Husband with well managed CHF but DRASTIC personality/relationship changes. Please help! I am so upset and have no support
"My husband has CHF, however it is stage II and then mostly stage I, he is perfectly capable of taking care of himself...hygiene, remembering to take care of his medications, getting up when he chooses to (instead of me yelling at him that it's time to get up....nothing else works and I just hate it). He has no cognitive deficits or neurological issues or illnesses and I observe him operating absolutely normally in public when he elects to do so. He is far from bedridden and is compliant with his medications and low sodium diet. Yet he would leave the house without combing his hair or showering when he really should. This is so not HIM!!! He is also taking an antidipressant.
We have had a wonderful marriage for more than 20 years but now he has turned into a different, silent, withdrawn man except when he is now gruff with me (which I will NOT tolerate) and I feel utterly isolated and alone. We can be in the same room for hours without him saying a word. He can and does read, and can certainly think. Yet, he is angry if I elect to be in another room using the computer (appropriate....email, blogging and Internet surfing...no chat rooms or conversations with strangers...only women friends) as I must have SOME kind of connection with the outside world and people. His doctors have urged him to exercise and he is capable of SOOOOO much. He goes to monthly meetings with his colleagues and enjoys them. He has no idea, apparently, how fortunate he is in not requiring oxygen and his high level of ability.
We are on the cusp of a major move and he refuses to do ANYTHING to help with ANY of it, although he claims he wants to move back into our own home (we've been living in another house for several years due to his job) and when we go back for me to do work on it, he seems happy to be there as it is a very pleasant, lovely place. I am exhausted, angry, and at my wit's end. Nothing I do, no matter how I do it or say it brings any results (either rationally, sweetly or sternly). I hate this as I keep telling him I refuse to turn into either his mother or a harriden. I am otherwise a happy, pleasant person, engaged with the world, other people enjoy talking with me, and I am used to being actively engaged with my husband. Now he has completely pulled away though he states "I am the most important thing in his life" and that he loves me very much. We sleep in separate rooms because even with ear plugs I cannot tolerate the noise of his CPAP machine and this has been so for some years. However, even when we've slept in the same bed for weeks at a time on vacation (ultra strong ear plugs for me) it's as if I'm totally alone then as well....he just rolls over and sleeps. I am NOT expecting or wanting sex, as his blood pressure issues and his other health problem have completely taken away his interest in that so I am resigned to a life without sexual relationship and I am, believe it or not, ok with that. But I need at least SOME kind of affection and companionship with him as he had ALWAYS been so very loving. When the sex went away, formerly he used to enjoy spending time with me reading in bed, cuddling, watching TV or a movie before we each go to sleep in our own rooms. Now, he just is content to go to bed with (or without, most times unless it's a quick "grandmotherly" peck) a quick good night kiss.
Help!!! I am angry and feel like I am losing my mind. I am on antidipressant medication myself, have fibromyalgia, and take blood pressure medication now as well. Thankfully I have been able to stay youthful and keep an attractive, pretty appearance and upbeat outlook on life despite continual pain issues. I refuse to let it define me. Yet I feel like I am drowning due to these terrible changes in my husband. I am most worried that when we move back home all he will do all day is either just sit silently in his chair, nodding off from time to time, or in his bed sleeping. And I'll be utterly alone. We know no one in our community as we have been gone so many years. I am thinking of taking a job which has me out of the house for a good bit of the week just so I can be with people with whom I can interact and earn additional income. I cannot work full time as I am also the transportation and care giver for a thankfully quite otherwise independent 90 year old mother. But I am more "alone", isolated and desolate in the same room with him, grieving the loss of our relationship and his apparent loss of caring about anything, including, really me --- than I am in my own room by myself. If anyone has any suggestion (please don't suggest counseling as we can't afford it, I happen to BE a counselor, and he wouldn't go anyway and I also know it would NOT do any good....he just "yes yes yes's" things and then does things or not his own way). I truly am desperate and am concerned for my own health as well as my great sadness at watching his utterly needless way of being. A few years ago I even got us a dog whom he really likes, so he will HAVE to go out and at least walk her. He pays more affectionate attention to one of our cats than he does me. Sometimes I think he purposefully (or maybe unconsciously) makes me angry just to give him a reason to push me away and not talk to me. I am so very sorrowful and furious at the same time as I know his health will decline and that he/we will have wasted this time together when we could be just that...together. And he could be the man he can be in having pride in the things he can do for himself. Please.....if anyone's in the same boat, and/or has found ways to cope or CHANGE things, I'd be so grateful for your input."