DEAR ABBY: When reading letters in your column concerning breast cancer, my heart goes out to every single person who has ever been diagnosed with this terrible disease. I have no respect for any man who cuts and runs when his wife is diagnosed with cancer.
But what do you think about a woman who is diagnosed and whose husband remains with her through the fear and worry, the chemo, radiation, hair loss and all the follow-up? A husband who worries constantly for her and whose biggest fear is losing his wonderful wife, and after all this -- she leaves him for another man?
It has been more than seven years. I'm asking for feedback in the hope that people can view this issue not just from my perspective, but also from the afflicted loved one's perspective as well. -- STILL WONDERING
DEAR STILL WONDERING: A diagnosis of a life-threatening illness can make a marriage stronger or it can destroy it. While I'm reluctant to attribute a reason for what your wife did without hearing from her, I can't help but think that she left because the cancer made her realize how short life is and, as much as you loved her, the marriage wasn't a fulfilling one for her.
How sad for you, and I'm truly sorry. Because it's clear you haven't yet been able to get beyond what happened, you could benefit from discussing this with a licensed psychotherapist.