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I understand that his dad needs care, but it upsets me when things at our house get overlooked or forgotten. His dad has dementia, but before the wedding he was capable of living alone, with help each day. After the wedding, now that my husband's not there as much, his dad has gone downhill and can't seem to be alone. My husband drives down to San Diego a lot to take care of him, and seems to be stressed about his dad when he's home with me. Do I just need to get over it, or does anyone have suggestions for how I can help him handle both relationships?

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DAMN IF YOU DO , DAMN IF YOU DONT , just go with the flow and the good ole lord will guide to the path for u to follow ...
as for getting oil in the car , its easy , drive up to walmart and tell em what needs done and go shop at walmart and come back out ur car is ready , easy , better now than no car cuz it blew up cuz no oil .
hank . ure a sweet heart . :-)
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In my case the buzzards aren't family or even friends. Just vermin (with criminal records) on the street that have Mom's dementia figured out better than I do! (Mom thinks they're wonderful people!)

If I wasn't here doing what I'm doing, they'd have her doped up, signing POA's and applying for credit cards in her name!

And this is something else for you to think about, amyjoydon. It's a deal where if you want your loved one cared for the right way, you often have to do it yourself!
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Amy, I recently wrote an answer to your issue. After reading the many other answers that have been written, I would like to say that my child and I have never been placed as even the equal priority when compared with my husband's relationship with his mother. She was widowed when he was nine, remarried and was widowed again when he was an adult, but she was always financially stable. She just wanted all of my husband's attention and resented the fact she was a widow. As she became less rational, she became more demanding. After years of attempts to change or work with the situation, I backed off, did not divorce my husband because I do love him and wanted my child to have a father. What has happened as my child has become an older teenager is that he has very little respect or use for his father although he loves him. I have wanted him to grow up to be an independent young man and he is. I want him to live his own life and not feel the need to be responsible for me. He and I have a strong relationship, but I have my own interests that should make it easy for him to create his own life without feeling the need to look after me. His father's failure to prioritize the people in his life has damaged his relationship with his son and he now realizes it. I was three years older than you when I married my husband.My parents wanted and expected me, my husband, and my child to be a part of their lives, but my husband's mother insisted on being the priority in his over his wife and child.There is a huge difference in those two approaches to relationships. I would have loved to have been close to my MIL. I have always believed that there is always more room for people to be included in my family, but she only wanted her son. Now that my mother in law has passed away, my husband tries to make us a priority but finds it very difficult to change years of making his wife and son the last on his list of important people. I think he has placed himself as the most important person on his list of priorities. I am telling you this because you and your husband need to know that you can end up with a life like mine or you can fight to create a life that includes everyone. He needs to know that you may not be willing to be last on his list of important people. Money does not have to be the issue, love does. I pray that you will work out your situation. I do not know how much longer I will stay with my husband now that my child is in college. I don't need his financial support and have, sadly enough, learned to live without his attention. Take care of yourself and remember your worth as a person. Best wishes.
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I know about the buzzards. My step-brother would love for my mother to use her estate to pay for him to go to the rest home one day. Sure, nice idea but her money and securities has always been separate from his all of which she made me co-owner with right of survivorship with me being the executor as well as the sole receptor of her estate according to her will written in 1979. I'm glad she wisely bought long term care insurance in 1996 right before her mother died for that has saved her estate a lot of money. If this sounds mean, one would need to understand that she viewed him as an escape ticket from that little town where we had lived for 8 years following her divorce. When I left for college, she went to the beach house until medical problems sent her home several years ago. I've been a 'mamma's boy' and had to fight for every bit of freedom and identity that I now have.

If the market continues like it has been basically going up by very small steps, we are are far more diversified that before with the very real potential of being able to create enough each year from the investments to pay what she will need per year if she is still alive for one never knows.

Take care.
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cmagnum@ I don't think she qualifies and Dad was 4F during WW2. There's also the estate, including the family business that I need to keep an eye on, for Mom's sake as well as my own.

There's too many buzzards hanging around Mom who would love to get me out of the picture, then get their hooks into her affairs and bleed her dry.

I don't consider myself a loser or a mama's boy, however the *appearance* is there ---

And I know it is an instant turn-off for most women (and even some employers!), especially if they don't know me well.
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AMY:

Can't have him all to yourself for 1/2 hour; can't hold him long enough; and he parts with you all the time to take care of Dad. Your Shadow Husband needs to review his list of priorities, but won't as long as you sit by the phone and flutter about the house waiting and wondering when he's coming home.

Make other plans baby, and let him wonder about your world just as he did before exchanging vows. Whatever you did to get him is what you have to keep doing to keep him around, so make the natural hunter in him chase you all over again ... and then catch him.

Buena suerte.

-- ED
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Hank,
Does your mother qualify for medicaid? I remember reading how difficult your mother is on another thread, but their must be some other options because to be without a job at almost 50 predicts a very poor retirement. However, I don't think what you are doing makes you a "momma's boy" and a loser. From your description of her, she is blessed that you are even trying to help her.
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For what its worth, I'm single, almost 50 and had to quit work to take care of Mom.

My situation is this -- If I continue to take care of Mom, then I'm a "momma's boy" of a loser with no income -- However, if I leave and go get a job, and a life, then I'm an ungrateful low-life jerk! Because, after all, what kind of man walks out on his helpless, 82-year old mother?

It's almost a double standard.
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I can share with you the perspective of one who is walking around in the same shoes as your hub. I am constantly being torn between the immense responsibility of caring for an aging parent as well as trying to be "present" in my marriage. I have been married a lot longer than you two...I can't imagine taking this on after 2 months of marriage. (so please do not beat yourself up about wanting more "alone" time with your new hubby. as sweet and nice as you say he is he has an equally nice wife - who else would take the time to come to this site seeking advice and answers??)
I constantly feel guilty that I am driving my hub crazy as I vascilate between decisions, take our vacation to do things for Mom, and fill in for an "absentee" sib. It borders on obsessive at times. I fear that one day he will run out of patience - but he never does. And I appreciate it immensely.
Did it occur to you that your hub feels that way about you? Someday this will all be over and I guarantee that you two will feel that you did the right thing. Does knowing that make things easier now? Not so much. But doing the humane thing is its own reward.
This does not mean that you need to always put the needs of his dad before your marriage...in fact, I would not recommend it. Boundaries need to be agreed upon. Dad needs to be moved closer. His care needs to be handed over to the professionals who will keep him safe and give you guys a break.
Good luck to you two...just keep the lines of communication open.
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We have definitely decided not to take him into our home - due a lot to your advice cmagnum - I had posted once before we got married. He was taking care of his mother and father and wanted us to move in with them. I was against it, and was again wondering if I was selfish. I shared a few of your posts with him and it helped him to see how that would be bad. Now he is adamant that we need our own home and space right now as we start our marriage. And I'm very grateful for that! His mom went into the hospital the day after we were engaged, and never came out. I will need to look up that book. And I agree with everyone who says he needs to be closer - it will benefit everyone.
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The car is clicking because the oil is low as is the emotional oil in your relationship. Sounds like your husband's identity has been that of his parents for a long time which makes it tough for him to emotionally change his identity to being a husband who yes I agree needs to get a job. Sorry to be so blunt, but he needs to make some tough but needed changes for all of this to work. I don't know why people are putting so much on you because you are the one getting left out. Please don't take his dad into your house for many reasons one of which is how young your marriage is. I think this boils down in many ways to identity and boundaries. There is a chapter on this kind of triangle in the book Boundaries in Marriage. You are not alone although we don't get as many stories here about a wife feeling abandoned by their husband trying to take care of one of their parents. The vast majority of these type stories is the husband feeling or being abandoned by his wife of which some stories include good, but painful insight after the fact of divorcing while others have seen the light before it is to late. I wish you, your husband and your marriage well as you seek to resolve this.
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There isn't going to be a perfect solution to this issue, but your husband needs to think very hard about his priorities. You and your father-in-law are both important to him and he needs to combine his two worlds. If caregivers are deciding that your FIL has new and more intense needs, then it is obvious that a different housing situation needs to be considered and the change needs to take place. Your husband can accomplish three things by moving his father close to where you live. He can see his father each day even if it is for a short period of time on some days, he can be the husband he pledged to be to you, and he can look for and accept at least a part time job. In addition, he can watch over his father's needs as they change. You are not being a "spoiled brat" and your husband needs to realize and address his priorities. There are many of us who are working full time, traveling daily to spend time with parents, and maintaining our own important relationships.It requires commitment from everyone, but it can work. Good luck and stay in touch.
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Siblings..... you will read until your eyes get tired of how siblings carry no weight, and if your husband took care of his mom, then they expect him to do the same for his dad. I am sorry you did not get a honeymoon period. That makes me sad for you both. But hopefully with you two working together, you will have a "honeymoon" that last for years because ya'll started out working together.
Your husband sounds like a wonderful loving man, and you sound like a wonderful loving woman....ya'll will work together and this will be a blessed marriage.
Post about anything you need help with, understanding the disease, how siblings are worthless, and what to do when your husband and you are stressed. This is the place... You can go to the "grossed out" thread and read a lot of things that may help you. We have a lot of fun on that thread, and you become like family... and you are not alone..... hugs across the miles..
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To answer your question, ladeeda, we have been married two months. I think you are right that I need to think of ways to be there for him and then sit down and really talk to him about it all. And you're right Robin, he is a good man. I guess I just wanted more of a honeymoon period. I think part of my resentment comes from the fact that he seems to be the only good man in his family! Well, not really, but no one else will help. His brother was supposed to keep their dad at his house for one month while we went on a honeymoon and settled into our new house. After one and a half weeks his wife sent me an email saying that they are bringing him home and that's that. We have had all of the responsibilty since (and before the wedding, but all we wanted was one month!!!). After looking through the site, I see that lack of family help is a pretty common problem. It is nice to know we aren't the only ones dealing with these issues.
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Being a caregiver is a hard postion to be in at anytime, and now especially with a new wife. Apparently he is a good man, if he was his mothers caregiver too. You only have one set of parents (in most cases), and those people are your life too, especially when they are starting the aging process. The answer is not easy, and none of us even have our own answers to our own caregiving issues sometimes. The best thing is do what you are doing, keep reaching out to people and support groups, call your local senior center and see if they give any classes, or your state health services too. Anywhere you can gain knowledge of the subject, because as the other gal stated, its not going to get any easier with his father. Love your husband for what he is doing, and support him all the way. He is with you, but his dad is sick and needs him. You are his wife and you need him, so your husband is on a tight rope. I hope you find your answers, and try to understand the life of a caregiver. Be Well, Robin
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Amy, welcome to being married. You didn't say how long you have been married, and I know it is hard on you wanting to have more time with him.. I am not defending him not taking care of business, it is just that caregiving is a 24/7 job, whether he is with his dad or not. I am sorry you are having to share your new husband, but there is a lot of maturity in your ability to ask for help. We can't help you change him, but we can help you to see things a little different.
Once you have had time to think some things over, maybe you can come up with some ways to take the load off him and when he is home with you, then ya'll can spend more time together... He will deeply appreciate it, be able to relax more and not feel so torn between you and his dad.
Take some time to think about what you want to say to him. Let him know you are there for HIM so ya'll can have more time together. And don't say "these old ladies on this sight said....." make it sound like you have been thinking of ways to help him.
And if he turns out to be a turd, let us know... we'll talk to him... lol Caregiving takes its toll on tried an true marriages.. It is just the way it's going to be. You can't change him sweetie, and hopefully becoming more involved will help both of you.
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Get his father closer so you both can spend better quality time with the father more so than being on the road back and forth. This will also free up more time with each other. Give your husband support during this hard time... i promise you it will be the BEST investment you will have ever made.
Bless you and your family.
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I can - it was just something he said he would do, and then about two weeks later as I was arriving home from work, I heard a car rattling and clanking up the street. I thought, "Oh my gosh. Is that my car???" We have switched cars because mine gets better gas milage. I was instantly mad, and started thinking what I said above about how he would have taken care of it right away for his dad. You all are right though - this is very hard on him, and I need to help him think of solutions. I guess I should accept that it will be hard sometimes, but focus on a solution rather than how it doesn't seem fair?
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Can you get the oil changed?
And don't shame yourself for feeling what you do. Feelings are not right or wrong, it's what we do with those feelings that matter. Give yourself some credit for reaching out for help. You have more options now so that in itself is a sress relief.
Good luck
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You are right - he is very compassionate, and that is part of why I fell in love with him.
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It's a double-edged sword.

It takes time away from your relationship (at a critical time early in your marriage) But then as well as he cares for his parent, is how he will probably care for you should you get sick.

Can you go with him? He probably needs your help and support more than ever!
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Thank you both for your responses. Thank you for not acting like I am just selfish for wanting my husband's time. I can't go with him because I work full time and he goes during the day (he does not work right now, because he was the full time caregiver for his mother who recently passed away). His dad lives about two hours away, so I think moving him closer is a good option. My husband hates the idea of moving his dad out of his home, but it is getting harder and harder. We are starting to get a lot of calls from the caregivers, saying that he won't take his pills, won't go to bed, etc. My husband goes down there three days a week (scheduled, but sometimes it's more), but I guess that is still a big change since his dad used to see him every day. I know it is very hard on my husband, which is why I want to be supportive, but I find myself thinking things like, "He should be looking harder for a job, but he can't because his dad is taking up so much time" or "The car is clicking because he was supposed to get an oil change...if it was his dad's car, he would have gotten it done right away..." I know I need to stop thinking like that and I hope everyone on here can help me! Thank you again for your responses and ideas.
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I agree with everything Ladeeda said...Think about it. You married a very compassionate man! He will be there for you, too. He may feel like has abandoned his father and I'm sure he is torn between wanting to be home with you and worry about his dad. I will assume you married for "in sickness and in health." For him, his father's illness is his own. If you also pledged to be married forever this is what "life" looks like! You can help you husband by being supportive and looking for other options. Moving you FIL closed to you, finding him an assisted care facility or looking into social services to provide extra care are all options. Sorry to say but you need to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. It may help you to contact your local Hospice Care or Alzheimer's Association to see if they have support groups you and your husband can attend.
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Is there any reason you can't go with your husband? Maybe if you were more involved it would ease some of you feelings of being left out. And if his dad has Alz. or dementia, it can progress quickly when they have experianced a major change. I don't want to be a Debbie Downer here, but it is only going to get worse.
Educate yourself about dementia and you will understand more about your husbands stress while being away from him .
I know it is hard on you too. But Alz/dementia is one ugly disease and is very time consuming for the caregiver.
Can he be moved to a facility closer to you and your husband? Can your husband hire someone to be there with him? Try talking with your husband about more workable options. But amy, your husband is watching the dad he knew become someone he does not recognize. Please join us on this sight and keep posting. You do not have to be a caregiver to seek help with understanding the disease. Let us know what happens I wish you luck and good communication with your husband... hugs
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Congratulations on your wedding. Sometimes elders, especially with dementia, do not handle change well. The marriage and your husband's change in attention have marked a shift from the center of universe being your FIL to you. You will not just get over it (trust me!) and the need will increase with time for attention, not decrease. Talk with your husband about getting some additional visits for your Father-In-law; perhaps a church, home health care, or adult day care that will pick him up for activities. The Area Council of Aging (different names in different states) would have additional resources. Your new relationship with your husband will need time to develop and deserves attention as well. If he needs to have your husband there to take care of things, perhaps you can see about moving him to a facility nearby. But resentment does not just go away, and it will interfere with your ability to support the caregiver role your husband holds. Take care, and take care of both your health and your husband's. Stress is no one's friend. Helen
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