There's nothing more frustrating than running into traffic, missing your train, and then dealing with her crying about being alone," he writes. 

While drunk with friends on vacation, the man blew off steam by mocking his wife's illness as a libido killer — and his wife saw it when they posted it online.

Her short temper is the least of his worries, however. "The hardest part of her cancer is that besides the physical toll, there are a lot of unpleasant smells. Namely feces and urine," he writes. His wife is mostly unable to control her excretory impulses, so "she uses adult diapers, but even those don't fully mask the smell." 

Things came to a head when he was preparing to go on a month-long vacation with friends and she soiled their bed, leaving it to him to clean it up. I went to the bathroom and when I came out I get assaulted by the strong stench and sight of feces on the bed," he writes. 

Unsurprisingly, a fight ensued when he began complaining about the mess, and his vacation with his mates didn't help either. "She yelled she couldn't help it and asked me to help clean it up... Then she was angry that I was going to Rome, Greece and Morocco with a group of guy friends."




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Things got even worse on a recent drunken outing to the Hamptons. "I finally just start venting about the fact that it was so hard to deal with someone I am supposed to want to sleep with being incontinent... I may have told the story of seeing the puddle of brown up close too many times."

And then it got worse still — one of his friends was filming his rant, and posted it on social media with a cruel incontinence joke, where his wife as well as their kids ended up seeing it. "It got back to my wife... now my kids found out too and are ostracizing me."


Unfortunately, this man's behavior and lack of empathy toward his wife are incredibly common in marriages stricken by a serious illness.

The statistics, in fact, are fairly bleak. The rates vary between studies, but researchers have found that up to 12% of marriages end up in separation or divorce after a cancer diagnosis. But if the person diagnosed is a woman? It's a whole different story.

A 2009 study at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that a woman is six times more likely than a man to end up separated or divorced after a cancer or multiple sclerosis diagnosis.

A study of brain cancer patients that same year at the University of Utah found similarly that the biggest predictor for divorce or separation among patients was whether or not they were a woman married to a man. Social media is of course full of viral stories from or about women whose husbands and partners have left them when they become sick.


And when it comes to this man, in particular, people on Reddit were pretty shocked by his lack of compassion and what his priorities seemed to be. After all, at the end of the day what he seems most upset about is how this is impacting his sex life.

Some wondered if he might be suffering from caregiver burnout, a very real situation that inflicts family members and partners of seriously ill people. But others were skeptical to say the least.

As one Redditor put it, "caregiver burnout requires being a caregiver." So far, it doesn't seem like caregiving is exactly top of mind for this guy.


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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.