I'm a newlywed, and my husband's father has required more care lately. How do I get over jealousy and feeling like he's not with me mentally?

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I understand that his dad needs care, but it upsets me when things at our house get overlooked or forgotten. His dad has dementia, but before the wedding he was capable of living alone, with help each day. After the wedding, now that my husband's not there as much, his dad has gone downhill and can't seem to be alone. My husband drives down to San Diego a lot to take care of him, and seems to be stressed about his dad when he's home with me. Do I just need to get over it, or does anyone have suggestions for how I can help him handle both relationships?

Answers 1 to 10 of 25
Congratulations on your wedding. Sometimes elders, especially with dementia, do not handle change well. The marriage and your husband's change in attention have marked a shift from the center of universe being your FIL to you. You will not just get over it (trust me!) and the need will increase with time for attention, not decrease. Talk with your husband about getting some additional visits for your Father-In-law; perhaps a church, home health care, or adult day care that will pick him up for activities. The Area Council of Aging (different names in different states) would have additional resources. Your new relationship with your husband will need time to develop and deserves attention as well. If he needs to have your husband there to take care of things, perhaps you can see about moving him to a facility nearby. But resentment does not just go away, and it will interfere with your ability to support the caregiver role your husband holds. Take care, and take care of both your health and your husband's. Stress is no one's friend. Helen
Is there any reason you can't go with your husband? Maybe if you were more involved it would ease some of you feelings of being left out. And if his dad has Alz. or dementia, it can progress quickly when they have experianced a major change. I don't want to be a Debbie Downer here, but it is only going to get worse.
Educate yourself about dementia and you will understand more about your husbands stress while being away from him .
I know it is hard on you too. But Alz/dementia is one ugly disease and is very time consuming for the caregiver.
Can he be moved to a facility closer to you and your husband? Can your husband hire someone to be there with him? Try talking with your husband about more workable options. But amy, your husband is watching the dad he knew become someone he does not recognize. Please join us on this sight and keep posting. You do not have to be a caregiver to seek help with understanding the disease. Let us know what happens I wish you luck and good communication with your husband... hugs
I agree with everything Ladeeda said...Think about it. You married a very compassionate man! He will be there for you, too. He may feel like has abandoned his father and I'm sure he is torn between wanting to be home with you and worry about his dad. I will assume you married for "in sickness and in health." For him, his father's illness is his own. If you also pledged to be married forever this is what "life" looks like! You can help you husband by being supportive and looking for other options. Moving you FIL closed to you, finding him an assisted care facility or looking into social services to provide extra care are all options. Sorry to say but you need to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. It may help you to contact your local Hospice Care or Alzheimer's Association to see if they have support groups you and your husband can attend.
Thank you both for your responses. Thank you for not acting like I am just selfish for wanting my husband's time. I can't go with him because I work full time and he goes during the day (he does not work right now, because he was the full time caregiver for his mother who recently passed away). His dad lives about two hours away, so I think moving him closer is a good option. My husband hates the idea of moving his dad out of his home, but it is getting harder and harder. We are starting to get a lot of calls from the caregivers, saying that he won't take his pills, won't go to bed, etc. My husband goes down there three days a week (scheduled, but sometimes it's more), but I guess that is still a big change since his dad used to see him every day. I know it is very hard on my husband, which is why I want to be supportive, but I find myself thinking things like, "He should be looking harder for a job, but he can't because his dad is taking up so much time" or "The car is clicking because he was supposed to get an oil change...if it was his dad's car, he would have gotten it done right away..." I know I need to stop thinking like that and I hope everyone on here can help me! Thank you again for your responses and ideas.
It's a double-edged sword.

It takes time away from your relationship (at a critical time early in your marriage) But then as well as he cares for his parent, is how he will probably care for you should you get sick.

Can you go with him? He probably needs your help and support more than ever!
You are right - he is very compassionate, and that is part of why I fell in love with him.
Can you get the oil changed?
And don't shame yourself for feeling what you do. Feelings are not right or wrong, it's what we do with those feelings that matter. Give yourself some credit for reaching out for help. You have more options now so that in itself is a sress relief.
Good luck
I can - it was just something he said he would do, and then about two weeks later as I was arriving home from work, I heard a car rattling and clanking up the street. I thought, "Oh my gosh. Is that my car???" We have switched cars because mine gets better gas milage. I was instantly mad, and started thinking what I said above about how he would have taken care of it right away for his dad. You all are right though - this is very hard on him, and I need to help him think of solutions. I guess I should accept that it will be hard sometimes, but focus on a solution rather than how it doesn't seem fair?
Get his father closer so you both can spend better quality time with the father more so than being on the road back and forth. This will also free up more time with each other. Give your husband support during this hard time... i promise you it will be the BEST investment you will have ever made.
Bless you and your family.
Amy, welcome to being married. You didn't say how long you have been married, and I know it is hard on you wanting to have more time with him.. I am not defending him not taking care of business, it is just that caregiving is a 24/7 job, whether he is with his dad or not. I am sorry you are having to share your new husband, but there is a lot of maturity in your ability to ask for help. We can't help you change him, but we can help you to see things a little different.
Once you have had time to think some things over, maybe you can come up with some ways to take the load off him and when he is home with you, then ya'll can spend more time together... He will deeply appreciate it, be able to relax more and not feel so torn between you and his dad.
Take some time to think about what you want to say to him. Let him know you are there for HIM so ya'll can have more time together. And don't say "these old ladies on this sight said....." make it sound like you have been thinking of ways to help him.
And if he turns out to be a turd, let us know... we'll talk to him... lol Caregiving takes its toll on tried an true marriages.. It is just the way it's going to be. You can't change him sweetie, and hopefully becoming more involved will help both of you.

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