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I care for my husband out of duty and I will for the rest of my life. I feel horrible to say the least. When I was young and in love with "Rick" my parents did not approve and forbade me to see him. I still love him!!! I married "Tom" for all the wrong reasons, just to get away from my parents. Now "Tom", my husband, has Alzheimer's!!! (At a young age) I quit my job to care for him and I will care for him for the rest of my life. Trouble is, it is difficult for me to comprehend that I will spend the rest of my life caring for him while I do not love him. Divorce is out of the question as my family would just not understand nor think much of me to abandon him at this stage of the game. What do I do? I still have contact with Rick, email him from time to time, he's married and has a family. I would not do anything to jeopardize my family nor his. I just wish I could go back to a time when I could have married my first love in the first place! Anyway, just needed to vent, I will care for my husband forever.....just not happy with the circumstances....not happy with how things turned out, wish it were different.....any suggestions?

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No one whose spouse has dementia is happy with the way things turned out. We all wish it were different. And people who marry for "all the wrong reasons" also have regrets and wish it were different. You are not alone in your feelings. So vent away! You have a sympathetic audience here.

So what do you do? I think you go forward with the decision you have made, to care for the man you married. This is the "in sickness and in health" part of the vows. Be caring and kind. Don't be a martyr. It is OK to hire help for his care. It is OK to place him in a care facility when the caregiving demands become too great. It is OK to maintain your own life as you look after his.

I look back on my college days and realize there is one decision I wish I had made differently. Sometimes I am a little wistful about it. Sometimes I wonder how things might have been different now if I had been wiser then. I imagine many people -- maybe everyone -- has some regrets about some past decisions. I can't go back and make that decision over, any more than you can go back and marry your true love. We learn, and move forward.

Or as we said in my youth, Bloom Where You Are Planted Now.
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Bless you...Caregiving sucks the life out of the spirit in so many ways..Early in my own caregiving assignment for my massively handicapped wife, I asked God for a servant's heart. He provided me with it. We do not ever get use to it, but we do learn to live with it..

I find the first six verses of Psalm 23 to be especially adequate to keep me settled emotionally.

Grace + Peace,

Bob
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I am so sorry that you are going through this. Please PLEASE give careful consideration to the fact that your mother wants to move in with you. I am going through that now and that will pile even more on your plate. I can tell you are a compassionate person. Please take care of yourself
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Don't allow mom to move in with you that will only make matters worse. The attorney should be able to help. You can get your husband on Medicaid, but it takes careful planning. They do not want to impoverish the spouse.

And your first love. My mom married her first love at the age of 80. My dad passed about fifty years ago, mom dated, but never remarried until he reentered her life. This was about the same time that mom was diagnosed with dementia and uterine cancer. The cancer was eradicated, but the dementia was not. He was an excellent caregiver to her until a hip replacement, then mom was too difficult for him to provide her care any longer. At that point I became the 24/7 caregiver which lasted four years.

They entered a care facility almost two years ago, mom in memory care, he in assisted. He passed this past October, mom was moved to a care home because her behaviors had become unmanageable. She was accepted to hospice about the same time as his death.

Most of the ten years they had together were happy ones for them. Alzheimer's will not last forever. A friend of mine just lost this wife to dementia, she was only 62 and lived about five or six years after her diagnosis. Her behaviors had become impossible to deal with at home, she had to be placed in a facility two years ago, on Medicaid.
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I'll join others and stress the necessity to take care of yourself and not to let your mother move in. I hope you are able to find an affordable place for your husband. Once you have more time and space for yourself, I encourage you to connect with gal pals and start rebuilding your circle of meaningful relationships. I so admire your commitment to care for your husband and he is fortunate to have you manage his care. That said, you need nurturing by friends and family, too.
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Sorry about your situation. Life can be disappointing. We make decisions and then have to live with the consequences. Try to find a balance between what is fair and reasonable for your husband and mother and what you can do without destroying the rest of your own life.
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Thank you so much for your input, Jeannegibbs, I really appreciate your response very much and to know I'm not alone with my feelings. I get so overwhelmed sometimes that I feel the Lord has abandoned me. My son is going through a difficult marriage, my mom is in her 90's and wants to move in with me.....it is almost too much to handle. I babysit our grandchild twice a week and I have told the kids that I cannot do it anymore, it is just too much to ask of me. Anyway, sorry for the venting. My husband is now becoming incontinent, he's in depends and I have to check him every couple of hours. I want to put him in memory care but the expense is so overwhelming! I am meeting with an elder care attorney next week to see how my finances are to cover the cost. I hate to see our lifelong savings just go like that, but I guess it is inevitable....stay tuned, hopefully everything will work out ok.
Thanks again for your response, it is so nice of you to lift me up and to know I'm not alone in my feelings. It is a hard thing to face for sure. I married when I was 20 and have been married for 45 years.
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Wow, carefor1, I felt like I was reading my story when I saw your post. Even my husband's name is Tom! We will be married 43 yrs this month but there has been no love for years. Seems he had some kind of illness or surgery that had to be taken care of and I felt obligated to stay and help. Now I am stuck...he had several back surgeries that left damage, PK, dementia and post-polio syndrome. Then my mom's dementia got so bad I had to get her into AL.. I could not move her in with me and please don't even consider that. You will be dead before either of them. I had to quit my job to care for everyone...except myself of course. I have so many aches and pains from lifting and moving him around but can't do anything about it, I need my hands and arms to care for him. Someday our Toms will be in a better place and we can move on, sounds nice - right?
As far as Grandchildren go, you should try to get someone in to help with Tom on the days you have the kids, unless you don't enjoy that. Those beautiful, innocent little faces must bring such joy to be around, that has to do wonders for you. You are so lucky to have them around, mine live in London England 😢 Don't push them away.
I too was in contact with my 1st love via Internet but decided to stop, was just too weird trying to live in the past.
Deal with today and see what tomorrow brings,best wishes.
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I appreciate all of the answers that have been posted. My situation is a little different. We have been married for 54 years. I do love my husband but at times I resent him. When we were young he was a real bastard and now the picture is very different.

My husband has Parkinson's Disease and Lewy Body Dementia. LBD is second in line with AZD. I am the care giver, cook, house keeper etc. There are days when I could scream. At that point I throw a little temper tantrum and the stress passes.

The reason why my situation is different: for years I longed for and imagined how my life would have been with my first love. Of course the dream was a full length love story. I ran into him around 9 years ago. Oh boy am I ever lucky I didn't marry him. The person who posted the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence nailed it. In this case the other side of the fence was full of weeds and full of rubble.

The best to you. I firmly believe when it is our time to pass the worst thing one can have is guilt and remorse. Do your best.
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My heart aches for you. I feel somewhat similarly.....my hubby is not sick, but supremely depressed and completely uninterested in me as his wife. I care for him and our home and our family. I look back at "love of my life" and still am in some contact with him--but he also has a wife and family. We BOTH have said "If only..." but we do not act on it. And never will.
I know it's easier to think that life would have been better with someone else, but in fact, maybe it still would have turned out "disappointingly".
Young loves are always "young" in our hearts and minds. Sometimes when my hubby is particularly rude or dismissive of me, I will drift back to my youth and just immerse myself in the memories of the time I did have with this man. Then I wake up and face the world.
I guess I just keep hoping against hope that my hubby will "get better" (realistically, I know he's not going to) and hang on to that hope and find fulfillment in other areas of life. I would not break up a marriage and family, and neither would my "ex".
I try to remember better times with my husband. I try to be kind and keep my sadness and tears to myself. He has changed 180 degrees from the man I married. I'm sure with Alz. your husband has changed dramatically also. This is called "life" and there are no guarantees in it at all. I could live very happily with my husband if he acknowledged that I existed and was very sad and lonely for our old relationship. (Once upon a time, it was good, for about 20 minutes.) I'm just trying to replace love for him with the amazing love of grandkids and realizing I have created a wonderful family with him, despite his moodiness. It's OK. And that has to be good enough. God bless you.
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