In a heartfelt revelation, Yana Fry opens up about her decision to divorce her dying husband, shedding light on the challenging dynamics of their marriage amidst his five-year cancer battle.
At the age of 22, Fry had envisioned a future filled with love, family, and dreams alongside her husband. But, their journey took an unforeseen turn when her then 37-year-old husband was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
The couple’s ability to plan for the future became overshadowed by the overwhelming weight of the illness.
Fry shares, “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 explains, “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.”
As the popular motivational speaker stood by her husband’s side, she found herself neglected and unsupported.
“We saw different kinds of doctors. Not a single person ever offered me help… They never asked, ‘Do you need a support system? Are you part of a counseling group?” she shared.
While her husband continued his cancer treatments, the disease progressed, taking a toll on their relationship.
Five years into the battle, Fry began contemplating leaving, feeling trapped by the immense suffering surrounding her. She confesses, “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.”
The turning point came when a close friend tragically took their own life, which deeply affected the 40-year-old.
Suddenly, suicide became an option in her mind, as she was consumed by a state of despair. Realizing that she needed to save herself, she mustered the courage to file for divorce, a decision that shocked her husband.
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In the midst of his own challenges, her husband’s focus had increasingly shifted to himself. Fry reveals, “At the beginning of his treatment, he was still checking on me. [But] He felt even more pity for himself because of the divorce.” Although his support waned, the unexpected backlash from society was even more challenging for Fry to endure, as she received hurtful messages and faced disappointment from her husband’s family.
The estrangement between Fry and her husband deepened over time, and she eventually discovered his passing through a Facebook post. Feeling a mix of disbelief and grief, she recounts, “My first reaction was, ‘You must be joking. Someone would have called me and told me.’ But no one did.”
Today, Fry resides in Singapore and works as a life coach. She has remarried and harbors no regrets about her decision to leave her dying husband. However, she acknowledges the years of therapy she underwent to process her complex emotions and combat societal expectations.
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Reflecting on her journey, the life coach emphasizes the need for women to challenge the ingrained mentality of always serving others. She believes that going against this norm has taught her valuable lessons in resilience and self-awareness. Fry affirms, “I had to have years of therapy to learn that I am not a horrible person for making the decision that I did.”
Despite the difficulties they faced in their marriage, Fry holds no ill will toward her late ex-husband. On the contrary, she expresses genuine happiness that he found love and remarried before his passing, sincerely hoping they had a beautiful life together.