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My dad is dying of cancer and has started abusing my mom. HELP ME!

My dad was previously married 4 times and met my mom when she was a single mom of 5 kids. She had two previous marriages that ended because of abuse. My dad was abusive in his earlier marriages, but that was a deal breaker for my mom. As far as I know he never hit her until a few months ago.

Now he is in the final stages of his cancer and is really sick. He is still mobile, but is getting weaker quickly. Apparently when he gets mad now, he thinks it is okay to hit and shove my mom. She doesn't know what to do, she says he can't control himself. I have a hard time believing that, I mean in the 30 years they have been married he was able to control it, but now he can't. Yeah right. I know he is having regrets and is scared of dying, but my mom shouldn't be his punching bag.
I told her to kick his ass out. Not to really kick him out but to scare him into stop hitting her. She said that he stuck by her and raised her kids and she can't leave him in his time of need.
I love my dad. He was a good dad, he ruled with an iron fist, but didn't abuse us. But I am so saddened and disgusted by this new violence. He refuses counseling, as does my mom.
He probably won't live to see Christmas this year.

I am just so heartbroken about everything that is going on. How can I help them?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 6:46 PM on Mar. 5, 2011 in Relationships

Answers (15)
  • If neither of them will go to counselling, go yourself (it will help you, and under the circumstances, you need help too) . And call his doctor to explain what is happening. Your mom needs help with him. Maybe a medication can help him.

    Answer by kjrn79 at 6:48 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • I am so sorry he opted to end his life this way, maybe some medication to mellow him out, ask his doctor, again I am so sorry, hugs...

    Answer by older at 6:49 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • Call his doctor, explain what is happening, and ask to arrange for a hospice facility for him, or a nursing home if a hospice facility is not available....It may be the cancer that is causing this....

    Answer by Anna92464 at 6:51 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • Maybe he is doing it so that when he does pass she wont be sad

    Answer by Claudiomom at 6:51 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • She needs to talk to his doctors, maybe some of his meds are causing increased aggression, or he needs to be put on                   antidepressive meds. A social worker at the hospital may have some advice for your mom as well.  Your mom doesn't have to put up with it, she should leave the house when he is getting angry, she doesn't need to be around him all the time. 


    Answer by RyansMom001 at 6:53 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • I'd tell her to get a stun gun or some pepper spray & keep it by her side. He may be experiencing extreme depression, and/or having reactions from all the meds. My friend's mom dies of cancer a few years back & the last few months of her life, she was a witch when she usually was the sweetest person. She was having a real hard time coping with her illness & was just weak...physically, mentally & emotionally. It was really easy for her to break down. she got upset a lot. Her family had to have lots of patience with her i remember.

    Anyhow, i think your mom needs to protect herself. But, if i were in her shoes i would not leave my husband either. I'd probably spray him with pepper spray as a warning to never hit me again, if that didn't work i would stay elsewhere. it would be hard not being with my dying husband, but you got to look out for yourself first.

    Answer by samurai_chica at 6:54 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • He is still able to get around and is not ready for hospice. He is still mobile and able to most most things.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 6:54 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • She really needs to talk to his doctors. My ex husbands dad died of lung cancer and was not usually abusive to his mom, but towards the end he became abusive towards her and really anyone around her. My ex had to make the decision to actually have him removed from the house and placed into the hospital because as it turned out the cancer had spread into his brain and that was why he was acting the way he was. So please have him looked at and see what options are available.

    Answer by gemgem at 6:55 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • I would talk to his doctor about getting him an anti anxiety med. I suffer from anxiety myself and when your scared something bad is gonna happen you tend to get manic, Im sure he is scared and feels hopeless, not that im condoning his behavior and it is really up to your mom to stop letting him do this to her even if it means she needs to leave until he calms down. my moods had gotten so bad at one time i had to walk away from my family and learn to meditate.

    Answer by TillyMarie at 7:17 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • At first I thought I was going to be all, she shouldn't deal with that, leave or make him leave. But I feel bad for the guy! He is dying and maybe, just maybe, he doesn't know how to handle that. Obviously hitting his wife is not the answer but maybe this is something more then him just getting mad and hitting her. Like the pp stated, maybe sometime more is wrong or maybe his meds are affecting him but maybe he is just mad and can't figure out how to release his anger. Has your mom tried to talk to him? Has she tried to remind him that abuse was a deal breaker and after 30 years he is throwing everything away? Could it be that he just doesn't realize? I know this probably isn't a popular opinion, but I would try to figure out why he is doing it after such a long marriage!

    Answer by ILoveCade at 7:20 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

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