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Feeling selfish

(38 Posts)
Angstridden2 Wed 05-Apr-23 12:18:03

I’ve been married for many decades to someone a little older than me. He has had several problems over the last 15 or so years, it seems as soon as one improves he has another problem which prevents walking a distance or attempting to dance at weddings etc. I have nursed him devotedly through several ops and the disastrous aftermath of them caused by NHS incompetence so I’m not entirely heartless! However I am feeling very frustrated by the non stop issues and limitations caused by this. He has never been an active person and has happily let me do the majority of household and diy tasks. He has put on weight due to his lack of activity.Now of course waits for treatment are endless so we are paying privately for diagnosis and physio. I love him dearly, but he has never been a demonstrative man and I do wonder how he would look after me if I ever needed it; so far I have rarely been in need in our very long marriage.

I just feel like a horrible person!

Angstridden2 Mon 31-Jul-23 13:16:57

I’ve taken your advice and booked a spa day with friends. He is not disabled and can totally look after himself, he just has some mobility issues which frustrate him. I have to admit that I have enabled him ..chickens home to roost I’m afraid. I still love him very much but feel a resentment that I’m a soft touch because of this!

HelterSkelter1 Mon 31-Jul-23 13:28:45

Great. The first of many outings I hope.

It is so easy to get into this situation I know from experience.
And of course we know that enabling does not improve anything in the long run.

You will come back refreshed which is good for both of you. I must do the same!

Hithere Mon 31-Jul-23 13:44:23

Reclaim your time, own life and yourself.

Set boundaries on what you do for him

You both need to sit down and prepare a care plan so you are ready when the time comes

grandtanteJE65 Mon 31-Jul-23 13:46:22

There are a lot of us here in the same boat as you, Angstridden2 and you are not selfish.

Do you have some time to yourself every day, either for a hobby, a rest, or just to do nothing?

I do and find it makes it easier for me to get through the rest of the day and by and large to bite my tongue instead of biting DH's nose off, when he complains again about what neither of us can change, however much we want to.

Hope some of these answers are helpful or that just knowing how many others are in the boat with you is.

biglouis Mon 31-Jul-23 13:48:21

One of the reasons I never returned to my home city was that as the divorced/childfree daughter I might have got lumbered with caring for elderly parents had I lived nearer. There are advantages to being a non driver and there were no smart phones or internet back then.

Carenza123 Tue 01-Aug-23 13:49:05

My husband has increased mobility problems and I basically run the house, maintain the garden and due to him being an insomniac, have taken over some of the driving as I don’t feel he is safe at times. I luckily, so far, have reasonable health but it won’t always be this way. He would not be able to look after me, but at least I have a supportive daughter who tries to protect me. Both son and daughter have had a chat with my husband and said he needs to help me more as I am getting tired with all the caring. That talk has fallen on deaf ears and nothing has changed. I try to go out to my interests as I know I need social interaction which I don’t get at home.

Redhead56 Tue 01-Aug-23 15:57:02

You are not a horrible person you have devoted a lot of time caring for your DH.
He is capable of doing something's for himself so now is the time for you. Mentally and physically exhausted you need to talk about getting some outside care arranged.
You should step back and not be so willing to help out look after yourself.

DiamondLily Tue 01-Aug-23 18:17:26

It's very, very hard when you are having to provide increasing care for someone, especially if you have health problems of your own.

I was in this position.

DH tried, but health and age crept up on him.

I used to get tired, sometimes snappy, but I ploughed on, getting ever more exhausted.

But, he suddenly (unexpectedly), died in April, and curiously, I'd give anything to be caring for him again.

It's hard work getting older with health problems, so I guess we just struggle through the best we can.

Best wishes.💐

Angstridden2 Wed 16-Aug-23 08:41:27

DiamondLily
I’m so sorry about your husband, that must have been a shock and I quite understand that however frustrating it may have been, you miss him a great deal. I love my husband dearly but it does help to express our feelings on an anonymous forum sometimes, doesn’t it?

lyleLyle Wed 16-Aug-23 11:07:55

Neither horrible nor selfish. I was a registered nurse in the US for many years. Some of the greatest challenges for the chronically ill are maintaining the motivation to get better or to avoid sedentary living. Perhaps you’ve done too much for him without him having any incentive to help himself. Speak to whatever healthcare resources are available to help map out a plan to get him to do as much as he can for himself within the limits of his condition. Every little bit helps. It’s actually really harmful foster total dependence because deterioration comes faster. I’d start with getting him more involved with ADLs (activities if daily living) that you typically do for him. Encourage him. Have a chat with him and explain that it is for his own good that he helps homself more. Also start preparing healthier meals if you do the majority of the cooking. His weight gain nay eventually mean his death. Tell him that verbatim if you get push back on meals. He is also welcome to arrange his own meals if he has an issue.

At a certain point in life, it’s “use it or lose it.” He needs to be more actively participating in his own care. For you, for his physical health, and for his dignity. Care giver burnout is inevitable if you continue at this rate. Don’t feel guilty! Just make changes! smile

pascal30 Wed 16-Aug-23 11:53:12

Angstridden... you will not get this time back..so whilst he can still look after himself I would encouurage him to lose weight and to help you with household chores.. as you say you have enabled him to become dependent but that doesn't need to continue.. I would take every opportunity you can to live your own life as fully as you wish and to go out, or away as much as you can whilst you still can, life will be very different if he actually becomes completely disabled.

Allsorts Wed 16-Aug-23 13:34:45

You’re important too. Your husband is not immobile, so for pull back a little. Have “me time” each day and go on breaks etc. It’s amazing how many people being looked after develop ways of coping when help isn’t there. If a carer isn’t well who steps in then?