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How do I work through NOT liking my Spouse after 16 years
trm
Posted: Sunday, June 12, 2022 3:39 PM
Joined: 6/30/2021
Posts: 2


I know in my head it is the disease.  However, everyday is battle.  How can you love someone for 16 years and now not wanting to be in the same room?   She refuses any care from anyone else.  I feel as though I am drowning!!!
Jo C.
Posted: Monday, June 13, 2022 7:51 AM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 12919


Hello trm, and a very warm welcome to you.  You are not alone in such feelings, and what you feel can be part of the experience for many, and especially when being the sole caregiver for a partner who has dementia and all the changes that has wrought.  Often, our person with dementia clings to us and lets only us provide their care; after a time, it can be overwhelming. The ability for our Loved One to use logic and reasoning is strongly damaged and they feel very insecure; we are their security and they cling, this is not at all uncommon and is often discussed on the Spousal/Partner Forum.

Before going further, I would like to invite you to use the Spousal/Partner Forum and place your question and input there.  We can use any Forum we wish to Post on; no restrictions.  We have multiple persons who are LGBT who do use the other Forums and they have always been welcomed with open arms.  This particular Forum you are now on is not well attended, and you will find  the Spousal/Partner Forum very supportive and will get a far better set of responses from others there.

Your entire life as you knew it with your Partner has changed and the future you had expected before dementia entered into your lives has also changed and sadly; there is no power to make a difference to restore what was and what was expected to be.  It changes not only our Partner, but it also creates changes in us.  Add to that the amount of care that is necessary, the loss of emotional intimacy, the connections that used to be are lost, and the entire relationship dynamics begin evolve and leads us to places we had not expected to find ourselves.

I wonder if you are not only exhausted from being the sole care provider but perhaps also being somewhat depressed, that too is not at all unusual. Very often, there can be anger and grief; we do grieve our losses even though we may not have identified that.   It would be good to be able to get yourself a physical and perhaps, if present, even a bit of assistance with depression if that is present and is appropriate.  Some of our Caregivers do seek active counseling on a short term basis to assist getting through the rougher spots and find their direction.
 

In order to get away for periods of time to gain a bit of respite, if physically able, do you feel that your Partner would be a candidate for attending an Adult Daycare Program?   That would give you some breaks during the week for whatever amount of hours and whatever numbers of days you would choose to do this.  (If a possibility, never call it Adult Daycare, it can be called, "Senior Center," or, "Activity Center.")  Sometimes our spouse/partner will not want to go, so we go with them for the first few days and then find reasons to leave for a short time; that leads to get the wanted results.  Often, such centers will even let the person with dementia feel they are "volunteers" at the center and give them small easy tasks to do and that has been helpful.

 Here is a link to come discussion categories from the Alzheimer's Assn.:

 https://www.alz.org/help-support/caregiving/caregiver-health 

 Even though you have not stated anger as one of the issues at hand, there are some good suggestions listed in the following link, so I have included it:

 https://www.iona.org/manage-anger-caring-dementia/

Is there any way you can get some time to yourself, even for short periods?  Getting some exercise, even walking can be helpful, getting some time to recoup oneself is important as difficult as it seems to be able to do.  Is there a friend who your Partner likes who could come and "visit" while you get out for even a short period of time?  Even to get a bit of exercise which would be helpful?  I actually hired a very nice person and introduced that person as a "friend," and had them in for coffee and cake a couple of times with my Loved One (LO) present.  The nice person paid MUCH attention to my LO and more or less set up the situation for a connection. Then the nice person called my LO and asked to visit.  This happened and I removed myself from the room to "do laundry," and let them visit together.   Next visit, I left to go, "pick something up at the store," and left them together to visit, watch TV and have a snack.  Soon they were very "best of friends" and I could get away which was very helpful in restoring some of my equilibrium. 

I know much of this has not about losing the feelings of not liking one's Partner, but it all plays into what we caregivers experience.  We need to have time to get away, even for short periods, to be able to think and work out what we are going to do for the short term as well as the long term.   Whatever you decide and choose for yourself will be what is right for you and that will be okay.

I hope that your Partner has a dementia specialist; that is helpful when behaviors start to surface that do not respond to lesser measures to assist and medication is needed.  A dementia specialist is best at prescribing appropiately.  Either a good Neurologist who sees dementia patients as a routine part of his/her practice, or a Geriatric Psychiatrist are examples of specialists.  Medication can be helpful not just for us, but also for our LOs who are also suffering from their behaviors, delusions. etc.which affects their quality of life.

We soon learn when behaviors change or ramp up, to have our LO checked for a "silent" urinary tract infection. These UTIs are called "silent" because there will be no complaint of pain or burning, but there will often be an increase in behaviors to the negative side of the ledger until the UTI is treated.

Also, the Alzheimer's Assn. has a 24 Hour Helpline that can be reached 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, have good information, and can often assist us in our problem solving; they are good listeners and it is a good place to vent what we are feeling.

That was a lot and as said, not all pertinent to your specific question, yet; it is still information. I so hope to see you on the Spousal/Partner Forum where you can get the input you deserve from others who also feel what you are experiencing and from those who have "been there."

J.


NewKY
Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2022 4:09 PM
Joined: 6/15/2022
Posts: 1


It *is* painful for me ... happens too often when I fail to separate the disease from the person.

I am so sorry!


 
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