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My wife of 20+ years is POA for her father who has been in a nursing home for 18 months. I pay his bills because she cannot handle the added stress. Her father has dementia and is largely bed ridden. My wife visits her father at least four times a week. She quit her job in march due to stress. Yesterday, she started a new job and has already told me the job is to stressful and she will likely quit.

Two months ago I was offered and accepted a promotion that requires us to relocate to another state. I discussed moving her father to a nursing home near our new home, she flatly refused. She has also refused to move saying her dad needs her. She is now planning to move into his home which is near his nursing home. While her father has five children and two living siblings, my wife is largely the one who cares for him. The rest of the family rarely visits, like once a year.

This situation now has me moving and her staying, for what could be a year or more. In the beginning she said she would come visit me, she is now asking me to come visit her instead.

I am totally lost. The stress is unbearable. I do not see how she can choose caring for her father over our relationship and marriage.

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Veronica, I'm not cursing my computer at all. You are right, all things happen for a purpose. Good things have happened because my husband read my post.
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OK....I won't try to repeat what has already been suggested. But I must say...where are the SIBLINGS? I have same issue with mine...one doesn't see a need to come in and 'help' me, the other is unfortunately battling his own health issues and going through surgeries and recoveries.

ONE CHILD taking on on this visitation to the nursing home is outrageous. Sounds to me that she is unwilling to let the nursing staff do their job. She seems co dependent on her own father, even though he's no longer independent himself. She needs to re prioritize herself and focus on the future. Her Father is in great hand with the NH staff. She needs to stop worrying that they will 'mistreat' him, or whatever else is worrying her little brain about him being in the NH.

I agree, taking the job is important...SO TAKE THE JOB and MOVE. Your wife can't have her cake and eat it too and since you are at a tug of war...you have to do what is going to be best for yourself..your happiness, your stress level.

I also agree you each need some counseling. Start within the nursing home staff psychologist. Go to the home with your wife and while she is staying by her dad's side...casually just take a walk by yourself to the nurses station to ask to see the staff therapist and voice your opinions to them and ask advice.

Also, I think her unwillingness to handle the bills is a coddling factor and a lazy out on her part. I think you need to involve her more with the bills.

She has to come to terms with that fact that her dad isn't gonna live a vampire's life. She has to face his total care and that means understanding the bills. IF SHE IS POA...she needs to know what is being paid, why it is, how much it is, and if the bills are being 'padded illegally'. It happens. So she needs to know this so that her fathers SSA earnings are not being abused by the system.

Also...time to get the sibs involved. I say you and your wife plan a 2 week vacation...a get away so she can revive her own soul, self, and revisit her own psyche and recharge herself. Make it known to her siblings and demand that one or two of them take a week to come in and stay at 'dad's house' and go visit him a couple times while they are in town. This way the 'dad' won't feel abandoned by his POA daughter, or the rest of the family.
Either they step up and help her so that she doesn't become so burned out she resents her own siblings for the rest of their lives or worse...stresses her own self to the bring of her own early death.

Siblings have to understand that their sister needs to unwind and de-stress away from the situation. Not around it.

You have to realize that you cannot control what your wife decides in the end...but you can control what you desire within this situation. Will you be resentful of your wife for your decision to 'not take the job' only to have the dad die in a few months. Where will you be in 5 months if the scenario is that the dad passes away in the next few months and you did not take the job? It's better to relocate the elder to be closer to you and the new job.

My cousins had a similar issue with their mom over the last couple years. Their mom needed 24 hour care and they decided to tag team their mom for as long as they could. One day their mom was so afraid to be in the house they finally decide to put her in a NH...but the hospital could only find space for her in a NH that was out of state. So they took her from Minnesota to North Dakota. The girls stayed at their respective homes in MN and would travel once a month to see mom. It became a hassle for them so they requested that their mom be transferred to a place closer to them in MN. Now my cousins can visit their mom weekly and it was the best decision for all of them. My point is...It is not a problem to move a NH patient from one home to the next. You and your wife can move and the dad will be grateful that he got to move with you, even if he's not living with you.

My aunt's original place of residence was Pennsylvania. She lived in PA for most of her elder life till she had a health scare that changed her independence level drastically. My cousins started out coming to stay in PA for a couple months at a time. It was this issue that sparked them deciding to take her to their home state of Minnesota. My cousins could have easily decided to move home to PA, but they have grown kids with families in MN that were not willing to make that move.
So they decided to move their mom to be closer to the entire family in MN.
Feel free to discuss my cousins dilemma with your wife in order to help her understand that moving her father can be a wonderful and great thing for all parties involved. Good Luck and Bright Blessings.
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Your wife sounds very depressed. She can't maintain any relationship or task that involves effort (her marriage, her coworkers, job responsibilities, bill paying). The only relationship she wants to deal with is the one that involves the least effort. Others are doing all the heavy-lifting in her father's care.

Please go to counseling for yourself so you can get a better idea of what's happening in your marriage. Then you can approach your wife in a level-headed way. You sound like a very caring husband who has been extremely patient. IMO wife not being honest with you (or herself) with why she is spending so much time dealing with her father's care.
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This is a very stressed group. We should all be merciful to ourselves and others.
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Knotpc. I hope we did not frighten you away. It is so helpful if we know the outcome of a situation. It helps everyone even if sometimes people jump in with both feet and offence is taken. It helps to remember it is not personal just a reflection of what they are going through in their own lives.
Sonswife, everything happens for a reason so stop cursing the computer it seems to be there for you.
Knotpc come back and talk to us, we may be (mostly) a bunch of opinionated old ladies but we have learnt a few things along the way
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Just wanted to apologize publically to baby lettuce. I did privately, but I read her meaning wrong and that just happens sometimes, frazzled and stressed, but I am sorry for barking at her.
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excuse me ... no, no ... don't do the looking in your OFFICE hours, that was supposed to say OFF HOURS!
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lf all you say is true, your wife doesn't seem capable of appropriately assessing the situation the three of you find yourself in. As nutritional consultant for 40+ years, I can tell you that different people respond to different stressors in many different and unpredictable ways. lt have a lot to do with a person's reserve when I first encountered experience.

Whether your wife doesn't have or never had the psychological tools to deal with these upsetting life circumstances, or whether there is truly something organic going on in her functioning, only lab test and evaluations by trained medical professionals can give you that information. You can put two people on a rollercoaster and one person can be exhilarated (an adrenaline junkie) while the other can have their immune system ripped to shreds out of fear (producing cortisol and tearing the body apart).

I would first say try to reason with your wife and get her to go to an endocrinologist. Let her have her hormones checked. lf your insurance is of the PPO type, you can self-refer and go immediately. If you are in an HMO, I still think you should do it but you'll have to make an appointment with your PCP and get a referral. The time this takes will probably not serve your current situation.

Next, I think you should make an appointment with an elder care attorney who can explain to your wife that as her dads POA, she will not be able to use his money for her to live in his house when he is not living there. While she could use his money for maintenance and repair of the house, she cannot use his money for her living expenses. Unless your FIL is very rich, the two of you will have to consider who is going to pay for living expenses when she is soon to quit her newly acquired that too stressful job. I would recommend to you that you do not fall into the trap of taking on that obligation anyway.

You haven't said where you all live now or wear your new movies going to be. How much of a move are you referring to. Perhaps the thought of moving the three of you is, to your wife at this point, so overwhelming and mind boggling that she can't even face the idea of it. lt probably seems like the easier road just to move locally in to dads house, when in fact, dads house should probably just be sold and the money used for his care.

Maybe it would be supportive of her if you would happily move to accept the new job and once there, spend some of your office hours looking into lovely nursing homes that are similar to the one he is currently in. This may give you time to allow for some medical intervention on her part is in fact she needs some.

lt will also give you time to fill out your new surroundings and the new job without the added pressure of your wife's instability. I know you think and feel that you would like your wife's support in this new move and new job opportunity, but in her current condition she would not be of much help to you and may in fact be a hindrance
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Caring for a elderly parent is very difficult and stressful. As their adult children, we do not want to abandon them, however, we have to also be there for our spouses and children. Providing that your marriage has been strong and bonded, your wife may feel a lot of guilt, especially is she is a very sensitive person. I do agree that placing her father in a facility near your new job is really the most sensible and logical thing to do. Have you asked her why she doesn't want to move him? Maybe she doesn't want to move to new community??? Just a suggestion. Wishing you the best and hope you get some counseling....a third party can be very beneficial for both of you!!
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Sonswife, I am SO happy for the good turn of events with you and your husband. I pray that circumstances will continue to improve for you!
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On Sept 17th I posted in response to Knotpc's original post saying my husband was choosing his mother over our marriage. It helped to vent. I returned to the thread this past week to look at new posts. Our computer evidently locked up andI didn't get logged off My husband read my post. It has turned out to be a very good think. He told me he loves me and doesn't want me to leave. He owned (when we met with our pastor) that he has been taking out his frustration about the situation with his mother and unhelpful siblings on me and apologized to me. He has cut back on his visits to his mother, we are looking for ways to be a couple again. We are not our of the woods yet but we're at least unstuck.
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Dear Knotpc...

Your wife is running on burned out adrenals, is probably mid-life and so her hormones are probably out of whack, and she probably loves you VERY VERY VERY much and is in such a blurry fog right now.

Whisk her away for a weekend... Remind her with roses... The point is... Get her to a moment of refreshing & rest... THEN TALK sense to her. Don't give up on her now during the storm... Ride out the storm -- know she loves you... Get to her senses RIGHT AWAY though... Get with her, get her alone in Hawaii for just a few days... then after rest and refreshment and clearly reminding her who YOU are who SHE is and what you have together... This should help her come to her senses. REST AND REFRESHING CAN HAVE A PROFOUND IMPACT!!! :) Don't give up :)
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Igloo makes alot of sense. Take the job. Go. You'll see what happens from there, but it's leaning a certain direction.
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Knotpc, So sorry for your situation! I agree with counseling there is a deeper issue here that seems to be clouding your wife's judgment at this time. You are a gem of a man, I'm sure she love's you dearly, however is very torn split as to her responsibility since no one else seems to want to step up in the family to share the end of life issue. There seems to be more going somehow, please try counseling your wife is totally stressed your stressed, congrats on the new job. I have two parents in Virginia with dementia. I had a difficult childhood yet feel I must try to take care of them, therapy helps! God Bless you both
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Babylettuce, you are clueless. You just don't know anything about me or what I am going through, I need a break, a museum visit, you my friend are naïve. You have not read my profile, nor my posts. I am taking care of myself for the first time and if you weren't a baby lettuce, maybe you'd understand. Grow to maturity my friend, buzz off and leave me the hell alone.
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Madeaa, you need a break. Is there someone who can give you some time away? Spend some time pampering yourself or go to a museum or something. Have things changed and you need to make adjustments to lighten your load? I know sometimes it seems like getting away is just one more thing to do. And I know sometimes resources for escape are few or none at all. Times like this I wish I was a millionaire and had the power to send a team of people to be a REAL help.... I will say a prayer for you.
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Well you know what they say about "opinions". Sure this is a place to get suggestions and "opinions", if I suggested go in and shoot him would that be something valuable to mull over. When you are in pain you don't need to be ground down further and you do not need to be needlessly alarmed. We all answer from our own well. I guess it is right to just plain take what you need and leave the rest.
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I think there is more going on here than what is known or has been reported. I have a different opinion than most others here. I think the wife is carrying a lot of weight on her shoulders and having difficulty sorting things out...but could very well be thinking...first things first...in trying to organize her emotions and responsibilities. She feels a strong sense of responsibility because A) she is POA, B) the only family member involved or who has shown interest in being there for her/their father/brother, C) The timing of the job transfer, couldn't be worse...adding to the already heavy load on her shoulders. D) To move her father to another state and NH would add to the stress as arranging the move would be time consuming and quite possibly not the best thing for his health (her responsibility/concern as POA) and could be costly. E) There have been many, many stories posted on this site about poor care at NHs and many suggestions from those with experience in that sorry realm, to be very involved and observant in the care that your loved one is receiving. Sounds like she is being involved and observant...but is now being criticized for it? F) While Knotpc didn't say what age he and his wife are, I would assume they are in their 40s or 50s. She may be looking at this as prioritizing due to the time that's left for those involved in this scarey and emotional episode. Her father is living his final days. Perhaps she feels she needs to be with him and be there for him because we only have one father and once they're gone...they will never return. There is more time and calendar to repair and nourish her marriage after this urgent time has passed.G) The wife could very well be in an emotional and mental fog right now. She is probably mentally and physically drained and is not thinking or acting clearly, or as she normally would, due to being tired and stressed. Something that will eventually pass but until then, I think that needs to be taken into consideration. RE: Give her a break. G) The physical distance and the emotional/mental remoteness that Knotpc is experiencing with his wife, is temporary. Their marriage can resume for many more years. (unlike her father's life) The time she is spending with her father is/will only be a speck of time...a very, very, very small window ...of the marital history. At this date...1 1/2 years her father has been in NH vs 20+ years marriage. Not even 10% of the time married has been distracted by her declining father's health. Perhaps a perspective check is in order.

I understand Knotpc would like to see his wife more and is probably feeling in some regards, more like a secretary than a husband or companion. But, part of marriage is not only enjoying the good times, but also enduring through the hard, tough times. The stress of an ailing parent and in-laws can test what you're made of. Just remember Knotpc, it's temporary...you'll get your wife back soon. Don't give up on her or your marriage yet. She needs your patience, understanding and compassion to help her through this emotional and stressful time. If you hang in there...the two of you could be closer and your marriage could actually be stronger and better for it.
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babylettuce.. you are exactly right. If it was that obvious to him to know what to do, he wouldn't have posted a question to begin with. There are no wrong suggestions here and he can read them all and make the best decision for himself.
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This a forum for opinions. One does not post a question here because they already know what all the answers are, they post a question for viewpoints. The questioner is not a puppet that is waiting for us to pull the strings. They will think about all that is said and choose the best course of action for them. Relax, breathe, and trust them.
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Knotpc, sounds like you are a very patient man who has a big marital problem. I agree with the others who recommend counseling - either pastoral or with a therapist. Don't know what your wife's religious beliefs are, but I am reminded of a great sermon I heard a few years ago where the pastor was talking about the commandment of honoring your father and mother. He said that HONORING them does not mean you put them and their lives and their wishes and their comfort before your own. You certainly do not put them before your own spouse and family. Our obligation to honor our parents simply means to ensure that they have a roof over their heads, food to eat and appropriate care. It sounds like you and your wife have fulfilled this obligation, and are perfectly willing to continue to do so. Your wife is going w-a-a-a-a-y beyond the call of duty, to the detriment of your marriage. There is more going on here, and I recommend, as others did, that you get to the bottom of it. Sounds like she's using her dad as an excuse not to work, and an excuse not to participate as an equal partner in your marriage. Good luck!
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Good Lord, I am amazed at some of these answers from having frontal lobe dementia to being just plain crazy. Work it out between you and sometimes when you look for help you get a little more than you bargained for.
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Hope this works out and I believe that it can. Sounds as if your wife is caught between a rock and a hard place (loving father, not willing to abandon him when there is no one else to care for him or to monitor the care he is receiving in the nursing home). Also sounds as if you love your wife and her father; take the job, continue to support your wife's caring for her father. She probably would not do this if their was an acceptable loving alternative. Leaving the father alone to the mercy of the nursing home is probably an answer she is not willing to accept. Dad will not live forever. This may be the greatest or one of the greatest challenges you have to deal with in your marriage; stay strong, don't take the easy way out. You might be in the same position as her father one day. Who will care for you?
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Try to have some time apart . Maybe you both need a breather. You will be busy with new position. I wish my hubby had been given a choice instead of Adios to his career of 40 yrs. Financial security helps to be able to handle some of this stress.
Maybe once you are apart she will feel like changing locations of father's NH when you see how the set up is in your new city. GIve her some time alot to deal with. My husband just wants more time when I'm at home.( dealing with my mom's illness and going between two households.) And I just want to decompress and
collapse he wants to be intimate and have cuddly time he says. I don't even want to be touched just uncounscious and sleep . We have been married 38 years and he never wanted to be close so much but now he feels I need to be there for HIM.
Kind of like he needs my attention and I can only have so much energy. YOUR WIFE is DEALING WITH ALOT. Nothing is wrong with your marriage. She just can't be everything for everybody. ENJOY THE BREAK FROM THE CHAOS.
Spend your energy on your career. I'm sure that is what she wants for Both of You
so when this is done you both have your SANITY and $$ to enjoy your life together.
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Hey Knotpc: ask yourself if your wife's behavior has changed in the last few years. Has she shown signs of depression, getting lost, car accidents, money mismanagement, forgetfulness, unprecedented stubbornness, increased or diminished sexual desire, or compulsive behaviors? Does she stay up instead of sleeping, or can't hold jobs? These are all partially or even all encompassing symptoms where physicians' routinely diagnose and treat for depression. These are symptoms a neurologist could test and diagnose as Frontotemporal Dementia. If so diagnosed you will need to have her declared incompetent by a judge so you can arrange for other family members to manage her dad's affairs. I watched my wife diminish over ten years until diagnosed in 2010 where by then she had lost the ability to find words, write, and eventually speak. I care for her at home. With her stress levels alone you should get her checked out. Other than that I certainly feel for your situation. God bless the three of you.
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I think there is some unaddressed issues here. Sometime people don't want to face up to what is really going on. Time for a heart to heart. Recommend in the presence of someone neutral like counselor. Did you discuss the option of moving or no job with your wife before taking the promotion? Was she all for it?
If so, think about what that says? And if you didn't discuss it with her, think about what that says.
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Oh for God's sakes, do what is in your heart and do what is the reality of the situation. You have had deep analysis of your situation from others, but let me remind me, you know your truth. Go with your truth, that deep voice within that tells you whether something is right or wrong. I trust that deep intuition, I hope you do. Remember that people come from their own perspectives as do I, but in reality they don't know what in truth what you are enduring. Do only what is best for you, I am sure you will do what is best for her, a place where she is cared for. Let it go.
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It sounds to me like your wife may have some dementia or something. How can it be so stressful to work and visit her Dad in the NH? She's not the caregiver. The NH is the caregiver. She's supervising but this is not her full time job. It is stressful to lose a loved one to disease, but I don't think 'flatly refusing' to move is her option. Are you going to maintain two households for her to stay? If you're paying the bills then you call the shots. I'm confused about why she would even think she has any option but to go with you and take FIL with you, too. She needs a full physical and mental check up to eliminate those issues that may be interfering with her ability to handle stress. Then she needs counseling to clarify what her options really are. She can work full time to support two households or she can start packing. I think you may have spoiled her rotten and she needs some tough love to get back on track. I don't know but I wish you luck and wisdom as you make some difficult decisions.
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I also was going to say that I thought it might be a part of the grieving process. I think she might be finding it hard to let go, and also, staying in her father's home is another way of holding on to him.
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Knotpc- I do hope everything works out for you and your wife. So sorry for both of you to be in this situation.
This has nothing to do with you, I just want to point out to others that regularly visiting a parent who is in a NH is not always unhealthy and does not always indicate that one needs counseling.
My mother was in a NH for 8 years. I visited her almost every day after work and on weekends I usually took her out for a drive and brought her dinner. I was single so that had no negative impact on anyone else. Also, I worked full time and maintained a very healthy diet and exercise program. Some of the best memories that I have are from the time I spent with her there. I was very blessed to have had that time for healing and to develop a good relationship with my mom.
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