Your problems answered
I am a fit 74-year-old man and have been happily married to my wife, who is 55, for the past 20 years. She is wonderful and I love her very much. About a year ago, we moved to a new house in a lovely village. I joined Weight Watchers and met a pleasant woman. Then she stopped coming to the classes. I discovered that she had cancer and then I was diagnosed with cancer, too. My wife and I visited her and we exchanged mobile numbers. We have kept in touch, supporting each other through operations and chemotherapy. Sometimes we text up to 80 times a week when one of us is going through a lot, or is in hospital. We have strong emotions for each other and go to the local cancer support group together. I love her company and she makes me laugh. My wife hates this. The three of us met in a pub recently and my wife accused me of staring into this woman’s eyes. She wants me to stop seeing her, but neither of us know how long we have left to live and we love being good friends, nothing more. I am in love with my wife, but it helps to share my thoughts and medication ideas. It makes us feel less scared of the future if we are in touch. I know that if one of us faces death, we will want to support each other. We just want a lovely, platonic relationship. I am sorry that you and your friend have cancer. I understand that the support of someone who is going through the same experience is important to both of you. Sometimes it feels as though only someone who has been through the same major life event can truly understand you. However, I can also see that your wife feels excluded and she might fear that you are falling in love with this woman. You say that you have strong feelings for each other, after all. I am sure that your wife is also having to deal with her feelings of fear, anxiety and grief about whether you are going to die. I expect that she wants to be there to support you and perhaps she feels sidelined by your relationship with your friend. Talk to your wife about all of this and maybe you can have joint counselling or talk to a Macmillan nurse together. I also think that you should cut down your texts to your friend to two or three a day.