My husband doesn't want me to go on a 5 day trip. He can't tell me why.


I would like to go to my friends 50th wedding anniversary party. Haven't seen anyone of the people I would see in almost the 50 years. I have found someone to stay with him and all he says is he doesn't want anyone to take care of him that he can do it himself. Yeah, right. He fell out of bed the other night. No biggie on this one. Then he comes up with what if I would die with no one here. No one would find me until you get home. This trip means a lot to me but if I can't go I am not mad just disappointed. I also have arranged for a neighbor to give my dog insulin twice a day as she has diabetes. I don't think he would remember to do it and also would not get the dosage right. I just can't go and have a good time if I go and not worry what is happening at home.

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Hey Patricia: I just reread your response to Jeanne where you mentioned that your husband has threatened you before. I don't know how serious that is in your mind, but you mentioned it so I am assuming it worries you. I hope you will take time to remove any and all guns from the house, should there be any. Do it quietly and without him knowing.

You are 15 years younger than your husband. Have there been jealousy issues in your marriage, prior to the onset of dementia? He may be afraid that you will find someone else and not come back for that reason.

What's your take on it?


Patricia: As it is now, this is the best your husband is going to be. Take the trip and have your grandson step in. You husband could go on like this for years, always declining. It would be wonderful if you could do something for yourself and get him use to the idea that you may leave once in a while. Maybe this is a chance to get him use to the idea that you can leave and that you do come back.

I too am assuming your comment about being shot when you get back is just a manner of speech. If that's not true, then you need to take stock of your situation and make some changes. You can't be held captive by the threat of violence.

Take the trip and have a wonderful time. You deserve to be able to make happy decisions for yourself while you are well enough to travel and visit friends. I agree with Nancy. Call him every night and reassure him that you are fine, give him the details and let him know that you miss him and will be home soon.

Don't give up on this. It's not easy to do, but you have to start somewhere. It's a big deal for you. Don't let it pass by. Love and Hugs, Cattails

Patricia, you are your husband's security and you're leaving. He's scared, but only how it's going affect HIM if something happened to you. If this trip is important to you, then you're going to have to GO despite his protests. Tell him you'll call him every night and fill him in on what the scuttlebutt is, but that you are going to go.

You cannot let your life be directed by someone who has cognitive impairment, mild or otherwise! You need to be in charge and make this decision.

I do not think our husbands are selfish. Mine is not bitter. But they do not have the capacity for sound judgment. Not their fault! Not ours, either. But something we have to accept and deal with.

Your grandson sounds like the ideal person to help out!

I really don't know how seriously you should take the threats your husband has made. When you say that you don't want to get shot when you get home, do you mean that verbally or literally? A verbal blowup you can survive. Not pretty, not fun, but this too will pass.

Is he threatening bodily harm? Has he acted upon threats like this in the past 3 years?

(In any case, there should be no guns in your house!)

Good luck.

Jeanne - My husband was diagnosed over three years ago with mild cognitive impairment. As you know this just progresses downward. I can't tell you how much as he won't go to the doctor, wants no help of any kind and as I said he won't let anyone in the house. I thought it would be fun to go with me and meet the people I went to school with. We have found each other after all these years and reconnecting. I have talked with some and it really has given me a high. Yes, it would be fun to get a change of scenery and some rest. I guess I am so scared of upsetting him that I am scared to go. He has threatened me in the past but I just laugh it off and reason with him because of his condition. This is getting serious now.
By-the-way, my grandson was the one who was going to stay at night. He is a former Marine and very trustful and reliable. I was going to drive but my husband is scared something is going to happen to me (the trip would be a little over 600 miles one way) with alll that is going on today. Well, if it is going to happen it is going to happen. Anyway, no driving and by air it would be just two hours each way plus getting to and from the airport. I would be met at the airport and on return they would take me back. From home to the airport I would take the shutttle. I was telling the lady who cuts my hair about this and she called him selfish. Maybe LucytheCat is right it is bullying instead. I have never been in a position like this and this is my first and hopefully, last time being a caregiver.
All he does is sleep, eat, watch tv and play video games and use his computer. He goes to the fitness center in our community too.
Thank you too, LucytheCat for your input as well. I still have two weeks to work on this so maybe the Good Lord will answer my prayers and I can still go. I keep asking him but feel I am being a pest. Like whiney.
Jeanne - I'm like you and have worked my marriage as a partnership too and have become head of the household too. No, I don't like it either but I try and take each day and put one foot in front of the other. I guess my situation has just been building and I needed to vent.
Everyone I have talked with says go. I am still seriously thinking about it I just don't want to get shot when I get home.

Have you taken any trips prior to this big one? If not, see if you work out an overnighter somewhere and see if the person willing to stay with him for the longer trip will stay with him for your mini trip.
Introduce the person who is willing to stay with him NOW so when the trip date takes place he will feel comfortable with them. Have the two of them work out the details on what is needed during your overnighter as well as your 5 day trip.
You can't be bullied or feel guilty about doing something that you want to do. The folks who are receiving the care giving want to be the number one priority in the caregivers life. They are bitter that they can't do things they used to do and take it out on the care giver. They won't admit they are scared and worried and concerned about what is happening to them.That is why all these senior retirement villages offer caregiver respite weekends - you get burnt out with caring for someone day in and day out. We all need a break otherwise caregivers get depressed and overwhelmed.
Contact the Dept of Aging in your area and schedule an appointment to get your husband evaluated. They have a gentle way of letting your husband know what they recommend is needed for him to have a more independent life as well as a quality of life. Even if they only recommend someone to come in a couple days a week - take them up on it. You can then do things for yourself during the week knowing there will be someone coming in.

Do NOT leave without having someone stay with him, no matter what he says. If everyone who said, "I don't need a babysitter" could actually take care of himself or herself, nursing home populations would be reduced by 84%! It is so great that you have found someone to stay with him. Take that as a sign this trip was meant to be!

Your husband has dementia. It is not surprising that he can't explain his reasons for his resistance to your trip. To the extent that you can sense the reasons, try to reassure him. But whether you can satisfy his objections or not, you owe it to both of you to go on this trip. You deserve a chance to get away, unwind, recharge your batteries, and come back refreshed. It will be good for you, and that is sufficient reason to do it. It will also be good for your husband to have a well-rested caregiver!

In the past you would probably have talked over plans like this together. Should I go alone, should we go together, how will we afford it, what should we do about the cat, would a little sidetrip be a good addition ... etc. One of the saddest things about having a spouse with dementia is losing that partnership. The loved one with dementia can no longer make equal contributions to decisions. It is up to you to decide what is best. I don't know about you, Patricia, but that has been a very, very hard change for me. We used to run things as partners. Now I am head of the household. I don't like. I didn't ask for it. But I do my best with it.

Go, and have a wonderful time!

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