my partner has cancer and only a few years to live left me for the widow of his best friend who died 6 months ago of cancer

Visitor's Question from a 41-50 year old Female
Recently my partner of 3 years, who has cancer and only a few years to live, left me for the widow of his best friend who died 6 months ago of cancer after just a few weeks.

Previously my ex-partner had found his friend's wife difficult to deal with, but he supported her through this difficult time. He and I had had a wonderful relationship, but through my own fears I put distance between us. I now know how deeply I love him and want to commit myself fully to being his life partner and lover. I feel that I have the clarity and wisdom to do that now. However, he says he loves this other woman, and that he thinks she loves him. He also says that he does not know if love has anything to do with it as they are linked through shared pain. They are both needy people and can share a lot. But I need and want him too, I just didn't let him know enough.

My concerns are twofold. Firstly I would dearly love the chance at working through our differences and setting off on a new beginning stronger and more committed. But we would need to do much talking and sharing. Secondly, I am concerned that he will be hurt and abandoned and because he has such little time left I want him to be happy. Any thoughts on this situation? Advice
This is a very difficult situation. The big thing is that he is facing his mortality. That is something that, luckily, you and I don't know what is like. He has to do what he has to do. If you really love him, you'll let him spend the rest of his time the way he wants to. I know it will hurt and he may want to come back, but he's going through such fear, confusion, pain, etc. that I would have a hard time blaming him.

One thing he does raise is the valid statement about how she knows about the pain of cancer. Yes, you now do, too, but not as intimately as she does. Maybe he needs her for the psychological support. Who knows? Who's to say?

I wish you the best and hope that whatever decision you make will cause him the least amount of pain because in the end, it will also cause you the least amount of pain, too.

Best wishes,

-- from Marc
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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