My spouse and I are divorcing. He became paralyzed from the waist down and is now home. Please help me balance this approach to my life.

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He was helping me to cut a tree ( which I advised against) and became paralyzed, He became paralyzed from the waist down. I am taking him in on a temporary basis. He has a controlling personality and continues to do this now. I do want to help him, we have been together for forty years but he does not seem to move forward. For example he is paralyzed from the stomach down and can move things with his arms. When paper towels are not within the right location he asks me to get them (they are within reach) he just needs to wheel over to get them. I have used strategies of telling him it is good exercise for his arms to get them. He does that for a while but resorts to having me do these things. My life has changed as well. I am cooking for him, buying things for him, cleaning his private parts, and helping him with transfers from the wheelchair. I have to schedule my time around his needs and don't have many social activities anymore. Please help me to balance this approach to my life.

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Put the divorce on hold, and do everything you can to quit as his caregiver.
Bring in the help he will need after you are divorced, so that he has care.Then you can divorce, if necessary.
How to do that?
The people here can help you with that.
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Reply to Sendhelp
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Itscomplicated, it certainly is complicated, isn't it.

I agree with JoAnn that it will help us if you can explain the timeline a bit. Could you put these events in time order for us, do you think, please?

Decision to divorce
Separation
Accident while tree-felling
Rehab? and final prognosis?
Discharge to your home on a temporary basis

There are, of course, lots of other questions such as how old you both are, how long since the accident, how much improvement your husband might hope to make with support and physical therapy, etc. etc. etc.

But for you to be clear about what *you* want and what *you* are aiming for, perhaps it would be best to think about how long you expect to have your husband living in your home and what you would like your own situation to be in, say, a year's time.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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40 yrs is a long time. I am assuming the controlling got worse as he aged or you finally said this is enough. Did u file for divorce before the accident? Do you own the house jointly? Set boundries now. Tell him you were divorcing for a reason. You are not his slave. Explain that you r not going to be there for the rest of his life. He needs to do for himself. Because, he either will be getting a place of his own or you will be moving out. He needs to look into services for his care....so on and so on. If you don't speak up he will not get better. If the paper towels are within his reach, don't get them. If u don't take a stand you won't have a life.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Ahmijoy, I never realized you were going through all that while at the same time providing such helpful insights for the others of us going through our problems.

I had thought your issues were in the past. Prayers for you.
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Reply to Karsten
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I understand how hopeless you must feel. My husband is bedridden, and I suppose I am an enabler. He’s been to countless neurologists, had countless tests, hip replacement, several courses of physical therapy and been on many different medications. No one could ever tell us what’s wrong with him. I’m firmly convinced he’s in denial. He never put much effort into rehab even when he was in a rehab hospital (3 times). I do everything for him but feed him. That includes rolling his 350 pound body over to change him and his urine-soaked sheets. Bowel movements are disgusting. He is a huge burden on my health and mental well-being and if we could afford it or qualify for Medicaid, he’d be in a facility.

We’ve been married for 43 years. He never treated me all that well, but provided me with a good life and 2 great kids. I only worked because I wanted to, not because I had to. What I do for him now, I do because of that. It’s not in my nature to abandon him now because I know if I did send him to a facility he’d be dead within a year, if that long.

Take back control of your life and yourself. Do as the others have suggested and do things you enjoy, maybe go back to what you were doing before his accident. It does make you a more peaceful person. Don’t turn help away, even if it’s just a friend who will come in and sit with him for a while. It does help.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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ItsComplicated,
I’m sorry for this tough circumstance you are in.
Did your husband have occupational therapy? Is it possible that he needs more therapy? Is there a senior center he could attend where he could gain more independence?
Could you volunteer or look for a job to get you out of the house and create a separation which would perhaps allow him to better accept his new status?
It may be that you have to set boundaries on what you are willing to do before he takes the initiative to do more for himself.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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Does he have any family that can help out? Or funds that can cover in home
care so you can have a break. And are you still looking to follow through with
divorce? I'm so sorry that you've gotten stuck like this, hopefully others will have
some suggestions to help you figure a way forward without losing yourself in the
process.
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Reply to bettina
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