My hubby is driving me bonkers. He's 65, but acts 90.

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My hubby (who is blissfully still snoozing away at 11 am) came home from the one day he made it into the office this week and announced he's retiring. Period. No discussion, just, he's tired and wants to sleep all the time and wants to be done being "productive".
Backstory:
He's 65 (only just). Did have HepC for 35+ years, which developed into Primary Liver Cancer back in 2005. By stint of many miracles, he was given a second chance at life with a liver transplant in late 2005. Of course the HCV came back (it always does) he did 84 weeks on Interferon (a chemo like drug--horrible beyond words) but relapsed within 6 weeks. He was in remission, so we just went ahead with life, with the knowledge that new drugs were on the horizon. 2 years ago cleared the HepC with Harvoni, and now, is considered to be perfectly healthy, tho he will take a very small dose of antirejection meds for life. He is expected to have a normal life span of 80+ years.
OK, through all this ( and although he feels he did all the above completely on his OWN) I was here by his side 24/7 for all hospital stays, blood draws, in home care, etc. Cooked and cleaned, cared for the 2 kids we still had at home PLUS a foster son. He never acknowledged my help or hand in anything, beyond occasionally thanking me for bringing him a meal.
Since 2006, he has developed the habit of sleeping, nonstop from Friday night until into about noon on Monday. 11, going on 12 years of this. Even if we are out of town visiting g-kids, he stays in bed. Refuses to get up.
Sometimes he'll take "comp time" from work and sleep a whole week. And I mean, he is sound asleep for 24-72 hours at a time. Wakes up only to shuffle to the kitchen, make a bowl of cereal and eat it in bed.
ODDLY enough, the one saving grace has been his job: he LOVES what he does. He travels a lot (still often sleeps the weekends away, rather than come home) and it is his job and only the love of it that has kept him going.
I'm done. I worked 2 jobs to pay for the hospital bills and drug therapies. I took (and still take) complete care of ALL family stuff. All the bills, the house, the yard, organizing family activities, birthdays, holidays,.....he just sleeps. Oh, with the TV on (blaringly loud b/c he is also 80% deaf and will not address that.)
We have zero relationship. I moved out of the bedroom because he HAS to have the TV on day and night. Doesn't "get" why I objected to that. We have no intimacy in our relationship as he is "too-tired" and not the least interested in me, as anything other than a caregiver.
I DID tell him, about 2 months ago, I will file for divorce if he did not get some serious help for what I truly believe is the root cause of all of this: severe depression. And I meant it. He saw his GP, mentioned he was feeling a "little down" and she got him into a Psych doc ASAP. He has seen her a few times. He does not discuss what goes on in his sessions. (I need to add he thinks psychiatry is a bogus profession--sooo). I have seen maybe the slightest improvement..but I think I am dreaming, really.
I'm only 61. Not ready to retire. Not ready to have him home. I don't really even like him anymore. He will not listen to me, if I go in his room to talk to him , he literally wraps a pillow around his head to drown me out.


I know I am venting--I need to. I came home yesterday after a full day and he has had a cold (but it's a man cold) and he had promised me he would go back to the dr since it was obvious he had developed a secondary infection. I know he waited all day long and suddenly at about 3 realized I'd be home soon and got out of bed and went to the dr. Yes, he needed strong antibiotics and cough syrup. Probably ANOTHER 10 days in bed, too.
I am SO DONE. This is not what I had anticipated for retirement. I am on the fence about even staying with him. I have no friends to talk to about this and my therapist is worried I will spiral downwards even more w/o support. Everyone thinks he is some kind of hero b/c he beat liver cancer. Well, he was a champ, I give him that. It was horrible.
But I am a part of this marriage and I am miserable. People focus all their concern on him and no one ever asks if I am OK.
My therapist says I enable him too much. My kids say I am mean to him. How much, is too much? I cannot fathom spending another year in this unhealthy and depressing dynamic---it's enough to have an elderly mom to look after--and kids who need me for help babysitting, etc., but I am just so tired. Sorry for the overly long post. I just have nowhere to turn.

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One more thing, midkid. My father in law started sleeping all the time; he was just a bit older than your husband. My MIL wanted him to see a psychiatrist. Saw his pcp first; his kidneys had shut down. See if you can get him into his doc before you make any drastic moves.
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I know a young woman who was married to a man somewhat older than she with whom she had many interests in common. Their marriage was great for several years. He stood by her through several traumatic events, and was supportive. And then he lost interest in most things, including completing the house they were building, their shared activities, their intimate life. He had stood by her and she very much wanted to stand by him. She didn't think the depression was his fault, but she did think he could improve with treatment. He refused to do anything at all to address his depression. Eventually she realized that being with him was detrimental to her own mental health. She got a divorce and moved to a different state.

Suddenly her ex-husband got interested in local politics, in community events, in several hobbies. Being forced to fend for himself somehow awakened in him some internal resources he had not been using. He took an interest in his grandchildren. Of course, it could have turned out the other way, with him becoming more lethargic and depressed. But looking at them both two years after the divorce, it was clearly good for each of them.

I echo the suggestion of a trial separation. But it may not be wise for you to leave him, in terms of coming up with a divorce settlement later, if that is they way things turn out. See a lawyer first, so your actions now won't backfire later.
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Veronica makes a good point regarding the natural ebb and flow in marriage.

My parents were married 62 years when my dad passed away. Honestly, I'd say a third of the time they were passionately in love. Another third they were at each other's throats. And another third they were pretty indifferent to the other - each living their own life, pursuing different interests and lived like polite, slightly distant roommates. The problem was that the thirds didn't come in three blocks of time - a few good years, a bad year followed by a couple years of indifference and round and round. Unfortunately, for me and my brothers there was a several years span of it being really ugly while we were children- I use to beg my mother to get a divorce when I was about 8yrs old. Mom always said no. But get this - when mom was in her late 70's she decided she wanted a divorce! Thank goodness she never went through with it because they each would have been lost without the other after so many years together.

But - as you say - it's been 12 years. That's a huge chunk of time to spend hoping things will get back on track. Veronica asks a very good question - did you still love him right before the downward spiral? If he started to snap out of it, become more engaged in your lives together - can you see yourself loving him again?

These questions and more are what you need to be asking yourself - but perhaps asked away from the daily reminder of how bad things are. So, as Veronica suggested - an extended visit with an out of town friend? A legal separation? Personally, I don't advise staying with one of your children as they're likely to have an opinion and attempt to influence you - one way or another. And, it's very possible they might feel uncomfortable or even resentful, feeling they are being put on the spot or pulled into the fray.

You've waited 12 years - no need to rush into making a decision now. Get to somewhere where you can really clear your head and think - think things through.
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Midkid I can so relate to the way you feel. My 53 year old marriage has had serious ups and downs and he finally left at one point for several years. He did come back but it took him 20 years to share any regrets. I often think I should have left then and made a new life but I felt trapped with no ability to work at that time. Things changed drastically when one night I put my rings on the table and he was absolutely devastated. I knew then that he really did love me but being brought up in a dysfunctional family was not able to make close connections with anyone. Another example was when I was deathly ill and he arranged a private room in the hospital and I whispered to him "I do love you" And he put his face down and said "I would do anything for you" Does not mean his behavior has completely changed but I do know the love is really there.
Should you leave? should you get divorced? I don't know the answer to that but I do know you should stop enabling him.
Before he went into this downward spiral did you still love him? Did you ever love him? You have to change things now but how you really feel will in many ways influence your final decision.
Hubbys behavior is clearly not normal and probably not something he can change on his own. I would say you need to do something to get his attention. Could you just go and stay with one of the children for say about four weeks and don't stock the kitchen before you leave. That may give you an idea of how much he is actually capable of doing for himself. In reality it may be very little even though it feels to you he is idle and uncareing.
It's clear that he needs psychiatric help and probably medication.
Your real decision is whether or not you are prepared to remain as hubby's caregiver for the rest of his life. If the answer is "No way no how" then the answer is that you simply have to leave and not look back. Could you do that?
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Midkid, I read through your post thinking "I really can't see what's in this for her." It's not your husband's fault he became so ill, nor that he probably will struggle to be well for the rest of his life. But it sure as heck isn't your fault, either; and you've been a rock. Your kids think you're mean to him. Oh do they. They should try it for a few years, and see how sunny they are.

The one thing that gives me pause, though, is where you say you don't think your husband cares that you're around. Well. I'll tell you what. He sure as hell will care if you're *not* around. That may be a negative way of appreciating you, but don't doubt it for a second.

What's happened to your life, and your needs, and your opportunities, and your hopes? If you worry at all that you don't have a genuine grievance here, don't worry. You certainly do.

I sympathise enormously. I don't think anyone can know what you should do, but please don't think you just have to put up with this. It's a rubbish situation, and it isn't fair.

He's blackmailing you, isn't he. He has to have the tv on. He has to be excused parental/grandparental duty. He has to be allowed to sleep. He makes the unilateral decision to retire. Hey he nearly died, and he's not well, and everyone has to treat him with kid gloves forever.

Hmmmmm.

Is there anything you could change that would give more recognition to your needs and wants, that wouldn't involve either changing him or leaving him? You can't change him (no one can change anyone). You don't want to leave him - all that time, all that investment, what was it all for if not to see it through? Can you make a few decisions about what you want, and dam' well splice them into your life anyway?
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Midkid, I'm with Rainmom on this one. It sounds as though hubs has become self-involved to the point that you no longer are in the equation. Take yourself out of it, and move on.
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And no, midkid - you are not stupid. You just hoped there was a chance that your marriage could be saved - that he wanted it to be saved as well. Perhaps you were overly optimistic but stupid? No.

I think most men - sorry for lumping and stereotyping - tend to be a little more self involved than women, who tend to nuture others before themselves. I know my husband can get so involved in his stupid, mindless games on his laptop that the house could burn down around him and he wouldn't even notice the room was getting warm. Seriously - at times it makes me want to stick a fork in his neck! Midkid, your husband has actually said he doesn't care anymore - that sleep is more important than his marriage. Is this normal, rational thinking? You already know that it's not - and given him 12 years to change. Problem is - to change he has to want to change. Through no fault of your own, he doesn't seem to want that. If he is ever going to realize what's at stake - if you really want that still after realizing you don't love him anymore - and actually - don't even really like him - then it's probably going to take loosing you to want to change.
Either way - whether he comes around or not - you are better off no longer subjecting yourself to his apathy and dysfunction. Force the sale of your house, buy yourself a cute little condo with a fabulous view and a swimming pool - and get back to putting yourself and your happiness first. You deserve better!
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The way he acts would drive me nuts and make me walk away. Ask him how important are you to him, what if you dropped dead or left him tomorrow or tonight, what would he do? His answer will be the most telling on what your worth to him is. Once you have your answer, plan accordingly. You have the right to be loved, the right to demand respect, the right to demand that he step up and be a partner and husband to you. His butt is not entitled to sit on his ass and sleep his life away while he ignores and demeans you by not being a husband. Take a week long trip without every one and see what happens. If he calls for you to come home to wipe his butt, tell him to suck it up buttercup and do it himself.
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Midkid- I'm sorry you're having to go through this. You seem like you are too nice and too caring to have to live this way. Living without the love and support of a partner is hard enough - when you are living alone - but when it's in your face all day, every day it must be torture. At least when you're on your own you can live as you please - develop other friends, interests etc. I suspose you could still do that now but you would still have the extra work of cleaning and cooking, looking after him - all the while having it rubbed in your face, the way he is acting and the way he seems to feel.

Divorce is hard. I think after a certain point in a marriage it just doesn't make sense to divorce. There are the shared kids, friends and activities - but it seems you don't even have that to bind you together. I can't imagine how alone and sad you must be.

Perhaps it's time to consult an attorney and see about a legal separation. Move out - or get him to - and shake off the dust - see how it feels. Give yourself some time to   see if you are able to create a new life for yourself that doesn't include your husband.

Frankly - and I am sorry to being saying this - but I think what your husband is doing to you is cruel and completely heartless. You've got a lot of life ahead of you yet to live - you deserve to live it with love and respect. And in the absence of that - to live it at least without demeaning cruelty. If you feel you need to give him a little more time - if you need to do that to feel you've given it - and him - a fair chance or a last ditch effort than do it. But do set a deadline - and stick to it.

Take care!
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You are powerless over your husband. He's making his own choices. I really think that since you have told him (many times I'm sure) that you were done that you should follow through with plan B.

He's not going to change unless he wants to. He doesn't want to. The consequences will be, he will live alone.

Take of you,

Nicole
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