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(do not tell me to go to church) I live in a city. Also have a summer cottage and a winter home in Arizona but when one is around couples how do you not feel like a 5th wheel

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Leakey -could you do something really different to start to create some new memories for yourself? After a loss I have done that - renew old friendships or start new ones. Or could you go somewhere you used to go with your wife and do it in celebration of your relationship and the good times you had together? I know it would be is sad but it can be healing too. This is a hard transition. Be sure to do some things that are good for you.
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mincemeat what a nice suggestion thanks
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I would encourage you to continue to enjoy the places you have worked so hard in your life to acquire! If you have friends at these places, it matters not if you are no longer a "couple". True friends will make room in their world however you show up!! Do not close yourself off from family and friends as you move forward in this new situation. You must find the courage and energy to enjoy the rest of your life. Finding and making (and keeping) friends make life worth living!!
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Garden artist what a wonderful and helpful comment (made me cry) thinking positive does help thanks again
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Perhaps it might help if you listed all the positive aspects of the move - she'll be getting round the clock care, there will be medical people on staff to help, there will be people who understand her symptoms. She'll have more care than you could possibly provide, and I think that's the key to turning feelings from those of guilt to those focusing on the fact that you're doing this because it's the best move for HER.

It isn't easy to reach this state of mind but if you can see it as so much more helpful, it might ease the transition.

Best wishes, and I hope you feel better about the situation as each day passes.
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Leaky, I know how hard it is and how fortunate you have family support. Things are not going to be easy for either your wife of my mom. In fact my Mom is having a terrible time cries often, and threats, I am afraid they are going to ask her to leave. But my sib does not see any value in the care I provided for four years, and she does not want me to tell her what to do. She thinks she knows best on how to help our mom. And me knowing the play by play would not be good for me either.

Leaky, BREATHE! I will be thinking of you and your wife and sincerely hoping for as smoothe transition for both of you as there can possibly be. Take your time, grieve the loss of the woman you loved for so long, whild she is still here, she is not at all who she used to be.
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Thanks gladimhere it is not going well(I dreaded opening the door of condo when I came last night from the home) did not sleep well as constantly wonder how she is doing.guilt is so strong not sure if I can go through with this decission. Our family r very supportive but I still have to deal with it myself
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Leaky how is it gong so far?
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Can you volunteer somewhere? Do you like pets?

About the NH, I am thinking that going there every day should be avoided at first, so that your wife and get acclimated. Also, try not to micro manage the staff, there.

But, when things settle down, you might be able to have a meal there with her and take her outside, a little. Good luck. it is a good question that you asked.
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Leaky, I am also dealing with placement just this weekend of my mom with dementia and her hubby of nearly nine years, they dated in high school, with general age relaated decline. Though I do not have the feeling of how to fit in as you do, I just wonder what now. I had been caring for both of them for almost four years, and it was a difficult time. I am not sure how I get a life back and wonder what will be the next chapter in my life. I am 60, hope to find work in my field, that I was so good at because I thoroughly enjoyed my job.

So, as the others have said, find support, in my area the Alzheimer's Association has a men's only support group. Find others in a similar situation and talk about similarities and differences. Senior centers have so many activities and is a good place to meet others. But, maybe you just need some time to recover from the past years, it takes a heavy emotional toll. I think all of us that have provided 24/7 care are like the energizer bunny, we keep going and going then all of the sudden, that responsibilty we have passed on to others.

And your true friends will be there to support you no matter what. Count on them. But, take your time as much as you need. Do things for you. And if you do not feel like visiting daily, just do what you can and want to do.

Mom's hubby alao moved to assisted living this weekend. He has been my Mom's constant companion for about 10 years. This is very hard for him and when I got back from taking Mom on Friday, he broke down. I had never seen him like that, but it is ok. He had kept the stong male presence for so long,that he forgot who he is. I think the move will be good for him new friends, different things to do, and the ability to visit my Mom whenever he wants to and not have the responsibility for her, when he has had enough, he will be able to do what he wants to do. Praying for a good transition for him, as Mom, I think, will be ok. She was to tge point that she did not recognize her home of 50 years any longer. Best wishes to you and your wife.
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You might also try to find a support group of people whose partners are in facilities. If your wife's facility doesn't have one, check with local hospitals and other facilities that are part of large chains (such as Sunrise).

Another option, which I hope doesn't sound callous because it isn't meant to. Think of new activities that you may have wanted to do for years, and gradually work them into your schedule, especially those that can be done at home, in the evening, when I think the loneliness may be at its height.

Play music when you feel the need to relax; it's always helped us.

Something I've done not for this situation but for long term recoveries is to get a lot of cards with no verses, write my own, and mark them on the outside for a specific type of occasion, such as celebration, sadness, milestones, etc.

You can leave some for your wife to open at will.

I have a large collection of rubber stamps and I used them on the envelope then added funny sayings to them. I noticed the other day that my father still has a packet of them - I don't even recall writing them.

I also think the perception of being a fifth wheel is exactly that - I'm sure your other friends who are couples will be very sympathetic, consoling, and wondering what to say. They may even be wondering how they would handle a similar situation.
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As porcupines are said to make love - cautiously. Give yourself time to get used to the sudden onrush of spare time and release from pressure. Then, as they also say, try anything once except incest and country dancing, and see how you like it.

There is also a note of caution to be sounded about that feeling of odd limbo when your loved one is there-but-not-there. Perhaps it would be a good idea to seek out the company of other husbands in your position and take your cue from the ones on your own personal wavelength?
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Having always been single I know what you mean about being the fifth wheel, but when amongst friends the issue is probably more in your mind than a real problem. You can try to arrange more guys only get together, coffee, golf, fishing or whatever. I've always found that the women and men seem to separate into two distinct groups at parties anyway, so beyond feeling awkward the first few times that will probably work itself out as well. Don't isolate yourself, and be open to making new friends at a senior's centre as freqflyer suggests.
I think the real issue is that you are missing your other half, and that will take time to adjust to.
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I would hope that you would be with your wife as much as possible. I would hope that your friends would make you feel as comfortable and welcome as ever. If you are concerned about how to fill the hours in the day, I agree with freqflyer's suggestions. With 3 homes to visit and maintain, I think you'll be pretty busy.

See, I didn't mention church even once!
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Check out the local senior centers where they have activities such as movies, poker and other card games, lunches, local bus trips, etc. Plus you can visit your wife, maybe have dinner with her.

Otherwise how about doing volunteer work... find something you really enjoy doing where they would welcome your expertise.
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