Dang, sorry for posting so much lately--when it rains, it pours.

I have posted before about hubby's depression/hearing loss--whatever. I am at a total crossroads about what to do.

He IS having his hearing checked tomorrow and an ENT workup, only because I am forcing him. He has already stated he will not be compliant as he KNOWS there is nothing they can do for him. He will not allow me to accompany him to this visit, even though I have promised to be completely silent. I just need to hear it for myself that he is untreatable and will be deaf for the rest of his life.

A huge factor that plays into the hearing loss is that he is supremely depressed. His antidepressants do not work at all, he has no energy, no desire to do ANYTHING. He can manage to barely work FT, but other than that, he sleeps. Slept 72 hrs straight Fri-Mon. Worked half a day yesterday. Is sleeping all day today. This is absolutely normal for him. He has no outside interests, no interest in me, our marriage, the kids....just wants to sleep.

I do not know what he has told his psychiatrist (who also does his counseling) He was doing better when he saw her bi-weekly, but decided about 8 months ago he was "cured" and wouldn't go back. He had to, once, to get his meds refilled, and he didn't opt for more visits, said he doesn't have time.

Do I have the right or obligation to try to talk or write to this dr and tell her of the actal truth? I am not even sure he's told her he's married! I know he brought home some things to read and some "workbook" pages, but he didn't do anything with them.

Can I write to this doc? Is that a violation of some kind of law? I'm ready to throw in the towel on this marriage, it's a joke. I'm not his wife, I'm his caregiver. We don't talk, he shuts me down and out. I KNOW it's depression---and the meds he's on simply do not work.

No matter what I do, he's going to be angry. Anger is his go-to emotion. Partly b/c he shuts me down with it and also b/c he knows if he's "mean" enough I give up.

This has been going on for 10 years. I am way past exhaustion, trying to hold a family together, paint a rosy picture of "happy" for the kids and try to create situations where he'll wake up and DO something.

Any advice??? (I am really having a bad couple of weeks here!)

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Some harsh words there--but I am not offended. Veronica--the stroke was so minor-it was a clot that got through a hole in his heart (a PFO). It was remedied with one simple procedure. No deficits after the surgery. We forget he even had it!

And, in my religion, we do NOT "until death do us part" we covenant for eternity. So...yeah, it's a pretty serious commitment. Which he believes and respects, as do I. Divorce is not bandied about, problems are to be worked out. Which is why I seek help where I can find it.

I DO feel sorry for myself, at times. I feel cheated. Anybody would, most women would have walked out long before now. Dh has often said "I don't know why you stay". I tell him I'm in this FOREVER and I'm not walking away. Just want him to have a happier life.

I think it is the hope and BELIEF that things will change.

The hearing aids? A HUGE step--many years in the "loop" of stuff he needed to address. I think HEARING will help.

A letter to his psych doc is going out today. (My own psych doc said to go ahead with it. I won't get a response, of course, but he said it would help his psych dr make some changes).

Chanting the serenity prayer--over and over.

Getting the garden ready--YEAH!

New grandbaby being born this week---3000 miles away, but such JOY! We didn't think we'd have any more and this little caboose is going to much loved and snuggled.

I DO indeed, have a lovely, blessed life. I am just really frustrated by this one arena. Yes, it's the primary relationship in my life. But, still, I have so much love and support from my 5 kids, their amazing spouses and (almost) 14 grandbabies who love me so much---many people would be happy to "only" have a supremely depressed hubby.

Somewhere inside that angry, sad man is the sweet guy I married. We're going to find him again.

Easter is the time of renewal, hope, newness. I'm going to embrace that.

I also am going to allow myself to feel what I feel. Work through the bad, enjoy the good.

I appreciate those of you who bothered to support me in this vent.
Helpful Answer (1)

One thought comes to mind is that depression is very common after a stroke.
I don't think he can help the sleeping, even if you took him to a casino and he was winning it is quite likely he would fall asleep sitting upright in a chair.
His medications definitely need to be addressed.
I have similar problems with my hubby too and really thought he did not love me. However when he went to the ER with a possible stroke and was tranferred before i arrive he told one of the nurses to me sure and tell me that he loved me. On another occasion I put my wedding ring on the table and when he saw that he totally went to pieces. When I was literally at death's door he was terrified he was going to loose me.
My point is that this man has little control of his behavior. That is not to say you should condone it but if you have decided to remain in this marriage as you vowed till death us do part then you have to stop focussing on what will never be the same again and concentrate on the things that do give you joy like the grandchildren. Hubby is not able to make contact with his loved ones at this point and may never be able to again. You have become his caregiver whether you like it or not and although he may become angry at your suggestions it does not mean that he thinks you are wrong. In his current state it is all he can do to go to work every day.
You have made a good start with the hearing aides as long as he uses them which many don't me included. keep just arranging things to improve his health. The biggest thing right now is to get his anti depressent changed. Ask DIL what she would suggest. "Uppers" would not be the wrong choice if he is diagnosed with ADHD.
Either get out or stop feeling sorry for yourself. You did the right thing taking your Migraine to bed. Do some more of that when he is capable of doing something like taking out the trash. Just refuse, it has to be done.
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midkid - going to take another direction here. What you have described on AC is not a lovely life. To me, you do not come across as blessed. You have been trying to fix your mother and her situation, and your brother, both of which are horrendous, and now your dh, who has apparently opted out of a large part of life and interaction with family - whether due to psychological or physiological reasons, or a mixture of both, I don't know. He may not find his life lovely, or he may love sleeping and working it away. Maybe he likes his life this way. Obviously you don't. You said marriage counselling was a bust. Is it worth trying that again?

Other than that, as you say you are in it for the duration, I would suggest taking the pressure off yourself and him, and doing what you can to keep yourself content, and accept him as he is. At one time I was going through a difficult period with my preteen oldest son, and things were very negative. I decided I would let go of anything that wasn't life threatening, and have at least one sincere positive interaction with him every day. There were days I had to work hard to find that positive interaction, but I managed and things turned around for the better. We both changed and we are friends now.
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Been there, done that, bought the T shirt to all of your great suggestions. I am NOT one to sit and watch the world go by. And I am not one to "give up" Our kids have often said "Mom and Dad would never divorce, Mom is too stubborn and Dad is to lazy." Truer words---

Yes, we did marriage counseling. Epic Fail. I get bi weekly massages. I exercise. I have outside interests and friends. I have a great therapist. I had good support with the TP support group during those years. So, I have never been alone. This is just the life I'm dealt. Funny, when we married he was so hyper--had sports activities nearly every night. I kind of resented that--me hauling a van full of kids to softball, basketball, handball, skiing & golfing I was off the hook for "watching him". Now his bike is a rusted mess in the side yard. I don't even know where his baseball mitt is and he gently snores on. Now the weather is perfect for golf and still, he chooses to sleep over any and all other activities.

I DO feel cheated, in that I put 110% of myself into caregiving for him for so long (along with the TP, he had a stroke, heart surgery (fairly minor), a near fatal motorcycle accident that should have killed him--several car accidents...) Major shoulder surgery... I have been by his side taking care of him every.single.time. I had back surgery and the dr kept me in the hospital for 3 days b/c he went to talk to my hubby after the surgery and..hubby had gone to our daughter's house and had gone back to sleep. Dr. couldn't rouse him from his slumber and came to see me, post op, and said "I'm keeping you here. Obviously your husband is MIA in this whole thing?" He was disgusted. I was embarrassed. 2nd back surgery and hubby did the same thing--and Dr kept me 3 days--even though I could have gone home. Total care from DH? I asked for a Diet Coke and he tossed a can across the room to me. That was it.

So, I am in this loop of frustration. I saw my psych dr yesterday and he asked, as he always does, about hubby. He felt that getting hearing aids was HUGE and maybe marked a change of thought patterns for him. Also saw nothing wrong with sending a "bullet point" kind of letter to DH's psych dr. He did say she wouldn't reply and I don't expect it. He agreed that the medication he's on is probably 100% wrong for him---so that helped me feel more hopeful. The difference between DH and I, is that I actually address issues as they arise and he shoves all "feelings" down deep inside and ruminates on them, but makes no progress going forward. It's not rocket science.

Today I am getting out in my beloved gardens and mowing the lawn for the first time this Spring. In the afternoon I am getting together with a bunch of grands to make cake pops and an epic Easter Cake. Will he get out of bed and come? I don't know.

Lest you think I don't care for this man--I assure you that I DO. I don't like him very much, and I'm pretty sure he's sick of the sound of my voice--but I do love him and I KNOW somewhere inside him is the happy, joyous soul I married.

On a funny note: when we recently signed our will, we were passing some time with the attorney who asked us what our "marriage dynamic" was. DH proudly said, well I work FT, always have. I said "I've worked PT off and on all our married life, but never had a "career". I just run the house". Further inquiry he finds that literally all that DH does IS work. (Which is huge, I'll never fault him for not being a great provider). But I literally do ALL the other stuff. Attorney looks at DH and says "You are doing about 2% of the work in this marriage. "B" is doing 98%." Dh is angry and puffed up--until attorney pulls out the financial stats to prove his point. I'm worth over $300,000 to my DH, if he had to pay for all the things I do. Attorney laughed and said "My wife was a SAHM mom and I couldn't even begin to count her worth and value". DH was pretty quiet on the drive home.

Thanks for listening and for your kind thoughts and ideas. Divorce is really just NOT something I am willing to entertain. I'm in this for eternity--and I plan to ride it out.

I'm NOT miserable. I'm blessed beyond measure. I just feel such pain for my sad DH who can't/won't see how lovely his life really is.
Helpful Answer (4)

But you know Barb, MK’s DH doesn’t try to control her. He does seem to want to run his own life without her assistance. Of course we all know she’s making it all possible. Giving him that “soft place to fall” so to speak. And sleep.
So before I read your last post I was thinking maybe couples counseling? But would that put even more pressure on him?
How about taking extreme care of yourself MK? I know you vent here but what about a support group for transplant spouses to see if any of this is to be expected? Even as I type that I figure you’ve already been there and done that.
What about a weekly massage? How about getting a personal trainer.
A life coach? Something to release your anxiety and if not accept your relationship at least know that you are being the best you that you can be.
When you take that intense lazar beam that is you off of him, he might be able to come out to play. I can’t blame you at all for being hyper vigilant with what the two of you have been through.
Of course you love him and want him to be happy. But this may be as happy as he can muster for whatever reason. Consider that.
I know you don’t accept it but at least consider it.
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Mid, I so feel for you. I hope and pray that the hearing aids
( kudos to you for getting him in for testing. I think his hearing loss is a real factor and NOT selective. )

The real question here seems to be, is HE done with this marriage? Does HE want out?

I've been down this road. My ex DH always said that he wanted us to continue to be married, but a session with the psychiatrist that MY psych sent us to demonstrated that he actually had no interest in continuing.

It was a very sad, but watershed moment in my life. She allowed my ex to vent and say all the things that were terrible about me. She turned to me and asked "Are you willing to work on these deficiencies in yourself, so that DH can find you worthy of his love?".

The answer was no. I had twisted myself around several trees to please him and nothing was ever enough. I saw in that moment that what he needed was complete control over my thoughts, deeds and actions. It was a bridge too far.
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You know me too well!! Or I vent too much :) BUT, this is a great place to come and vent. Otherwise, I'd blow sky high with pent up anger/frustration.

Once he was cured of the HCV, his weird skin rashes disappeared. His "aches and pains" all disappeared. He'd lived with HCV for about 40 years--so being "tired" was par for the course, and when he was younger, he powered through it all. Now he is cured, and in the best health he'd had in 20 years--he wants to do nothing.

My sweet neighbor asked me what was wrong with him, the other day. I am very close to this man, so I said "He's just super depressed. Nothing I can do about it" My neighbor teared up: "We really "lost" B when he had that transplant, didn't we?" I so appreciated his comment of "we".

Yeah, crazy mother, crazier brother--- distant unhappy hubby---and yet life is still so sweet and beautiful to me. I wish he could feel that way.
Helpful Answer (1)

Mid, you have every right to take care of you. That he would put you in a home should be reversed, go get some brochures and tell him you have started research based on his advise and wanted his input, if he was interested, maybe that will get his attention that his quality (lack of really) of life is such that a good home is the answer.

If nothing else comes of it you could find a way to have some fun with it. IMHO.

God bless you and give you strength in this long hard trial.😘Hugs and love 2u😘
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It's very sad, Mid. I don't know how you stand this--between HIS crazy mom, your crazy brother and your held-hostage mom, I think I'd have checked out by now.

I hope that you find some answers, and soon.
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Trust me, if anybody knows what this guy has been through--it'd be me.

The transplant saved his life. Luckily, the match was so good he takes the smallest does of ONE antirejection med, which they monitor so closely--he gets a slightly "off" reading and it's addressed, ASAP.

I was FINE with the sleeping and depression the 84 weeks he went through chemo. I worked 2 jobs to keep us from going under, financially, so having him asleep a lot was not even on the radar. It was a really terrible time. He relapsed, meaning the HEP C came back, which we knew it would, but the chemo gave him some time-and then Harvoni came out and he txed with that fro 12 weeks and was cured. This "monster" that had been at the forefront of our lives for over 20 years is gone.

He is, on paper, very healthy. Depression is ALWAYS treated after a transplant, either through meds or talk therapy. His dr only gave him AD's because I said he was struggling. He's been on the same one for 12 years. Didn't work then, doesn't work now.

I'm FINE with him taking 12 hours sleep at night. It's the times (well, every single weekend and all comp days and vacation days) to sleep, 24 hrs per day. He'll SAY he wants to go something, but he can't muster the energy.

I don't dictate his "free time" usage. I don't do much of anything. He wouldn't listen if I did. He isn't abusive at all, he's just checked out and totally into his own "pain". If anything, I enable him to be this way.

A letter to his psych doc is going out today. She can read it or not. He doesn't see her for a month or so. In that time he will have had time to (hopefully) get the hearing aides and hopefully begin to see what he's been missing.

As far as retirement--when he states he just wants to sleep--and I know he's serious--what wife would be on board with that? And is it RIGHT to support that? I don't think so. All I am asking him is to dig a little deeper and try to work towards finding some joy.

We have 14 beautiful grandkids. When he falls asleep while we're with them, it kills me. They say "Nonny plays with us, Papa sleeps." Breaks my heart.

Interesting comment the other day. I woke him up for dinner, he requested I bring it to him in bed and I refused. He came into the kitchen and I said "If this were ME sleeping all day and night and not being "involved" what would you do with me?" HE said, after a moment's thought, "Shoot, I'd just put you in a home." He was dead serious.

I'm sounding very defensive, I know, but it has been a hard week. And the weekend looms, which I hate. I will be spending most of the w/e with family, he can come or not.
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Just a possibility but having an organ transplant is a chronic disease too. Transplantation does not cure the chronic disease the person had prior to the transplant. Liver or kidney transplant recipients still must take several  very strong medications without fail daily or they will reject the graft & lose the organ.

His depression, et al, could be a medication side effect. It’ll be hard to work around & often the transplant team titrate & change med doses to provide optimum effect. I am sorry you are going through this as a spouse CG. But the goal is what you are doing - Keep his providers in the loop and what your current concerns are, as well as his symptoms6. He is a medically complex person. 

He works full time but sleeps over the amount of time everyone feels he should have? Why does anyone think they can dictate his time/schedule? This gentleman has gone through a lot.

If he is abusive then address that for sure. No one deserves abuse from anyone, especially their spouse. But needing sleep? Maybe he indeed does need more sleep these days.

I wish both of you good luck while you two work this out. I hope he does receive hearing aides and uses them! 
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"Moderate" hearing loss means you can't hear normal conversational voices or a phone ringing. It's not stone deaf, but it certainly impairs your ability to participate in life.
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Thanks, JoAnn--
He had a complete workup yesterday. His hearing is not as bad as he has been "playing" it to be. I have often called him on the disrespectful manner in which he selectively "hears" and "listens". But, to have the hearing test come back with moderate hearing loss (and they did not test him for "group" hearing, when there is a lot of background noise, just range and frequency)... felt somewhat justified in this.

He also saw the ENT and his structures are all fine. Normal wear and tear for a 66 yo, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Giving HIM the option to go forward and get hearing aids due to his own choice, as opposed to telling him he had to have them--that tilted the scales in favor of him deciding to try some. It's still a LONG road ahead, I know. But I see the tiniest glimmer of hope.

As far as the depression--well I had a drs apt this am and then had a looooong meeting and I am exhausted and have a migraine. He came home early from work expecting a great dinner as per the norm and I said "I'm treating this headache and checking out". So he can deal with his own dinner and clean up after. or not.

I'm stressed OUT over his lousy attitude. He's taking tomorrow off from work and will sleep all day (already told me his plans). That will be day 4 of solid sleep in 7 days. Luckily I will be gone all day.

I AM going to write his psych doc a short letter, I am not even sure she knows he's married, to be honest. I know he's not truthful with her, he can't be truthful with himself about how terribly this depression hurts our relationship. Then, whatever happens, happens.

I won't be allowed to be involved in a single step of his hearing aid fittings. So, I do hope they get it right sooner rather than later.

Sorry to sound so blue--migraines just suck the life out of me.
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As a person married to an extremely hard of hearing person...has anyone thought that the depression is caused by the lack of hearing. And that if the hearing can be corrected, then so is the depression. Even though my husband has lived with hearing loss for 68 of his 71 years, he still gets depressed. It's very hard not hearing the complete conversation, missing critical words. Then made to feel stupid because that one word changes the whole meaning of the sentence. Not being able to join into a conversation where several people are talking. Why are people so stubborn about getting hearing aids.
A good exam starts with seeing an ENT doctor to determine the cause of the hearing loss. Is it physical, bone nerve damage, wax (believe me can cause problems). Employed where prolonged loud noise. This damages the tiny hairs in the cholea. Once that is determined, then there's an audiology test to see what level your hearing needs to be at. With my husband, digital don't work as well as analog. He found a manufacture that has a digital as close to analog you can get. BUT, your husband has to want to work until the best fit is found. Some people think it should work first time wearing a new aid. Lots of adjusting. Even ear molds may be too big or small. I am always with my husband making sure they listen to him. He tends not to be forceful.
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Mid, you done good! Glad he follows up with his blood work!
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He sees his drs regularly and his blood work is done every other month. As a transplant recipient, we can't ignore any changes in the anti-rejection meds, so he gets a full blood panel every 2 months. Kidneys are fine. Liver is great. BP is great, he could stand to lose 50 lbs and the diabetes would be easier to manage--so it's NOT thyroid, vitamin deficiencies, low T or any other "issues". We need to go back to the drawing board and start over.

I am going to send his psych dr a short note, telling her about the things I am SURE he doesn't bring up. She can do with this info what she wants.

Hubby has been in this sleeping pattern since he had the chemo associated with HepC TX, post transplant. It was awful, but he rode it through. Didn't cure the HepC but bought him some time, until Harvoni came out, which cured him.

He isn't proud of it, but he also seems incapable of doing anything about it.

I can only do so much, then I have to step back and let it go. He sees his psych dr in a couple of weeks. We'll see what happens then.

He has agreed to get hearing aids...I can't do more than one drama at a time!
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Mid, my memory was just jogged when you talked about sleeping. That happened to my FIL and MIL was going to drag him to a psychiatrist. Fortunately, he saw his pcp first. His kidneys had shut down.

Yes, he needs a real work up.
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Thanks for the responses.

I did approach him last night at dinner (he'd slept all day long) about the fact his depression seems to be getting worse. I know the drug he's on is at the max dose, and one of the s/e is that it can actually make depression WORSE. He did listen, and I thought he was "done" with his psych dr, but he said he had an apt soon--but couldn't remember when it was. That is great news. I will write a letter to her and explain what is really gone on. I am sure he won't cop to his therapist that he sleeps 100 hrs a week sometimes. All vacation/comp time is looked on as "nap time!". Retirement? 100% naptime!

Oh, and the kids are pretty darn smart. They get it. They are the ones who are pushing ME to deal with HIM. 2 of my kids are Drs. themselves and see the signs. He slept so much at my son's house, my DIL was ready to do a full work up on him. She commented that if my son sleeps as much as his dad she'd give him IV "uppers". I told her to please, go ahead!!

I probably do paint a rosy picture, I am beyond happy with my kids and grandkids. It's being alone with a deaf, angry, depressed man that takes its toll. He travels for work and I am so happy to see him leave. The dark cloud just disappears.

Yes, my kids are all adults, oldest is 40, youngest is 31. All of them have been with him through all his health maladies and life choices. The adore their dad. (Probably b/c we nearly lost him to Liver Cancer, Liver Transplant, 84 weeks of chemo, a stroke, heart surgery and then a near fatal motorcycle accident 5 years ago.)

I'm in this marriage for good or for bad. We've certainly had our rocky places. Mostly due to his health problems, but certainly, I'm no peach to live with.

DH's parents divorced after 42 years of the worlds worst marriage. I saw how that fractured his family and made it so half the family doesn't talk to the other half--I will NOT do that to my kids unless I cannot take it any longer, I still maintain a certain level of hope that he can be helped.

I DO see a therapist twice or three times a month. I credit her 100% for keeping me married. Also judicious use of pharmaceuticals. Sad I have to take benzos to be able to live with the man I married, but I do.

He's getting his hearing checked right now--oh to be a fly on THAT wall!!
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If you are his rep-payee that ends at divorce, someone else will have to do it.
In addition, you might not be able to help him with POA, financial decisions, or medical decisions, as it will be a conflict of interest.
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I think it's time to think of yourself first. From your description, he's not only not doing any good for himself, he's not providing a husband's camaraderie, support or anything else for you.

And it doesn't sound as if it's going to change. I can't imagine the turmoil and challenge of terminating a marriage, but if you think that's what you need to do to get back your life, do it.

I wouldn't tell him though until I'd made enough arrangements to be single, and not responsible for him, or to allow him the opportunity to take advantage of your good nature. Make your plans before you do anything.

I'm sorry to read the marriage has reached this point, but if you feel it's necessary, go ahead and do it.

If I recall, your children are all adults now, aren't they?
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IMHO you need to stop covering for him.
I hesitate to use the word enable but are you doing just that in an effort to paint the rosy picture etc?
His kids need to know don’t you think or do they already know and you all just choose not to talk out loud about it?
I think you should make an appointment with the same counselor and tell her what’s going on.
So what if hubby gets mad?! What do you have to lose?
If it feels too scary get a therapist of your own to help you uncover right action for you and your family.
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Mid, you ( and anyone else) is allowed to SEND info to someone else's doc. You just can't get an't feedback unless he's filed a HIPAA form.

Truth to tell, I wouldn't want to be married to someone who didn't trust me to be on his HIPAA release. And vice versa.

Hard choices, I know.
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