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Confusion and intimacy
White Crane
Posted: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 2:45 PM
Joined: 2/27/2017
Posts: 167

Yesterday something happened that caught me totally off guard.  DH had been acting romantic all day and I knew what was on his mind.  In a tender moment, he held my hand and looked at me with love and asked, "Are you just tired of being a young wife?"  "Are you tired of satisfying the desires of a husband?"  What!!  I am not a young wife.  We have been married 53 years and I am 74 years old.  But he was so tender and sincere that just for a moment I saw once more the 20something young man I had married.  It really through me and I almost cried at the gentleness and love in his eyes.  How to respond?  I said I wasn't really young anymore and wasn't tired of him.  He wanted to go upstairs.  A little while later he asked what was wrong and did I just not want to have relations with him?  I didn't know what he meant.  Then he explained and I understood. What he had forgotten was that he had an aggressive form of prostate cancer 20 years ago that required radical surgery.  He has not been able to "perform" since then.  But yesterday he forgot.  Again he was so sincere and tender that I didn't know how to respond.  It was sweet, sad, and awkward all at the same time.  I gently told him that he couldn't "perform."  He just looked confused.  Finally, I told him I had a condition that made sexual relations painful and I hoped he could understand.  He was so sweet about it and said he didn't want to do anything to hurt me.  My heart was full of love for this dear man who thought we were both once again  young and newly married.  I'm not sure why I wanted to share this.  Maybe I am wondering if anyone else has encountered this and how they handled it.  Thank you for listening.
Posted: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 3:03 PM
Joined: 4/2/2018
Posts: 2887

I think this is something you should share. It speaks volumes about your husband. You were lucky to marry someone who genuinely cares deeply about you.
Posted: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 3:53 PM
Joined: 4/13/2018
Posts: 7

Thank you for sharing, White Crane.  I always tell my DH how much I've always loved his body and how he's the only one in the world for me.  Our relationship may have changed but we have wonderful memories which I remind him of often.  It makes him smile.
Posted: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 4:31 PM
Joined: 3/15/2018
Posts: 533

What a special moment and how beautifully you handled it! Well done! Hold on to that memory!
Joe C.
Posted: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 5:23 PM
Joined: 10/13/2019
Posts: 271

White Crane, This is a very heart warming story and tells volumes about you DH.

Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2020 8:38 AM
Joined: 6/12/2016
Posts: 1037

Thank you for sharing this. To say what he said, the way he said it. It's beautiful. You must have wonderful memories of times past.
Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2020 11:21 AM
Joined: 2/2/2014
Posts: 5636

In DWs case a  desire for intimacy was one of the last things she lost.  I would ask her if she wanted "lots of kissing" and she would say "sure"   Towards the end of her  awareness of me as a husband (about 18 months ago) it was hardly the level of "sex" that would interest a high school student but it was still there.    And then one day it just wasn't.  I was nothing special anymore.  Just the nice man with ice cream and cake. 


Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2020 1:51 PM
Joined: 9/16/2019
Posts: 77

I think intimacy is no different from anything else that dementia changes / decreases / destroys, etc., in that we really don't know what to expect from day to day. I am happy for you, for that moment that you enjoyed. Hold onto it!

Intimacy is difficult for my DW - like Crushed mentioned, I am just a "nice man who helps her." It is devastating.

I am also finding it difficult to entertain the idea of intimacy anymore anyway. Sort of hard to get excited by someone who is having issues with incontinence. That will knock out any desires faster than your mom walking in on you LOL.

Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2020 3:42 PM
Joined: 6/21/2019
Posts: 713

I'm another one who experienced their wife lose all memories of our marriage and my identity as her husband. When the Neurologist asked her who I was, she said "He's a nice man who takes care of me."  Intimacy between us ended that day.

That loss of intimacy created a sense of loneliness I'm still trying to deal with.

In a way though, I think those of us who have gone from being the husband to "the nice man" are/were lucky compared to others.

Consider all of the women who've posted here their horror stories of having their spouses turn violent instead of seeing them as the "nice lady."

Just one time, I woke up and found my wife face to face with me in a way that scared the living hell out of me. Thank God she wasn't armed. That was towards the end when Parkinson's finally finished what Alzheimer's started.