Age Gap Caregiving Spouses
This online support group was created to support those who care for a spouse and there is an age gap in their relationship.
Help spread the support to more people in need -- Please tell a friend or two. Thanks!
What's New Today
9 days ago
Hi Everyone, I'm new here and just hoping to find an ear to listen, and possibly people who are experiencing some (or all) of what I've been going through for almost a year now. I have been married to my husband for 16 years. He is 10 years older than me and I just turned 46 in May. In November 2015, my husband started to display psychiatric type symptoms that came on very suddenly. After only 2 days in the hospital he was diagnosed with limbic encephalitis, which turned out to be paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis. Basically, he has an autoimmune disorder that caused inflammation of the brain because of cancer in another part of his body (testicular). He was having focal or sub-clinical seizures, which were causing delusional behavior. Two days after diagnosis, (Thanksgiving Day) he was transferred to U of M hospital in Ann Arbor MI, which is about 200 miles from home. He spent 9 days there. And has had 4 subsequent stays. Good news is the cancer hasn't been an ongoing health problem... it was stage 1A, dead when found, and removed his second day at U of M. Bad News, the encephalitis is still an ongoing problem. He has an acquired brain injury due to the disease and displays many symptoms similar to dementia or Alzheimer’s. He is on 3 anticonvulsants and is not allowed to be left alone for more than a couple hours at a time. He has trouble with organization, task initiation, cognition, executive functions, planning & prioritizing, rigid thinking, lethargy / fatigue, impulse control, emotion control, confusion, working memory, memory loss, self-monitoring... etc. To say our lives have changed is an understatement. I feel as if the man I married and loved and counted as my best friend has left and was replaced by an alien. I still love him dearly, but I miss the old him every day! I miss the love and support he used to provide for me. I basically deal with this all alone; our kids, are mine from another marriage. His parents are both gone. His sister hasn't spoken to us in 2 years, and his brother lives in another town about 2 hours away and has only visited twice since the diagnosis. My mom stays with him 2 days a week while I go to work, and his cousin comes for a couple hours, once a week to play games and visit with him. I work full time - 40 hours in 4 days, 2 days in the office and 2 days at home and feel that I am completely overtaxed by all the responsibilities I now have. I'm having a hard time connecting with people who have been through this. I don't feel like I get good answers from the neurologist. I also don't feel that all his doctors work very well together to treat him! I can't seem to get information from the neurologist for treating his brain injury symptoms, and have had to do extensive research on my own to find help for him... I'm currently trying to get the PCP to refer him to a neuropsychologist to get a neuro-psych assessment. I also get to deal with meds, SSI, lawyers, insurance, home life, etc. ALL ALONE! I need respite help and answers! I need people to talk to, who I don’t have to hide my feelings with. I have FMS, and struggle with anxiety and depression, which doesn’t help me deal with my husband’s illness. I feel like I’ve lost my best friend, my future, and our dreams. There is only illness, taking care of him... focusing on his treatments, doctor’s visits, medications, etc. Please don’t get me wrong, I love him dearly and don’t mind making him my first priority. I’m exhausted. AND I wish I didn’t have to do it alone. I also wish society was more understanding to sudden, complete life changes. Thanks for listening!
5 months ago
I have been married to my husband for 45 years. He is 10 years older which was never a problem until he began aging and now has some cognitive deficiencies, hearing problems, back and knee pain. I am having a very difficult time dealing with all if this even though I have always been a nurturing person. I think I am in denial, sad, disappointed, resentful, etc. I want to be patient and helpful, but instead I find myself being angry and yelling at him.
6 months ago
I have been with my common-law husband for 20+ years. He suffered a stroke 2 years ago and received good medical care + rehab. He had a dangerously large aortic aneurysm which needed repair - that surgery was performed in February of 2015 and we were fortunate enough to receive 2 weeks of rehab afterwards. He lost the sight of his left eye, he is weak on the right side, requires a cane outside of the home and can no longer drive. I just turned 60 - he is 73. My life is complicated by the fact that I also provide care for my 83 year old mother, who is thankfully still living "independently. I am finally looking into this type of support group if even to hear only that there are others out there in similar situations. I am resentful, angry, guilty, etc.
Susana Gertz said...
12 months ago
Hi I have been married 24+ years and my husband is 14 years older than me.
I find myself that I am having difficult time to accept that he is out of a job, I go to work from 7:00am to 3:00pm sometimes get home and see that he did not go out of the house. He drives. He had a minor setback and finds it difficult to go out and find the things he likes to do. not much house work gets done, so I get aggravated and choose not to be open with him. I am not liking this and sometimes say it is time to move on. I am looking for some way to mediate this part of my life and copping with .
An anonymous caregiver said...
about 1 year ago
Well, Hi there. I have never done this before, please forgive my clumsiness. I am 58, "retired" after 30 years in the work force due to stress, grief, anxiety and depression. My husband is 71. He is beginning to have mental deficits and I need help in dealing with them. I have no role models (any ideas where I can find this in books or movies) and everything I try fails spectacularly. He has begun to hold me accountable for the behaviors of all the ex wives and his mother. It feels like I have become the Generic Shrew.
about 1 year ago
17 years between us. I'm being driven from our condo, so my love is quickly fading. I won't have it in me to advocate on his behalf once I have no permanent address. I will try to do the right thing for both of us - keep him in good hands at the nursing home and preservie a few dollars for my survival.
I've sought help from 2 attorneys who didn't feel our case warranted legal help. I want a free consult to see if divorce may be a viable option. I am willing to pay half of any proceeds from the sale of the condo to Medicaid and be done with it. I may need to split my $47K retirement savings, thus having my husband's half go to the nursing home. Assets split and divorce granted, I will walk away. I wake up early at some point every night and then can't get back to sleep. I'm grateful if I can get 5 hours sleep though I've always been a 7 or 8 hour sleeper. 5 is better than none. At age 58, I need every dollar preserved for my own survival. SNF Medicaid is not anyone's "safety net".
Well I didn't understand statistics when I was in school - now I do because I am one. There is too long a wait between the time Medicaid and Medicare and Social Security can serve as a "safety net" for anyone.
I think we need to educate young women on the risks of marrying someone more than 3 years older. Not everyone ends up needing Medicaid, but once the government has
over 1 year ago
Today was a good day. I was in control. I decided to make a fresh start in the way I handle things. For a week it's been working. Today was nice we met friends and had a couple drinks. I decided not to drink much any more either as I want to be more in control if my situation.
My husband had a few drinks too. We came home for a lovely night in. But he started swearing at the TV angrily, shouting racial comments, and insulting everyone in the program. I hate all the negativity than comes out of him. It affects me greatly. I would never have married a man like this. Some of the things that come out his mouth I just want to cover my ears to it. It's not the way I talk or behave. It's horrible. I can be so so happy and he can take me right back down with his negativity and awful comments. He will always assume he knows what I'm thinking and 'puts words in my mouth'. If I have an issue I bring up about myself or something, it always comes back to him him him. It's always him that's apparently being hard done by. He's always on the defensive. I'm sick of it all tonight. Again. And after such a great day. I should have known it wouldn't last because it never does. :((
over 1 year ago
Hi this is my first post. I'm reaching out to talk to someone whilst waiting for counselling sessions. My doctor has referred me and I hope I can persuade her to bring the first session forward because I am not coping.
I am low, depressed, sad, lonely, angry.
I'm 44. My husband is 59. We were 39 &55 respectively when we met 5 years ago. Although I have had 2 x 9 year relationships and an amazing 18 year old son from the first, my husband is the first man I have lived with and married. This time was different as he is also my best friend. He was an energetic, lively, fit & fun 55 year old. We have been married for 2& 1/2 years. I was having the time of my life and considered myself the luckiest woman on earth that this man I loved so much and was so right for me had also chosen me.
13 months into our marriage he injured his back at work. Some days he cannot walk. He is in constant pain in his back and legs. He is doped up on painkillers constantly. So he is tired all the time. He has depression. He has mood swings. He is negative all the time. He complains all the time. Full Sex is out of the question as it doesn't work anymore. If I have time out he is nasty to me and sulks for days and makes sarcastic comments about me 'going off with friends again'. He isn't physically able to work anymore and I gave up work a few months ago partly to be here more for him and also because I couldn't perform my job to my best ability because the situation has made me depressed. I am now on anti depressants and seeking counselling. I cry most days or nights as I feel so lonely. I sit up late at nights sometimes thinking about better ways to handle things. But just end up angrier and cry more.
I meant my vows of 'better or worse' & 'sickness & in health' but I am so angry that this happened just a year into my one and only marriage having waited 39 years to meet the man who I thought was meant for me.
My husband was married for 18 years before& sadly his wife died with breast cancer 10 years ago. Although they were separated before that.
I knew this was a man capable of really loving someone. And he adores me. But this is not the man I've married. This is not a terminal illness & I'm hoping it's not an irreversible injury. Hopefully with physio and hydrotherapy and without the need for an op we will be able to enjoy the marriage we were supposed to be enjoying. If my husband was putting more effort in to going to physio etc and trying things to ease his pain I don't think I would be so upset with him sometimes. I'm resentful as I think he isn't trying hard enough. He isn't doing much about the sex inability either and I don't think he understands how unfair this is on me. This is something that could get better as I say it's not like it's a terminal illness. I don't know how long I can go on like this. How long do I wait? Do I just accept this is it? I'm young and you only live once (for want of a better phrase). When I bring up how I am feeling he just brings it all back to him and his pain and how it's not his fault and 'how do you think I feel?' I think he is taking his anti depressants. He doesn't want counselling. Certainly not marriage counselling. So I am going alone. I am so so angry right now. Some days I think I will get checked into somewhere and get psychiatric treatment as I feel like I am losing it. Please, if anyone else is in a similar situation, let's talk x D x
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