bkaycee Asked August 2011

The age difference between my husband and I is 24 years. My husband’s says that I am his wife and have to take care of him; but what about my life?

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palmtrees1 Sep 2011
Just because you married someone older doesn't mean "you" could not have been the sick one. We all could have that really bad accident, get a terrible disease. Would he take care of you? Do you think he married you just to have someone around to take care of him? Older men, in my experience, want to think they can still get a younger woman. It is an ego thing.

My brother in law married a lovely French woman 12 years older than him. He was 42 and she was 54. We all thought "what was he thinking"? But now she is 71 and he is 59. She is in perfect health, fit, fun and just a delight. He looks like hell, been sick, has a heart problem. We are wondering if he will die first.

We all marry, hopefully, because we are in love. If you marry to have a maid and caretaker in your old age. You should get what you deserve. He should be considerate of your needs as well. Get some help and have some fun.
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Long term care in later years, what is the finanacial responsibilty of spouse? Do all assets have to be gone to receive aid? Thinking of marriage at 65 but don't want to end up with nothing in later years because of spouse medical debt.
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LivingSouth Aug 2011
I guess it would depend on what he means by 'take care of him' as to whether it is things he really needs help with or just things he won't do for himself, but honestly - this is why many men marry younger women. I would have thought that you would have considered that this situation would come up sooner or later.
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It shouldn't be about age. You knew he was older and would probably suffer poor health before you when you married him; wasn't that awareness part of the 'in sickness and in health' vow?
Taking care of a spouse can include assisted living or in-home health aides. Too many caregivers wreak their own health trying to do everything themselves. Our lives often take us where we don't want to be. But it's still our life to be lived with as much balance, humor, and shrewdness as possible.
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PatriciaAS Aug 2011
My husband is 14 years older than I am. We had a long talk about this before we got married. He said to me, "what is going to happen when we get older, you will be wanting to go out and I will want to stay at home." I said at that time I thought I could handle it as we were both in good health at the time. Thank goodness I still am. Well, we are at this time now. He is 84 and I just turned 70. I don't really care to do a lot any more so this hasn't been a big issue. I could use some help but he doesn't think so. He doesn't want to spend the money. Well, I have looked around at some of our church groups etc. and the cost is really minimal. I have some of my ducks lined up without his knowledge since he doesn't think straight anymore anyway. We never expected COPD, glucoma, dementia etc. that he has was going to happen. He used to compete in the Senior Olympics. I just do the best I can everyday now and forget the rest. I have found that anticipating anything anymore isn't worth using my energy for. We do pretty good. I have given up most of my social stuff but I do hear by phone, email and just seeing some at the stores is nice. I had an incident with him just this morning with his printer. It didn't work. Wrong! Don't know what he really did to it but it works just fine. It should as it is almost new. Well, he had 7 things in the que and most is what I call "garbage." I just said to him printing this stuff in color is expensive. He didn't say much and I again chose my battle by not pressing it. Good 'ole dementia again I said to myself. So, now I am reading emails and answering some and doing something else and ignoring it. I refuse to let it spoil my day. I guess I got a little off track re the post. Sorry. But this all happened about the time this came in. So, I say like others here try and find a balance in your life. I still believe in my marriage vows and I will stick to them no matter how hard. I said for better or worse almost 25 years ago and I think the worse has come but again I choose my battles and I will try to make the worse better. Good luck in whatever you choose to do.
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Debbyeone Aug 2011
Didn't you think about this when you married him?
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timmyk48 Aug 2011
I agree with the husband. You knew the age difference when you married him.
Remember the vows you took?...for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. Your marriage and Husband are your life. If you were the one with health issues wouldn't you want him to be there for you? Time to grow up. There are caregivers on here that are taking care of parents or grandparents...they didn't take any vows before God, but somehow they are doing the right thing for them out of love. It's all about love.
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Eddie Aug 2011
BK:

When you used the word "husband's" I assume you're talking about his family. If he said it, keep in mind the vows of matrimony you took. If they said it, it's probably because they want none of the responsibility and will definitely quote the vows to send you on a guilt trip long enough to last the rest of his life. ... Might as well join a convent and take vows of poverty.

I'm sure he didn't put a gun to your head and force you into wedded bliss. Consider all the options, as this is one of those situations when our emotions can be our undoing and common sense can be very uncommon. Whatever you do, do your best to remain kind and rational.

Good luck my sister.
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NancyH Aug 2011
Bkaycee, then you've been married to a narcissist for 19 years so you're certainly not a rookie at this. I know there's meds for bipolar, but I haven't any idea about the narcissism thing. Has the dementia compromised his brain so much that taking meds no longer helps? The reason I ask is I'm wondering how you've coped with this for 19 years but not now, or has this been coming for a long time? Sounds like the age difference is the least of your worries because he could've had early onset dementia instead of just getting it when he got old and you'd still be facing the same problem.
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bkaycee Aug 2011
Thank you for your feedback, most appreciated. My husband and I have been married for 19 and a half years. Having dated 3 years before marrying. This is both our 2nd marriage. We both have grown children by our first marriage. However the downfall to my anger and frustration that I seem to not be letting on to is he is Narcisistic/bipolar to include dementia/alzheimers. He still does a lot for himself, such as drive and sing on the Senior Choir at church, partake in social events with the Senior Tennis Club, can be jovial and fun to be with at times, but the personality disorder with the up and down of moods is driving me to be stressed out. I am truly thankful I still work. This is my out five days a week. We all have our issues and need to air them out to get positive and negative feedback to see if we ourselves are on the right path. Thank you.
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