Woman Is Considering Divorce After Her Husband Pretends To Be A Cancer Survivor & His Condition Leads Their Son To End His Life

He kept the lie up their whole marriage and avoided contact with his family so she wouldn't learn the truth.

A woman is crying next to a man with a shaved head Frame Stock Footage, Marcos Mesa Sam Wordley / Shutterstock

In a story that is as shocking as it is heartbreaking, a woman detailed how she discovered that her husband had lied about surviving cancer, a lie that had a devastating ripple effect on their family.

Married for over a decade, they were parents to a son and a daughter and were a family that, by her account, had been near perfect. However, in a midst of a tragedy, his lie came to light and made the unimaginable situation even worse.


She shared the story on Reddit's "r/TrueOffMyChest," a subreddit described as a place to talk about "personal things" without opinions or advice.

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The woman is now considering divorce after her husband pretended to be a cancer survivor, leading their son to end his life.

"Me and my husband rarely had issues greater than arguments here and there. I felt like I had a perfect family," she wrote. 



Her life was upended, however, when her son tragically took his own life, a crushing event that didn't stop there.


The couple's son had become increasingly withdrawn, opting to spend most of his time alone in his room. Despite attempts to encourage him to socialize more, she and her husband believed it was typical teenage behavior.

The husband, presenting himself as a survivor of childhood bone cancer, frequently reminded the family of his past ordeal and the value of life. His story, his struggle, and his victory over the disease became a central part of his identity and shaped their family's dynamics.

"But the truth of his past was shockingly different," she wrote, adding that her husband's lie may have been a large part of the son's decision to end his life. "In my son's note, he says he feels useless. That he’s unappreciative, lazy, and that his dad managed to beat cancer and yet he can barely wake up in the morning," the woman said.

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man lies about having cancer and son ends his lifePhoto: Reddit

Her husband had remained distant from his family after they kicked him out of the house at 18, so the only time the woman spoke to his family was about her children. After their son's death, she called them to break the news and discovered the heartbreaking truth during a conversation with her husband's mother: her husband had never battled cancer.

She proved his lie by showing her childhood photos of her husband playing soccer during the years he claimed to have been bedridden in a hospital. "I was furious and blamed him for what happened to our son. After my husband came home (This all happened while he was getting groceries) I yelled and yelled and screamed until I couldn't anymore," she wrote.


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Initially, the husband denied the accusation but fell silent when she presented him with the photographic proof.

Now, the woman faces a dilemma as she worries about telling her daughter the crushing truth so soon after she's had to grapple with losing her brother. In response to her post, the Reddit community offered words of sympathy, advice and caution.

man lies about having cancer and son ends his lifePhoto: Reddit


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"The reason he breaks contact with everyone is so that he can compartmentalize each piece of his life. Compulsive liars always do that so that each person holds a fragment of the puzzle that would reveal who he really is. As long as each puzzle piece is kept separate, his secret self remains in the shadows," one person wrote.

Another person advised her to tell her daughter the truth, even though it's going to be a difficult conversation.


"You can reveal your husband's lies with the therapist's guidance," they wrote. "I think you should tell her, it seems your husband made this cancer story a big part of his personality and the lies will be revealed eventually. It's better if it comes from you in a controlled environment."

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There are several options in case you or someone you know needs help to deal with an immediate crisis. Call 911 if you think a family member may harm themselves or others. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Ethan Cotler is a writer and frequent contributor to YourTango living in Boston. His writing covers entertainment, news, and human interest stories.