Did you know there are women who will try and steal your husband while you're fighting breast cancer, struggling with surgeries and chemo and trying to maintain some semblance of a normal life? Before a couple of these women lunged for my husband, it never occurred to me I knew anyone like this: Women with no moral code, and more importantly, no concept of compassion, love or self-worth. Who does that sort of thing? A woman at my church, that's who.
One Sunday I barely had enough energy to blink, much less get dressed and leave the house, so I told my husband to go on without me. Moments after he walked into the building, one of these husband-stealing Jezebels leaned into him, gave him a full contact body hug and proceeded to grind her crotch into his leg.
"If I can ever do anything for you," she whispered in his ear, "call me."
Another time chemo zapped me of energy, I asked him to meet an interior designer and a workman at our new house so the workman could hang light fixtures. This designer, a hair-flipping floozy, came on to my husband bigger than Dallas. When her floor-length trench coat came off, she had on a micro mini skirt, cowboy boots and a thong. Repeatedly she bent over, as though retrieving something from her bag, fanny side toward my husband. Each time he moved, so he didn't have such an up close and personal view of her derrière, she moved so that he did. When he tried to step outside, she cornered him.
"Has anyone ever told you what pretty eyes you have?" she asked.
"Yes," he replied. "My wife."
When he told me the “pretty eyes” bit, I knew it was true because she says that to men and women alike. Later, other women who knew her told me, “ Never leave your husband alone with her.”
I was shocked at their lack of compassion for me and for my husband. Women who brazenly offer themselves like that show disrespect for husbands as well. Husbands can be overwhelmed with their wife's breast cancer, even vulnerable. Statistics say 25 percent of husbands leave their wives after they’ve been diagnosed.
A man’s “little brain” has a tendency to dominate his “big brain,” and while you may not be as interested in sex during breast cancer treatment as your husband is, his sexual needs don’t go away. Even if you’re not lucky enough to be best friends with your husband, this is a time to treat one another like best friends. Try to talk honestly and openly with one another about different ways you can handle sex, and other issues, over the course of your treatment and recovery. If your marriage is a good marriage, this is an opportunity to grow even closer. If your marriage is rocky, find a way to role reverse with one another, and see things from your spouse’s point of view. You might even visit a counselor.
Women who try and steal another woman’s husband, while their wife is fighting for her life are contemptible creatures. At least vampires come out at night, but these desperate housewives brazenly do their best work in the daylight, with no remorse or misgivings as to the consequences of their actions. They are sad pathetic women in search of an ego fix with no regard for anyone, not even themselves. Watch out for them, girlfriends. I guarantee, they’re closer than you think.
Brenda Ray Coffee is an entrepreneur and a breast cancer survivor. In late 2009, Coffee created the Survivorship Media Network, LLC. The network’s first property, BreastCancerSisterhood.com, is one of the few survivorship resources for women, husbands/caregivers and children, from point of diagnosis, to finding their new normal after treatment and beyond. Her site includes Brenda’s Blog. With no topic off limits, Brenda has been called the Carrie Bradshaw/Sex & the City of breast cancer, and her dry wit has been compared to Erma Bombeck. Ms. Coffee blogs for Whole Foods, ModernMom.com and numerous Hearst newspapers.