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?
Be happy with what you have while you work for what you want - Hellen Keller
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.
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.
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)]
The truth hurts, but I have never seen it cause the pain that lies do.
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)]
"I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel". –Maya Angelou
(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)]
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 romantic-comedy-drama....it 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)]
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??
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)]