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Woman With Terminal Cancer Divorces Husband For Asking If He Can Move On When She Dies

Woman with cancer

Content Warning: Cancer, Terminal Cancer, Widowhood 

Death and grief are both incredibly hard to process and have a tendency to bring out the worst in some people.

It can even make people forget what’s most important in the life they have, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITAH) subReddit.

Redditor ThrowRA-Boss9500 was being treated with Stage Three Cancer and was becoming increasingly frustrated with her husband, who repeatedly asked her if he could move on when she died.

When she began to feel like her husband was wishing her life away so he could be with someone else, the Original Poster (OP) decided to separate the two of them in another way.

She asked the sub:

“AITAH for divorcing my husband for asking if he can move on if I die when I have cancer?”

The OP was hurt by her husband’s inquiries about their life together.

“The title says it all, really. I have Stage Three Cancer. There’s a decent chance I will die within five years.”

“My husband and I have a good marriage. He’s not the lead of a romance movie, but he’s also not a bad husband.”

“The problem is my husband keeps asking if I die, will I want him to move on? Does he have my blessing to move on?”

“He asked three times in the past month alone, and as someone who could die, it doesn’t exactly lift up my mood.”

“I know he loves me and wants my blessing to move forward, but jeez, leave it until I’m dead before trying to move on.”

“I’ve realized that he’s probably fed up with having a sick wife, and honestly, I’m not out of my mind enough to not notice his resentment and impatience.”

The OP’s family showed support for the OP and her feelings.

“My family is ready to take me in. I asked for a divorce.”

“I told my husband I was sick of him asking if he could move on because it felt like he was eager for me to die.”

“If he didn’t want me so bad, I didn’t have to die to go away.”

“My cousin works at a family law firm, and they’ll be representing me in the divorce.”

But the OP’s family-in-law did not see things her way.

“However, my husband and his family are acting like I’ve lost my mind.”

“They think cancer took away my faculties and I’m trying to run away from a loving husband because my family wants my ‘inheritance,’ AKA: the little retirement money I’d have after I exhaust my savings with cancer.”

“I’ve also had friends tell me I’m making a mistake and being too sensitive.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some couldn’t imagine thinking of moving on, especially while their partner was still alive.

“When my wife was diagnosed with stage three metastatic melanoma, the thought of moving on afterward never crossed my mind.”

“I knew that she was going to die eventually from the cancer, but my only concern was her feeling absolutely loved and adored for the time we had left.”

“We were married in October of 2008 after just meeting 25 days earlier, and she passed in December of 2020. I still haven’t moved on and I probably won’t. I’m only 43 years old and I feel like I already had my happily ever after.”

“God, I miss that girl so much, she was the happiest and coolest girl I have ever had the honor of knowing.” – De4dpool1027

“I worked in an ICU (Intensive Care Unit) and I’ve seen devoted partners, the last thing they are thinking of is another person.” – Consistent-Edge-5654

“NTA. Three times? He asked three times?”

“I have the strange feeling he is always looking for someone else to not be alone! That he is worried about his future situation without you, and not about spending the most time as possible with you until the end. It’s really selfish and I completely understand your feelings.”

“I’m sorry about your illness, and sorry that you had such a selfish husband…” – Lyzab77

“NTA. He is, though. You still have five years and there’s a possibility you can beat the cancer and/or live longer years.”

“He’s being extremely insensitive about that constant question! That same question! Wedding vows say from sickness to health! He’s not living up to that promise!”

“What I’m a bout to say next is gonna hurt but I know it’s important you think what I’m about to say:”

“The fact that he constantly repeats that same questions of he can move on means he might have an Affair Partner/girlfriend on standby. He’s asking these questions just so you can relieve him of the guilt of already having a side chick while his wife is sick.”

“I suggest you divorce but you should also investigate him to see what the hell is going on. Make sure to take your half of money from any joint account. Hire a personal investigator if you can afford it.”

“It’s just that it’s suspicious as hell. And you don’t deserve that type of disrespect from what he’s showing you.” – robotima

“NTA. It seems like your soon-to-be ex and his family don’t understand basic human decency or how much cancer treatment has progressed in the last 30 years.”

“The fact that his family immediately went to inheritance instead of offering love and support says more about them than it does about your own family. Death brings out the worst in people, and unfortunately, it seems like his family already consider you gone and are going to fight for every dime they think they can get.”

“You have enough to worry about without him, stick with those who love you, appreciate the time they have with you and want what’s best for you.” – duchess_of_fire

Others would want their partners to find love again, but maybe not while they’re alive.

“I have stage four cancer and my husband says he could never move on. I do want him to find someone again, but he is adamant that he’ll never move on. He’s even said he’s going to be a priest.”

“Who knows? He’s such a good man though and could make any woman happy. The idea of saying goodbye to him is incredibly gut-wrenching to me. I love him so much and can’t believe I was blessed with such a wonderful man. I don’t deserve him.” – Recent_Ad_4358

“I have cancer, it will take a while, I certainly want my wife to move on after my day. Why not? I am dead.”

“I can tell her at a late point she should move on once I am gone, as a show of love and compassion, but her asking if she could move on would probably feel different, but at the end of the day, I’d be dead and no say in the matter.” – foolmeonce-01

“My stepfather abandoned my mom after a serious back surgery. She was estimated not to walk for a year and just left her alone in a house. I was a sophomore at the time and my brother and I had to take care of her.”

“He was completely ruthless and uncaring. No one deserves someone like that. OP is smart for running.” – BoobsOnAlert

“NTA. Your husband is an insensitive a**hole.”

“Even if someone wants to think about ‘after,’ you don’t discuss it or push the topic insensitively…”

“The last conversation my mother had before she gave up powering through anything beyond more than the simplest of maybe two to three word answers was to ask my old man if he thought he would ever date anyone else.”

“She had gone from looking 10 or more years younger than her real age to 20 or more years older and frail… Her hair had been buzzed for chemo and so she could lay comfortable and wash more easily…”

“He had already started to spend more time outside the room than in it…”

“To everyone that could hear, it was obvious she was scared and just wanted him to express something loving… and he busted out with leaning on the doorframe to the room in thought for a moment and started to say, ‘Well… there is one woman at work…'”

“I don’t even remember the end of the comment. I just remember my mother’s eyes dimming before she closed them and turned her head away while she tagged the button on her pain meds to take a nap.” – Prudii_Skirata

“I know it’s definitely possible to be in the grieving process by the time a person actually dies. But my god.”

“My sister recently lost her love to cancer and she had done a fair amount of processing beforehand. But she was still flattened by his actual death and I know it will be a long time, if ever, before she can think about ‘moving on.'”

“It’s hard to comprehend those who do so right away.” – JohnExcrement

The subReddit was both appalled and heartbroken for how the OP was being treated by her soon-to-be ex-husband who clearly didn’t deserve to live out “in sickness and in health” with her.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.