My husband aired some of his grievances this morning and while many of them were the same ones I have - worries over money, trying to find people who can help with Mom, too far from family - I feel responsible for the situation we are in since it is my mother we are taking care of. I've tried some of the things he has suggested and he doesn't understand why I stopped doing them - like taking Mom to festivals because they are confusing and overwhelming to her, not taking her to church because she is always late in the morning and then when we get there, no one talks to us and I have to escort her everywhere. It's almost worse when your husband makes unhelpful suggestions than when your siblings do.

I feel so sad and defeated.

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My experience is one of frustration. My mother in law lives alone (problem) and has dementia. Although she is very contrary it is difficult for me to see a potentially dangerous situation without taking some action. Often my husband's attitude is 'why bother' she just complains about it. If I caution him with what to expect next or look out for, his standard response is "you don't know that's going to happen." I can't tell you how many times it has!
So his plan is to have her move in with us. But he expects to go off to work everyday. And has no plans to for her care. So where will that leave me? I work too. So who's home with mom who shouldn't be left alone. Frustrating! My current position is to take a break from seeing or caring for his mom and let him do what he wants. This is a definite wedge in the relationship and how it works out is yet to be seen. There are no easy answers and no solution except to hang on.

It sounds like your MIL really needs 24 hour care like in a nursing home and that your wife is lost in the F.O.G. (fear, obligation or guilt). Whatever, it is something is blinding her from seeing what is going on with your marriage. You are a saint for hanging in there, but your marriage sounds like it is dead. Maybe now that she is going to a local support group that she will wake up. I think the two of you might benefit from marriage counseling and if that is not possible, then find a therapist for yourself.

When I read stories like then when one spouse looses themselves and their marriage by putting their caregiving ahead of their spouse, I wonder if they mix unless it is a strong marriage with firm boundaries and does things like you list above. I'm sorry that at this point you have more of a roommate than a wife.

my wifes mother has lived with us the past 18mth. she is 88 and in stage 6 quickly moving onto stage 7. my wife wanted to care for her mom. as husband i believe in doing all i can to support my wife and if this is what she wants or needs to do, to not support her would be contrary to our committment to each other.

that being said the caregiving is challenging, demanding, disruptive. being woke up 2-3 times each night adds to frustration. as far as marriage is concerned, i don't see any resemblence to marriage we had to the one we have now.

i have talked with my wife numerous times about self-care, having time alone as well as together, getting in home help, adding another bathroom as we only have one. each of these have been met with resistance. after 8 months we finally got a care-giver in 4days/week, 5hrs each day. finally this week she will begin a local support group/class. something i suggested and do from the beginning.

so, from my experience it is imperative if one has a spouse or long term SO, do not ignore the relationship. do not expend all energy care-giving and have none left for the marriage. when a suggestion is made, do not ignore it or come up with excuses as to why it won't work.

at this point i am not sure marriage and caregiving, in this case for an elderly parent go together. my wife hasn't asked me to leave, and i wonder sometimes if this may be the best thing. yet, the thing of it is, prior to any of this dementia for wife's mother, her mom was adamant she did not want any of her kids taking care of her, or her living with them.

dementia is a family disease and effects everyone in the family.

i take lots of deep breaths and move with this one day at a time. i am certainly no saint and i'd like the marriage back.

respectfully, thomas

my partner of 26 years has moved out to "have his freedom". My mom is 98 and a pure pleasure to care for. I am not saying it is always easy but in my heart,I know I am making a difference in her final years. As far as being alone now, yes it ill be difficult but in all actuality,I feel a sense of relief that he left as it takes that much strain off of me . I had become his caregiver out of a sense of guilt for having mom here.

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