Intimate relationships, how can they work?

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My Mom stays with me. She is set up in my living room, all her medical supplies. Hospital bed, wheelchair, potty chair, etc. She has been with me for a few years now. I haven't had a relationship with anyone so far, because I wonder how they would feel, my Mom being here and my bedroom just a room away. I'm not looking for marriage right now, but bringing someone here with the situation. I just think most men would not feel comfortable with it. Wondering if anyone has advice or is going through the same thing.

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Hi Dawn,
From the male perspective this is a tough one. Bringing an intimate partner home is probably a bit premature at this point. You need to meet someone first right? I am sure it is difficult to get out right now so you may want to consider on-line dating services first. These services help you get clear not only on who you are but also what you're looking for in a man. It is also fun when replying to suitors and is a great distraction and self-esteem builder.:-) Frankly, unless you're looking for a one night stand you will need to put in the time; to find and meet a decent guy and then get together for coffee, lunch or whatever outside of your home. Oh and you may want to withhold the fact that "Mom is camped out in your living room" for at least a few dates or longer.:-) Bottom line, is you deserve to have a life too. It will take time and some planning to make it happen.
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You haven't said if this is an Alzheimer's type situation or just physical impairment.....If Alzheimer's, does your mother really know what is going on around her?....if not Alzheimer's and you can talk with her about the situation and your desires, how would she feel about it....

Having a wife with Alzheimer's, I can see what you are going through and the internal conflicts the situation generates....wanting to have a loving and intimate relationship with my wife almost makes me feel like a "child molester" as she is almost in that state.....

But I have discovered recently how much of the fullness of life has slowly disappeared for me over the last couple of years....the discovery came when, out of a clear blue sky, I met a woman who is single and we simply started with conversations, which grew very quickly to deeper and deeper discussions about philosphy, religion, politics, history, the arts, etc. etc. She desires but will not allow a closer physical relationship as long as my wife at least knows me and who I am.......my only point here is that it is possible to have that deep connectedness with another without (sadly) any sex involved.....these explorations and relating to each other have almost taken over my life outside of care giving and I can tell you it is exilerating and given me a new reason to keep going...

As a man, I can tell you I would certainly feel comfortable with what you are suggesting....and, having had a great amount of feedback on that very situation in the last several months, there are NO moral or ethical judgments to be levied on you or for you to internalize.....Guilt And Shame = GAS; it needs to be regularly expelled, so go ahead and burp and whatever to get rid of it !

You deserve a full and rewarding life too....go for it !
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I too find it difficult to have a relationship. I am the sole caregiver of 2 parents. I am so busy with them, that I forget about myself. My health has become an issue. I can't even go out on a date, because I know that if I like the guy; he won't be able to handle what I do. I also work full time.
What I have decided is; if the man really cares for you, then he will not care and want to help you. Be your knight in shinning armor. If he truly cares; he will want to help you out, and love you for being an amazing person for being a caregiver. That is what you are. You are amazing and awesome for taking care of your Mom. Any man should be honored to have you in their life.
God bless you for what you are doing. Good luck!
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I have been taking care of Dad for 5 years and have been in a relationship for 4. Dad was a chronic alcoholic most of his life and so has the dementia and physical problems you would expect. I met my sweety on Match and made it very clear from the beginning what my responsibilities are. She has been a godsend! She listens to my frustrations without being judgmental. She cooks for us and stays with Dad when I need to get away. We have traveled with Dad and take him out on the town about once a month. All this would be impossible on my own. My sister complains that he has a better social life than she does. Not only has my girlfriend enriched my life, she has enriched Dad's.
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Dawn if you figure this out let me know I've kept guys away because Mom has been so demanding that I don't have the energy for a relationship. I finally put her in assisted living and cleaned out her house. Now I look like I'm two episodes away from a spot on Hoarders. I'm so overwhelm with the guilt of not being able to care for her by myself and the piles of stuff to go through I just close myself off from everybody. Although she is in AL I still spend most of my time there trying to keep the cost of her level of care down. I keep thinking my time will come and someday I will have a life. During all of this I was diagnosed with stage three NH-Lymphoma and loosing my hair was great cause I really didn't want to date being more bald then most the guys I know...lol Now I have new hair but feel I lack the social skills to date. Life has been depends, pads, pee, diarrhea, meds, doctor appointments, keeping up two homes, and reassuring Mom she is safe and trying to find hidden objects and confabulations. People ask how do you do it and I say I'm just on auto pilot 24/7. I haven't a clue as to what day it is..... Thank goodness 50 is the new 40 so I've still got time....lol Wishing you what I wish for myself, the very best!
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Shane836, Was reading posts and Dawn's post caught my eye. I have to say,.... What a nice response to a fellow caregiver! Just wanted you to know that. You don't find many men that would have answered this without being demeaning. Truthfully it's refreshing! Thanks for being a Gentleman !!! God bless...=)
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Hi Dawn,

Like Knimrod, I have a positive experience with a partner who adds to the quality of my life and my Dad's life. In July, Dad came to visit and I realized that he was no longer safe living on his own. He has mild dementia and some balance issues. I am a full-time student ("mature") in a long distance relationship. I live 750 miles away from my partner. Since I will move back to live with my partner this coming summer, we decided to move Dad to assisted living there in Utah. I can't tell you how helpful my partner has been! He stops and checks on Dad every day. He takes Dad shopping and to the doctor. He has basically adopted my Dad. When I get concerned that it is asking too much of him and want to hire nursing care, his response is, "don't worry. I like your Dad." When I am in town, we take Dad with us whenever feasible.

All of this is to say that part of what you need for someone to be "the right person for you" at this point in your life is someone who will be understanding and supportive of your role as a caregiver. I will tell you that having someone show me how much he cares for me, by caring for my Dad is incredibly attractive. In return, I try to be the best girlfriend I can be. The result is our relationship has grown in spite of the stress.

As a side note, I too met my guy online. We used eHarmony. If you need to stay close to your Mom, it is a good way to get to know people without leaving home. We emailed and then spoke by phone over the period of a couple of months before meeting in person. I think that some guys will run when they hear your situation. That's good. They are not who you need in your life right now.
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I'm a male with an open mind. Your mother is part of the package. I would first like and accept you for you. Then you would invite me to your home. You, your mother and I would get to know each other. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be. In my opinion, it would be no different then if you had children. Good luck.
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You are a wonderful person being a caregiver. My Mom has lived with me for 2 1/2 yrs. now and I can't even have an intimate relationship with my own husband. He has been so helpful and great though. I understand where you are coming from when you say you have all your Mom's "needed" things set up in your livingroom. My Mom's is in a room right off of our family room and it is not something that makes visitor's feel comfortable. Today is Valentine's Day and we were so hoping to be able to go out to dinner at our local restaurant, but Mom refuses to get up today. She will more than likely get up for the day right when my husband comes home from work and set up until late. We have NO life whatsoever. It consists of watching TV, sleeping in our chairs, because we are both so exhausted, one setting with Mom while the other runs errands or goes to the store. When we go to bed, we are both so tired, I think we are asleep before we hit the bed. My heart goes out to you because companionship would be so good for you. Although I have found out that "friends" and relatives to not come to visit because they feel out of place and uncomfortable. Mom may not have been out of bed all day, but "if" company would come by, she would set right in her chair until they left, making their visits rather short in time. So now, no one even visits us, including our son-in-law and our daughter stops by on her day off or on her way to work. Other than a friend, who also cares for her parents that live near us, and a cousin that emails me and I email her back every day or so, and both are my "listeners", we have no friends or company. Hubby does get out 12 hrs a day for work. Caregiving is the toughest job there is and I admire anyone doing this job. I wish you the best and best of luck finding that special someone and pray that your situation improves greatly. Take care of YOU!
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Lke a few others here, I met my sig other online. Fortunately he lived in the same city as me. I caregive at a distance, which is different from having a parent in my house, yet there are continual stresses/demands from my narcissistic borderline personality mother, He is the caregiver son of 5 though his parents live in another city. Our future plans include moving closer to his parents and my mum, who do not live too far from one another. He understands my role, and is very supportive. He has pitched in and helped move my mum to an ALF, and will help me with POA if needed. I agree with others that finding the right person is key. There are understanding supportive people out there. If someone runs when they hear you are a caregiver, you don't need them in your life anyway. (((((hugs))))) and good luck,
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