Hubby is driving me crazy--and he's only 64 and "healthy"!

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My husband, a 10 year survivor of a liver transplant and HCV TX (thank goodness, he is now 100% cured) is starting to show possible signs of dementia. I don't really know what I am looking at. He's always been forgetful, but now it has become a real problem. He leaves in the morning and has to come back home at least once, sometimes up to three times for "basic" stuff-watch, phone, wallet. Sometimes I have to run stuff to the office that he has forgotten.


He has maybe 15% hearing in his right ear and now his left is about that bad. He doesn't listen to me, but I get that, he now also can't hear me. This drives our 5 kids just insane. They complain about this and expect ME to deal with it--this am I had told him at least 4 times that we did not have church today--he got up and went anyway--and felt a fool b/c he was there and nobody else was. I got up and saw he was dressed for church and said "I told you there wasn't church today" and just blew up at me. Said I was a nag and whiny and--well--it wasn't pretty, and tho I am standing there, barely awake, he rips into me and lists all my faults. I'm next to tears, and then he does a 180 and says, "Well let's go for a long car ride instead". Hello, he just told me I was worthless and annoying and he wants to be stuck in a car with me for 12 hours? I opted out, went back to my bedroom and just, well, I prayed.


He doesn't do this often, but when he does, he really shuts me down. I can't get him to see an ENT and be evaluated for hearing aids. He is missing all the conversations that go on and he's just really being a jerk. I put up with this behavior during the last 10 years b/c we really didn't think he was going to have much of a lifespan--TP patient with HEpC....now that he's fine and expected to live a normal lifespan, I find I have created a monster. I will admit I baby him a lot--he goes to work and I do everything else. Yesterday I asked if he would help me in the yard for 1/2 hour and he said he was going to sleep all day. And he did. He is either quiet and fine (what he calls "putting up with me" or he's raging and angry. He doesn't shout, but he is a large man and talks very loudly, so the effect is about the same...) I have heard that dementia often shows itself in anger at first...and I am terrified.


So depressed today--it's lovely outside, I am going to break my usual Sabbath routine and work in the yard and try to decompress. He won't apologize, he never does. I'm beginning to feel like a single woman stuck in a loveless marriage and the thought of 20+ more years of this--I can't deal with it.


I just got on an even keel with my difficult mother, and now hubby is acting up. Don't even suggest marriage counseling, he said he'd file for divorce first.


Thanks for just listening. I am feeling so blue and so hopeless. I have done everything I possibly could for this man since and before his liver cancer DX and maybe I did it all wrong. I feel more like a caregiver and housekeeper to a cranky old man than I do a wife. He hasn't touched me in years and won't discuss that problem either.


Wah, wah wah......call ma a wahmbulance. I am really bummed today.

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I don't know what condition your husband may have that could be causing his odd and insulting behavior. Tests and evaluations would be required to make that determination, HOWEVER, based on your description, I would consider it a strong possibility that some kind of mental decline is occurring. You don't have to be a senior to have this happen. My cousin developed severe dementia in her early 60's!

Various things can cause mental decline or personality changes. I would not be so tough on yourself until you figure this out, since it could be that he does not have the ability to act right. I would try not to take it personally, though, I know this is difficult.

I know that my cousin, who was always a rather difficult person, got worse in her behavior when her dementia started. We didn't realize why she was picking fights, lying, losing her temper, and making unfair demands, but it was dementia. She was not responsible for her mean behavior. Once it was clear, I learned to not blame her and was able to understand why she was behaving so oddly.

We were dealing with a medical condition that had to be addressed. Since she could no longer reason, I stopped expecting anything else. It's not a moral thing. It's medical. I would consider that this COULD be what you are dealing with. I hope you find your answers and find peace in your life.
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Hi Midkid, I might have written to you before when I didn’t know as much about your situation. I was married to the most selfish man on earth (his words, he was proud of it!). With the selfishness came control. I tried my best, through counceling and trying to communicate with him. I looked around and saw couples who had been married all their lives and couldn’t stand each other, and others who were still still as in love as the day they married. So, I knew it was possible. When we had been married 15 years and my 40th birthday was coming up, I made up my mind. I have never regregeted it. I couldn't count the number of friends who have said they wish they had gotten out while they had a chance like I did. If your husband has been that way for that long, he is not going to change into the man you want and need. I am still very close to his family, especially my former mother-in-law; and, I joined a fraternal organization so that I could see her more often. My ex and I are both remarried. When he found out that I had joined that chapter, he began attending again. We parted friends, since we didn't have to LIVE together, so that was fine...for awhile. When we had to work together, he began saying hurtful things to me. When I asked him if he knew they were hurtful, he said yes! I don't know why, but I asked him why did he say them then, to which he replied, "I don’t know." I reminded him that I have piece of paper now that says I don’t have to put up with that. Then he tries to make up, just like when when we were married. The chapter is moving to a different location soon, and I am going to either stop going or go to another chapter. So, he still has a compulsion to hurt me, and the smartest decision I ever made is when I told him it was over. Just my experience and opinion for you to consider. If you have the chance to take the Myers-Briggs Personality Test and get your husband to take it, I'll bet it indicates how different you are in four major areas of your life. The modified test is online, I think. The follow-up book is, People Types and Tiger Stripes. As you can tell, there are certain innate characteristics that are as unchangeable as a tiger's stripes. It was popular about 10-15 years ago and used by employers and psychologists. My heart breaks for you. I know exactly what you are going through. Only you can decide for you, though. I wish you the best.
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When he's on his business trips, there's no way he lashes out at his co-workers/clients/boss the way he dumps on you. I'll bet he spares them the silent snits and protracted laziness, too.


And do you think there's a selective element to his hearing loss? He can hear hotel clerks, rental car agents, colleagues, restaurant servers and airline attendants.....but he can't hear you. Methinks he's 85% deaf only when it suits him.
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Pam--
What a great thought! I have been with this guy for over 40 years--much more is at stake than my stubborn pride and what I wished I had!! Our 5 kids and 5 inlaws are fabulous people--divorce would split them into factions. We have 13 grandkids. They adore both of us. We've been to hell and back a few times with his health issues (Hepatitis C, Liver cancer, a transplant, a stroke, a horrible motorcycle wreck that almost killed him, TX for the HCV which was 84 weeks of awful--) he is now cured of the HCV which has haunted our lives for 20 years. What I am getting to know is a totally different person.

When he had his TP the drs warned me that the divorce rate among TP patients was a sold 50%. Add the chemo he did post transplant and they said it went up to 80%. I couldn't understand it then, but now I do!

I was really in a bad mood when I posted the OP, but I'm not sorry I did. the replies have helped me to see how serious a step I was willing to take-but I think he is at a point where he can get "better" or at least, I can stand him. I do love him, we are completely different people, but without me, he'd be so lost. And he knows it too. We're both VERY stubborn.

If we have another incident like the one I posted about, I will leave him. Just for a few days, but enough to make him face the facts. We're both ingrained in some pretty negative behaviors. I'm taking my fair share of responsibility for the way things are. It's not all him.

He's heading out of town for the next 3 weeks. I hope to get some clarity, have some peace and get some gardening done.
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Just a hint: If your marriage isn't working, your divorce won't work either. I'm married 44 years and have found ways to just block the noise when he is grumpy. We were going out to dinner Saturday night and when he took I wrong turn, I just shut up and let him drive. Two towns later he realized the mistake.
OK, we got there late, but he was VERY pleasant that evening.
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Thanks--yes it is easy to say "leave him"...but there's a lot at stake. 40 years of living with someone and you don't throw that away. I am a little hopeful that some things can change.
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Stay strong sister!! Sounds like you may have found at least a small way to make a change here
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Thanks Nephew---

I am much calmer this week. Hubby was very aware he'd "poked the bear" and was super accommodating and kind last week. We have not spoken of the event and we won't.

I have a LOT to think about. A trip to the therapist's, making the kids confront him about the hearing problems, and not dumping on me, etc. I have 40 years invested in this marriage, and I do strongly believe it.

Yep, I am a doormat, but one that is slowly growing a backbone. Yesterday I was cleaning the garage. We have a ton of attic storage above it. I cannot handle the very steep stairs AND haul boxes and stuff up there, so the garage had gotten really disorganized. (80% of the "crap" is hubby's) I told him we were going to clean the garage and said "You can help me and have a choice as to what to toss, or I can hire someone to do it." He opted to help and did make a lot of comments about how much junk we seem to have. I said "I have asked you no less than 20 times to help me haul stuff into the attic. You refuse, so it builds up. We can throw it away if it's so bad." No answer, just dug in an really helped. He has never done that before.

Baby steps!
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I am sitting in a room with my 91 year old Aunt who is dying. I was just on this site by chance. Read your post. I will tell you that I am a 64 year old male and went thu something similar on the revetse side. My former wife was about like the situation that you described. My advice to you is get out. Life is too short and I promise you he will never find somrone like you. He will not divorce you. He will beg you to stay with him. You are being sn enabler and you situation will never change ubless you take the first step.
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Things have gotten a little better (realistically, once he's blown up over something, they usually do).

We have not spoken of the unpleasant Sunday. We never will, he's not into "confrontation."

Seeing my therapist in a couple of weeks. I am being as calm as I can be & just doing what needs doing. When I need to talk to him, I go find him, ask him if he can talk to me for 2 minutes, he turns down the TV and I VERY distinctly tell him what I need to tell him. Then I ask if he needs to make a note of it or if it's something he'll remember (family event he needs to take off work for). I imagine he gets the message that I am making a supreme effort to make sure he HEARS me.

Told the kids if they have a problem with dad's hearing they have to talk to him about it.

I'm not making and sudden changes--a separation (when we are already separated about 20 days a month due to his travel) seems ridiculous at this point.
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