My husband has asked me to leave my frustrations at the door...anyone coped with this?

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My mom has dementia, liver failure, chronic diarrhea, and is painfully narcissistic and controlling and is in ALF. After a year of being her primary contact and non residential caretaker, my husband has asked that I leave my bad moods at the door. I am stunned, hurt, and so disappointed. Has anyone coped with this? Any suggestions?

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Caremiss, I am on both your husband's and your sides in this. I can understand the stress you are under and your need to talk about it. But I also understand your husband's stress about it, so not wanting to hear it. One thing that is so common to men is that they feel the need to fix things that are wrong. When our elders are at the end of their lives, there is no fixing things. It probably makes your husband feel bad that he can't fix things for you to make it better and make you happy. Personally, I think his idea to leave the moods at the door is an excellent one both for you and him. Worrying about things at your own home probably won't fix anything and may end up breaking up your family life. I would recommend just saying "You're right" to you husband, and enjoy time with him without your mother being there is spirit.
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As much as I know how frustrating a narcissistic controlling mother is, I have to agree. Your husband has listened to you for a year and I think you need to respect his feelings, On the other hand, you definitely need a place to vent and share your feelings. I have vented about my mother all my life, and have a few stalwart friends/family who have hung in with me, but am aware to not overload them. Have you considered therapy to help you work through this? I have found it very helpful, and it takes the load off my friends. A caregivers group would be great.
This is how I coped in another situation with some similar issues. I was working, had young children and a husband and a very difficult boss. I found myself taking my work frustrations home with me to the degree that I really was not ready to enjoy my children when I returned to them. No one said anything but I did not feel good about it. I knew that taking my work frustrations home with me wasn't doing anything to resolve them, but it was hurting my family life. So I determined that once I put my hand on the car door at work, I would stop thinking about my frustrations and actively start thinking about my children and looking forward to seeing them. It took some mental discipline, but by the time I arrived home all was good. My husband, of that time, was off in the bar so it didn't bother him. Sounds like you have a good man.
Men want, and maybe need, to come home from work to a relatively tranquil environment. Home needs to be "safe" for everyone - a place to relax. Your need is valid, but please find another place to have it met. Our mates cannot meet all our needs.
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So far THIS is the best place I have found to vent. Most here are compassionate and caring and I just ignore the few judgemental "debbie downers" I LOVED uni's idea about starting a support group, since there is not one near me.......But if I had the time to do that I would rather spend it bathing, or eating, or sleeping....you know....the things we care givers don't have time to do.
Maybe when the time comes that Mom is not taking up 24/7/365(eventually she will need NH or hospice) I would love to do that. Bottom line...VENT or EXPLODE! Vent here and give hubby some extra good lovin tonight. He might be feeling like the 2nd banana.
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Caremiss, I agree with the others, you can't go on laying all your stress onto a husband that can't FIX the problem, but at the same time you DO need a place to vent. I love the idea of a group of people that have care-giving in common, who understand the stress and welcome the venting. If the roles were reversed and your hubby came home every single stinkin' day in a foul mood ranting about his work situation, you'd probably be fed up by now too. I'm glad he is one of the few husbands out there that did NOT keep his emotions to himself and stew about it till he just up and left you, But instead had the freedom and security enough in your marriage that he could speak his mind. Be glad!
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Caremiss, VENT here! We understand!

You can't change your Mom, honey, and you need to come to a place of forgiving her narcissism and other. It is eating you away. Ask God to help you.

One of the lessons I've learned is to serve and love my Mom (who is 78, with dementia, and is wheelchair/bed ridden) at all times and to not REACT to her when she's offensive. Humor helps. Thankfully, my Mom has changed as a result of spiritual conversion, but I can tell you she used to drive me to bawling several times over. I forgive her.
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P.S. Sex is GREAT stress relief. I Know this well......as I don't get any! ;)
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Checking in . . . Things have settled down. I've made a point to spend the open time w the Husband doing things he likes, which surprisingly gets my mind off Mom's situation for a little while (fishing, watching movies). Tension has dropped and I've actually laughed again!
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Wow, was I surprised that so many of you agreed with Hubby for Caremiss to check her troubles at the door. But, after reading the replies and I can see the light. My support group, aka, family & friends, have been very tolerant of me and I try to remember to not go on and on about my Aunt's issues (and mine!). The best tactic is to ask a question or two about their day, their child, or whatever I can remember about them to get sidetracked from my "loop". Meanwhile, Caremiss, I felt a pang of pain for you. You might tell hubby, occasionally, that you need a hug after your visit to Mother, without going into details. Glad to hear the follow-up. I'm dealing with a bedridden aunt in the NH and I have to tell myself that I've done okay by her and it's okay that I can't solve her every problem. It's not what I'd like, but it will have to do. If I won the lottery, I would spend money like crazy to make it as good as possible for her, but surely it would never fix the facts of life.
I think we all ride that "guilt train" that never comes into the station.
By the way, when my mother was in her final years, she was unhappy and made my sister suffer, too. According to my mother, did you know that there are seven shades of yellow toilets? (She needed a new toilet for the bathroom.) Nothing was ever to her satisfaction, because she wasn't in charge anymore. And I have to agree that it's difficult to be in that place. Good luck and take a deep breath, now and again.
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I am so sorry that your husband is not a better support to you. It is so very difficult to have a parent that is so ill and also so hard to deal with. I know that I am depressed every time after I visit my Dad in the NH even though he is very sweet and is in a much better situation than he ever was living with my mom. This site has many caring people and it has helped me immensely with the feelings of despair that come with this type of situation. We care; please come and vent anytime. It might not change your situation, but you will probably feel better to talk to and read about others in the same situation. ((((HUGS))))
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I agree with your husband. Sorry, but I have been through this with my mom's family (heavy narcissitic people, if I didn't know better I would think she was adopted) and with my husband and his dad.
I have heard their venting to the point it has put me on the verge of an ulcer and made my blood pressure worse. After awhile, we are tired of it.
The children of all these whiney narcissitic parents will never stand up to them. They bow at their every need and whim and then come home and all hell breaks lose on their spouses and children. Some caregivers get violent, some just lash out with their tongue so much that you just wish you could pull out a recorder, tape them and then go to their parents and say, "this is what your child really, really thinks of you and this is what I have to hear after every visit."
Our homelife is so much better since my husband has not had to see his father 4 times a day.
I'm sorry but it is hell on earth to have to listen to someone you love being treated like dirt and then that person runs right back to their abuser and it all starts over again.
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