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Re: What to do with a husband making poor decisions?

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Hi Highwater Jane,

 

     The frontal lobes have many crucial functions in human reasoning and interactions. They help us pay attention, solve problems and pick up on social cues from others. When people have had frontal lobe damage--such as experiencing the kind of traumatic brain injury mentioned by Manic Progressive--it is as if they suddenly have Attention Deficit Disorder, lose 15 IQ points, and are highly insensitive to others' needs. TBI isn't the only condition that causes frontal lobe damage. So do various forms of dementia, including frontal-temporal lobe deterioration, Alzheimer's disease, and vascular dementia. These conditions are generally not reversible. People live with cogntive impairments they never had before and interact differently with others.

 

     If you husband's behavior seems markedly different than it was, say, 10 years ago and he has physical health problems, such as hypertension and diabetes, that might predispose him to cognitive changes, then I think you shoul have him evaluated by a physician before you decide he is just being rude or neglectful. Manic Progressive has developed a system for cueing her husband and structuring him that helps him compensate for the cognitive damage he's suffered. You may have to adopt the same kinds of strategies to get your husband to provide help to you that is actually helpful.--Barry Jacobs, co-author of AARP Meditations for Caregivers

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Re: What to do with a husband making poor decisions?

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@HighwaterJane wrote:

I am 65. My husband is 75.  We've been together for 33 years.  More and more I see hubby leaving all the work, both physical, mental and emotional to me.  On the other hand, he still wants to be included in all the decision-making, yet I see that his decision-making capacity getting poorer by the week. Plus he doesn't seem to even notice how burdensome this all is for me.  I am doing 95% of everything that must be done to run a house.

We had one big error that cost us over $4000 and a ton of emotional costs because he wouldn't agree with my plan of action, but more often, it's things like this that drive me batty: We are having trouble with our internet provider.  The repairman is due to come again today (5th time, I think).  I have had to do all the calling, all the complaining and all the negotiations.  Just now, he walked into the room with a note on which he wrote the name of an alternative ISP giving me the suggestion that a friend of his used this one and maybe I should cancel our current provider and move us to this one.  He has no idea of how frustrated and angry I am at having yet another element of this problem dumped in my lap to deal with.    I don't know if this is aging or laziness, but I do know I'm tired, depressed and fantasizing about leaving.   I've tried to bring it up, but he just gets mean and angry.   Suggestions for dealing would be much appreciated.


Hey, Highwater Jane,

This is High Desert Jane.

Hm. Doesn't sound the least bit fair. I wonder if the roles were reversed, would he put up with YOUR behavior for a new york minute? I'm guessing, no.

 

Marriage is in sickness and in health, but i'm not hearing that he's making bad decisions versus good ones, i'm hearing that he wants veto power and none of the responsibility. Is that about right?  Yipers. I'm glad you mentioned emotional labor, because usually, though not always, that's in the job description of the female. And now you're doing everything, EVERYTHING, else. 

 

Mean and angry? On what basis does he have the right to be angry? And MEAN? Excuse me?

 

So. After 33 years, I presume there was a great deal of good in this marriage, and you weren't children when you got hitched, but in your early 30s and 40s. Surely leaving is not the only option. How about counseling?

 

There are all kinds of ways to motivate a spouse into counseling. And you can also go your own self to get support and suggestions, too. But you can walk out of the room when he gets mean. You can make lists: if he agrees to do 1. ____ 2. ____ and 3. ____ (things he used to do?), then you'll agree to 4. ____ 5. ____...  If he speaks disrespectfully to you, then you grab your purse and keys, and simply go out to see a friend and have dinner. He can zap something in the microwave. He won't starve.

 

Right?

 

We all (well, most of us) like to avoid conflict. But why not consider what else you can do before packing up your stuff, moving in with a friend, and consulting a lawyer... yes?

 

Please write back....

 

Jane

in the high desert of oregon

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Re: What to do with a husband making poor decisions?

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I’m sorry. I know it’s so frustrating. My husband is similar, but he doesn’t still try to make decisions. He just “lets” me do all the work. So that’s easier. He had a severe TBI last year and I think it’s still impacting some thought processes.

 

I have found that assigning specific tasks to him, that are his alone, helps. It keeps our areas of responsibility separate, which helps cuts down on friction. Is that at all possible?

 

Another thing I do is tell him at the beginning of the day what needs to be done. We keep lists a dry erase board on the fridge. Sometimes if you load a person up with just a little more, it both helps them feel useful and occupies their mind enough to not bother asking about your tasks.

 

Amd dont be afraid to explicitly state this work is taking up too much of your time and mental space.  “Joe, I have only one hour today I can devote to billpaying. Could you do this for me please?” Or something similar.

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What to do with a husband making poor decisions?

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I am 65. My husband is 75.  We've been together for 33 years.  More and more I see hubby leaving all the work, both physical, mental and emotional to me.  On the other hand, he still wants to be included in all the decision-making, yet I see that his decision-making capacity getting poorer by the week. Plus he doesn't seem to even notice how burdensome this all is for me.  I am doing 95% of everything that must be done to run a house.

We had one big error that cost us over $4000 and a ton of emotional costs because he wouldn't agree with my plan of action, but more often, it's things like this that drive me batty: We are having trouble with our internet provider.  The repairman is due to come again today (5th time, I think).  I have had to do all the calling, all the complaining and all the negotiations.  Just now, he walked into the room with a note on which he wrote the name of an alternative ISP giving me the suggestion that a friend of his used this one and maybe I should cancel our current provider and move us to this one.  He has no idea of how frustrated and angry I am at having yet another element of this problem dumped in my lap to deal with.    I don't know if this is aging or laziness, but I do know I'm tired, depressed and fantasizing about leaving.   I've tried to bring it up, but he just gets mean and angry.   Suggestions for dealing would be much appreciated.

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