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I am the sole caregiver for my husband who has had 3 strokes. I do everything. He has me running ragged whether it's going to get things for him, picking up dirty clothes from the floor, newspapers under the dining room table....the list is endless. Yet he treats me and has actually said that this is my duty as his wife. Then he makes demeaning comments about me and doesn't want me to go anywhere or do anything because he can't

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Honestly, if he has always been a jerk, I would not stick around. If his termperment is a result of his illness I would be more forgiving and try to find a way to get through it.
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Garden is right about the isolating mechanisms that controllers use. However if he is now reliant on you after his strokes the transition from fully functioning man to utter dependance must be shattering and he may well be very very depressed. that doesn't make his behaviour right nor do you have to acept it but try to use the same positive reinforcement you would with a child.

Accentuate the positives (time for a song methinks) by engaging when he is nice and eliminate the negatives by walking out of the room when he isn't. Don't let him even finish the sentence. but do mention it to his doc just in case it is depression not an accentutation of who he was before.

And always remember you don't HAVE to stay but if you leave you have to live with the consequences. Some difficult times ahead sweetheart, he is jealous fo your capacity and his incapacity but if you stay strong and don't accept his comments you will be better placed to handle him.
As for duty.... I was gutted when I got married I thought my marriage licence was renewable every year!
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VStefans, I think you hit the nail right on the head in your first paragraph. His behavior reminded me of a book I read, either on dealing with difficult people or on how to deal with controlling people (memory fails me right now). Put downs and insults were classic behavior - beittle the person and make him/her feel worthless and bound to the manipulator and controller.
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Oh, heck no. Who does he think that he is? He would find himself very much alone, as I went out the door. Life is too short, to have your husband pecking at you all the time. That stress will kill you.
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He says its your duty so he does not have to feel so guilty about it. He puts you down so you will think no one else could look at you and you won't think about leaving him...he fears you will. His world is small now. You are pretty much it. He has probably no awareness of any of this, and I might be off the mark at least a little...but when it results in hurting you on a daily basis and he didn't use to hurt you on a daily basis, it has got to seem like a puzzle with no solution as well as a dark tunnel with no way out. Another possibility is that he has post-stroke depression that would respond to medication.

Besides just trying to behavior-modify him by non-responding to mean statements or unnecessary requests, here is another idea that might work if he still has some capability for empathy. The next time he says something cruel, let the tears come and let him see it and then walk away to compose yourself. If he just yells at you more, stay away, don't make eye contact. If he even begins to apologize or ask you what's wrong or anything that hints of a shred of remorse or concern, unload how bad the things he says are making you feel. You could try to explain that it's not the care you NEED to give him that makes things hard, it the verbal put downs and the demands to do things that could wait so you could get a rest or just breathe or sit down and watch and enjoy a TV show with him instead of waiting on him. Maybe, just maybe, if he understands that he may not be able to do things he wished he could do, he could do one very very powerful thing, and that would be to make you feel better by having a kind or encouraging word for you and modifying the constant requests in ways that would make it easier for you.

Despite everything, consider going back to the rehab center and asking for some counseling. Make sure you have clarity on what hubby can and should do independently and what he really can't. Find ways to get out together. Rehab patients who can't move a muscle from the neck down still get out and about with readily available equipment all the time, it takes more planning and more effort and may not be an everyday thing if it is just you to organize it, but it is worth it if it is at all possible.
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Abby your husband is one very very angry man. angry at the situation he finds himself in trapped in his damaged body. You are his caregiver and the one who is there all the time and the closest target so it all comes at you.
you have not told us anything else about yourselves , age, length of time married, first or subsequent marriage for one or both of you, any kids involved,
financial situation, living situation, VA Vet and most important of all has he always been abusive. it is very easy to jump in and say.Oh you your poor dear he should not be allowed to treat you like that but the fact is you are stuck and you let him. As the saying goes it takes two to tango.and he is setting the pace. There may be all kinds of help for you out there. but telling you to send him to adult daycare,take time for yourself etc etc (apologies to those who made these suggestions they are good ones) but in your shoes I would probably say "Yea right!!!!!!! please come back and tell us more this is a very safe place to vent and many others have "been there done that" Blessings
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so now I walk away or ignore.
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My friend told me to: STOP. DON'T JUMP.

It works... How can he fight if you don't fuel him?
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Ignore the bad comments. Only react if he ever says something positive.
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Maybe that's a defense mechanism, stop listening... let him act out without reacting.....see how he handles that. Put him off. Tell him you will do it later...not now, you don't want to.....if it's bothering him so much, tell him to take a nap, lay down a bit, go to sleep.....Just ignore him and see what he does.....
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They can dish it but can't take it.
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Sandwich is right. Get him out and busy with adult daycare. Don't react to every word he says. I'm getting that with my hubby.
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It sounds to me like your husband feels very bad about himself. Maybe he fears you'll walk out on him if you don't feel worse about yourself. Criticizing someone is often a way of trying to make them lower than themselves. So what you do is respond by doing things that make you feel better about yourself. Eat healthy and buy that new outfit you look nice in. Get your hair done. Go out to eat or a movie with friends or with your husband if he can go. If you're feeling good and enjoying life, his words will not hurt as much. I'm sorry you're going through this. We marry hoping that our spouses will have our backs. It is always disappointing when they don't.
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Also - if he has trouble with the standard activities of daily living, you probably can get some help in the house to assist him, so you aren't assigned to EVERY task 24/7/365. What's he - or anybody else in the family - going to do for him when your back is broken and you've had your own nervous breakdown?
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Oh beautiful Pinehurst! I haven't been there in years.

So it's time for the mister to go into an adult day program where other people can be his entertainment and focus for a few hours several days a week. These programs frequently have transportation who can come get him at the house and bring him back. He might also benefit from some physical therapy if it's been a while and he looks like he's losing range of motion and mobility (HINT HINT HINT).

You don't get the same person back after one stroke, much less three. And I'm so very sorry. My mom had a big one back in my 2nd year of college and nobody warned me about the personality change and super short temper. She was also going through menopause at the same time and was like a bat out of h3ll.
She's had more since and frequent TIAs that didn't help.

He also needs to see a psychologist to treat any underlying depression that's going on. This is also really normal post-stroke. It's a huge adjustment for a lot of people.

YOU have to do what must be done to keep your husband safe and well, but you also have to look out for yourself. This caregiving situation has evolved into something that sounds abusive and toxic. There is no rule that says you have to suck it up at your own mental and physical expense.

Talk to his doctor privately and if that doctor blows you off and tells you to just let it pass and take a tea break at 11:00, and lie down at 2:00 to calm your lady nerves, find another doctor.

This is not a situation that should be allowed to progress/get worse. Let us know how it's going and what you have questions about so we can help you!
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And when you go ahead and do leave the house to do something - having made sensible arrangements for him meanwhile, let's say - what's he going to do about it? I bet you can outrun him. Being sympathetic to his disability - I know that didn't sound very sympathetic, but I am actually - isn't the same thing as making it your own.
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Abby, ask your hubby to show you the handbook that show what are the wife's duties..... I would be curious what they are, since I didn't get get the book when I got married ;)

Sounds like hubby is angry at himself that he's not there fully for you as a team player. So he's going to vent at whomever is closet to him, and that would be you. Is that fair? Of course, not. If he is able to undress himself then he should be able to find the hamper, or put an extra laundry basket where he usually drops his clothes.

Go on strike, he's going to yell at you anyway, yet you will be in control. You will pick up his clothes and newspapers when YOU feel like it.
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Has he always been mean? Remember that this is amplified with the onset of dementia. You need to worry about your own physical and mental health. Yes, easier said than done, but there comes a point when you have to start to spend time on yourself. Is he bedridden? Can he help with simple chores? Make him a list of simple household chores if he has time to criticize? Can you afford a little respite care from a child, friend or relative so that you can get a day away per week?
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