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She suffers from many ailments also, major depression, erythromelalgia, anxiety attacks, etc. She wants to file for divorce from me alleging I have disrespected her (delusion). She has plans to move independently by herself. She is very bitter with life because of her ailments, which spills unto others that she relates with. She is confused and unreasonable as well as angry towards me. She is medicated by a psychiatrist, under psychotherapy by a PHD, has a gerontologist specialist as primary doctor and a physical therapy doctor for her body pains, all of which she likes but so far not much help. What should I do?

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I believe you should consult a lawyer with question. Other people have given good advise about how to cope with the behaviour.
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Reply to Toadhall
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I can’t tell you what to do but I can tell you what happened to me.

My husband DID divorce me. He had not been formally diagnosed with dementia because he refused to see a doctor. After seven years of my coping with his bizarre accusations (I was stealing his money, hiding his possessions,etc. -you get the picture), he decided that he no longer wanted to be married to me because I “needed to be punished” by denying me any surviving spouse pension benefits. Long story short, after a year of fighting against this and $11,000 in legal expenses, I finally gave up.

It has been almost a year and I have stopped grieving for my husband and marriage of 54 years. I still love him and treasure memories of our life together but have made peace with the way things have turned out.

I continue to hope that he will receive the help that he needs but I must admit that it is a relief to not have to cope with his anger and paranoia and the almost constant barrage of mental and emotional abuse.
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Reply to Stuck249
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The question is has she been declared incompetent? If so she can not divorce you, if not she can. If she has not been declared incompetent and you feel she is not competent to make this decision you need to talk to her doctors and see if they agree with you. If they do they can declare her incompetent.
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Reply to cjwilson
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It is very common for people with dementia to threaten divorce. I actually posted a question not long ago asking how to respond when my husband does this. It happened 3 times in the last 2 weeks. (Exhausting!) Here is the thread: https://www.agingcare.com/questions/what-is-the-best-response-when-a-husband-with-dementia-threatens-divorce-445918.htm?orderby=recent

It not fun dealing with this, but I hope it helps to know you’re not the only one experiencing it. Best wishes.
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Reply to JuliaRose
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If she has dementia, that is horrible enough. But then the bitterness and the nastiness and bad behavior pushes the issue off the charts. Personally, given all of these problems, why on earth are you 'fighting' a divorce. I would welcome it because at the rate she is going, it is going to get worse and worse and then God have mercy on you. You will be her 24/7 caretaker with nothing but abuse from her and you will eventually go down in the battle. Let her get the divorce but before it becomes official, try to get her placed in a facility where she can be cared for. You need to LIVE YOUR LIFE IN PEACE and that is not possible with someone like this. Start living and enjoy the time you have left.
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Reply to Riley2166
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I really feel for you. I could have written your question. He tells me how much I don't mean to him, how he wants me out of his life/house, he doesn't love me anymore. He is on 3 meds now for stress, depression, dementia. He denies anything is wrong with him. He sits and stares at the tv with a cloud of smoke circling him or goes to the garage, turns on the oldies radio and gets his hidden cigarettes out and smokes them. But, he denies smoking. His yellowing moustach and beard say otherwise along with the stale smell of tobacco.
He is planning on moving any day now. But doesn't have anywhere to go so, I am supposed to leave. He says he is going to live his life his way and I can go to hell. I wish you the best. I sit every night crying and telling myself I need to remember he probably doesn't know what he is saying even though he has been going downhill for over a year. God bless.
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Reply to cherokeewaha
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MargaretMcKen Mar 17, 2019
Please don't cry. I hope it will be over ASAP.
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To answer your question -- yes, she can divorce you. However, that would be very foolish on her part if she did go through with it. She's an ill woman. So how would she be able to take care of herself? She would be opening up "Pandora's Box." I'll pray for you, dear man.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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If not deemed LEGALLY incompetent, even with all those ailments, she can in fact divorce you. Legally she is her own person unless you have been court appointed her guardian or she has been IN COURT deemed incompetent. That's the short version. She is her own person. Someone with depression or anxiety is not CRAZY/demented. She sounds bi-polar or schitzo-affective. But UNTIL a COURT of law has deemed her unfit and unsound, she can do what she wants.

That said, I live with my partner with dementia. Tag you are IT, if you are the spouse or the only one in the house, and you will be the target of their paranoia, grumpyness, everything is your fault etc. You may be stealing money or cheating, or YOU moved the bread or cereal that has been in the same place for 10 years. Its a TAG you are IT when it comes to the blame game, even if none of those things are true. And it hurts. I know. On the upside you can redirct them to something else...like with mine,-YOU WANT SOME PIZZA works magic. On the angry side (and I do go there dementia or not) its, I AM UNPLUGGING THE INTERNET get back to me when you can talk to me like a human. *closes door* (but has a security cam system in house to watch him) Within an hour he is like an apologetic 2 year old. Depending on how fast they cycle, the thought/paranoia might be gone in 5 minutes or a day, and then come back in a different form.
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Reply to Cherrysoda
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MargaretMcKen Mar 17, 2019
OMG 'Do you want some pizza' is an answer to a divorce threat? God help us all!
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Sounds like your wife has some form of dementia. My mom is like that. She is 95 years old and says a lot of stuff. It is part of the dementia. If she wants a divorce say ok, and do a make believe one. Answers her question and nothing changes. Maybe next day it will be something different. You will be the one she lashes out at, because you are the only one she can pick on and see. I pray for you. Get her diagnosed and do what you need to do. God bless and hugs.
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Reply to Jan96782
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1 - has she been officially diagnosed? assuming this has been done then depending where you live then you can't divorce her [due to her dementia] & she legally can't sign any papers .... so nothing will happen

2 - this is very common as those with dementia will turn on the person closest to them who they see as the hurdle to what they want to do - many times they don't know what that is just that they want things 'DIFFERENT' & that is the thing they come up with - you are not the first nor the last to go through this whatever small comfort that is

3 - start educating yourself & you have made a good first step by coming here - next look up "TEEPA'S GEMS" - Teepa snow should be called be called the dementia whisperer - she has many short videos that are well worth viewing

4 - when your wife says this don't argue with her but say something like '' I still love you & care for you but if that is your wish then go ahead however as this is your idea you must do it on your own as I won't help you with this'' - she will not be able to organize herself enough to even make an appointment with a lawyer so that will be that

5 - double check what the law is where you live - this site is used in Canada [10 provinces & 3 territories], U.K. [4 main countries plus many smaller entities] & U.S.A. [50 states & a few territories] - NONE OF THESE PLACES HAVE THE SAME LAWS!! so check where you live to be sure what is actually written down in the law books - however many of these laws are similar so that spouses can't dump someone with dementia then scamper away with all the money
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Reply to moecam
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Does she have Alzheimer's or dementia?
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Reply to mmcmahon12000
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moecam Mar 16, 2019
Alzheimer's is a sub-set of dementia in that only some people with dementia have Alzheimer's but all persons with Alzheimer's have dementia
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You need to invest in a consult with an elder law specialist. I'd be interested in knowing the answer. I imagine, depending on the dementia aspect, at this point you could blow it off because wife is unable to pull it together and do it all on her own. Could it be a good thing for your circumstances if you were, long term? If your desire is to continue taking care and supporting her than for sure you want to make sure all the legal papers are in order.
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Reply to gdaughter
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Get a DURABLE Power of Attorney for her financial affairs. Relatives most often intervene if $$ is in play.
Beware..If she still has lucid times of competency, she can REVOKE the Power of Attorney, particularly if being unduly influenced by “loving”, greedy kinfolks.
Next, proceed to have yourself appointed by a court as Guardian of her PERSON (healthcare) & of her ESTATE (assets/$$).
May the Peace of God be your wingman on this part of the journey.
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Reply to Potawatomi
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You poor man! I understand because of caring for my mother for several years with her dementia and then siblings came in and took advantage of her delusions and false accusations of me. IF YOU DO NOT YET HAVE GET GUARDIANSHIP OF YOUR WIFE. Also, I do hope that you have Power of Attorney and are the Health Care Director for her care legally. Do not wait on this. Seek her doctors assistance in getting the Guardianship for her. May God bless you!
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Reply to EldestdaughterM
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With your wife’s list a specialists, you should be able to get a cognitive/psychiatric evaluation focused on her present ability to make decisions and manage herself independently.
Request this in writing to the psychiatrist, psychotherapist, and gerontologist, and specify the particular concerns you have about her desire to divorce you and all other concerns about gaps in her executive functioning, extremes of emotion,
With an objective assessment drafted by trained experts, you will have a tool that will help you move forward with the most realistic and humane course to take in “helping” her manage her affairs.
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Reply to AnnReid
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If she cannot make informed decisions don't think she can divorce you. Her doctors should be able to help you with this.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Thank you for the additional background.

Technically, leaving aside all of the other (important) issues, if your wife has not been declared legally incompetent through mental incapacity, she can divorce you.

But I'd add drily: I'd like to see her try. Those are some complex projects she's talking about embarking on, and obviously she couldn't count on your help!

You don't think this is an expression of anger and unhappiness rather than a firm clear intention to follow a given course of action?

This must be a pretty miserable time for you. How long have you been married? How are you feeling about your marriage, your wife's illness, and life in general?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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It depends.

May I ask why you ask?
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