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Re: How do you visit your spouse who doesn't know you.

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Thanks Jane, I haven't heard of the well spouse foundation but I will definately go to their site. I need to fine other spouses in my shoes. I always hear about the ones who were married a long time with a lifetime of memories and we didn't get the lifetime of memories we planned. I do have a therapist but I am finding it difficult to just leave the house most days. I feel so lost and noone I know understands what I am facing. Since my husband is now in a home everyone thinks I should be happy and just fine. Thanks for your words. I appreciate it.

Mary

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Re: How do you visit your spouse who doesn't know you.

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Have you ever heard of the Well Spouse Foundation? You could find people with very similar experiences in that organization. Just reading the web site might help you feel less alone and unique.  It is a very sad thing that your husband can no longer share a life with you in the usual way. Somehow I'm hearing that you haven't given yourself permission to have TWO lives now, in this next chapter of your marriage: a life WITH him when you visit, and a life WITHOUT him, everywhere else. This is very weird, no question. Like, are you allowed to go to a movie and laugh and enjoy, when he's stuck in some dream-like state in a nursing home? 

 

Professional therapists can be truly incredibly helpful. You go in there, and they listen to you, for 50 entire minutes, it's all about you. They listen carefully and point out some gaps in your logic, some old grief and guilt from some part of your own past, a few different points of view to refresh your thinking. Treat yourself. Your sanity is worth the investment.

 

Jane

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Re: How do you visit your spouse who doesn't know you.

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I agree with the others that you need to have professional counseling and/or join a caregiver's group.  I think part of your issue is the short term 2nd marriage.  From your post it seems the first 5 yrs. were the good years because after that you took on the caregiver role.  I've been married to my husband 35 yrs. so I don't have the experience of a 2nd marriage.  I can't use my parents marriage as an example (both 2nd marriage) because my stepfather died of a heart attack at 68 yrs. and never had dementia.  My Mom is 91 yrs. and in good health.  

As for my husband & myself, we've discussed dementia and if one of us has Alzheimers, we don't want to live if we're in a state of mental incapacity.  Both of us will go to a state that has legal assisted suicide and move on with our life.  This is not your situation.  Remember we've had almost 40 yrs. together - far different than 5 good years.

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Re: How do you visit your spouse who doesn't know you.

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I'm grateful I haven't dealt with this with a spouse.  I have no idea how I would handle it but it came as a shock to me how suddenly the dementia seemed to progress in my Mother.  Perhaps it was that she was in a nursing home or the fact that she had fallen and broken her leg.  I lived out of town and most of my contact with her had been on the phone up until that time as she had a phone right beside her in the assisted living apartment where she lived.  I went to see her in the nursing home and I could tell she thought I was my other sister.  To make matters worse, this was a sister who had just died of Cancer and we had not told my mother since she lived on the other side of the country and we didn't know how she would take the news.  I was already having a hard time dealing with the loss of my sister, which made it even worse.

 

I feel bad that it was the last time I saw my mother as we decided it would be best for her to be sent to where my sister had lived, which was also where her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were.  After that I even had a difficult time talking to her on the phone as I was certain she had no idea who this person was and the conversation was what she would have with a stranger.

 

The advice you've received from the others is very good.  I don't know what I would have done if I had not previously had therapy and had some personal friends who were very knowledgeable on the topics of grief and guilt.

 

 

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Re: How do you visit your spouse who doesn't know you.

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@Futurehope wrote:

I have been caring for my husband fulltime for the last 5 years. He has dementia and parkinson's. This past November I could no longer care for him alone and had to put him in a nursing home. I wasn't ready for this and am battleling depression something fierce. To make matters worse my husbands conversations are getting more and more difficult for me to understand. We have only been married 11 years and I know there are times he thinks I am his first wife. It is getting harder for me to go visit him and I feel like a horrible person. No one understands what I am going through. My family thinks I now have all this free time and my life should be great but I never felt more alone or worthless. I don't know who I am or how I am suppose to feel without him. I never thought I would be going through this at this point in my life. How do others deal with spouses who talk about others. Any words or guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks


I think nctarheel's post contains excellent observations & advice and I hope you are able to seek qualified support and help.  In our family circle, we have watched couples deal with the type situation you have described.  Either rather quickly, or in the long run, all of those family members elected to not visit the afflicted spouse on a daily basis at their care facility, even though the facility was relatively nearby.  They all seemed to adjust to that routine okay, but I have no idea what was going on in their "heart of hearts".  Perhaps they felt a good deal of guilt - sometimes they would speak of feeling bad, or feeling guilty, about not going to visit every day, but then they would say that they finally had to make the practical decision.  Trying to visit every day was just too much, emotionally and physically.   Remember, you owe it to yourself to look after your own well-being - your husband, while still in a healthy state of mind, would have surely wanted you to be treating yourself with kindness at a time like this, wouldn't he?  You do need to find some positive & more understanding support during this time, as your family is not doing their best by you, it seems to me. You deserve better than what they are offering, and I suspect your husband would want you to be seeking better.  Try to gather the energy to find some help for yourself, and I do wish you the best of luck in doing so ASAP...

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Re: How do you visit your spouse who doesn't know you.

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You really need to make an appointment with a professional to discuss your feelings. Your depression is coloring your thoughts at present and that is something that you will have to work through with a professional's help.

 

I don't believe anyone here can help you that much other than words of encouragement.

 

I hope you find someone to assist you through this difficult time.

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How do you visit your spouse who doesn't know you.

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I have been caring for my husband fulltime for the last 5 years. He has dementia and parkinson's. This past November I could no longer care for him alone and had to put him in a nursing home. I wasn't ready for this and am battleling depression something fierce. To make matters worse my husbands conversations are getting more and more difficult for me to understand. We have only been married 11 years and I know there are times he thinks I am his first wife. It is getting harder for me to go visit him and I feel like a horrible person. No one understands what I am going through. My family thinks I now have all this free time and my life should be great but I never felt more alone or worthless. I don't know who I am or how I am suppose to feel without him. I never thought I would be going through this at this point in my life. How do others deal with spouses who talk about others. Any words or guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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