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The long term care of your WS have you thought about it?

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cantgetup posted 8/8/2013 19:54 PM

Does anyone struggle with thoughts and feelings about there coming a time where we BSs may be faced with having to deal with the long term care of our WS?

I am 2 years out, attempting reconciliation. WH is 6 years older than me, I am 50 he is 56 we have 4 kids who do not know. His mom just passed away from Alzheimer's related illness. She had been in decline in the two years of our attempted recovery. And I am overcome with my thoughts that I am in this for only as long as WH is heatlthy. And that I will NOT take care of him if he has a stroke, if he has a heart attack, or if God forbid he follows his mother's difficult path of Alzheimer's.

Does that mean I am not in true reconcillation if i feel this way? Does that mean that this was a deal breaker for me, but i'm not admitting it? These are not rhetorical questions---i need to know. I am relatively stable because our lives are without crisis at the moment.

I know most of us can barely make it through the day, so for me to be thinking ahead years seems nonsensical. But face it, we are all aging and living longer and it is a very real possibily many of us will be faced with caring for WSs. But if I feel like I do, then it doesn't matter much that i've made it through today, does it? If i know in the end I won't be there the minute hard medical (or maybe financial) times hit.

I know many of you are already dealinhg with it, or were dealinhg with it prior to A knowledge. How do you do it? Knowing that your WS hit the road as soon as hard times hit the marriage, yet there you are caring for his life? I admire you.

Early on, I even said to WH that if he had a stroke or some other pyhycial or cognitive medical issue that i would drop him on his sister's doorstep (I may have even said on OP's doorstep at the time). Was I just spewing venom or do I have to acknowledge and deal with these negative thoughts? If push came to shove, would i really bolt? Obviously my concern is that my kids would then have to take on this responsibility--and like i said---they don't know about A. Obviously I wouldn't want that.

I'm actually quite afraid of these feelings. I have been wrestling with them for over a year and they are not going away and it makes me question what I am still doing here then.

If I think hard on it, these feelings stem from my 25 years of marriage, raising 4 kids, a household, working full time, watching my mom die her own very sad death and on and on just like all of you wonderful people---and I did it day in and day out as part of life. So life gets unhappy for WH and he immediatley cuts bait.Does that now give me a pass to walk when the first sign of hard times hit for him? I feel like it does, but I know someone is going to set me straight on this, right?

hardtimesinlife posted 8/8/2013 20:03 PM

I understand the feeling you have behind this thought. I also think that when push comes to shove you might react differently. In my own life I would not want to look like a cold hearted person in front of my kids, friends and family. I would probably just suck it up and do what had to be done. I think that those questions should probably be answered by you before you decide to fully R. If you decide that "for better or for worse" isn't possible any longer then you'll have your answer.


Tripletrouble posted 8/8/2013 20:12 PM

God love her this happened to my mother. My dad had pretty much stopped hiding his LTA when he had a massive heart attack and quadruple bypass in his 50's. My poor mom was distraught that she would be stuck caring for him. OW even stalked our house because she didn't know why my dad had stopped coming around. She would sit out in the road in her car, and call my mom and hang up. They divorced about 5 years later, he married OW, and she takes care of him now as his health is poor.

crossroads2010 posted 8/8/2013 20:33 PM

I think I worry more about the reverse situation although at this point it seems less likely...I don't want him to have to care for me. I already feel like I am an obligation to him...although careerwise/financially and healthwise I am in as good or better shape than he is...I just don't want to have to depend on him as this whole A thing has made me feel disposable and needy and I hate the feeling.

Like you said, looking ahead more than maybe next year is really difficult for me to do...I am within 5 years of retirement and can't seem to plan for anything.
I do feel an obligation to not impact my kids' lives in a bad way and that would mean providing for both mine and my H needs. I am more about living for the day now...he gets a little frustrated that I can't look ahead too far but the view up the road is just blank until I get closer.
Just trust that when and if the time comes, you will chose what is best for you...what you can live with.

Tearsoflove posted 8/8/2013 20:43 PM

My husband's mother and grandmother both died from early onset alzheimer's. His grandmother was only 57 when she died. His mother made it to 69 but was completely incapacitated for the last several years and did not recognize her own children. My husband is almost 50 now. So, I do worry about him developing the disease.

I would care for him for as long and as well as I could. I don't know anything about anyone else's WS but I know that for the majority of our marriage, he was completely giving and unselfish. Really, I think I'd care for him if he needed me even if we were to split up because he continued having affairs (which he isn't). I just know that he's been a good husband far longer than he was a bad one. And, facing facts, he has no one else. His brothers are older than he is. Their father died when they were young. Their mother died a few years ago. They really only have the families they created.

Does the fact that I believe I would do it and you believe you wouldn't do it mean that I'm in reconciliation and you're not? I don't think so. I think that it means that you're in a different place than I am and you're likely in a different marriage, too.

It doesn't mean I'm better or worse because I will or won't. Caring for an invalid is hard, thankless, endless work. Not everyone can do it or wants to do it. The disruption to your life is unbelievable and you'd probably be throwing future relationship plans out the window. Why do you think so many people put their loved ones in a nursing home? It's not because they don't love them. It's because the care of the loved one becomes too difficult.

I believe, at this point, that if my husband needs care, I will try to care for him. But I also would get him care if I couldn't do it myself and that's what he would want me to do. The fact that this is a concern (and it's a legitimate concern at our age and with our spouse's health history) is something that maybe warrants discussion so a plan can be in place if one of the events you fear occurs.

purplejacket4 posted 8/8/2013 23:53 PM

If fWS needs long term care she's going into a home. Plain and simple. But I would have said that before the affair and she feels the same way. Of course we are in the medical field and have seen families just KILL themselves trying to take care of loved ones that need professional help. This is also why I browbeat my parents into purchasing long term care insurance. When I turn 50 i'll purchase it for us also. I'm actually looking forward to getting all the solicitations from the AARP. Does that make me weird?

Nature_Girl posted 8/9/2013 00:17 AM

Yes, I thought about it and it's one of the main reasons I'm divorcing him. There was no way in the world I was going to subject myself to being his nursemaid. Furthermore, he'd already shown a callous disregard for MY health so I was not going to entrust myself to his care ever again.

RidingHealingRd posted 8/9/2013 00:24 AM

I completely understand and have had some of the exact same thoughts.
My WH has been having medical issues which include his memory for some time now. He has had tests done, seen by 2 to neurologists, but they have not found anything. I am convinced that much of his neuropathy, and memory loss are related to alcoholism (stopped drinking on Dday).

I once told him that if he ends up with alzheimer's, or unable to care for himself, I was going to pin $10.00 to his shirt and dump him on his brother's front step.

My fear is that after all the pain that he caused me with his disgusting A, he will end up not knowing who I am (much like he did during his disgusting A) and I will be left to tend to him.

He said to stick him in a nursing home. Me: Okay, sounds good.

What will I do? I have no idea but I am certain of one thing, I will do whatever I feel like doing at that time. I am not going to worry about it right now.

Sadly, had he been faithful I would NEVER entertain the thought of ever abandoning him.

I told him that when he is on his death bed I will be a little less sad ~ didn't need to tell him why.

[This message edited by RidingHealingRd at 12:27 AM, August 9th (Friday)]

betrayed5years posted 8/9/2013 00:25 AM

Yes, I have and glad we have insurance to cover it. Have done months of care for him during his LTA which was emotional at those times...on 4 different occasions. May sound callious, but I have paid my dues. He broke our marriage vows, I did not and have not said any new ones. Next time he needs a nurse, I hope I can do what I think but not sure as I still love the guy!

HurtsButImOK posted 8/9/2013 00:32 AM

I agree with previous posters that until it happens I don't think you can really know what decision you will make. This isn't Wayward related so I hope it is okay to still share my experience.

My stepdad (SD) kicked me out when I was 17, my mum took his side. Obviously this led to a lot of hurt and other dysfunctions for years to the point that I was ready to cut both my mum and SD out of my life at one point. I kept contact because I believe in 'family' even if the same wasn't shown to me.

Fast forward 17 years and SD had a series of strokes then was diagnosed with cancer. In the year prior to his diagnosis he and I had started talking on the phone a bit more when mum wasn't available at the times I called. Still no discussion about the past or the old hurts though, just simple everyday topics.

I took 2 months off of work to help my mum give palliative care to my SD. He wanted to die at home. I never thought I would do that. It was also the most (cant think of a word that describes it adequately so apologies this will come off somewhat trite) profoundly humbling and enriching experience of my life. It is truly the one thing I have done that I feel so very honoured to have been a part of.

My SD passed away in his own bed, with his family around him and dogs beside him. It was exactly what he wanted and I was blessed to be able to help mum give him that final kindness.

That being said both mum and I would not want each other to go through that again. She doesn't want me nursing her and I want a quick, painless out. So I understand not being able to provide that sort of care. I guess after that long ramble what I am getting at is I think you will really only know what you will or wont do when the time comes to make a decision.

ETA - I could make it Wayward relevant by adding that my POSX (I am 98% certain) was porking his COW in my house at the time. Parents lived in a different state.

[This message edited by HurtsButImOK at 1:13 AM, August 9th (Friday)]

sadandtrying posted 8/9/2013 08:52 AM

Thanks for posting this, ((cantgetup))...I have thought about this many times...since my H's mother is in the last stages of Alzheimer's now, and his dad is failing too. It gets you thinking, doesn't it?

(My H and I also have 4 kids, all grown, but they DO know of my H's A.)

I have said to my H, often after dday but not lately, that I felt that he loved me "conditionally"; that if I became ill, unable to have sex for some reason, needed a level of care that I never yet have, that he would only have a short amount of patience for it, and then would bail.
It's certainly partly because he showed me my during his A(s) that if things aren't working out for him, he bails. It's also his personality, which is very pragmatic, not very emotional. Even with his mother he's pretty much like this.

His father is being taken care of by his second wife, who has a history of not treating her well, and she resents it - says whatever love there was, is long gone.

If/when my H needs that level of care, I will do the best I can to treat him well, with love and compassion.......and I hope that I will be treated with the same if it's me...

[This message edited by sadandtrying at 9:00 AM, August 9th (Friday)]

EvenKeel posted 8/9/2013 09:09 AM

Anyone watched "Diary of a Mad Black Woman"?

This is sort of the storyline except the WH threw his BW out of the home for his AP before he was disabled.

The BW goes back to care for him when he is paralyzed but deals with the demons (ie she is NOT very nice to the WH).

Even though it is just a movie, I think that struggle is very real: battle between your sense of obligation to the WS versus all the hurt they gave to you.

Even though the movie is to be a has a lot of personal elements we deal with on SI. IE betrayal, our recovering and NB, etc.

[This message edited by EvenKeel at 9:12 AM, August 9th (Friday)]

cancuncrushed posted 8/9/2013 09:34 AM

I am scared of being the sick one. My H has no capabilities of nursing. Never has. i think he has PD. i do have some resentment, as he has had cancer and I was there for him before the EA or PA? He has never been there for me. He has never been there for me for this EA or PA? I am emotionally alone. I hope I die quickly, and before illness. My mom is 87, and healthy. She is bored, lonely, hurt, empty, scared. alone. She cared for my dying father. It was pitiful. Our neighbors are experiencing this very thing. he is trying to get them in a home, but cannot afford it. Its very very expensive. She has had strokes and has lost her mind. I have seen ugly, I have seen pathetic, I have seen sad. Its impossible for the best of marriages. Its hell. The world is working hard to discover longer life and medicines. I dont plan to take any.

sparklezombie posted 8/9/2013 13:21 PM

I am younger, but I work with seniors facing long term care issues for a living so I see it everyday. I wouldn't want to take care of WH, but who would? I would worry more than I needed care though. He wouldn't take care of me. I'm getting long term care insurance to help reduce some of that burden and make funds available to pay for care if I need it. That way I don't have to rely on WH

cantgetup posted 8/10/2013 07:57 AM

These are awesome responses. Some great insight and advice. The best is the advice on getting nursing home insurance. And that's not even A related. Just good sound long term planning advice. Invaluable. Thank you.
I didn't expect the replies that were counter to my fears. Those of you wondering about your own care. That must be very difficult to think about. I hope when that time comes your WS will be there. It's funny, since the minute of forced confession and hundreds of times since, that is the one thing WH blurts out out of the blue. "I will take care of you until the day you die no matter the illness". Hope I can trust him on that and my gut tells me I can. Still struggling with whether I can do the same thing.

PurpleRose posted 8/10/2013 08:11 AM

I took excellent care of the Dooosh during our M - he had a chronic illness and ultimately a few surgeries and hospitalizations and, by his own admission, I was the most loving and caring wife for him. I was there happily, because of the intense love I had for my husband.

Had our R been successful, I would have definitely been able to do the same again at any point. However, I also worried that he would NOT have done the same for me.

When the going got tough in our M he bailed. He found someone else to fill his time, boost his ever-empty ego, and make HIM feel good. Because that's how his life is- its about how he feels and what he wants ALL. The. Time.

So no, I was not confident he'd be there for me had the tables been turned and I am sure he wouldn't have stuck it out to take care of me years down the line like I did for him. He's way too selfish.

And if you are thinking this now, imagine the stress and resentment you'll feel when he is incapacitated and you are playing Nurse??

struggling16 posted 8/10/2013 09:16 AM

I think about this frequently. My WS is 13 years older than me. He really hits the panic button when I talk about ending the M because he'd lose my insurance benefits and I'd make sure he had no access to any of my pension. I keep saying that these would "be the consequences of his choices so suck it up". He made that decision when he decided to troll the internet for a f---buddy. I would have absolutely no remorse about this.

At this point, though, he's completely remorseful and our M is better than ever. I would care for him as long as he demonstrates his commitment to the M and me. I do recall that during the A, as I lay sick on the couch with a bad cold, I begged him not to go to the cottage and to stay home to take care of me. He replied, "There's no point in me catching it" and promptly went out the door for a "date" with his little friend. I remember being appalled and chilled at his callousness. What an idiot.

[This message edited by struggling16 at 9:34 AM, August 10th (Saturday)]

myperfectlife posted 8/11/2013 10:09 AM

Oh my goodness. I am so glad someone posted this as I have only mentioned this fear to one other person IRL.
My dad died when I was young and I am not a fan of terminal illness. I think it's one of my big issues in life.
My STBX has alzheimers in his family as well.
Previous to the A it really made me sad and nervous to think he might end up that way. Now, it just makes me mad and goes in the list of reasons why I would decide to go through with the D. Is that callous? Is it callous what he did? He is the one who threw his bond with me aside for a piece of ass and ego. I bet that the thought of all this has never once crossed his mind in regards to long term care as we age.
But it crosses my mind all the time.
Realistically though, it could happen in any marriage. Women live longer than men and chances are no matter who you marry, they will have issues as they get older.
The only difference is you could be taking care of a man who valued you and loved you enough to stay faithful and that the care you give would be genuine and not a resentful burden full of hate.
Thanks again for posting was something I was holding inside and I am glad I am not the only one who has had these "cruel" thoughts.

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