Can't stand husband because he killed feeling long time ago and now have to care for him.

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73 year old male. CHF, stage 3 kidney disease, broken shoulder (Fell on ice) controlling, COPD/emphysema. Can't do enough or anything right.

12 Comments

So what advice would you like from us?
Use his money to hire Home Health Aides and go about your life. Or, have him moved to Assisted Living. That's a lot of illnesses for one person to take care of anyway.

Has he always been controlling and bitter, or just recently. I was just thinking, if I had that litany of diseases, I would be in a bad mood too.
He has always been controlling. He has four daughters from previous marriage. No help!
Guess I really didn't want advice, just wanted someone to know. I'm not a heartless bad mean person.
I know the feeling. I want people to know that I am a good person. Husband says I am lazy, his mother says I am lazy, sister says I am self centered.
Are his daughters adults? I think if they live nearby, I would definitely be telling them to take a few hours for their dad and give you a break. But seriously, I'm not sure one person can take care of someone that ill for any length of time. Even setting aside the personal feelings.

I'm sure no one thinks you're a heartless, bad, mean person. Certainly no one here because we don't even know you. But I think if I was in your shoes, I'd just adopt a clinical demeanor and take care of his needs as if I was the hired help, and try not to let your feelings get in the way. Notice I said try, we aren't robots after all. If you can get away for a couple hours, take care of yourself. Mani/Pedi, retail therapy, lunch with a friend - whatever you can manage. That's to recharge your batteries so to speak.

Come here to vent all you want; ask questions if you have any. There are a lot of very compassionate people here. We might be in different boats, but are in the same ocean. Caregiving a spouse is a whole different ballgame than a parent. Good luck!
There is nothing like being constantly criticized to make you feel like crap.

He is a very sick man, physically, and obviously counting on your feeling obligated to care for him to "make" you continue to care for him, so by making you feel guilty and inadequate he thinks he is making you try harder and feel even more bound to him. And, he would seem to be right.

Whatever he did or said to kill the loving feelings between you, why did he do it? Just ignorant, jealous or scared, or more frankly abusive? Is he just depressed and negative, needing someone to blame for how bad he feels?

If he is cognitive enough, you might have an option to tell him the truth about how his words make you feel and how it is making you wish you could get away and in fact you are researching other options just because you are finding it increasingly unsatisfactory to keep going as his caregiver when he feels your best efforts are so inadequate. You could even end up telling him maybe he's right, you are no good as a caregiver, and we'd better make other arrangements...you will get on the phone with Area Agency on Aging right now.

Maybe, just maybe, he could remember why he cared enough about you to marry you in the first place, and decide that even if he is sick and weak he could give you some love, support, and appreciation, instead of giving back nothing and giving you no reason to keep on caring.
Thank you for listening to my heart. I have pity parties and just wanted to invite someone. This too shall pass. It's just hard when you are down on your hands and knees tying shoes and trying to get them to fit more comfortably over swollen feet and ankles and he says I could get used to this pampering! Not thank you but he could get use to me doing everything for him and him just sucking the life out of me. I would do anything for anybody as long as I thought they were doing all they could for themselves. It is when I feel I'm being used that I get an attitude. Thanks for listening.
Grandmom, it makes him feel a little better to say you are "pampering" than to admit to himself emotionally that he can't do things for himself. He doesn't necessarily mean to suck the life out of you.

Be as realistic as you can about what he can do for himself and what he really needs help with. It can be really hard to tell - I have been a rehab doc for over 30 years after 5 years of training and can still get fooled. With my hubby, I learned the "wait a minute hon" technique; because he is not a very patient man, he will do it himself rather than wait very long if he can.

Now, my hubby has actually gotten better, but the chances are yours is en route to getting worse. That's hard to face. Make plans to get help involved if you feel overwhelmed by everything you have to do now, because with time he will have to have others do even more. But, even so, do NOT get in the habit of doing the things for him that he really can do and don't let ANYONE make you feel selfish for it. Excess dependency isn't good psychologically for either the depender or the one depended on. Find SOMETHING, anything, that he can do for you. Put his shirts in a pile he can reach and have him put them on the hangers before you pop them back in the closet, while you fix lunch or whatever needs to be done. Have him make phone calls and be on hold with the repairman. Really, anything that saves you a step or a minute, go for it.
Thank all of you for your responses. Again, was just frustrated. I have deep faith in God to give me strength for today, then tomorrow and so on.

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