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Caring for loved ones.

(44 Posts)
annsixty Wed 27-Mar-24 11:39:22

I didn’t quite know where to post this thread , relationships or health.
There are threads going currently about, mainly, wives caring for husbands in difficult circumstances.

Do any of you, like me, watch weddings so full of happiness and joy, not taking into consideration the tens of thousands of pounds spent, wondering if they ever think that one day they may be cleaning that husband up after yet another accident, feeding him, showering, dressing him.
Does this part of “ in sickness and in health” even occur for a millisecond.

I’m sure it doesn’t and it shouldn’t because when it does happen we just take it on board and do it.

Anniebach Wed 27-Mar-24 11:49:47

Do we ever think husband will be dead 8 years later

Kate1949 Wed 27-Mar-24 11:50:20

No I don't think anyone thinks about that ann. Young people can't imagine old age or sickness. I never imagined I would be supporting my husband through cancer and the various other traumas we have experienced that we had no idea were coming out way. Just as well I think.

Smileless2012 Wed 27-Mar-24 11:50:42

I don't think it does, it certainly never crossed my mind when we got married 42 years ago. We promised to be there for one another 'in sickness and in health' and we will be but I don't think either of us ever thought what that might actually entail.

Kate1949 Wed 27-Mar-24 11:51:02

our way.

RosiesMaw Wed 27-Mar-24 11:57:58

I have had this conversation with a few friends, male and female who are widowed like me.
We all agreed that we had done “what we signed up for” and if it hadn’t been us, it would have been our respective spouses.
But no, 54 years ago it was all theoretical!

Ali23 Wed 27-Mar-24 12:03:13

No, I don’t think we did and I don’t think we did either.
I must say I have come to the point now where I sigh inwardly when invited to a huge elaborate or expensive wedding. I attended one a few years sgo and the marriage was over quite quickly. The young woman exited wisely IMO.
I’m beginning to wonder whether marriage is an outdated
contract? Not lifelong partnership… just the marriage contract bit? Personally I would go for a simple civil partnership.

I suppose enduring love would mean that you would still stick through the better, worse, sickness, terminal parts of it whether there was a contract or not. But for those whose love doesn’t turn out to be enduring, wouldn’t life be easier?

mumofmadboys Wed 27-Mar-24 12:05:31

Maybe any young couples who have watched grandparents decline will have some idea that old age may be difficult. I am sure Ann that when you have cared for your husband through failing health and dementia you can feel pleased that you were there to the end and trying your best in difficult circumstances, and that you kept the promises you made when you were young. Marriages are so full of hope at the beginning and prove so very hard for many people. I have great sympathy for those whose marriages ( and dreams) have failed.

HelterSkelter1 Wed 27-Mar-24 12:31:27

No and thank goodness it doesn't. Thank goodness in our 20s we had optimistic plans/years ahead of us.

Neither of us could have foreseen what the last 10 years have brought us. Luckily we weathered 8 of them but the last 2 years after 50 years of marriage are proving very hard and sad. But we had many happy years.

I feel very sorry for me and 1000s of others who are in a situation where it is a struggle day to day to keep a chin up. We dread the thought of A&E or a hospital ward. So we battle on. I wish we could go back 20 years, but we can't. DH doesnt want to go on as he is and I don't want that for him. So we make the most of each day.....which is what I would wish any new couple.

pascal30 Wed 27-Mar-24 12:56:51

I was so full of energy, enthusiasm and wonder when I married no hint of being widowed 15 years later.. but I wouldn't have changed my life..

SueDonim Wed 27-Mar-24 14:29:44

If I’d thought about it at all, I guess I’d have considered sickness to be looking after each other if we had flu or a broken arm, not the long years of caring we see today. My good friend’s Dh has been in care with Alzheimer’s for five years and he’s still only 75. Such a sad end to a long marriage.

I guess dementia wasn’t so prevalent back in the 70’s and of course people died younger, too, you were lucky to survive a heart attack or a stroke. I can’t think of any older couples we knew in the 1970’s who cared for each other, though there were quite a number of people who looked after their elderly parents, including both mine and dh’s parents. My grandad lived with us for 16 years after my mother nursed her mother through her final illness and dh’s grandmother lived with his family for years. We both swore we’d never do the same, it took such a toll on our parents.

HousePlantQueen Wed 27-Mar-24 14:55:00

No, we don't think of these things when we get married, maybe fortunately so. Having been at A&E with DH one night last week was very depressing, lots of confused elderly with breathing difficulties/cuts and bruises after falls. Listening to someone using a bed pan just through the curtain from us......

Norah Wed 27-Mar-24 15:37:22

Yes, I knew. I was helping mum with my grandparents at a young age. They moved up here, bought near my parents (this home, actually) and we all cared for them. Later on the other grandparents also.

Mum and I cared for my father whilst I was newly married. I've always known what transpires as elders health declines. Unlucky, maybe?

M0nica Wed 27-Mar-24 16:19:30

As we exchanged our weddig vows, yes, I did wonder how long we would be married, and I wasn't thinking divorce. I wondered what we would be like when we were old. What life had in its baggage for the two of us.

I had seen my grandparents through old age. One had dementia but the other two were fully functioning mentally to the end and died after a short illness. Which is what happened to my parents and DH's. mother. His father had Parkinsins and gent;y declined into death.

So no, years of physically looking after an elderlyspouse did not occur to me - and it could still happen, but I come from a family who are long living, stay cognitively well and die of heart disease or in DH's family cancer.

Joseann Wed 27-Mar-24 16:30:42

I've never really thought about it before. I think commitment to someone is commitment, forever and whatever.

Whiff Wed 27-Mar-24 18:06:29

I always thought I would die first as I was born disabled with a hole in the side of my heart as well. But it was my fit healthy husband who got Cancer and died aged 47, 20 years ago. But he is still and always will be my husband and as far as I am concerned I am still married and always will be. Grief is the price we pay for loving and being so loved in return. We met when I was 16 he was 18 we had 29 years and married 22 when he died. But I am so lucky to have found the other half of me and he always said I was his other half we made a whole . The moment he took his last breath half of me died to and will never be whole again. But my husband was a wise man and knew what I needed to live without him and it was a series of promises. The main one was live my life to the full. But it took me until moving here in 2019 to do just that as I had both parents and mother in law to look after her died.

We are atheists but we did get married in church 1981 . We told the vicar we where he said do you believe in the marriage vows and will you keep them . We both said yes and he said that was could enough for him . The service was tailored to us my ring wasn't blessed and cut the god stuff out of the vows. But we did have prayers and hymns at my parents request and we would do anything for them. The only alternative was a grotty registry office. My dad went to hear the banns.

My disability never phased my husband and when my health got worse in 1988 and the limb jerks started he just said we alter our way of life to suit you. Our children where 4 and 6 months. I used a stick and wheelchair from aged 29. When the children where older I didn't use my wheelchair but still have to use my stick.

My husband was diagnosed with grade 4 malignant melanoma in January 2001 and told he wouldn't live 5 years he died in February 2004 at home with me and the children.

He is my one and only the love of my life .

Granniesunite Wed 27-Mar-24 22:06:35

Yes I knew as a very young girl that life wasn’t easy. We as a family looked after granny and grandad but it wasn’t hard. We loved them and enjoyed them for as long as we were able and I’m very grateful for the memories of that time.

I’m now looking after my husband of 52 years. He has Alzhimers and it’s my memories of our wedding day, the love, happiness and laughter can’t be bought and the years that we grew up together making so many mistakes but learning from them that keeps me going. We never gave in.

So I say spend your money on what’s makes you happy it’s only money.

Love and commitment is what matters.

Galaxy Wed 27-Mar-24 22:24:28

We have both been really clear with each other that we dont want that for ourselves or each other. Dh as he admits himself would be a terrible carer.

V3ra Wed 27-Mar-24 22:39:09

Our wedding vows were essentially to face whatever difficulties life had in store for us, together.

Our son is getting married in two weeks time. They're both police officers so they already have more experience than we ever did about the problems life can bring.

Marydoll Wed 27-Mar-24 22:51:41

I was very unwell on my wedding day, knowing we had a difficult time ahead. Six weeks after my wedding, I was in HDU and DH and my mother were told to expect the worst.

Six weeks later on Christmas Eve, against all the odds, I returned home after being told I would never be fit to work, nor be strong enough to have children.

Forty seven years later, despite episodes of ill health and many hospital stays, DH is still my rock. He has never faltered.
I had three children, studied for a second degree and had a career in teaching, proving everyone wrong.

DH says he has never regretted marrying me, despite the fact that chronic ill health now impacts greatly on our lives.
He has never once complained about having to support me.

I agree that love and commitment being important.

Callistemon21 Wed 27-Mar-24 23:02:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

M0nica Thu 28-Mar-24 07:20:18

Actually, I was just thinking the other day that if I could go back and relive my life, exactly as it has been lived so far I would.
Not because it has been a bed of roses, because it hasn't and i have suffered all sorts of problems tragedies, as has everyone else, but nothin insurmountable and I have grown into a healthy old age, in reasonable comfort, with my family intact and that more than makes all the other problems worth while.

Joseann Thu 28-Mar-24 08:03:01

But has that to do with the person you are, the person you married, or a combination of both? I think there has to be a kind of partnership and understanding that goes beyond a few basic wedding vows.

kittylester Thu 28-Mar-24 08:31:51

I don't think it is very often thought about in the excitement of new love/lust. I feel very lucky to have, inadvertently, picked a good partner - from lots of points of view. It is a bit of a gamble isn't it.

Luckygirl3 Thu 28-Mar-24 10:28:49

I think it us good to remember that in the main there have been lots of good years before the bad times, so young couples are right too be looking forward with happy hearts.

I looked after a man who, by the last few years of his life, bore only a passing resemblance to the man I married.
If I were to be honest I did not like him. There was little tomlike. But it did not occur to me (or indeed my lovely DDs) not to do our best for him, as he would have done for me in similar circumstances.
Let the young have their dreams and their good times ....