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The End of Things

Butforthegrace posted 11/8/2019 07:29 AM

I was ruminating this morning over half formed thoughts about how infidelity might impact end of life feelings. I think I was inspired by that line in Jason Isbell's "If We Were Vampires": "Maybe we'll get 40 years together. It's likely one of us will have to spend some days alone."

If a couple stays married and things take their natural course, one spouse will end up watching the other die. Often the survivor is in better health and provides end of life palliative care. If the marriage was marked by infidelity, do those thoughts come back at that time? What if the survivor is the BS, caring for his or her WS, then left alone with nothing but memories. If you are the BS in that circumstance, are you happy you stayed in the marriage?

CaptainRogers posted 11/8/2019 07:54 AM

I have thought about similar things, BFTG. My wife has health issues that could lead to me taking that caregiver role. Having spent a little time in a similar role about 6 years ago for her (she was pregnant, had H1N1 AND pneumonia), I can tell you that at that time she was so demanding (she had no energy, but she managed to summon enough to yell at me for bringing the wrong spoon with her tea) that I walked away and had one of the kids take care of her.

If i had to do end of life pallative care, my thoughts almost always go to the "will she be any different then" realm.

I have a guy I played college baseball with who has ALS and at this phase of everything is wheelchair bound, has a breathing tube, and cannot speak on his own (uses a computer to speak for him). He praises his wife's sacrifice in taking care of him. And I sit back sometimes and wonder...would Mrs. Cap be that caring for me?

It hurts when I think about that because all I have to go on is her past behaviors. And not just the recent past, but our 30 years together. All I can come up with is "No." She wouldn't be caring enough to do that. She would figure out how to hire someone else and would just go about her day like I wasn't even around.

It's a sad state to live in when you don't believe (most days) that the one who broke the "forsaking all others" would hold true to the "in sickness and in health" part either.

Walloped posted 11/8/2019 08:03 AM

If you are the BS in that circumstance, are you happy you stayed in the marriage?

Yes.

Iím in my late 40ís. I donít know how much time God has left in store for me but if say in 30-40 years from now we are still married when my WS passes, my view back on life will be so much more encompassing than this. Will I think about it? Maybe. But itís not going to be the sum total of my life.

CaptainRogers posted 11/8/2019 08:47 AM

Will I think about it? Maybe. But itís not going to be the sum total of my life.

Bingo!

josiep posted 11/8/2019 08:57 AM

Ironically, I just found out my XWH just had his other hip replaced. I already went to Hell and back with him twice on the other hip. I also heard he had back surgery last summer and lost his dental implant and had to have it redone.

I live in an area that is primarily older people and I get sad when I see an old couple holding hands and going places together and even sitting by the pool together, each reading a book. But then I see the occasional couple where one partner is obviously having to be a caretaker of sorts.

So, if there's any "karma" for me to take solace in, it's that the wifetress is already having to be a caretaker for him. I'll be off ziplining in the jungle in 2 weeks.

AND, I will be fortunate when I need someone to help me that I'll not have to rely on him. I had 2 minor health issues in 45 yrs. and he didn't step up to the plate either time.

The mind is a funny thing. I used to have a mind movie where I was laying dying and crying because he wasn't there and I'd always envisioned I'd die holding his hand (family genetics made that the more probable scenario). Not I have a mind movie of attending his wake, wearing a dark, dark veil and asking everyone to leave the room so I can have a moment with the love of my life. And everyone would feel bad because she's such trailer trash and I'd be so dignified. However, my little dream gets derailed a bit when I look in the mirror and see how short I look with all this weight I've gained but I still imagine that I'll magically lose the weight and appear tall, thin and sophisticated.

And then I go do the dishes and get back to real life.

Smjsome1 posted 11/8/2019 09:21 AM

Ironically my WH is a wonderful caregiver. He is at his best when Iím unwell. Maybe itís part of his KISA problem

Me - when Iím unwell tell you what I need
He when unwell - he wants you to guess what he needs. And heís just so hurt you donít know.

DD has made him being unwell so much easier for me.

ShatteredSakura posted 11/8/2019 09:47 AM

I've thought about this a lot myself, mostly because in 2010 my mom had cancer and I took care of her (she survived, thank god, but not without lingering issues) and for the last two years family has been dealing with my grandparents' end of life (my grandfather passed this year, my grandmother has completely lost her faculties and is fading fast). Almost that entire time my ex-WW put me through the rollercoaster of an on/off PA, so maybe it's not that surprising I think about it a lot.

Whenever WW was sick I went into caregiver mode, and usually it was not reciprocated. Once I was really sick with a high fever and she wasn't even home. I don't really blame her for that, but I know if the situation was reversed "I would have been a jerk" in her eyes. Also when I'm sick I really just prefer to left alone and sleep it off, but it used to get me thinking of what-if scenarios with serious illnesses.

She has never had to take care of anyone or thing, even pets, and gets stressed easily. I know in my heart that if I had something life threatening, or even life altering and I couldn't care for myself, she'd leave me. Near the end I even brought it up with her and she admitted she probably couldn't deal with it if such a situation happened.

It's a sad state to live in when you don't believe (most days) that the one who broke the "forsaking all others" would hold true to the "in sickness and in health" part either.

Yes, it makes me very sad to think about even now. I would hope that by then she would have changed and grown as a person, but life-threatening illness strikes down the young too; I don't know what's going to happen to me next year.

Oldwounds posted 11/8/2019 10:48 AM

Iím in my late 40ís. I donít know how much time God has left in store for me but if say in 30-40 years from now we are still married when my WS passes, my view back on life will be so much more encompassing than this. Will I think about it? Maybe. But itís not going to be the sum total of my life.

This!

I had started a longer response, but Walloped nailed it rather succinctly.

Although, it sounds like I'm a wee bit older in my early 50's. Okay, so about to the mid-50's soon. Fine then, yes, I'm getting old quick.

sisoon posted 11/8/2019 12:14 PM

This is very relevant to me, because I'm 75 and my mom is still alive. My in-laws are not. Probabilities say I am likely to outlive my W.

She's been very helpful with my mom. She's been very supportive of me.

At this point, and for the last seven years, if I have to give care to her, I'll do my best ... even though I was angry about one aspect of care-giving yesterday.

If I need care, I'll trust her to do her best, and she'll do a lot better than I will.

josiep posted 11/8/2019 12:22 PM

Just a funny t/j to add to this.

I was married to the Rat Bastard for 45 yrs. We had a thermometer in a blue case. He didn't get sick often but with the first sneeze or the minute his nose started to run, off to bed he'd go and ask me to bring him a glass of water and the thermometer.

I don't think I ever used that thermometer in the 45 yrs. we were married.

When he left to be with his AP, he left with nothing, he just ran off with a bag of his clothes. He did come ask me for his High School letter jacket.

The thermometer is still in the medicine cabinet and I so badly want to send it to him. SO BADLY. But I don't. I want to. I want to. But I won't.

Anyone want a thermometer?

I wonder if he bought a new one?

OK, end T/J. And yes, I know I'm babbling. I need to go buy some groceries because I'm going to have company and it's so damn hot outside, I'm procrastinating.

Striver posted 11/8/2019 16:18 PM

I am a BS. WW left me for another man.

I am in my 50s. Friends are starting to have hospital procedures. I wonder who will be there for me when it is my turn. I have a GF. I do not know if she or anyone will be there for that.

I suppose my ex will bring the kids around. A GF, sex partner, "wife"? Hard to say.

Evermore posted 11/9/2019 13:58 PM

My WS has a serious medical condition. I left him the week he found out despite being in the middle of reconciliation.

I didnít feel he was owed that kind of commitment, especially with the large age difference we have. He has entered end of life, I am still mid life.

If it happened 5 years down the road I would probably do the same. I care enough to have a semi functioning relationship, but donít care enough to have the pace of my life disrupted. I love myself and will always only half love him since the A.

xswimmer posted 11/9/2019 16:57 PM

My XWH is a narcissist.

His sister was in intensive care and he couldnít even be bothered to be of minor support to them.

When I would get sick heíd disappear. He didnít want to catch it, was his excuse.

I just donít think he could empathize with anyone else, he was too into himself.

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