how to love a spouse with cancer

How to Love a Spouse with Cancer with Gene Villeneuve

Gene Villeneuve shares his experience with the very difficult subject.

Today on the Good Dad Project, we have Gene Villeneuve, a successful business man who lives in Paris with his wife and two daughters. Last year, his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and they have endured 11 months of emotional exhaustion as she has undergone treatment.

It’s more than likely we’ll all watch one of our loved ones facing a deadly illness during our lives. Gene talks about dealing with the pain and uncertainty of watching a spouse go through cancer treatment while keeping his career in balance and still being a good dad to his kids.

Three things he said were crucial to helping him know how to love a spouse with cancer.

1. Create a community of support.

Husbands of cancer patients tend to feel isolated and alone, but you will also need help. Just because you’re not the one with cancer, doesn’t mean you don’t need support.

2. Put your own oxygen mask on first.

Self-care might feel selfish during this time, but if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t be strong for your family. Exercise, good rest, and downtime are needed to restore your mental and physical reserves.

3. Listen to what your spouse needs.

As men, we might have a tendency to worry about filling in the practical gaps, like the keeping up with dirty laundry or washing the dishes in the sink. But in reality, a spouse with cancer is frightened and worried. They need to express themselves, and you need to listen to them on deeper level. Then you can love them in the way they need to be loved during this time.

Gene says he now loves his wife more than ever. He says facing a situation like this makes us realize the things we may have taken for granted. We must ask ourselves, what are the things most important to us? What can we do to show that appreciation?


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