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I think Tyler Perry made a movie about this very issue. If I can find out the name of it I will post it. It was pretty good to watch.
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If my husband had been horrible to me all these years and now I was in charge of caring for him. I would probably consider divorce and let his family figure out care for him. I know this sounds incredibly horrible, but I do know of someone who did this and it turned out to be the best for her. And she isn't sitting in jail for abusing or killing him.
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Putting ones spouse in a care facility costs a LOT of money. Many people are 'stuck' taking care of the husband or parent in their home because they have no choice due to the costs involved. IF it didn't cost so much, they could pay to have help come to the home but again, money remains an issue. Just a bit of perspective for who live on the lower income shelf of options.
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angelo, yes, see a counselor, but also see an attorney who also specializes in Elder Law and/or a Family Law specialist. Maybe select a firm that has both specialists on staff. It may be that divorce is the best option in this case. Still try to be a good advocate for him and find him good care. Sometimes people who deeply love the spouse they are caring for seek a divorce to protect some assets for their own old age. I am not advising that -- I sure am not a lawyer of any kind, and I do not know whether you would be better off still married or divorced if Medicaid is in the picture. But I do urge you to seek expert advice.
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Cher60, that was such a moving story. I am so glad for you that you were so compassionate to your children's father without letting yourself be harmed. It sounds like you were rewarded for it.

"They" measure success by money, fame and honors, but your life sounds as successful as Mother Theresa's.
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Angelo, please pardon my post reference to divorce in the beginning of my message. I must have gotten you mixed up with someone else's message. I hope you find the rest of my (long, sorry) message helpful.
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As you most likely know from your own experience, separating from an abusive relationship is challenging enough, but now you are faced with new decisions. I applaud your courage in making the good choice to take care of your own wellness and end an abusive relationship. I was in the same situation many years ago, I ended a 20-year abusive marriage, when 7 months into the separation and after I filed for divorce, my husband was diagnosed with HIV/ AIDS, due to a blood transfusion he had five years earlier. This was during the 1980s when AIDS was first recognized, so he was completely alone without other support, due to the AIDS discrimination was at its worse. I will share with you what I decided to do, but of course every person decides for themselves if they will assume a caregiver role, and if so, what that caregiver role will entail. Like you, I am a caring compassionate person, and even though I was the only one in his life at the time due to the AIDS discrimination, I was afraid that the abuse would continue, and so did not want to re-establish the relationship. At the same time I felt he really needed help. What I decided to do worked out best for me and the children and for him too, still giving him the support he needed. I decided, my own decision, not his, that I would commit to taking a caregiving role, based on what I was able and willing to do. I decided to continue to maintain clear boundaries about not having abuse in my life. The caregiving for my husband was manageable because I defined to myself and my husband what kind of help that this would be. I decided (due to the abusive behavior in the marriage) that it was best that he continue to live in his own apartment and not to return to live with me, but that I would offer certain types of support. I didn't do anything he could do for himself (which wouldn't have been good for him either), and I did not respond to his numerous attempts in the beginning to manipulate me back into a marital relationship. He was able to live alone at the time, but needed certain things done for him. I helped him apply for disability and arranged for state-paid in-home support services, so that he would be able to have someone come in to do the things that he needed, such as cleaning, shopping, cooking, etc. When he became weaker, services were expanded to include cooking and personal assistance as needed. I visited him whenever I wanted and felt it was needed, and my 15-year old son visited frequently because he wanted to. Although I decided not to finalize the divorce (people with AIDS did not live long in those days, and he was expected to live about 6 months), I did not re-establish a marital / emotional relationship. He lived 15 months and during this time I was his caregiver, I continued to define what I was willing to do, just as I would do if I were caregiving for anyone else. I did this with respect and caring attitude, at times giving him emotional support when I felt I could, which was a healing experience for both of us. What surprised me is that as a result of this caregiving experience for my husband, I began to no longer feel the stress, resentment, and other negative emotions I had during the marriage and first months after the separation. I was able to have a relationship that was objective yet caring, emotional distant yet feeling sincere caring while providing needed support. I began to feel unconditional love for him as a human being loved by God and being the father of my children. I always made a point not to speak negatively about him to the children, which I considered destructive to the children. I believe that the key to being able to provide caregiving for him was that I stopped personalizing his behavior and I was not involved in a relationship based on emotional attachment or expectations. I feel that though this may be challenging for some that feel emotional involvement with a family member, and is not for everyone, it worked for us due to I no longer felt he could hurt me due to my own new boundaries as well as the loss of emotional involvement that occured as a result of my ending the abusive marital relationship months before his diagnosis. A caregiving relationship with a person with aggressive, uncooperative, or otherwise negative behaviors can be possible if the person providing care maintains a plan for person emotional and mental wellness. This involves distancing at times in order to prevent abusive patterns. Additionally, not to personalize negative behaviors, recognizing that aggressive talk and behavior is due to the person's own issues, which usually includes a physical or mental illness, or personality disorder, which may even be undiagnosed. Another important key is that I also recognized that I couldn't change his (or anyone else's) behavior, but I did have control over my own choices and reaction to any given situation. During this process I had to re-define my caregiver role as the relationship and reassessment of my husband's needs during the course of his disease. He never took responsibility for anything or asked forgiveness, but I realized that this was never going to happen and especially that it wasn't required for me to make my own life and choices to be happy. I didn't get involved in conversations related to patterns that existed in our marriage. I found myself more capable of feeling grounded on my own self-worth, not based on what he said or did. I provided more support for my husband when he had illness and was in the hospital or coming out of the hospital. After he had a stroke and was released from the hospital, I decided with Hospice help that I would move in with him because he needed more caregiving (couldn't live alone), which was for 3 weeks until he died.
Although it was sad that my husband contracted AIDS and my 3 children lost their father at a young age, and that I lost a relationship that evolved into one of caring, looking back I feel the experience had some positive dimensions. Mainly I learned I was capable of unconditional love and having a relationship based on choice, caring, respect, and personal commitment. Due to learning to deal with certain behaviors, becoming resourceful, learning patience and acceptance, this experience ended up helping to prepare me for my current marriage of 17 years. Early in our marriage my current husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Although it is hard at time seeing the one you love decline, I am grateful for both experiences as they help me be a more loving, compassionate, patient person, and inspire me to personal growth.
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AKAlicious, you're right to bring up divorce. But. One thing about divorce that slows people down is how much worse off a woman is, usually, after the divorce.

I'm not thinking about divorce for myself, but considering how my income will change when my husband dies - 15 years from now. Our income will become half of what it was, and my expenses will not be half of what they are now.

An older woman will probably not receive any child support, and the law is doing away with permanent alimony. The former family income must now cover two households, two cars, two heat bills, etc. My BFF stayed with her adulterous, now reformed, husband largely because of how a divorce would affect her lifestyle.
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Staying with someone just because they are sick, makes no more sense than leaving them because of illness. Find a nursing a trustworthy nursing home and move on. You seem to have spent enough miserable years, and these will truly be worse.
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Staying with someone just because they are sick, makes no more sense than leaving them because of illness. Find a nursing a trustworthy nursing home and move on. You seem to have spent enough miserable years, and these will truly be worse.
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Divorce! I can't be the only one who thought this...Why stay in a bad marriage? And caregiving is difficult enough without having to do it for someone you don't like! (OK, ok, I know this is a simple wham, bam kind of answer, but I've never been married so maybe there's something here I'm not understanding).
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Angelo, It is difficult enough caring for someone who you are in a loving relationship with but your situation is even more challenging I believe. How do you deal? By taking care of yourself first.Set boundaries. Find a way to bring laughter into your day. Set boundaries. Yes I know I already said that but we caregivers often need to hear that again and again. Make sure that he has food, medicine, someone to help him if he needs assistance for ADL's ( eating, bathing, dressing, walking,etc) and shelter. Beyond that you have to realize you are not responsible for how he feels! Each of us is responsible for our own feelings.
If you are trying to care for him at home let yourself off the hook. You do not have to be in a miserable or abusive relationship. Caregivers often become seriously ill caring for a spouse or parent. Choose a different path for yourself. Find a way to forgive both him and yourself, bless him and let him go. Find the best place you can reasonably afford to care for him. Make sure he has the things I mentioned above and every day say a prayer for him and a prayer for you that you will both be able to let go of the past and move into your future. I wish you all of the best.
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What you are doing isn't really about HIM is it? It's about you. When you get that cold and hard feeling inside, the trick is to ask if what you are doing is the right thing or are you punishing him? And can you still respect yourself?

It's very, very, very difficult to take the high road here because recoiling may take place on the subconscious level at this point.

Basically, though, never mind WHO it is you're caring for. Set boundaries and limits to prevent yourself being abused. Then focus on HOW it is you're caring.

It's natural if you don't like him. The questions is, can you still stay with him and also like yourself?

Blessings for a peaceful resolution to this challenging situation.
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Thank-you bellas- no worries and no harm done. I understand how the written word can be misunderstood and misinterpreted, I have done it myself. I hope we can all move on and support one another :-)
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Macada, please forgive me for misunderstanding your intent, I should have looked more closely at who was posting as I had just read each post down the line w/o noting who was saying it. Also forgive me for not responding privately, I now understand better how the site works. In need of mercy.
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bellas- it is obvious to me that your comment above was directed to me in relation to my comment to FloraSteele. I did not make my comment to her after she told of her experience once, I made my comment to her because she was addressing everybody's response to Angelo and I felt that was wrong. I think the idea is to be supportive of the person that posted the thread, address her situation, validate her problem and I don't feel that was done, and yes.. of course it is ok to talk of our own experiences, but not over and over and over to every person that responds to Angelo. Being supportive and making suggestions to the person that has posted a question/problem is not telling them what to do.
I do agree with you that I should have said what I needed to say to FloraSteele privately, it's unfortunate that you couldn't follow your own advice and talk to me privately too.
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OK, I am confused and a little worried that there is a protocol on the site I am not aware of and want to be, so I don't offend! Taking out what was said and to whom, I thought sharing our experiences that are related to the original post, was a way to offer things to try or not to try and in the process help all of us 'flies on the wall' who mostly read everything to learn from others. Personally I would rather hear someone share what their journey has been like in a thread than have them telling me what to do to solve my problem. I hope if I make a mistake on the site that anyone I offend will contact me privately, as I am fragile emotionally and could not take being chewed out in front of everyone...I already get that from my husband of 30+ years.
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I'm sorry, you are not in the most ideal situation . It seems like you have been getting a lot of positive feed back . the only thing I can repeat it do the right thing . If it hurts too much or makes you upset, the best would be to move him to a facility and let them handle the situation and maybe you could visit when you are able and strong enough to deal with seeing him . one thing, in the event that you have to watch him deteriorate please dont feel guilty . thats life and things happen good and bad .
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Very well said Raven1
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Sometimes a person has treated you so badly that the actual thought of caring for a person who has physically, mentally or emotionally abused you is more than you can handle no matter what a medication can do for THEIR ATTITUDE..... It becomes your attitude and how you can relate and care for them in some very trying and difficult times. You also have to realize that you are giving up your life and make that choice knowing what is before you and how long it may go on and the chances that their illness is going to get much worse.

You have to go in with your EYES WIDE OPEN.

My neighbor had to finally walk away from her husband and it turned out to be the best thing for her. He had been horribly verbally and emotionally abusive to her for many years. She moved to another state with her Mom and he was eventually put into a facility. She however spent time with her Mom until she died and she was able to live a peaceful life for the first time in a long time.
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I disagree. Angelo hasn't posted since the first post. FloraSteele's comments are on topic.
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Woops, and that got a 'like'. Okay, bye. In the support groups I'm used to, "I statements" are preferred and "You statements" are prohibited. Sorry.

Wooops, that was another "I statement". ;-(

I'll attempt to stop following this thread. Woops, another "I".
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FloraSteele- I have really tried my best to hold back my thoughts to you but I finally have to tell you that every person that has made a comment to Angelo to try and help her on this thread has been responded to by YOU as though you were the one that posted the question asking for help, it is no wonder I got confused before and thought it was your thread. You have responded to every person's comment on here about YOUR husband and YOUR marital problems and YOUR husband's meds and his psychiatrist, everything you say has been about YOU! Not once have you even addressed Angelo and gave her unique, individual problem any attention and she is the one with the problem. Give it a rest ok.. geez.
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@ macada
Good point! Those who can write prescriptions, do -- nothing else. ;-)

Now I remember it was H's VA counselor who suggested the VA psychiatrist look at his meds. Which may be how it is supposed to work. I am dismayed that neither of our civilian Couples Counselor PhD's suggested that!
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Psychiatrists spend very little time being therapists, they are not psychologists. Most Psychiatrists these days write prescriptions. They are M.D.'s.
Angelo- you said that you had marital problems for a long time so it would benefit you to get some therapy from a psychologist if you are finding caring for your husband a struggle. Give yourself that gift. We can only listen and support you, but a Psychologist has much more experience and could offer you much more than we can!
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"But not pastoral counseling. Get a real counselor, preferably a PhD person for yourself. "

Seconded! -- if it's for both of you or for the Care Receiver. Even a PhD ex-military PTSD counselor familiar with diabetes etc was not able to do more than superficial fixes ("Let him do the time schedule" ... "Let her pack the lunch"). The whole equality Couples Counseling thing was a waste of time and stressful for me, when in fact he was subject to crazy spells that did not deserve equal time or consideration! After that, one visit to a real MD Psychiatrist, who suggested a small increase in dosage of anti-depressant -- completely changed his functioning.
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Sorry FloraSteele, my mistake. I thought you were the person that posted this thread.
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@ macada
Confusion here. ;-) Your post about at "a therapist who specializes in marital problems" was #2 in this discussion, way before I came in.

Overall ours is a very good marriage, though we've had some problems. However I am going to see a counselor to help me cope with all this (and get some help with how to deal with his new psychiatrist who does not like the old medicine that works for him!)
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Angelo, been there done that as well. I agree a therapist. But not pastoral counseling. Get a real counselor, preferably a PhD person for yourself. Husband abused me for years now he has dementia and I am stuck with bad memories.
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FloraSteele- I didn't mean a therapist for him, I meant a therapist for you! You are the one that stated you are having a hard time handling being a caregiver to your spouse who you have been in a bad marriage with.
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