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I am 73 & in a long term relationship with an 82 yr. old woman. We used to have a passionate love life, but I find caregving so overwhelming that I have lost my romantic & sexual feelings toward her. She complains about this all the time. I think one problem is the dependency. I am with her all the time, & she gets anxious if I am out of her sight. The other issue is her incontinence. I hate to say it, but that is a turn-off for me. I am still committed to the relationship & I try my best to take good care of her. She is memory impaired & sometimes irrational, so it isn't easy but I am hanging in there.

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You sound like a wonderful person for staying with a relationship even though technically you aren't "required" to do so.
Caregiving is emotionally and physically draining. Add to that, the dependency that you speak of, and it's understandable that you've lost some of the passion you once felt.
When a care receiver is that dependent, some people almost feel that a sexual relationship wrong because though the person with dementia gives consent, he or she is still living on a different cognitive level than before.
Incontinence can certainly be a turn-off, as well. Try not to blame yourself. If you can go to a support group, I think you can learn a lot. You won't feel so alone and you can learn not to feel guilty as others will have the same issues. Try contacting your local Alzheimer's organization for a meeting schedule in your area.
Another option for you is to log on to the Well Spouse Association site at www.wellspouse.org. This site could be a real boon for you. Again, you'll find out that you aren't alone in your feelings. Good luck. This is a tough spot to be in.
Carol
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I didn't mention that this is a same sex relationship. We are not in a state that allows gay marriage, but even if we went to another state for a ceremony, the feds & our own state would not recognize it.
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You are a saint. Maybe the doc can give her something to cut back her sex drive. I must say I'm shocked at 82 she still wants a sexual relationship.
Good luck to you.
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I have been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and Lewy Body Dementia, three years ago. It has been over a year and a half since we have been sexually active. She has absolutely has no interest in being intimate. She still calls me "Lover" - which is starting to annoy me. We've been happily married for 37 years. It has been like a light switch has suddenly turned off. Any suggestions? I this a common experience with PD or LBD?

Bruce
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The dynamics of your relationship have suffered a nuclear blast. The whole "we" you were has dramatically changed. The role of caregiver, my gut instinct tells me, almost precludes sexual attraction on the caregiver's part. I think the person being cared for often has a difficult time with that shift because for him or her? It hasn't shifted quite so dramatically...or it's just one more thing they've lost; and they yearn for it.

I don't have an answer, but I completely understand it. AmberCat? Pin on your angel wings. You're earning them every day.

H5Best, I'd bet your wife's love for you has transcended from the physical to that deep abiding love we have for those loved ones when our relationship begins to tilt towards "worse" from "better or." *Hugs*
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