What do you do when you find yourself angry when friends don't even ask how my husband is doing?


How do I handle my anger when talking to my so called two close friends, I don't have much time for anymore. One doesn't ever even ask how my husband is doing but if people ask her she tells them he is doing good when she has seen him once this year for 5-10 minutes. He isn't doing good. I've heard her say in past everyone has problems. Seems cold to me?? She also was my business partner for 30 years. We were always good but I had to give it up to take care of hubby. It's like I disappeared out of her life. I'm very hurt tonight I know she has stuff too, but to not ever ask hurts me so much.



Put yourself in your friend's shoes for a minute. If this was reversed, what would you do? Be honest as you are only answering this to yourself.

We tend to shy away from "unpleasant" and try to be only upbeat. Asking how someone is doing is hard enough - hearing minute details is even harder. Most of us will say things like, "good days and bad days" or "about the same" when asked. But if the person goes into minute details, it becomes awkward and can even be tedious for the person inquiring about our LO's.

My DH passed 4 months ago. Knowing that people don't know what to say, I open with - "you know Ray passed?" and then when they say they are sorry to hear, I just say thank you. Awkward moment passes. If they want to know more, I share. If not, I just say that he was 96 when he left me.

Do you ask your friend how she is doing and about her "stuff" when you speak? This too would open the door for her to get some verbal relief and then maybe she will inquire about your DH. I can still remember a friend harranging me about people who never acknowledge birthdays - but I'm the one who always sent her a card, she never sent one to me.

Ultimately, we all have "stuff" to deal with in life. I was housebound for almost 3 years as a 24/7 caregiver for my DH. I'm thankful that I could be here for him. Some would say how is Ray, some would ask how I was holding up - I tried to keep it light most of the time as they were really just being polite and I appreciated it.

If this really bothers you this much - next time you speak to your friend, just act like she asked and say thank you for asking, he's about the same. See what happens. Maybe she just doesn't know what to say.
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Reply to RayLinStephens
DiDaDo123456 Sep 13, 2018
I agree.

i think there's two ways to look at this... one is that they don't ask because they don't care to know, the other is that they don't know how to ask or if it is sensitive because of it being difficult.

Sometimes we don't bring up conversations because we are trying to respect that maybe that day, that moment, you are doing well and to mention the hardship will just remind you of what you are dealing with in a moment when you might be finding peace.

It depends on the person. I do have two siblings who never asked how I was doing the whole time I went through cancer, didn't offer to help other than the precursory "let me know if you need anything" offer when I was first diagnosed. They also never believe I have hardship in my life that is worse than anything they have possibly been through.

It is what it is.
Most friends are uncomfortable when somebody's spouse has a chronic and progressive disease for which there is no cure. I've seen the same behaviors with diseases like multiple sclerosis, ALS, and even cancer. It usually has nothing to do with the friend but everything to do with their discomfort about the situation. Alzheimer's is a scary disease, especially for outsiders.
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Reply to dragonflower

People who are really uncomfortable with a subject, rarely bring it up. Also, if this isn't a part of HER life, she may be totally ignorant/clueless of what the situation entails.
Maybe she only knows how to relate to you as an "available" friend/business partner.
Maybe she feels like you have pulled away (you have) and doesn't feel "connected" to you anymore.
Maybe she feels guilty that a "good" friend would do more for her friend's situation but she's totally uncomfortable around sick/infirm people.
Maybe she's in denial and can't bring herself to accept the fact that your husband needs so much care.
Maybe she is jealous that you "picked" your husband's care before your business arrangement and friendship.
Maybe she's angry about all the time you give your husband and NOT her.
Maybe she is egotistical and has limited compassion skills.
Maybe she is used to speaking only WITH and ABOUT you and isn't thinking of your husband when she talks to YOU.

You are suffering the fate of a multitude of caregivers who are on duty 24/7/365. It's one of the many life changes a c/g suffers in trying to do the right thing by their loved one. I'm sorry people can't be more sensitive.
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Reply to SueC1957
SuzyQ22 Sep 11, 2018
Thank You your statement have made me think. We did sell business a year and half before i left and rented a space from new owner , It took a lot of stress off both of us. I know my clients were the best to me when i left and i miss them very much, she has made new close friend [a guy we work with] I did too he is sweet good hairdresser. She has a lot of stress too a sister who is constantly suicidal and makes her the one to dump on and care for her crisis all the time. I Tried to do what my daughter said, ask them to get together for lunch once in a while, we did do our annual boat ride, but anything else she is too busy, Me too, Just feeling more distant .Im doing what i should be doing loving and crying over the grief i feel losing the man of my life inch by inch since i was 18,We have been married 43 years and i don't know how to handle this part of my life its plain sad especially lately i don't understand what is making him slide so fast ??? I'm trying to see if there is something causing it ??? Thank You for getting my head in the right place,
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We can't help our feelings and so sometimes, we just have to feel them and process it. It must hurt to be treated that way by a friend.
People act odd ways for various reasons.

A lot of people stopped any communication when my LO got dementia. No calls, no card, no visit, nothing....but, I've just become to accept it. I was surprised. I mean, how are you best friends with someone from high school to age 60 and then pretend they don't exist anymore? I don't get it. Of course, they were not my good friends. It still hurt me for my LO though.

Maybe, you should correct her if she tells people that he's fine again.

No one really ever asks me about my LO. I will chime in with updates though. Sometimes, they acknowledge it, but, most times, they seem glazed over and they look down at their phones or change the subject.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
shad250 Sep 13, 2018
Sometimes you have to laugh
I have 6 really close GFs. 5 are going through “stuff”, divorce, cancer, job loss. Within the first minute of any conversation, the 5 with “stuff” never fail to ask “how’s your Mom doing”. And be actually concerned and supportive, and would help me at the drop of a dime if I needed it. One is living a really good life, but has no empathy. She never asks, and turns any conversation into a dissertation on how great her kids are doing.
When this is over, guess which one I will distance myself from. And she will probably be clueless.
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Reply to rocketjcat
Isthisrealyreal Sep 13, 2018
Already is!
In my opinion, Some people are just rotten humans who don't care about anything other than themselves, those folks are generally best when they are not considered close friends. They are deliberately self centered and although they may be fun to hang out with one can expect little more of them than a good time on their terms.
Some people are just emotionally weak. They care about you but are not strong enough to handle it when they are faced with painful situations. Not knowing how to process a friends pain, they simply avoid any mention of anything unpleasant. They may care about you but for whatever reason they just can't deal with your pain. Notice I said can't and not won't. Not everyone has the strength to deal with what we are going through.
Your anger is real, your hurt really hurts. (hugs). Your friends are who they are and are not likely to change who they are. The only way I know to handle it when I feel angry is to let it go. That usually means I need to change my expectations of the person who hurt me. I can't change them, but I can change what I expect of them and in doing so avoid being hurt by them again. For me, anger or hurt is generally a result of me expecting more of a person than they are capable of giving or doing. I hope life brings you a friend who will support you in the ways you need to be supported. :)
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Reply to faeriefiles
shad250 Sep 13, 2018
Some people also drop clues when they don't want to be bothered with someone anymore.
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Dear SuzyQ,

big bear hugs to you.

I'm so sorry you are in emotional pain from watching you husband decline. At one point I just about lost my husband and I know your anguish.
Lean on God for strength and know you'll be together in perfect mental and physical health forever in Eternity. May God bless you both.
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Reply to SueC1957
SuzyQ22 Sep 12, 2018
Amen to that ,Thank God
We do a lot of talking about the dementia crisis but most people still think that just means that grand dad is a little bit forgetful and that old people are at the end of life anyway, the only people who get it are the ones who have also been there. I'm no longer amazed at the total ignorance the general public (and unfortunately a lot of people in the health care professions too) has when it comes to dementia and caregiving, but it isn't surprising when their only exposure to it are quirky characters on sit coms or a 30 second blurb on the news about some "brave" celebrity who is either soldiering on despite the odds or has sadly succumbed.

(rant over)
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Reply to cwillie
Grandma1954 Sep 13, 2018
The "rant" should not be over. You make great points. I used conversations started in a store to "educate" people, young and older, about my Husbands condition. I like to think that they were a little more aware after talking to me. And sad to say the "brave" celebrities at least for a moment make this a little more real. If it is a sit com character or a commercial for a "care at home agency" or a "Walk" or a "new medication" that will slow the progression that make people think for a moment then I will have to accept that. This is not a disease that I would wish on any family and sad to say we are getting to the point where almost every family has been effected in some way. But it is not until you are a DIRECT caregiver that you truly understand.
I get it! Hubby's daughter likes to ignore the situation and only visits a bit here and a bit there and then is gone for 6 months.
IF she ignores my husband's illnesses, perhaps they will go away! Perhaps his dementia and his other issues will disappear.

IF she doesn't ask about it then she doesn't have to process it or face it.

My MIL has friends that dropped her like a hot brick because she is forgetful and has been diagnosed with ALZ.
I think people who haven't dealt with these problems simply step away and decide not to face it.

Or they think it is 'catching'. I know, it isn't but it seems like a disease that everyone wishes to step away from.
An illness like a heart disease is easier to understand than an illness of the mind.
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Reply to Val3rie

You seem down - your friend may not want to stress you by asking so that you have to tell her how bad it is - does she instead talk about 'upbeat' subjects? - that could mean she is just trying to give you a few minute break of not stressing about him but having a 'normal' discussion that you would have if hubby wasn't ill -

You say she has issues of her own - she may be taking the time with you as a few minutes of normalcy as that puts her [& she probably hopes you too] back to a time when life was better for you both - there are many who are not capable of dealing with others stress & she may be one

If this is stressing you so much I think you need more breaks - look into getting some care to come in & give you a break more often - this will also start getting him used to others helping him - because if you like it or not there will come a time when you may need to place him & by doing this gradually then that is a kind way to ease him towards that mode - by getting these breaks you probably will extend the time you can care for him

Don't be an ostrich rather start researching what/where/how things will be done when the time comes - hope for the best & plan for the worst - ask yourself what would happen if you were in a car accident & hospitalized for 2 weeks then in rehab for 4 weeks ...... wouldn't it be better all around if you just said 'look in my blue book beside my computer all the info you need to help him is in there' which is so much better for all than absolute panic -

If you write out a few most likely scenerios then you just need to do a quick adapt to go forward ... this is a loving thing to do - I did this for my parents & because I had written it out without big pressure then I didn't forget something like cancel cable or who is moving them if I can't - I even had some numbers that I had called & asked how much notice they needed so I weeded out a few that said 2 weeks minimum & kept those who were willing to help with short notice
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Reply to moecam
waterfalls Sep 16, 2018
Great advice moecam!!! I'm so busy handling the day to day politics, roommate problems, moms anger, staff issues, medications that updating or making a more detailed plan took a back seat. It is a loving thing to do!. When new emergencies arise you know what to do because every most likely scenario has been considered with the information filed and organized. It helps the caregiver stay focused and can help us emotionally. I will never be emotionally ready if mom goes before me no matter how prepared I am on paper but at least I won't have the added stress of having to think about all the details at the last minute while in distress. I need to move to the next phase & I know it. She is basically doing well at 92. Actually her birthday is on the 17th she will be 92. I need to prepare more than what I have done. Thanks for your advice!! Will write it down!!
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