Moral justification? - AgingCare.com

Moral justification?

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My husband and I married 6 years ago after dating for nearly 4 years. We'd each been married; he has two children from his first marriage and I have one child. He had an awful short lived marriage but it appears that post divorce only made the already bad relationship worse between his then minor children and ex-wife who only wanted money and blaming. When I came into the picture we all got along and for a while things seemed "harmonious". I am significantly younger and wanted a serious relationship and a role model and friend for my daughter. I also wanted a family of my own and a blended family would give me my hearts desire although a second biological child would have been a blessing. Soon after we married (2 months to be exact) the ex pulled kids out if school, disallowed the child sharing and my husband's despair led him to fight for his rights in court. In the meantime, he fought and yelled at me for anything. He made me quit my career and financially dis obligated himself because I signed a prenuptial agreement. I used my savings to live off of and care for my self and daughter. I was so afraid of my decision to marry him and how this would affect my little girl that I contemplated leaving him. He then asked me to have a child of our union only to scold me for "getting pregnant" to sire a child. I had a miscarriage after an altercation. I begged him to seek treatment of a diagnosis as he appeared volatile, forgetful, angry, and unstable. So soon into the marriage I was ashamed to let my family now anything was wrong. The problems with his kids and family grew more and more out if control and his behavior just became worse each day. He lost friends, poorly managed his company and verbally abused me day and night. I begged him one day before going to an attorney to go to a doctor - perhaps someone new for a diagnosis. I told him I would file for divorce. Together we saw a physician - and after saying my husband was fine and I needed counseling I asked him to perform the mini mental status test -my husband failed it! He has early onset Alzheimer's. The family accuses me of everything as he was able to make me his poa and trustee. I ended up running the business but because of the prenup I do not have any other financial support than the salary. I am the caregiver, provider, and responsible for even his mother. All I wanted was to have a child form a union- we didn't marry by church because he didn't even want a celebration. I feel used and alone. He is 58 and doesn't know the difference in me- still abuses and caregivers don't know how to help. My child is 15 and I worry about the manner in which this abuse will affect her. The attorneys tell me to live a separate life. How can I? I feel morally wrong though I know that when I develop cancer (he gave me hpv) and I developed cells, his funds will not provide care for me as his health needs come first. To all those of you who will judge me, think about it. What if the shoe was on the other foot? Is it unjust for me to want to remain loyal as in his care and POA (given his family dynamic) but divorced instead? By the way, I am 37.

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Oh my dear you see the man you married far away in his eyes. You are looking at a man who made you his slave, he used and misused you for his own gain. he made you financially dependent, gave you a sexually transmitted disease and caused you to abort your unborn child. You see the man you thought he was.
You say you dated for four years. Was that because he would not get off the fence and divorce his first wife?
I am feeling particularly harsh this morning but it is directed at the man you married not you. Ten years ago from my advanced age you were a pretty young girl, very attractive to an older man. you had a young child and his kids were also young, how wonderful for you to be there caring for all three keeping house, having his dinner on the table and be in bed anxiously waiting for him at night. Bliss. Were your needs satisfied? you need not answer that it's private.
you say the family business has a Board of Directors, it is their responsibility to run it not use you as a cheap convenient fill in they hoped could get your husband to sign things. leave them to it. Do you know what this "Gift" you are supposed to receive in another four years is?
I fail to understand this separate life lawyers and therapists are advocating. fire the lot and get new ones and ask you new lawyers to demand information of the old ones. If you lead a separate life your will be punished, necessary caregiver or not you will be out the door so fast you won't know what hit you.
At the very least get your important papers out of the house and into a safe place preferably in a safety deposit box.
Apply for a credit card in your own name even if it is a store card with a few hundred dollars, use it and pay it off each month, have your cell phone as your home phone you can't trust caregivers.
Use a friend's address if you can't use your parents even your ex if you can trust him. CC companies want a physical address. Remember you are married to this man and will be held responsible for half his debts. That is a really scary thought. None of this is going to go away so please do what is best for your daughter and confide in her to a certain extent kids have a way of knowing what is going on so the truth is better you can face this as a team she is old enough and smart enough and need to stay a straight A student.
You have nothing to be ashamed of, you have done nothing wrong. All you are guilty of is being taken in by a con man so do what you need to do. We are all here for you Many of us would actually be physically helping if we knew you
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HUGS to you! Your situation is such a difficult one. A few more thoughts reading your last post. It might be useful to talk to another lawyer, one completely unconnected with the situation for yet another opinion. Also, do you feel you would be able to get work and support yourself and your daughter? If so, it really isn't crazy to let your husband's family take on the responsibility for his care. Also I can't remember but are you seeing a therapist? Might be a really good thing to do if you aren't already to get extra support and again outside perspectives with your best interests coming first.
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Don't make any major decisions until you have a chance to digest everything. It is really sad to marry for love and lose it all. I think that in a year or so, you will know what you want to do, and you will be able to make decisions you can live with. God bless you.
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You are an angel. Thank you for putting it into perspective.
This is my inner debate.. Yes. I took my vows to mean something different than what he vowed.
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Alone4ever, you wrote "I stayed to help sort things out because I care- I have compassion. I do not love him as I should. I resent him very much. " Who is it who says you should love him or how much? You have very good reasons to resent him. I think compassionate people are in a very difficult bind (and I do count myself as one) in the face of overwhelming need of another person. There is no way to limit or turn away from meeting that need without violating your own principles to some degree. Some people do take advantage of that. Some good advice I once heard is to remember to be compassionate to yourself as well - as you make you choices make sure that you aren't denying compassion to yourself as you give it to everyone else.
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Veronica and pstiegman- thank you so much for your counsel. I send you both a very dear hug. The prenup was to protect his assets and he had certain provisions for me. After 5 and 10 years I would get a "gift". My assets were excluded but since it took at least four years for a proper diagnosis I used most of my cash assets. In 2010 we received the diagnosis confirmed by a team of neurologists and a DNA bio marker test. I stayed in the marriage out of fear of all the disarray and obviously the more I enhanced the success of the business the better my husband would be financially as he would need to be able to support himself, the expenses and everything Alzheimer's. He has early onset meaning he was affected with Alzheimer's at an early age - he is now 58-as it's believed he's had it for several years now but is definitely unable to do anything on his own. He has a complex trust set up which provides generously for me and his children - if there is anything left. I have been told by his attorneys that divorce is not an option as I would loose all financial protection - but I feel horrible to think of staying in a marriage for Money - if any- alone given how bad the relationship is all around. I feel betrayed by him and saddened that he has this outcome. No life insurance to protect me or anything. Only protection is upon his death, and bless his heart, I have done an excellent job at caring for him and I know he has a long life. The mother in law knows -something is wrong with her son as he is so out if it and her other son has never been able to hold a job or keep a relationship because of his volatility. I have a bookkeeper and an accountant pay her bills and I take care of her health etc. I don't feel right about waiting another 4 years for the "gift" ... I also don't know how to handle the family. They are a tough group of uneducated but financially stable people. I do NOT count on my family's support or counsel- not one bit. I am not comfortable sharing so much ugly stuff with them. To them I am successful, ambitious and caring. Even my ex husband has acknowledged its a bad situation and that I should look to do things carefully as to protect my husband. I started therapy and the therapist is kind of recommending I stay married for the financial protection ! I would like to one day be able to have someone in my life but how will I be treated if I'm married and looking for love out of the marriage? I'm sure no one would ever look at all I sacrificed instead the shock of my actions would crush my good intentions. I don't know how to live a double life. I'm going to see my attorney on Thursday ( at $500 an hour) to get his advice. Veronica, you are right. I am resentful, he wanted everything separate as to protect him and his money only considered me when he had no one to care for him. As a mother I'd like to give my daughter the best- she's a straight a kid in HS and I know she's going places. Pstiegman- the HPV I have is thankfully not high risk but the stress in my life makes my immune system very weak. I suffer from insomnia like so many caregivers. I admire all of you for the many years you have given so much love to your family members. I know that despite my moral conscience- if I put my emotions aside, he short changed me. I have been trying to save, have asked his attorney to review how I am to be provided for as in the meantime a budget and an allowance would supplement my income, so that I can save. I have told my daughter about having to move to an apartment maybe. She seems to understand. I have a car in my name. No credit cards or debt. I don't know how I can live with myself or have a double life- especially at 37. Even the caregiver ( I finally hired help two months ago so I don't have to take my husband to the office with me) suggested that my husband was fearful of me having another man in my life someday! I know my husband didn't say that! We talk about this and he says "he's sorry" " don't leave me" and things like that. The caregiver works m- f / business hours and now he too is telling me how I should live! I'm ready to jump off a cliff only reason why I don't is " I love my child" so very much that I hate myself for this situation. Thank you all. I will speak to the attorney and find out. I look into my husbands eyes and I see the man I married in the distance. I am so sad.
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On the question of his mental status, I don't see how a mini-mental test alone can confirm Alzheimers. The stress of a sick mother, a difficult ex and running a business have taken it's toll. Counseling is helpful, but a detailed examination by an expert Neurologist is called for, including CT and EEG. Your age makes you a high-risk pregnancy and HPV is not something you want to pass on.
You need a trusted attorney to set up a financial plan that protects assets in some form of trust, with fair provisions for yourself and his children. Some of the advice here about hiding assets and walking out will not solve your problems in the long run. If there are funds to provide for his mother, these also need to be protected, but you have enough on your plate already. Others should be involved in her direct care, not you. You shouldn't feel embarrassed about telling family that he MIGHT have Alzheimer's, this disease strikes without respect for social status, they should be understanding. You are correct in not getting divorced, you will have better control of the outcomes by staying on the inside track. Divorces are always messy and you have enough stress without adding the tangled web of divorce proceedings. I deeply respect your compassion and grace under pressure. Continue taking the high road.
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When you signed that prenup did you have any assets to protect, was this simply to keep his assets out of your hands but be available for the benefit of his ex wife and their children.
You owe nothing to your mother in law I will repeat that if you did not hear it the first time. You owe nothing to your mother in law.
Your husband has treated you badly before and during your marriage. Why are you afraid of him?
Are you going to get anything out of the family business by preserving it for another generation? if you choose to continue it has to be with a proper self supporting salary plus healthcare and pension.
Do you have parents or other relatives available to council and support you.
if you haven't already started start hiding money. Quietly get your valuables out of the house even if you have to rent a storage facility. get the title of your car in your own name. That is a good idea anyway because if something happens to a spouse you can't drive your car till the estate is settled.
You are 37 years old are you prepared to be abused by this man for another 30 years. He may not be responsible for his actions but his behavior will only get worse. If you haven't already read some of the posts on this site. Many people do it for love because they really care for a spouse. You are at the ambivilant point are you going to sit there and let it turn to pure hate. Can you change his diapers when he hits you and you can't bear to touch him. How are you going to deal with it when he is throwing china at the walls at 3 am because you won't fry him an egg. Some things he will do because he can't help it but many will be mean and hateful designed to hurt you. he may have ALZ in the early stages but sounds as though he has other mental disease.. Perhaps now you know why his first marriage was short lived and his ex appears as she does.
Plan your escape. do it calmly and coldly. he will never treat you as part of the loving family you wanted. You may not be able to leave with much. Confide in your parents they probably realize something is wrong but will be shocked at the extent of it. Do not tell your daughter till the last minute but have boxed etc available for her to take her own treasures. You probably will have to start from scratch and have no money but don't be too proud to apply for public assistance and housing if your family can't help. if you have family or friends available to help you move out choose a day or night when he is away and pack your stuff into a van. Advising you to make a separate life while remaining with this man does not sound a good idea. get out then get the lawyers working and make a new life. Easier said than done but you can do it. Don't be afraid to let others shoulder some of the burden, it's too much for one person. Good luck and keep in touch
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Perfection is a direction, not a result. We are not judges , we are here to help one another. Sharing in expierence. This is a wonderful place to come for answers and suggestions. I have not encountered any judgement , just great advice. I feel like people on here are protective of one another because we all know how much caregiving can sneak up on you without warning. One of my mothers doctors told me once,, you have to change ,, your mother is not going too. They become only self aware and jinx40 is right on the money when she mentions resentment poisoning your life. They can't help it when they become only self aware but that is hard to deal with even if you have a great relationship with the demented person.. Best wishes to you.. Feel safe here.
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IMO, you should feel free to divorce him. You have an obligation to your daughter to give her a good life and a financially secure mother. That to me is MORE important than marriage "vows" that include a prenup. A prenup can be fine, but not when the partner is being prevented by the marriage from working and earning a living.

If you give up your earning years to the unappreciated, expensive, uncompensated drudgery of caregiving, you may find yourself forced to intrude on your daughter's family in your later years. That's fine if it is freely chosen, but not so hot if finances force you into it.

I love my husband, and he's a pretty good man, but I am resentful at the prospect of changing his diapers and listening to his gloomy Gus routine for another 20 years. I will do it because he deserves it, and has earned it. I shudder to think how your resentment - natural and justified - will poison your life. Find the right distance and keep it there. MANAGING his care is enough to keep your vows.

Don't divorce if you can inherit a lot, but dementia can burn through his assets like a hot knife through butter. God bless you.
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