Spouses of Caregivers
This online support group is focused on the unique challenges facing spouses of caregivers. So much to explore as the caregiving role affects marriages and relationships.
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14 days ago
This one is a bit of a doozy and I apologize for such a lengthy letter. I feel it would be best, if you have an answer, you may email it to me at [email address removed] I have a fear that this will be the one time someone in Drew’s family will read your article and I will be sort of specific in my letter. Thank you.
Well. I met Drew and moved in a short 4 months later. His father moved in about a year later and it’s been getting very, very difficult to live with him. I have lived with Drew for 8 years. I love him dearly and we’ve talked of marriage, but I think he’s a bit hesitant (no problem, I’m fine with that) and because of why I’m writing, I am a bit hesitant too.
First and foremost, his father is a hoarder and I really feel Drew enables him. He simply doesn’t encourage his father to clear the waist-high pile of clothing to make it easier to navigate around the small bedroom. As you can imagine, the carpet needs to be ripped out as well as the ceiling light needing to be replaced as he had kind of violently pulled on the chord to cause it to hang by a thread – two years later it is still hanging from the ceiling. We bought a ceiling light to replace it and I finally got tired of seeing the new light sitting on the couch so I threw it (literally) down the basement. If the new one is broken, I will certainly get another but not until I’m promised it will be installed same day.
(Drew is a procrastinator – and boy, do I mean procrastinator)
Over the dad’s lifetime of retirement, and maybe before he retired, he began collecting anything. He has 5, yes FIVE, tractor trailer containers full of collecting. Since he’s moved into DREW’S HOUSE, he has managed to fill the entire upstairs area of the garage, the area at the bottom of the stairs of the garage, and one of the two bays. It makes it quite difficult for us to put away or take out the riding lawn mower. He occasionally leaves things in the living room, but I either move it out to the garage or I make him move it to his room. He snuck 3 televisions into the basement and when I saw that, I moved them all to the garage. And that’s not half of what the problem is with the garage and his bedroom (i.e., the broken violin because it could be valuable, the packets and packets of plastic ware from fast food restaurants, the collection of reading glasses and golf pencils, the floor television we aren’t sure is working as well as the television he is currently using, the wobbly grills found on the side of the road, buckets and buckets of used oil, some covered, some not covered, empty cardboard boxes…)
Now, here’s a kicker. Drew’s father had lived with him for 14+ of Drew’s 22-year marriage. The father stayed another six months after the ex-wife asked Drew to leave. When he left there, he moved in with Drew’s brother and then when the brother moved, he moved in with us.
Drew told me that when he told his father he could move in with us, he did not have to give him money for anything…and he took that literally.
Drew is a bit of a white liar. For instance, when he and I discussed his father’s income, the first story was he was only receiving $800/$900 social security a month. I just recently learned that the father likes to keep $3,000 in his account. I am beside myself because… ? Drew, his father and brother are drag racers. They spend their money on racing before they pay their bills. Drew is a month or so behind in his mortgage and his father (whether he’s told/knows or not) DOES NOT offer any kind of money. The father does take care of the cable, but he doesn’t pay that bill in full, it’s usually a month or so behind and when he does pay, he pays the minimum amount to keep it turned on, very rarely the entire amount.
I agreed to pay the wi-fi portion of the bill because my son and I wanted the wi-fi, but that only makes a dent in the monies due. I take care of my car insurance, Drew’s car insurance, the electric, my phone bill, and the food (all on a state employee income).
Speaking of my son, whenever I try to talk to Drew about getting his father to stop hoarding or maybe hinting that he could help Drew with the mortgage, Drew gets defensive and makes sure I know that my son (28-years-old) is not working. He’s used the excuse that the father didn’t have much growing up, etc. Well, my grandmother also didn’t have much growing up but her house was spotless and she would even discipline anyone who made a mess. I’m certain if Drew were to do in the dad’s house what the dad is doing in Drew’s house…it would be a completely different story. Drew’s explained to me, well, he’s my dad, he took care of me so now I’m supposed to take care of him.
Well, my son’s car is nowhere near working order, nor registered in our state or inspected. I often suggest to my son to get any job until we can get his car fixed up and then he can look for whatever he wants, as long as he’s working. It’s not working out so well because many of the jobs require he apply on line and he’s not getting any responses. I know he’s applying because he will ask me what how he should respond, etc.
My son helps me around the house, he mows the lawn. My son is not too lazy but he’s lazy, if that makes sense. He doesn’t have the help that Drew’s daughters have. He just has me.
Drew’s father is very able bodied. As I mentioned before, he is a drag racer and he plans on driving again. There’s a good amount of physical moving around, lifting, etc. and he is able to keep up with everyone and do his part, whatever he can do. He is just…a bum of sorts.
When he and Drew’s mother were married, they had the opportunity to purchase a house. He did not want to. He did not want anything like that in his name. Drew, twice, had the opportunity to work overseas making a very decent amount of money. His father talked to Drew’s supervisors at the time (when Drew was in his late teens, early 20’s) and talked them out of sending Drew. The dad’s friends, over the years, have given him cell phones, trucks for him to get around even $10,000 (his friend had given him upon his death).
Drew’s father seems to not want anyone to do better than him, and his better is very low-the yard looks like a typical southern porch, his appearance is very unkempt, he is slightly vulgar and not much etiquette. He simply does not care. He will even work on the drag car without a shirt on, where people passing can see him. He does not care.
I could go on and on but I better end here before I burst into tears. I’m mad at myself for staying so long, but I really don’t have money saved up to move out and continue seeing Drew, outside of his house, so to speak, plus, I think Drew sort of keeps me there by bringing home kittens/cats he knows I can’t resist taking care of. It would be quite a task looking for homes that I’d be afraid to leave them in.
Thank you for listening
19 days ago
My 73 yo husband had bladder cancer and has a urastoma. He had COPD, type 2 diabetes, high BP, stage 3 kidney disease, neuropathy and has fallen 12 times this year alone, fracturing his ankle on one fall and his hip on another fall. He gets confused in the night thinking he is supposed to do something. He uses a power wheelchair and I believe he thinks it's a bumper car! We live in AZ with no family around. I am the only one to look after him. I'm worn out and I am failing to get help from anyone......
7 months ago
This is the first time that I feel that I cannot take anymore with caring for my husband. He sustained a SAH and has another aneurysm over his right temple. This occured back in 11/2011. He has had several infections which occurred post his first SAH. He was the sweetest man, I have for the past 5 years caring for his needs. If he need special hose, shoes, bandage. He is not pro-active in treatment. He gets upset if I remind him of his insulin and other medications that he has to take. Yesterday was a nasty argument between myself, son and husband. I currently take care of my grandson's who are the love of my life. They keep me going and they are funny. I have to keep them quiet in the morning when they arrive. The other day he sleeped until 6 pm in the afternoon. He is on sliding insulin scale but we argue about that he should take his insulin on time along with his other medication. We seem to be on a 2-3 month schedule of fighting and he sitting on the chair watching TV. I have tried to get him interested in being outside. Not doing strenuous work just to get him to have some involved. We even have a gym membership so he can have some activity. I have know this man for over 30 yrs and married 24 years. I am searching for someone to give some advice . This stress has caused me a weight loss of 90 lbs in the past 8 months. not sure why there are a barrage of test that will be done in the next few weeks, I pray to God not to be something serious.
11 months ago
My name is Dorothy I have been caring for my husband for 2|1/2 years. He is not motivated have to take care and do house work including taken care of our 9 month old baby!!! I am so tired he sleeps all day and up all night.. I am so tired never get sleep.. He means well takes care of the family.. I have no problem in that department... I am just so tired.. I need a support group asap
12 months ago
Hi! I am new to the group. I am a 38 year old mother of 3 whose husband was diagnosed with a debilitating autoimmune disease called CIDP a year ago. He has gone from an once extremely active man to being wheelchair bound. Life has been extremely hard with such a young family and all it's demands. He has many Dr. appointments that require trips to a major city an hour away, my children have many needs as they are growing and have activities and demands typical to their ages. I feel like after a year I am beginning to burn out which scares me. Feel alone in all this for a lot of care giver support groups are for older individuals that I have been able to find.
An anonymous caregiver said...
about 1 year ago
Hi I am new to the group. I am so happy that I have someone to talk to who has the same problems that I do. I feel sad a lot because I see other people whom their spouses are active and happy. My husband has femoral nerve damage do to minimal invasive hip surgery. He use to run marathons and now can barely walk. He is angry and it has changed him. That kind and patient man is gone. I work and that gets me out of the house for a while.If anyone can relate to me please let me know. Maybe I will not feel so alone. Even when he is there I am still feeling alone. I keep praying some miracle will happen.
about 1 year ago
Saturday night and I'm alone. Well I'm not completely alone. My husband is upstairs asleep because of a migraine and an avalanche of side affects from a new medicine he is trying to relieve his cryogenic chronic tension migraines headaches. The waves are crashing down in my mind as they do when I think of all the things we can't and aren't doing because of his illness. Simple things like going to a concert or deeper things like starting a family. He is 26. I am 29. Time is something that is so scary to me. How young we are is both good and bad. How long until we find relief? Will our lives be defined by this? I am the primary caregiver which has become more challenging lately because of his short term memory loss. I have to call all the doctors because he forgets what they tell him. The doctors ask me questions because he stutters, slurs his speech and can't process thoughts quickly enough without embarrassment. I am his voice. I am doing all I can do. But it often feels like it's not enough. Our parents are concerned but they have no idea how bad it is. I am looking for empathy because that is the only comfort I can think of. Is there anyone else out there in our situation? Are we alone? I hope not!
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