I was tasked with taking out my wife's weave tonight. It's nothing new. I've done it before. But since she had neck surgery on Tuesday, tonight I had to be especially careful. She yelled at me a few times. I must be ultrasensitive. She's yelled at me before she got sick, but it didn't seem to bother me so much before. Instead of yelling back and telling her to change her tone of voice, this time I consoled her, just like you would console a sick child. It was hard but it seemed to work. It made me feel wimpy, but at the end she said thank you and it made it all worthwhile. then she reminded me that my mother was verbally abusive and that's why I married a verbally abusive woman. I remember my grandmother yelling at my grandfather and thinking he was a wimp to let her talk to him like that. And after my grandfather got pancreatic cancer and died at a young age, I remember him losing his temper and yelling at my grandmother. This scared me away. How much verbal abuse a caregiver need to take before pushing back?

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I see this incident from a different perspective, not of being "wimpy", but rather of being compassionate and consoling, and defusing a situation which could have become a lot worse.

Your wife's comment about marrying a verbally abusive woman is interesting. It seems she's recognized the situation, but hasn't attempted to change her behavior except in this instance. Perhaps it could become the basis for a good, long, frank discussion of the dynamics of verbal abuse. You might even be able to work out some language or actions to alert each of you when this happens so it can be stopped.

I think she plays an equal role in this as she has knowledge of her behavior but apparently hasn't addressed it.

It's unfortunate I think that "wimpy" has become characteristic for so much behavior that actually could be considered defusing, especially in your situation. And being "wimpy" is really only in one's perception, based on societal norms that are often very judgmental.

Several decades ago it might be considered that men were wimpy if they stayed home to be house husbands and care for the children while the wives worked. That's no longer true since women who have approached or broken through the glass ceiling make more than their husbands, and it makes sense that they would work rather than stay home with the kids.

I think the younger generation of men may have an easier time sliding into this role than the older ones.

I expect your counsellor was thinking of a face to face group of men with similar problems, not an online forum peopled mostly by women. But AgingCare is a great resource if you have problems that are more specific to caregiving.

Have you found a local support group? Did your therapist suggest one?

Feeling "wimpy" every time you console the person you are caring for is a HUGE handicap for a caregiver! There is nothing weak about being compassionate. In fact, it often takes more self discipline and strength to keep your cool in the trying circumstances of being a caregiver.

I hope there is marriage counseling in your future, and you both can break out of the cages of your past.

My counselor suggested I join a support group.

OMM, based on all of your posts you seem to have a longstanding marital problems and are unsure what "normal" is supposed to look like, I would suggest you get some counselling to help you work through that.

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