I have had a bad marriage and now I am a caregiver to my spouse. How can I handle this?

Follow
Share
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
38

Answers

Show:
1 2 3 4
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.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

1 2 3 4
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions