‘Til near death do us part.
A woman has opened up about why she divorced her dying husband, saying his five-year cancer battle took a toll on their marriage as he wallowed in self-pity.
Yana Fry, 40, wed her late husband when she was 22 years old and dreamed of starting a family with him.
But the bride’s dreams were soon dashed when her husband, then 37, was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
“We couldn’t really think about our future,” Fry told Caters. “How can you plan for your future as a newly-married couple when you’re struggling with something like cancer?”
“People react in one of two ways to critical illnesses, I’ve seen it over and over,” she continued. “The first type was how my husband unfortunately was — the people who drown in self-pity. The second type of people are those who are instead concerned with everyone around them.”
Fry, who was living in New York City with her husband, said no one was worried about how she was doing during the difficult time.
“We saw different kinds of doctors. Not a single person ever offered me help,” she bemoaned. “They never asked, ‘Do you need a support system? Are you part of a counseling group?’”
Fry’s husband continued treatment for his cancer, but the disease only worsened.
“I was hoping for the best with my ex-husband’s cancer, but then years went by, and I started to lose hope,” she recalled. “It was five years with all the treatments, and it started to change the dynamics within our relationship.”
“It wasn’t until that fifth year that I started to think about leaving,” she continued. “But I felt like I couldn’t say anything. When someone is dying next to you, you feel like you can’t talk about your own well-being because you compare it to their suffering.”
Fry says she was motivated to finally leave her sickly spouse after a friend took their own life.
“It was my first funeral, and it was very shocking,” Fry explained of her pal’s unexpected suicide. “In my mind at the time, suicide became an option, even though I had never considered that before. I was in such a bad state.”
“It was very clear to me that if I didn’t save myself, I was probably going to die,” she dramatically added.
Fry subsequently filed for divorce from her husband, leaving him stunned.
“His main focus was more and more so about him,” she stated. “At the beginning of his treatment, he was still checking on me. [But] He felt even more pity for himself because of the divorce.”
“I can’t say that he was hugely supportive,” she further admitted of her decision to end their union. “But what was even harder was the reaction of society, which I didn’t expect.”
Fry says people sent her “horrible messages” and that her husband’s family was “disappointed.”
“People were in pain and they wanted to blame someone,” she explained.
Fry says she and her husband subsequently stopped speaking. He ended up re-marrying before he passed away two years later.
“I actually found out on Facebook that he passed away. There was a picture of him from a common friend, and it said, ‘Rest in Peace.’”
“My first reaction was, ‘You must be joking. Someone would have called me and told me.’ But no one did,” she mournfully added.
Fry has since moved to Singapore and works as a life coach. She has also remarried.
She says she has no regrets about leaving her dying husband — but admits she spent years in therapy trying to work through her complicated emotions.
“I feel we, especially women, are just usually brought up is the mentality to serve others, but when you go against it, you learn a lot about resilience and self-awareness,” Fry declared. “I had to have years of therapy to learn that I am not a horrible person for making the decision that I did.”
She said she holds no bad feelings towards her late ex-husband despite their difficult marriage, stating: “I was so happy and so thrilled that he got remarried before the end. I genuinely hope that they had a beautiful life together.”