i have been the sole caregiver of my mom for 7 years now. no help from siblings. i have been there for her day and night. she has early onset dementia. she can get around and do things for herself, just needs a little guidance now and then. i am divorced and never really thought about getting into another relationship because of caring for her. i think i used that as an excuse to stay out of long term relationships.
well about 6 months ago, i met, by accident, a wonderful guy. he is very understanding about my situation with my mom. he tells me to make sure that she is taken care of before i go to his place and spend time with him. i am with my mom monday through friday, all day, he works during the week. on the weekends, he wants me to spend time at his place with him. i have to admit, i enjoy going to his place and spending time alone with him. he lives 6 blocks from me and mom, so at first i felt like it was ok to be away. but lately i feel like i am abandoning her to go and be with him. she doesnt say anything, but i can tell that she misses me. i mean during the week, she stays in her room, watching tv, polishing her nails, reading. i cant get her to go out. she wont go to the senior center, even though ALL her doctors feel she should. I know that she has become dependent on me, and i really wish she wouldnt. but i cant help but feel guilty about being happy in my relationship. she tells me that she is so happy that i have someone in my life. she loves him for how good he is to me. he and i have talked about getting married in the future (its only been 6 months, but we do talk about it). i cant see starting a marriage with my mom living with us. my sister wants to move closer and help, but i just dont think she is ready for the amount of responsibility that comes with this.
i just feel so guilty for being happy and wanting to start a happy life with this man. i never thought i would meet a man who would be so understanding and care so much about her and i. i know that it may be some time before i will have to make a decision about her care. and i know it may be some time before i will have to make a decision about my future with him. but i just dont know what to do.