I feel so confused and guilty that I feel this way.

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My husband and I were married in October of 2015 (1 year anniversary just happened) and we were only together for a year and half before we did. First marriage for him and second for me. He is 45 years old (never had children) and an only child and I am 42 have 3 children and 4 siblings. Unfortunately, 4 months after we were married my mother in law was diagnosed with breast cancer and it has been downhill ever since. She is cancer free from the chemo did something to cause her to start having the signs of dementia (according to the doctors). It has been emergency room visits, stays at mental health facilities, having to go to the house to stop her from hurting herself or leaving period because her husband (his dad) is 72 and also not in good health. At the time being she is in the hospital awaiting a nursing home to open up because they are all full and all the financial stuff well that is a whole other story. Now here comes the confused and guilt.....I am technically still a newlywed??? (ok maybe not but still newly married) and every conversation, email and everything has to do with his mom....I get an email at work and it has to do with her. What she said today, what she ate etc etc. Let me add that I have been there for them all and doing it from my heart honestly. I love them all very much but he has to visit her everyday, call her also and call his dad a couple times a day. He even fits them into his days when he goes out with a buddy etc. According to her health records she could live a very long time (which of course I hope is true) but I am wondering what will happen when she is placed. Will he visit everyday? will we talk about her everyday? It has affected us it really has we are still new and he doesn't even look at me the same. I guess I just wanted to get this out in writing because it has been eating at me. Thanks for listening


Breast cancer can turns one's life upside down for many years, I know, been there, done that, have the pink t-shirt. It is terrifying when a doctor tells you you have breast cancer because in some cases one needs radical surgery, thus you are constantly reminded you had that cancer every time you change clothes or take a shower. I guess your mother-in-law is my age, in her 70's.

What is rough are the prescription meds that one is required to take after surgery, chemo or radiation, or whatever was recommended to deal with the cancer. We all need to take such meds for 5 years... now it is recommended to take for 10 years.

Those meds can do a number on you that is unbelievable because of the awful side effects. There are days you feel like your brain belongs to someone else... there is depression.... days of just crying.... panic attacks.... exhaustion... lack of intimacy with a husband/sig other because the meds give you zero interest.... you are on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. If your Mom is on such pills, maybe its the pills side effects and not dementia.

I got to a point where after 4 years I just couldn't take the side effects any longer and I said "no more" to taking the pills. I wanted my quality of life back, and being on those meds was no quality.

Group therapy was a big help, something I should have done prior to going into surgery to give me a better idea on how to handle everything. I didn't go until a year after the fact. The therapy was a store house of information. There were gals there who had chemo and I never realized what side effects they had to go through with the chemo itself.

So put yourself in your mother-in-laws shoes for a few days, it will give you a better understanding. Thank goodness you married a very caring husband.... thus if you find yourself in the hospital for whatever reason, he will be there fore you.
I can understand how you must feel. Your husband's heart is in the right place, but, he's not realizing that you need his attention too. Sometimes, when a family member gets dementia, there are so many things to do for the caregiver. Medical, legal and financial decisions to be made, ensuring the person is safe, keeping them clean, etc. Your husband may feel like he's having to put the fires out before he can go home and focus on his primary responsibility, which is you. I'd try to hang in there and see if after she gets placed into the facility, your husband can breath again.

I know that I was a wreck until my loved one got placed into Assisted Living. I couldn't sleep, eat, relax, work, etc. The day I drove away with her safely in the AL, I cried tears of joy. I could finally sleep, eat, and breath. Hopefully, husband will feel the same and be able to devote time to you then. You might ask him about making plans for the two of you to go on a special date night then. If he's not receptive, I would look into counseling. You may need a third party, like a counselor, to open the lines of communication and allow him to see how alone you feel.
Oh, I wouldn't feel guilty. You have done nothing wrong. You want your husband's attention and to feel special again. Nothing wrong with that.
I was expecting some back lash.....I sympathize with everyone going through this and I am hurting too I just got married and my mother in law who is/was awesome will never be the same I only got 1 year + of time with her. I am not going anywhere my husband is a great man. Thank you so much for your responses.
All of what you are feeling is normal. I agree with the other posts....your husband seems so loving towards his mother, he will show you the same compassion if ever needed in future ( hope never). Unfortunately there is no way of predicting what will happen with your MIL in the future. We cannot predict outcomes. Often events happen that are unexpected in this life. Please take comfort that your husband is doing his best and you are too. I know you want to nurture your new marriage. I think we are all here for a purpose. You are helping your husband through bearing witness to your MIL condition. You are his rock. Have you considered journaling? Please do try to schedule a date night. You and your husband deserve quality time together. Your relationship will become stronger as you support your husband. No storm lasts forever. We own our soul, yet borrow a body.
Your sadness is so familiar. My heart goes out to you. I too am on my second marriage to a wonderful man. About a year ago his father who has dementia moved in with us and all the things you describe, how life suddenly revolves around him, not us, every conversation, every decision, hit us like a ton of bricks. Are things settling down? A bit. A new normal kind of kicks in once the situation is stable, like when your MIL is in the nursing home. Then some normalcy will start to return. Not everything and every day will be about her. In our case it helps for me to make my time with my husband special. Be extra loving. Snuggles on the sofa while watching TV. Holding hands. Saying 'I love you.' He always responds. He will know you're still there with him, and also be reminded of why. You might need to take the initiative for a bit and suggest that night out, just the two of you. Suggest a movie, or something fun you two like to do. He's under a lot of stress and so are you. I hope your children are doing well too. I'm sure this is upsetting to them. All involved will breathe a sigh of relief when your MIL is in a secure situation. Just take it day by day and look for opportunities to find joy in each other.

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