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He does just fine in casual engagements with friends and neighbors, but treats me like the enemy. Has no regard for the care I give. The constant enmity breaks my heart. This really started last Nov. but now things have gone down rapidly. I need help getting him a diagnosis so he can begin to accept help he needs. Right now he rejects everything, as he has more trouble dealing with basic problem solving, among other things.

Ginny, I would not reinforce that you will be there for him no matter what. This gives him permission to be unkind and mean.

Personally, I would tell him that you will be there, as long as he doesn't abuse you in any way, including but, not limited to, verbally, emotionally, psychologically or physically.

He, obviously, knows how to be civil or he would be a jerk with others.

Being scared, confused or whatever isn't a free pass to abuse you. That's what he's doing and you need to tell him to knock it off or he can live in a facility with others taking care of him.

Maybe that sounds mean or harsh but, statistics show 40% of caregivers die before those they are caring for, putting up with this crap is a lot of stress and that is a killer. You matter as much as he does, take care of you and put those boundaries in place and enforce them.
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Gdeering Oct 14, 2022
At this point, he is altogether unreasonable with me. I am in limbo waiting for him to see our Dr. who is well aware of the situation. He did not include me on his HIPPA, I am sure because he knows he’s failing and wants to hide it from me. I have to wait for him to see her for anything to move forward. Yeah, he has plenty of courage to be a jerk with me, the one who is caring for him. 😥
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There was a time when I felt deeply the pain of rejection as my husband was treating me like the enemy. This time passed after about a year.
But he did listen when I read him the riot act, backed him down, and told him I was not the enemy!
Then, I let go of a lot of things, as he isolated himself from me more and more.

It is disturbing to watch him not even understand something simple or be able to work it out. As he tries to work it out, I will walk away, realizing this is something so unimportant that he does right, or even does at all! His dignity is more important. I still want to be his wife. I will care give in ways that I am able. But I refuse to be his task master. Some things just cannot be fixed.
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Gdeering Oct 11, 2022
A couple of things you said are significant to me:
• Being the enemy does pass, but the condition worsens
• Dignity is important

I want my husband to focus on the beautiful parts of life daily. I hope to remove things from his life that cause stress.

This puts a lot of stress on me, and I fail quite often. This forum is helpful.

Thank you for your post

Ginny
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Even when he gets a diagnosis, don't expect him to believe he needs help. He can't accept what he doesn't believe in the first place. It may be time to research places where he can live and get professional care. Executive function dysfunction doesn't get better, sad to say. So prepare for the next step.
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You can't force your husband to go to the doctor for a cognitive evaluation, unfortunately. And, even if you were to get him to agree to go and he were diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's, there is no guarantee he'd accept that diagnosis and agree to accept help. Many elders have what's known as anosogosia which is the refusal to believe there's anything wrong with them at all. My mother was one....even with advanced dementia at play, she insisted she was fine and everyone else was "crazy".

I'm sorry you're dealing with such a difficult situation and I hope your husband allows an exam with his PCP to take place as a starting point. My heart goes out to you for all this suffering you're experiencing.
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Gdeering Oct 11, 2022
Thank you, Lealonnie. I must tell you that finding this forum has helped me a lot. Just to know that many people are experiencing this same thing lets some of the pressure off. This may be the most difficult challenge of my life. I want to help my husband through this by offering as much comfort as possible. That's hard when he is so unfriendly to me. The ultimate answer is faith, since I believe you're right - it will not get better.

God bless you,

Ginny
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Sundowning Experiment: Ever since my husband started throwing tantrums, I realized it was happening more frequently around dinner time.

Now, we no longer eat dinner together! I bought him a TV tray (I didn't know they still made them til I went looking). So, now we are dining in peace..............and that's better than candlelight and music: a new kind of ambiance.

I was really uncomfortable and felt trapped when I was trying to dine and being verbally attacked: I realized we needed the physical separation to keep the calm. Finding solutions is worth the effort if you're going to remain in the same home.

"Protect your peace."
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Gdeering Oct 18, 2022
You know, Connie, I am doing the same thing. Last night I made him a steak dinner and went for a walk. I am finding ways to focus on things that do not cause strife. Every day is like walking on thin ice.
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Dear OP, re-reading your posts, it is clear that your faith and prayer are very important to you. I don’t want to take away its support, but please remember that this has lead many people to martyrdom, even literally. Remember that requiring a good life for yourself, is also good for your husband. It’s worse for him if you get to the stage where you can’t bear it all. Please be proactive in sticking up for yourself. Love, Margaret
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Gdeering Oct 18, 2022
Margaret,

I really appreciate your input. As things have taken a turn for the worse, I do tend to empathize for him; as difficult as it is for me, I imagine his fear must be very hard to live with.

I don't put it past him to do some permanent damage to me in the midst of his suffering, however. I am picking up the pieces of our business that he was part of until recently. Again, he might just pull some kind of devastating trick, but I need to focus on the next right thing.

I am hopeful that medical professionals will confirm that what is going on is not his fault, and then, I hope he will allow me to help him turn his attention to what can be done, not what can't.

I value your input,

Ginny
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There is general agreement that this is common and gets worse. There are differences of opinion about whether or not to accept it. Some would say that your husband shows that he knows quite well how he should treat others, and you should not accept worse treatment (particularly the deteriorating aspects like abuse or aggression). Others would say there’s nothing you can do about it, they always take it out on the closest person who does the most.

I think it might (possibly) be worth trying the ‘please and thankyou’ line. It’s less complex than dealing with the total behavior. If he wants something, he gets it if he says please. It gets removed if he doesn’t say thankyou. My marriage works along the ‘please and thankyou’ line anyway, so nothing ever gets removed! And simple courtesy might change the vibes. How about that for an ‘old-fashioned mummy’ type idea?
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Gdeering Oct 11, 2022
Thank you, Margaret. Setting rules of courtesy seems self-evident. I wish our relationship were that civilized. My husband is perfectly nice to others in casual engagements - he is just not nice when we interact. I think he is so absorbed in fear right now. This has been progressing rapidly since last November, so almost a year now. I have compassion for him. I've assured him that I will be there for him no matter what.

This forum is very helpful, as so many people seem to be dealing with very similar issues.

Thank you and God bless you and your husband.

Ginny
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Sorry that your husband is declining and being so unpleasant! I worry about my husband getting dementia and us not being able to enjoy our retirement years together when we can finally start on that part of our journey. Oh well, I know there's no sense borrowing trouble from the future.

Yes, these types of things are very stressful. And we often fail. But we pick ourselves up and try to do better. Time and time again. It's not easy, no doubt about it.

Getting support is soooo helpful. I am very thankful for this forum.

If hubby is nice when people are around, maybe have more company! More work for you but might be worth it too.

Best of luck.
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Gdeering Oct 12, 2022
Thank you. I would not wish this on anyone, as this is a long, lonely road in the dark.
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So sorry for this decline and distressing behavior. It is however not that unusual that a patient ( I'll person) will be extremely negative, badgering, accusatory, beligerant, hostile, suspicious etc etc toward the primary caregiver, often the spouse and in this case, YOU.
Call his physician and share these symptoms and needs for the physician guidance on appointments, caregiving etc. If you really do not think you can get him into the doctor ! Sometimes there may be safety issues with this) then ask his physician about a
" Housecall Physician" service where someone will come to the home. These are available most areas now.
If your husband becomes too violent or uncontrollable or seems heading in an unsafe direction for you or himself do not hesitate to call 911 immediately.....let the pros handle it and document.....
Your husband may also be fearful of what he is noticing in himself and this fear , grief is coming out as anger toward you.
There are many dynamics that could be happening and, YOU need help..... Call his physician and go from there or if husband is too adverse or beligerant call 911 and have them transport him to ER .
You both need help . Also speak with your clergy if you practice a faith for their support.
Peace.
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It was a long time ago when my husband picked this song for our wedding:

Tomorrow morning if you wake up,
And the sun does not appear
I, I will be here
If in the dark we lose sight of love,
Hold my hand, and have no fear
Cause I, I will be here
I will be here when you feel like being quiet
When you need to speak your mind,
I will listen and
I will be here when the laughter turns to cryin'
Through the winning, losing and tryin'
We'll be together 'cause I will be here
Tomorrow morning if you wake up,
And the future is unclear
I I will be here
As sure as seasons are made for change,
Our lifetime's are made for years
So, I I will be here
I will be here and you can cry on my shoulder,
When the mirror tells us we're older,
I will hold you and
I will be here to watch you grow in beauty
And tell you all the things you are to me
I will be here
I will be true to the promise I have made 💔
To you and to the One who gave you to me
I I will be here
And just as sure as seasons are made for change
Our lifetime's are made for years
So, I I will be here we'll be together
I will be here.

Steven Curtis Chapman
"I will be here"
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Sendhelp Oct 17, 2022
Yeah but, I will be in the other room.
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