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Spouse or Partner Caregiver Forum
Do I report these behaviors? Inappropriate Sexual Behavior
Fair warning--this post is not for the faint at heart, and I am sorry if any find it offensive, but I need some advise. My husband is diagnosed mild dementia and is still functioning quite well most of the time. He mows the lawn, takes care of his flower garden, helps with the dishes, reads the newspaper, watches TV (although he struggles to follow the plots). He scored quite well on the dementia test although he could not remember any of the words (apple, table penny) even with help and could not subtract or spell backwards at all. He forgets peoples names, can't remember words, can't remember the rules or how to strategize at cards or games and according to the Audiologist, only understands 28% of the words he hears even though he can hear them.
Shortly after marrying this devout Christian man 2 years ago, I found that he was very addicted to every kind of pornography imaginable and was constantly signing up for dating web sites. It was one of the early signs for me that something was wrong. He would watch this sitting right in our living room beside me or with dinner guests in the room and then leave it open on the computer. He insisted this was something he did not want to do. Once diagnosed I put parental controls on his computer so he wouldn't end up on kiddie porn sites and get into trouble. Now he spends his evenings looking at women's bra and swim suit catalogues on line.
About 6 months ago I found him buck naked in the shed with the pitch fork handle in his bum, masturbating. He told me he was constipated. Of course I didn't believe him. Since that time I have found him almost daily in many locations---sometimes with the door open with various tools and household items in similar use. Sometimes I just find the left over evidence--hammers, screwdrivers, glass bottles, a vase, vaccuum attachments, candles, shovels etc. I have talked to him about this. Told him I don't believe this is safe or sanitary--especially sitting on long handled tools and he always insists that he is no longer doing this. Last week I told him that all of these had bacteria and would make him sick--today I found a plunger, handle all slimy, with a bottle of alcohol sitting beside it. Several times when I have talked to him about this he mentions that I better not tell the doctor.
But I am wondering if this is something that I do need to mention to his doctor? He would be furious if he found out, but I am thinking this may help them determine the type of dementia he is suffering? Or does this type of stuff go on in all dementia?
Do not doubt yourself; this absolutely needs to be reported soonest. You do NOT have to tell him you are notifying the doctor; you do not even need to mention that you have spoken to the doctor at all; that will only serve to irritate or agitate him. His brain is "broken." It is no longer his call; he has severely damaged logic, reasoning and judgment. If you look at it this way, you are his advocate; the one who protects him in such a circumstance as he can no longer protect himself from himself. Providing him with much information at all re a host of subjects is by this time, in all probability, not a positive. It took me a long time to learn that lesson the hard way.
There is a very real risk that he may perforate himself. That would lead to dire medical circumstances and all that would involve including significant financial consequences. There is also the issue that he may well advance and do this where he may be seen by others whether by accident or because he is being flagrant about his behavior. That would bring a whole new set of problem issues involving law enforcement and expensive lawyers. All of this can be prevented if the dementia specialist knows about it; there are or may be medications that can help.
It is not his call that you "better not call the doctor;" I find it puzzling that statement makes even one whit of difference. He is manipulating though very compromised, you are much more able to make a sane move re this. I remember that you had met him at church after having a different loss (if I am recalling correctly), and married rather quickly; he may already have had dementia or other mental health problem; in fact, some individuals have a dual diagnosis with both mental health issues as well as dementia; some members advised your getting an annulment. It seems that is not a choice you wish to take; but this cannot continue as it is. In reality, you are being held hostage by this - it is not healthy for you to be a cooperating victim. You deserve much more.
It may also be quite helpful for you to see a good counselor who can hear you and assist you. I can only imagine how difficult this must be; it is not the life you expected to have. Do you have any close family or friends that can be supportive for you?
Do not be concerned about other people talking about you if you take some action; it is necessary for the physical, emotional and financial health of both of you.
There is the opportunity for you to type a succinct but detailed memo to the doctor ; being as frank with him/her as you have been with us. It would of course be confidential; but if you wish to fax it, you must let staff know it is coming and is time sensitive and urgent; OR you can use a fiblet to say you are going somewhere else; but in reality are hand carrying the memo to the doctor's office in an envelope marked, "URGENT AND CONFIDENTIAL - DR ONLY." If there is an appointment not far in the future, you can send it prior to the appt., but carry a copy in your handbag. Excuse yourself to "use the bathroom," but actually you will be checking with staff to ensure doctor has read the memo. If not, you will have a copy to provide.
NOTE: In the memo, do state that it is indeed CONFIDENTIAL and that husband is NOT to know that you have provided the information. Hopefully, medication prescribed by the dementia specialist will make a huge difference.
The final decision would be; if this cannot be corrected; and if you feel you were taken advantage of in marrying him; you can choose to walk away or separate, or whatever.
NOTE: It would be a good idea for you to see an Elder Law Attorney without your husband knowing so you can get your affairs in order so that you can make the realistic best decision for yourself as needs be now or in the future. He can still obtain care in an alternative living setting; but this is NOT the way to have to live.
I even wonder if he had a mental health issue prior to dementia. Also, remember that you can always call the Alzheimer's Assn. 24 Hour Hotline at (800) 272-3900. If you call, ask to be transferred to a Care Consultant. There are no fees for this service. Consultants are highly educated Social Workers who specialize in dementia and family dynamics. They are supportive, good listeners, have much information and can often help us with our problem solving.
This is not easy for you; I understand. That you come here so openly seems to me that you know and have a deep need for this to change; it has gone on far too long. You count too.
Let us know how you are doing, we care.
May I gently suggest first doing some research This has nothing to do with dementia In men, orgasmic function through genitalia depends in part on healthy functioning of the smooth muscles surrounding the prostate,
and of the pelvic floor muscles. Anal masturbation can be especially
pleasurable for those with a functioning prostate because it often
stimulates the area, which also contains sensitive nerve endings.
Some men find the quality of their orgasm to be significantly enhanced
by the use of a butt plug or other anally inserted item during sexual
activity. It is typical for a man to not reach orgasm as a receptive
partner solely from anal sex
You can even check webmd
has a lot of nerve endings, and is near both the male and female
g-spots. It is common to stimulate the anus for sexual pleasure.
People with prostates
enjoy butt plugs because they stimulate the gland, potentially leading
to a prostate orgasm. Even if one doesn't occur, most still report that
it feels good. There are butt plugs that are specially shaped to reach
Suppose someone posted "I found my wife masturbating with a hair brush, should I tell her doctor right away? " The normal medical response is to buy proper devices and keep them clean.
In my courses on regulation I taught how religious beliefs and culture not medicine underly almost all social sexual regulation of devices, images and practices.
You have to differentiate anal sexual interest from unsafe sex practices
Of course you can stop unsafe sex practices by , as I said providing suitable devices and techniques. finding one that works may require lots of effort. coaching may also be required.
Lack of inhibition is certainly part of dementia but that is just a care taking issue.
No matter what our personal beliefs, we cannot say that this has nothing to do with dementia. This behavior, from obsessive porn addiction, to his obsessive overt masturbatory activities with inappropriate items in such ways is dismaying to and very upsettng to the wife. This is an early marriage of two years founded on the grounds of being actively Christian meeting at a church. It is not what Cindy signed up for so to speak; it is not the marriage or the man she thought would be. He has also made threatening statements to her. This is not the pursuit of a person in control of themselves; the filters are gone, and the wife's life is strongly and adversely affected by it all.
Dementia is driving the train. Must first know what is going on before making decisions. That must be done with a professional in dementia.
As an RN, I have seen this type of behavioral results at medical centers in patients who had dementia. It is interesting that in a number of those individuals, despite the spouse attempting to provide safe items intended to be used for such a masturbatory purpose, that was NOT successful.
Those individuals continued to use the unsafe and often rather bizarre items to conduct such pursuits. Those choices were with all probability part of their dementia. I have, as an RN, seen much damage done from the use of a variety of such items; including long neon light bulb; a variety of tools, long handles of equipment such as has been mentioned in this Thread; even garden hoses and needle nose pliers all of which caused some damage up to perforation with need for extensive repair and serious infection. All of this despite spouses providing a safe item meant specifically for masturbatory purpose to accommodate. We are speaking of dementia; not the average person without such a condition.
It really is necessaiy to have a discussion with the dementia specialist. Absolutely. One does not know what is really happening, and there is a lot to be assessed and there may be a possibility of danger; especially if he continues using such objects as he has been doing. Since there has been a threat, we do not know where he is going on the danger scale; that too is a concern.
Cindy; I am truly sorry that his obsessive need for pornography and even to have it showing in front of company who was visiting and using such tool items on himself is so distressing and worrisome for you; your concern is understandable and the dementia specialist may be able to help.
None of this is your fault. You have been married for only two years; this was not the husband you thought you were getting.. You were in a vulnerable state having lost your first husband in death; this man wooed you in a "whirlwind romance" and you married very quickly. Impulsivity seems to be part of him from what you have written. You had no time to get to know him well and to see what was underneath the surface. There is a possibility that this person had already had this sexual bent for porn, etc., and even having early dementia as part of himself before you married him. Being a "Christian man" is not part of the equation in the big part of the picture; while it may or may not be so in this case, there are those who will use religiosity to hide or to somehow make it "right" when there is an issue within themselves when a person thinks what they are doing is "wrong;"; sex being one of the most at the center of such dynamics and the immersion into religion to settle themselves. This is not meant as an insult and as said, may not be so - just a bit of information.
Also, if your husband sees a primary care MD and has for a long time, if you have a POA, you can meet with that physician and ask whether there has been an identified mental health issue in his life. Even without a POA, there may be some dialogue since the dementia has advanced.
In any case; getting the current information to the dementia specialsit is key; it would also be a good idea to ask the specialist if the diagnosis might not be a behavioral variant of FrontoTemporal Dementia since much of this sort of behavior comes from the compromised frontal lobe.
You have your life; you are important. Do not second guess or doubt yourself; of course it is time to have a discussion with the demetnia specialist. I have once even made an appt. for only myself so I could sit and talk to the doctor openly without my LO being there which would hinder any dialogue.
I so hope you do see an Elder Law Attorney alone and find out how to best protect yourself and your finances should anything untoward happen. You can be open with this person; they have heard it all. Also, it may be helpful to seek a counselor of your own; not the Pastor at the church, but rather a licensed professional that can work this through with you.
If you feel your marriage was false because he hid his true self from you; then as Harshed Buzz said, you have to think things through and decide what you want to do for what you want your life to look like going forward.
Let us know how you are, we really care.
Jo With all due respect you are aggressively misstating the issue You wrote This
behavior, from obsessive porn addiction, to his obsessive overt
masturbatory activities with inappropriate items in such ways is
dismaying to and very upsettng to the wife. This is an early marriage
of two years founded on the grounds of being actively Christian
meeting at a church What medical concept is "obsessive porn addiction?" Of course its dismaying to the wife But that is the wife , not the behavior
Of course the OVERT behavior is due to dementia, that is a given lack of inhibition is a characteristic of all dementias Certainly the services of experts are needed to prevent any self injury Certainly the wife is free to do for herself whatever she needs to feel happy But recognizing the autonomy of the sick person is a thing of great value. We no longer tie their hands or chain them up etc to stop them from behaviors that caretakers find upsetting, and especially we don't do it under a claim that "it's for their own good" We prevent them from harming themselves or others but in the least restrictive way possible. But this is public policy and medical ethics, not nursing.
Thank you all for your responses. I will type a letter for the neuro, we have an appointment on Aug 19. I am not a prude and am aware that men enjoy prostate arousal. I offered to purchase an appropriate device for him and he declines and insists that this is something he does not want to do but can't stop.
As some of you implied, I do feel that his hypersexualization led him to "sweep me off my feet." But these actions along with his constant requests for sex, including trying all night long while I am asleep, lead me to believe this is dementia related. He has had ED for at least 10 years...revealed before we were married, but that does not hinder him from trying!
Also, in regards to mental condition, he does also have Bi Polar 2, revealed after we were married. His neuro referred him to a Psychiatrist because he was concerned about the interaction of the conditions, but there are none in our area accepting new patients. He has been taking lithium for 40 years and has never had therapy or an ongoing psych doctor.
I did talk to our PCP yesterday during my appointment and he said, as you all have, to write a note to the neuro and in the mean time, let him do what he is going to do...if he ends up in the ER, which he, might, he will have to explain it to them.
I hope there is some meds that will help so he can feel satisfied and not so full of shame with himself. Bottom line is that I love him and am here for the long haul, whatever that entails.
Okay. I’m going to address a few things.
Therapy won’t help a bipolar person who has dementia. Medication might.
Hello Cindy. You are an awesome person who has both feet on the ground and is doing her best under very difficult circumstances. You love your husband and plan to stay with him; he is truly blessed in many ways. If you should ever have a change of heart regarding that, there is no shame involved. You had no way to know what you would be facing for much of your adult life since facts were withheld from you.
I am sorry that he did not inform you that he had Bipolar Disorder Type II prior to your marriage. That explains a lot regarding the impulsivity. Having a dual diagnosis of both BPD as well as dementia, makes things more complicated; the physician is correct, a Psychiatrist would be best to manage his plan of care with medication adjustment. Talk therapy at this state in his dementia would in all probability not have much if any value, but the ability to have meds properly adjusted may bring more peace to the both of you. You just want to be sure that the psychiatrist does see dementia patients as part of his/her practice. Most Geriatric Psychiatrists would of course do this.
As for the practices all being filled; if you call and ask to speak either to the office manager or the psychiatrist him/herself; if you explain this as an extremely urgent matter describing what is happening, you may well be able to get an appointment fairly soon even though the practices have been locked. Most will have bits of time they allow for such significant needs. Worth a try.
Here is a good link regarding hypersexuality in BPD for those who area not familiar:
So sorry your sleep is being affected; some of the spouses here actually choose to sleep in separate bedrooms in order to be able to salvage the rest they need. You seem to have a very good understanding of things as they are; this puts you in good stead as you move forward.
Just one suggestion: With BPD, and also with dementia, the person has compromised logic, reasoning and judgment. Often, in such situations, coupled with impulsivity,the person will begin to plunder the finances including giving away or donating money and also making expensive purchases. It really would be a good idea to privately seek the advice of an Elder Law Attorney for direction on how to protect the both of you to avoid negative financial outcomes as well as what you can do to put matters in order as his dementia advances..
I send you very best wishes; please do continue to let us know how you are,
Hi Cinsababe. I hope you're glad you shared and that some of the advice was helpful to you. One benefit of these message boards is that, as very few people actually know each other, we can often be more objective.
You're clearly caring very much for your husband, plus your marriage vows are important to you. As others have already said, please take a very careful look at the situation you're in and seriously consider leaving. If your husband had been a wonderful person and, very soon into your marriage he was diagnosed with AD, that would be hard enough. However, if he's been on lithium for 40 years and didn't tell you he had bipolar, that's a major omission and it does make it seem like he was manipulating you. I remember being very concerned when you said previously that neither of his adult children could be available for him (or similar wording) and his son was supportive of whatever you wanted to do; aka, he was happy to wash his hands of the situation.
Don't fall into the trap of thinking you "should have" spotted these things, or beating yourself up for being pulled in. Remember that good manipulators are just that - good at what they do, so they're not easy to spot! There are so many red flags here.
When you're in the thick of the crisis, sometimes you need someone else to point out the real picture. Your long-term manipulator husband could ruin this part of your life, if you let him.
Let us know how things go.