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It's like he doesn't understand what I just said. Talking about and idea on how to do something or paint something. I say my piece, and then he continues the conversation and by the end of what he said, I am frustrated, because it's the same details I was talking about. he's almost 63. I have started noticing it recently, because I keep saying "That's what I just said". Sure this can happen sometimes, but I feel like he isn't understanding or hearing what I am saying. We have always enjoyed conversation, so it has me concerned. He also suffered from a head injury, from car accident, when he was a teenager. Wondering if maybe some kind of dementia is setting in. I do not think it's selective listening, because he seems engaged in the conversation.

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I just have to say how interesting this topic and conversation is to me b/c I have been married to a narcissistic personality disorder man who is also a misogynist - 40+ years of marriage so I believe I have my 'PhD' on this topic as it applies to my husband anyway. He has done this the whole marriage b/c he was too threatened by any woman having an idea, a solution, a suggestion etc…I finally stopped saying 'That is what I just said' and saw it as his weakness/need and would just praise him for such an amazing solution/answer/suggestion. But, here is where I fit into these posts, he was dz with FTD a couple of years ago, 5 year after sustaining a head injury in a MVA. It sort of made me wonder if he has had the beginnings of the FTD for 40+ years or if that is even possible or maybe I am just trying to give him a different 'label' where he is the victim instead of the perpetrator. It has now progressed into an even worse neurological brain disorder and he has been placed into hospice.
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Thank you everyone for your comments and information provided. I appreciate it very much.
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I agree with Jinx4740 wholeheartedly! Write a letter to the doctor and explain everything as clearly and concisely as possible and tell them you want to make SURE IT IS READ BY THE DOCTOR BEFORE HE ENTERS THE ROOM!!!!

I do this with my Mom's doctor as I do not want Mom to fell bad or become upset if I have to explain with her in the room.
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Yes, it could be something. Don't be surprised if the doctor dismisses you, especially if your husband is intelligent. That can mask the symptoms.

So that you don't have to explain in painful detail why you think your husband is losing his mind RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM, write up a page describing the behavior that concerns you, and mail or bring it to the doctor before the appointment. The reason to pursue this now is to discover if it is due to a reversible cause that can be treated. Good luck.
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I agree with Gigi11, I thought the exact same thing, when in marriage counseling it is important for both parties to UNDERSTAND what the other person has said....because remember Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, so they speak different languages even though they both may be speaking English. What one person says, is not always what the other person HEARS. This being the case therapists will many times have the wife make a statement and then ask the husband what HE JUST HEARD HER SAY. Many times it is very different than what was originally said, therefore you ask the husband to repeat back what she just said to make sure he is UNDERSTANDING HER STATEMENT.

Has your husband gone to therapy lately? Has he watched a show on TV regarding therapy? If not, then I would probably ask him why he is repeating everything you say, he may be able to tell you. Do not do it in a threatening manner however or he may clam up, simply say, "Honey have you noticed lately that when we have a discussion and I give you my opinion on how something should be done, you go into a lengthy speech and basically repeat exactly what I just said? I don't know if you do it because you want to make sure you understand what I have just said or what? Can you tell me why?"

I would not ask this in the heat of an argument or discussion but rather at a quiet time when there are is no tension between you.

If your husband is not doing this to better understand you then honestly, in my case I would have thought my husband was pushing my buttons on purpose to tick me off, but that was my problem, not necessarily yours.

You may want to speak to your husband and if he agrees seek advice from your doctor, neurologist or psychiatrist. Your husband can have some rather simple tests and an MRI to see if there is anything at this point to be worried about.

I have noticed with my ex husband a very large difference in his behavior, not just towards me, but our daughter that I quite frankly do not understand. I knew that he was taking a blood pressure medication that had been linked to Alzheimer's, and I urged him to have his doctor change it, however his doctor convinced him that it was fine to take and not to worry! I am so incredibly angry at this doctor because I do feel that it has taken a big chunk of him away and he is only 60. He went from seeing our daughter about 30 times a year to about 6 times a year! We are divorced but we have been good friends for years and that stopped as well. There was no reason so I can only believe it is mental and it is heartbreaking.

If nothing else, tell your husband you love him, you are concerned and you would very much like for him to be checked out to make sure he is okay.

God Bless You Both on this Journey!
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This is a little off topic but came up as part of the thread, so I'm going to go ahead and post it here.

Psycholigist Thomas Gordon coined the term Active Listening, and described his process of doing so in his 1977 book Leadership Effectiveness Training, a precursor to Parent Effectiveness Training. I learned it in 1984 as a prerequisite to be coming a counselor on a psychology telephone helpline. It's an excellent technique for calming stressed or suicidal callers, making sure that they understand that you understand what they're talking about. Which is also what made it good in relationships. It's based on the principle that hearing isn't listening and that while some folks are hearing you speak, rather than listening to what you're saying, they're merely waiting for you to stop talking so they can begin to speak. Meaning, they are formatting there next words to you and not at all hearing what you're saying.

Nowadays, in the age of customer service outsourcing, we have people in India, the Philippines, China and South America who have learned the words in English but not the meaning. These folks are also taught the "skill" of what is thought to be active listening (but it isn't). They unfortunately understand English enough to parrot your words back to you but then go on to answer a question that isn't even based upon what you were asking (Twilight Zone music theme begins playing here).

Because so many are now using (abusing) the (incorrect) process, it has become fairly easy to recognize and has become extremely irritating even when used correctly. Oh, and the same folks that don't understand us, when we question them to try to make sense of what they're NOT telling us, they use the "broken record" technique and just keep repeating the same answer over and over again. Although this is something I would never have done 10 or 15 years ago, I find myself hanging up, planning to call back, hoping to get someone who understands me.
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I thought the same thing - it's a communication technique I was taught called "active listening". I always thought it was irritating too LOL.
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correction ...

NOT " running a battery of RED chemistry test"

INSTEAD " running a battery of BLOOD chemistry TESTS"
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continuation, sorry I connected with the submit button when I was trying to edit. Drat - not the first time that's happened!

You can do a home test for memory loss virtually identical to what doctors do in their offices. I like to call it "vehicle-fruit-color". Make it like a game, say that you're going to tell him three words and you want him to remember them. So you say "taxi-apple-blue" for example. Then casually talk about something else for the next 2 or 3 minutes, then ask him what the three words were. Without memory loss, the average person should be able to repeat them. Some form of memory loss may be indicated if he cannot feed them back to you. Among other things, it could indicate the beginning of Alzheimer's.

But he's still young - what if it ISN'T that. There are many underlying causes of Alzheimer's or dementia "mimics". With a firm report of memory loss, doctors can (and should) running a battery of red chemistry test, especially for vitamin b12 and vitamin D, but also for vitamins b1, b2, b3, b6 and folic acid. Hypercalcemia (too much calcium circulating in the bloodstream) can cause memory lost, as I can infection, dehydration and depression. Some of these conditions can coexist concurrent with Alzheimer's or dementia, but you still want to rule them out. Even a tumor on the parathyroid gland or some other reason for overproduction of parathyroid hormone, can contribute to memory loss that looks for all the world like Alzheimer's or dementia.

From your question and description, he is young enough and the sign you're seeing is early enough, that he may have a reversible condition. And with all of them, the earlier caught, the more successful the outcome.

To paraphrase Monopoly, "Go directly to THE DOCTOR, do not pass go, do not collect $200". Do this very soon but a word to the wise: If your DGPOA, durable general power of attorney, and your DPAHC, durable power of attorney for healthcare are not in place, get that taken care of. If you have children or own property and you don't have a trust, get one (you'll need a knowledgeable eldercare attorney to get the proper paperwork handled and this may take a little bit longer before you can go to the doctor). Beware, signatures of impaired persons are not valid so you don't want something like that diagnosed too soon in a way that could interfere with his or your wishes for the future handling of your personal business or disposition of your property.
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Hi SusanC3PO, Carol,R2D2 answering (haha)

I think the communication technique Gigi is talking about is called "active listening". If this isn't something your husband has done in the past, unless you guys have had communication issues and have been to a seminar, or he has read a self help book, it's unlikely he would suddenly start using this method.

Would you by any chance describe what you're seeing him do as grasping to maintain focus on what you're saying? You could be dealing with early onset Alzheimer's. There's always a possibility that early brain trauma could lead to something later on
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If this is a change from the way your husband normally communicates with you then it could indicate some form of dementia. People with language processing disorders often do repeat what they have heard in order to make sense of it before responding. If this is a new behavior, you should have him checked out by a neurologist. If he has always done this, then it is just likely to be that he wasn't really paying attention the first time.
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My daughter-in-law(age 44) has done this same thing for years with everybody. She really believes she has come up with the idea herself! It is a standing joke with the rest of the family to listen for her repetition of the ideas somebody just stated.
When my husband was showing the first signs of FTD, he would repeat phases because he didn't understand them the first time. His language centers were being affected before anything else. He began using malapropisms quite often. Watch for other signs of language mishaps. But first, have his hearing tested.
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He may be trying to process what you have just said and reassurring himself. But it wouldn't hurt to check in with his Dr. just to make sure. Establish routines. Speak calmly, slowly, and simply. Do not criticize. Instead, praise him.
Do not display impatience. Instead, adjust your pace to his pace.
If the he is perceiving something incorrectly, do not argue. We are used to trusting
what our brains tell us and are likely to continue that trust even when the brain is
damaged and no longer sending correct information. Instead of arguing, change the topic.
Try to understand and take account of the particular problems that he has in
mental or physical functioning. Do not talk about the person to a third party as if the
person is not there. He will feel isolated and demeaned. Include the him in the
discussion.
Finally, remember that communication does not always involve words. Touch is
extremely important to older persons. For a family member to hug him and hold
the his hand can convey love and affection. By conveying love, showing him
that he is still useful and needed, and building the his self esteem, we can
create a more accepting and loving environment that may help him achieve the best possible functioal level. Hope this helps.
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What popped into my thoughts while reading the question and first answer is a communication technique taught in relationship workshops. It helps fix concerns that the other person is not listening and involves paraphrasing what was heard in order to reassure the speaker.
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My husband is 75 and recently been diagnosed with what doctors believe is FTD frontaltemporal demenia,
While I think it is a common trait of all husbands not to "listen" to their wives at times, I do understand what you are experiencing. There is a difference! With FTD judgement, organization, planning, time management, ...and so much more are symptoms. We are early in our journey but I have told the doctors the same thing you just mentioned above. It is so frustrating to the point that at times I just don't want to start conversations with him.
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my husband does the same thing, and he is only 55. I get more annoyed than concerned because this has been happening for years. I chalk it up to not really listening to what I said.
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