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I am in the same situation after 30+ years of an emotionally, financially and verbally abusive marriage where he demanded and got anything and everything he wanted for himself as a narcissistic personality. Refused to save for the future, spent every dime on himself and now...caring for him at home finally became impossible and I found an assisted living placement. He is as he has always been and I can only hope they don't kick him out. ALL his retirement income, now goes to pay for his care and I am left on my own to try to survive on 1/4 of what he makes in retirement through my pension. He continues to try to control me and calls 10-28 times a day with his 'bring me' list. He is the same as he has always been only a thousand times worse. I could go on but will say that on this site there are some great threads about 'detaching with love'. I don't love him, haven't for many years but I care enough about what is left of me, to detach in kindness to the extent possible. This is all new to me but I have learned not to answer all this phone calls and I now limit my visits to once a week. I am extremely aware that there is no justice in this whole scenario, no relief from my obligation to see that his needs are met but he has no one else. His brother/sisters live in the same town and do not care for him or see him. His son disowned him. If I met this man and saw that he had no one else in the world who would see to his medical needs and assist the AL facility to meet his needs, I would help that human being...because that is the core of who I am, the core he was never able to destroy all those years. My heart goes out to you Angelo as you have many painful decisions ahead of you on this new journey. Choose wisely and coming on the site is a wonderful step in that direction.
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This is something therapist Pauline Boss says, in her helpful book "Loving Someone Who Has Dementia":
"Taking care of someone who years before was abusive or neglectful of you is beyond what is expected of you. Caring for a family member who was or is physically or psychologically abusive is dangerous. ... These are justifiable reasons for NOT being a caregiver."
...
"with most, I encourage some kind of continued management -- often through social worker -- to make sure that the caregiving team or the nursing home professionals are treating for family member well. This may be the vest you can do given your history together."
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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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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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@ macada
"I think a therapist who specializes in marital problems would be the best person to seek advice from."

That was not our experience. An experienced psychologist did couples counseling with us, which improved some issues. But it was an actual psychiatrist increasing his Bupropion that made the big difference!
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I disagree. Angelo hasn't posted since the first post. FloraSteele's comments are on topic.
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Be the best person you can be. It will be stressful. If you ever find that you are not being a nice person to yourself or to your spouse you might consider looking into a nursing facility for your spouse.
My mother and father had a horrible marriage. They hated each other for much of it. When my father became ill 5 years ago, my mother wouldn't give him many of his medications because she said that she didn't want to be accused of killing him. We hired a caregiver to come in and give him his medications.

So, take care of yourself and do the best you can. If you find that you are taking your anger out on your spouse, find another solution.
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Medication might incidentally change his behavior to you. Our marriage had problems for years, most due to his undiagnosed diabetes and PTSD. Getting treatment for those helped. The last two years, after an INCREASE in dosage of Bupropion, have been very good!

Now I'm finding that a minor change in the "same drug" can undo all the benefits, eg changing manufacturer or changing from Immediate Release to Slow Release.
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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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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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