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anyone have a partner (probably male) who pretends they have no major health problems?

My husband has serious health problems (serious heart problems and moderate vision problems from diabetes, plus wont wear his hearing aides.  I have saved his life many times.  I do not hover and micromanage, tho I am the only one who prefers to stop health issues BEFORE they get out of control, rather than clean up the bigger mess afterwards.  We are very lucky that he can still be pretty active, tho he sleeps a lot during the day due to the heart condition, Im sure.  

He was the nicest guy on earth until we hit retirement.  Now when I want him to listen to me (about crucial issues, of course LOL) he is abrupt and crabby because he is expending all his energy on a supposedly safe stock thing (common call options) that takes a lot of time.   Men, speak up on this one!  Ladies too.  Thanks so much!

Phoenix Rising
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@vkrein wrote:

My husband has serious health problems (serious heart problems and moderate vision problems from diabetes, plus wont wear his hearing aides.  I have saved his life many times.  I do not hover and micromanage, tho I am the only one who prefers to stop health issues BEFORE they get out of control, rather than clean up the bigger mess afterwards.  We are very lucky that he can still be pretty active, tho he sleeps a lot during the day due to the heart condition, Im sure.  

He was the nicest guy on earth until we hit retirement.  Now when I want him to listen to me (about crucial issues, of course LOL) he is abrupt and crabby because he is expending all his energy on a supposedly safe stock thing (common call options) that takes a lot of time.   Men, speak up on this one!  Ladies too.  Thanks so much!


I love the advice of Dr. Jacobs. Let me also say, you can lead a horse to water.... 

What i'd recommend is that you have a full and rich life of your own and focus on enjoying your old coot when you can with shared activities (movies? hiking? ha. probably not. A photography class at your local community college? Learn Espanol?)    If you're the nag/ the keeper of the pills/ the diet maven.... he's going to be even less likely to do what he should on his own. 

 

He might just fall down dead one day. Hate to be blunt, but that's your worst fear, right? And who's fault is that? Ultimately, his. He might just fall down dead even if he DID watch his weight/ cholesterol/ sugar intake....  

 

I'm reminded of the philosophy of Alanon: detachment. The drunk or the addict cannot be rescued ultimately. But you can still love them. By being loving but not taking on what is theirs to do. An Alanon meeting might help you, in fact. I went to one for a while for exactly your reason: my crazy mother was a christian scientist and i did everything i could to get her to seek care. She died at age 55. Alanon and therapy helped me present her with options and then detach. It was up to her. She didn't change. Oh well. I miss the crazy old bat, but it was not my job to save her life.

 

So, as they say in Alanon, take what you like and leave the rest.

 

What do you think?

 

Jane

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Dear Fibber McGee and Me,

 

     The male ego is a fragile thing. It gets injured whenever men lose a sense of control over any aspect of their lives. Perhaps it has to do with our socialization as unemotional actors who have power and are in charge. The problem, of course, is that aging and illness entail losses of many sorts with which men have to grapple and not just deflect away with avoidance or denial. Often it is wives who wind up either accommodating their denial to protect those fragile egos or confront them about reality and thereby become their husbands' villains. I would advise that you try to give your husband as much control with the changes you are encountering as possible. That may mean laying out the facts of a situation and letting him ponder them for a while before pressing him to accept a change. It could also mean giving him choices of how he would like to handle things so long as they get handled and not pushed aside. You don't really want to force change on him. You just want to give him a chance to adapt to illness in his own stubborn way. Hope that's helpful.--Barry Jacobs, Psy.D., co-author of AARP Meditations for Caregivers

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