Follow
Share
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Recently had/have home health care for alzy husband. They ALL want me to go on with my life, saying I have done as much as I can and I need to start living before my husbands illness starts to take it's toll on me. And I AM tired. Wish I could keep doing this until he died. But his body is so very healthy, other than his mind. Personally, I don't want any one else. Not as a husband. Maybe as a friend, but not right now. I dont think I could 'date' someone with my husband still alive, alive as much as he can be. I am putting him in a home in the next few days. It's killing my heart even tho I KNOW he will be better in a place, getting better care than I am able to give him.
I have known people who did find another, while their spouses were still alive with alzheimers. I do not blame them. Not at all. We must do what we are most comfortable with, whatever it takes to get us thru life.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Seems I became the subject being discussed here so I will clarify. It has been my experience with patients in a nursing home and their own home to find others with whom they have something in common, i.e. a dying spouse. You tell each other the spouses latest doctor's report, or what they did, etc. and you want some kind of validation you are doing everything to prevent their death, or that you have tried everything. Not everyone chooses to be unfaithful, but some dying spouses want their mate to find someone else and will encourage another relationship (if they are able to verbalize). As to the original question, no, it is not "unusual" to find someone else, and it speaks to accepting the partner's impending death and you having to live on. Each has to make a choice how far to take a relationship outside marriage. Each will be judged by their maker and no one else. Period.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

It seems to me more likely to occur when the LO is no longer in the home. That space can be very empty. There is a man in my support group who is very devoted to his wife who is being cared for outside their home. He has 2 female friends that he sees for dinner and whatever. It helps him and doesn't hurt the wife.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I've heard of it happening very often. I think it starts with the person being a shoulder to cry on, then goes from there. I believe it to be morally wrong since marriage is---til death do us part, but that's just me.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I want to add that I would find friendship and not infidelity in someone else..

That's for me, I certainly wouldn't judge someone else who chose differently..
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

If you are well and your spouse is the one with Alzheimer's and they are the one with a person they are very fond of at the home. Needing a companion is part of our nature. Is it the different gender a problem? Would you object to a same gender, close relationship? Is the person using your spouse?do they do anything to hurt them? If it is you who feels like you are slipping out of your vows, maybe choosing a friend of the same gender would help.You as the healthier person are still able to control relationships and how these would impact the ill partner.good luck and hang in there
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I don't think we have any statistics to tell us what is "usual" in this situation. Why do you ask?
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Edited version: Ferris 1, what is the basis for your feeling that it was common for spouses to be unfaithful? Male members of the two support groups that I lead faithfully accept involuntary celibacy.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Ferris 1, what is the basis for your saying "No, it is very common for spouses to be unfaithful when they know the other spouse will die." ? Members of the two
all male caregiver support faithfully accept involuntary celibacy.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

JackieTX, I had only been living in my current house for six months when one male neighbor told me about his wife's condition, then I shared my husband's condition (dementia), and he began to flirt, then email, then want sex with me. No, it is very common for spouses to be unfaithful when they know the other spouse will die. Is there any harm in this? Each person has to decide for themselves. (I chose to end any conversations with my male neighbor because I could not be unfaithful to my husband).
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

try putting yourself in youre husbands place. would you begrudge him having a companion? would you rather he was alone with only the memories of what used to be? if not then you have youre answer. things wont improve with this illness, it may be a good thing having a companion, someone who understands what you are going through,only time will tell. if you believe it is what youre husband would want for you and it makes you happy, then go for it. no-one will ever take the place of youre husband, 1 of the marriage vows was to love and care for him in sickness and in health, as long as you continue to do this, I see nothing wrong having a friend, just ask yourself a simple question, would you condone youre husband for having a friend? I hope this answer will help you, good luck.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

What difference does it make whether is is usual. It is the responsible of the well spouse to take care of them self, in whatever way it takes. Most people would, I think, have someone else but keep it private.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I did not see this as a dementia issue but for any caregiver with an end of life partner. I think that it begins innocently enough with a friend or neighbor or even a workmate who feels empathy (or maybe more) for the caregiving offering support and then or more likely later it developes into something more. it is a very complicated situation and has many reasons and outcomes and in this case i would "live and let live"
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

No, it is not UNUSUAL and yes, it is NORMAL. If, however, you seek approval to do so, it sounds as though your conscience won't allow you to enjoy a bit of freedom and companionship. Those of us who are caregivers to our loved ones with this dreaded disease know first-hand how isolated we are from other companionship - even from relatives. Those people who once invited you out for social gatherings and with whom you had the occasion to socialize, don't call any more or invite you out because they are uncomfortable around you and don't know how to deal with the two of you as a couple anymore. So, why wouldn't any human being want other companionship? Remember, if you let it, this awful disease will take two lives, yours and your spouse.

If you can erase any guilt you think you might suffer as a result of having other companionship, by all means take advantage of it. You have my blessing.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I'm caring for my husband, with late stage Alzheimer's, at home - and I also work full-time (mostly from home). Personally, I wouldn't consider another companion - even though I don't have mine any more (per se). My huysband is bed-bound now and I'm so overwhelmed and exhausted all the time, I don't have time to even think about being lonely or needing companionship. I'm not judging others who do - but for me, even if I felt I needed it, I wouldn't do it.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Unusual?? Normal?? If someone is caring for a loved one with late stage Alzheimer's everything is Unusual and nothing is Normal....

At this stage in the caregivers life they have endured their own exhaustion and anxiety and only others who have experienced this can understand...

Live and learn! Find friendship wherever you can!
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

It's natural to bond with people who are going through the same experience as you. Interesting, that some of the posters above think it's the caregiving spouse who's found a new friend, and some think it's the spouse with Alzheimer's - re-reading carefully, it is the spouse with Alzheimer's who has found new companionship, is it?

But either way. If you are caring for someone who is slipping away, naturally you bond with someone who's in your situation and understands your loneliness, and whom you can help too. Similarly, if your mind is playing tricks on you, you're lost and frightened, and every day you see someone in your memory care unit who seems to familiar and is also seeking help… well, then, same thing. The BBC recently broadcast a series called "Protecting Our Parents" (good series, terrible trite title) where exactly this situation happened. A husband recently moved into care was seen meeting a fellow resident who was wandering the unit; she said "can you help me?"; he said, taking her hand "of course I'll help you." They were like babes in the wood.

Oh dear, lump in the throat. Horrible horrible Alzheimer's. I don't know about common, but it's certainly understandable.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

I believe it is quite common not just with ALZ but with many terminal diseases. adultery may or may not take place, but the need for human support is overwhelming
very often a dying wife has female friend who helps with the nuring and often something may develope. likewise with the opposite sex. the other thing that happens is that the ex-spouse may come back to help care for the one who is dying and is very welcome. one case i knew the current and ex-wives got into bed with the man and lay on either side of him whiole he died. Very comforting for all concerned. Deathbeds are very interesting scenes to be privaleged to be part of.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I would think it is fairly common especially in early onset dementia. We all need companionship and the loss of a spouse to this dreadful disease would be devastating. Consider early onset the spouse may have 20 or more years yet to live. They have provided the best possible care for their partner, they deserve any happiness that they find. With older couples in facilities a point will come that they will be in separate areas. Should the spouse without dementia limit friendships with others because spouse is in a different area? I don't think so it is part of caring for ourselves whatever form that takes.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I believe that it does happen, and that when it does it was not started out that way. It is just the case of someone needing "a shoulder to lean on" Unless you have had to deal with Alzheimer's personally you will not understand what the family goes through. The spouse may or not have family close by to lean on their shoulder, My father in-law went through Alzheimer;s prior to his death, and if it was not for my wife my mother in-law would have been left alone even though there were other siblings. We are as a human being are not designed to not want someone else around us in our time of need. Alzheimer's is a cruel disease that takes a person memory, dignity, love of life, The one thing I will always remember is the time I went to see my father in-law and one minute he was talking about the fishing trips we use to take and the next he ask who I was and then told he did not know who the hell I was, So does it happen yes, is it unusual probably happens more then we think, is it wrong that is up to your personal beliefs.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I see no problem with it since I myself am taking care of a parent who has Alzheimer's. It's a lonely place to be as a caregiver and if you are lucky enough to find someone to be with enjoy it without guilt.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I don't know if it's usual or not but I think it happens occasionally.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I've seen a little about it and withhold any judgment. It is probably not very common because Alz is mostly a disease of elderly people who are no longer looking for dates. Caring for a spouse with Alz may take up any available time and be very depressing. The sad thing is that, as dementia progresses, it can effectively make the partner feel very alone. Some may reach out for companionship. I understand and don't condemn, since I am not in their shoes.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.