saying no to becoming a caregiver

Yes, we both said our vows. But how many of us break them? Most of us, at one point or another.

Would he do this if our roles were reversed? Absolutely not. He’d be out of here in a minute.

He was cheating on me when his spine was crushed in a car accident. I have no idea where he was going that afternoon. He was supposed to be at work. It could have been a work meeting, a lunch time errand, whatever. But obviously I’m going to believe it was to meet her.

I had just found out, but hadn’t let him know I knew yet. I was deciding what to do; deciding if I should leave him or not.

And then I got the phone call.

It’s just assumed that I’ll take care of him. No one asked. I’m not sure how I would do it, though. I’m told it’ll take months for his disability to through. It’ll be years before we see any money from the lawsuit, if we ever get anything. I’m out on FMLA for now, but we can’t survive without an income. We were just barely getting by before.

I try not to think about the medical bills that are accumulating at this moment.

They keep talking about how they’ll be sending him home with me once he’s stable. As if I should be excited. I wasn’t sure if I wanted my husband home with me, but this isn’t really my husband. He’s like an ornery child. The personality changes could be temporary or permanent. He could regain the ability to do certain tasks on his own, depending on the severity of his TBI and how much his body heals.

This is not what I want for my life.

Before the accident my friends were telling me he didn’t deserve me. That I should pack up my bags and go. Or kick him out and fight him for the house in the divorce. Now those same friends are acting as if I should end my career and spend the rest of my days wiping his ass and fetching things for him. As if that was God’s plan for me.

Is it even an option to say no? How will I support us if I have to be here with him around the clock? Where will we live once we declare bankruptcy? What will happen to him if I leave.

It’s funny how once someone gets themselves smashed up they are made a saint. No one can say a bad thing about him now. But I will. He was a terrible husband.

And I don’t want to give up my life for his.

Anonymous

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The Caregiver Space accepts contributions from experts for The Caregiver's Toolbox and provides a platform for all caregivers in Caregiver Stories. Please read our author guidelines for more information and use our contact form to submit guest articles.

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294 Comments

  1. My husband and I was separated for 8 months because he was verbally and emotionally abusive to me and my two children. During our separation He had a massive stroke he couldn’t talk, eat, or move the left side of his body. I decided that I would move back to help because ultimately he will have the best recovery with me. 1 year into it and he is right back to his old ways. Now a part of me wants to just leave again, I didn’t sign up to come back and help him for him to treat me just as bad as before.

    Reply
    • My verbal and emotionally husband has had cancer for 3 years now, I secretly jump for joy and just can’t wait until the old coot croaks off, I’ll be so happy to see him hunkered down fighting for his last breath

      Reply
  2. Try this one on for size.
    Same situation, BUT its the wife not the husband, AND it is a permanent, incurable, degenerative brain disease and you have ended up, after 15+years of slowly more demanding care needs, both medically, and in your normal everyday life (chores, finances, etc), you the caregiver has had 5 nervous break downs, developed three major anxiety disorders, lost your job because of it, don’t qualify for Government disability assistance because “you’re just too intelligent to get disability payments”, you can’t afford to get your physical ailments treated without putting her in a nursing home in which she will probably get much worse, much quicker and face what other hellish reality of life in those places, and you will end up homeless because the house is only in her name.
    Yay life!

    Reply
    • Sounds familiar, Huntington’s Disease?

      Reply
  3. Husband drinks like there is no tomorrow, 365 days a year, smokes over a pack- if not 2 a day. Has verbally abused me for the first 5 years at least of marriage, he has tamed some. Short fuse, disrespectful, absent husband, works, goes to bar, comes home, drinks more, goes to bed, do over next day. He refuses to listen to anything I say, does not care about health, marriage, only about himself. I refuse to be a caregiver once he ends up in hospital. He is so selfish not to take care of his health, I should not be responsible for the consequences of his own irresponsible actions. Hell to the no, I do not smoke nor drink, go to the gym, stay healthy, attempt to do the right things and take care of myself. Not fair.

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  4. I’d leave him. Let him suffer. If he deserved you he would have made the effort when he was whole. He’ll learn a life long lesson of being faithful and keeping promises. Your promises to him became null and void when he decided to cheat. You can be a friend, but not his crutch or beating doll.

    Reply
    • I am the one who has the disability and I stuck by my husband after an affair, while going through breast cancer and right shoulder repair and went back to work after a few weeks! We have been married for 20 years and about a year ago I started falling and such fatigue I couldn’t do much at all and he hated me for being sick and couldn’t work! He told his family and friends all sorts of lies about me! We had to move out our house into a motel and totally abandoned me there! I fell and broke my right upper arm then fell again and shattered my shoulder! I found out I had 3 strokes and Parkinson’s. I wasn’t able to be his bank anymore so he took off and left me nothing not food, money or a car because I lost my car! Everything is gone and he could care less ! I don’t know where he is or his phone number! No compassion all about self the reason he left he was scared he would lose his sports car!

      Reply
      • Good grief! Do you have any friends or family that can support you? I’m sorry you’ve had to go through all that! I hope it’s gotten better for you.

    • Look up the girlfriend and pass the useless SOB off to her and happily go live your life. You will die of the resentment and bitterness that will only naturally build up in you. He broke your vows, consider yourself a free woman and go live your life. You only have the one!

      Reply
  5. i know what makes this different is that he broke his vows. 100% different and ok to feel like you don’t want to or have to take care of him.

    but wow, as the disabled daughter of my caregiver do you know how much this article and all these comments makes me want to just disappear? the ONLY google results about caregiver relationships take the side of the caregiver. i can’t even look up ways to talk to other disabled folks about this, because Every Result is something like this telling me i’m wearing my mom too thin and am a pain for everyone and make your lives miserable. do you have Any idea what this does to us? we already think we’re burdens on everyone we love. now we/i have proof i guess.

    Reply
    • I took care of my dying father, my mother, and now I care for my sister. I’m glad I’ve been able to help people I love. If someone else asked, however, I’d have to say I couldn’t because I’m so tired. Except my daughter. I’d do anything for her. As I’m sure your mom would for you. That’s a whole different level.

      Reply
    • My boyfriend and I have been together for close to a decade. Before his diagnosis, we where in a terribly bad place. Arguements over big and small things almost everyday. I was almost positive I wanted out long before we found out about his cancer. Til this day I question our relationship. What I do not question is taking care of when he needs me the most. My situation is not similar to yours, he has been faithful (as far as I know). He has however hurt my pride, self esteem, and ego in many ways other than cheating. An I’m no fucken saint let me tell ya. However, I am a human being who sees a fellow human being in need of help, love, care, and support. Especially with our history, I would never abandon him regardless of the outcome of our relationship. I still want to see him beat this terrible illness. He does not deserve this. Your reasons to want to leave are 100% valid. And no one who has a brain would blame you for leaving, but just ask yourself this one questions if you left and something bad happened to him would you be able to live with yourself. If the answer is yes than leave now. But if it’s no stay your conscience will haunt you for the rest of your life. So in other words do this for your peace of mind. Just because he acted like a piece of shit does not mean you have to stoop to his level. Trust me he’ll realize his mistakes real quick and even if he doesn’t God will know that you did the right thing. And maybe he’ll bless you with an amazing person if you feel you cant be with him anymore after his recovery. I also want to let you know just because you take care of him doesn’t mean you have to be with him. Just be honest. Dont be like him. Good luck and remember to always put yourself first. I dont know what my boyfriends and I future holds but one thing I know for sure is that he will have one. No matter what.

      Reply
    • Please don’t feel anything but loved and wanted, Nannah. I am my 20 year old daughter’s caregiver and she is not a burden on me as I’m sure you are not one on your mom. If I live the rest of my life taking care of my daughter and loving and supporting all of my children, that would be the best life I could possibly have.

      Regardless of the negativity by caregivers you may read, their are plenty of us that are happily doing so that don’t write their story. They live it lovingly through those they are caring for and don’t need to. Take care.

      Reply
    • It is difficult being a caregiver and yes, you are a burden. That is the realities of it.

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    • As someone who has been both caregiver and in need of help, often at the same time, the reality is that every day, you feel differently about your situation and the people/person around you. And Milo’s blanket statement that everyone is a burden is false. That really says more about him than you or your caregiver.

      My dad was and my mom is in need of constant care. Despite having a very complicated relationship with both of them, and not getting a lot of help from them for my own chronic conditions, I consider my time caring for my late father to be one of the most fun and enriching things I’ve done in my life, and I know he felt the same. My mom and I have bonded over our shared medical issues as well. I wouldn’t be a caregiver if I didn’t like it or care about the person. I’m sure your caregiver feels the same.

      You’re so right about the Google results being skewed in favor of overwhelmed or reluctant caregivers. If you would like to talk to others who might understand you better, try searching for message boards or subreddits related to your disability/diagnoses, or even general disability. For example, I follow places related to lupus, arthritis, kidney transplant/dialysis, migraines, and ptsd – it is so nice to be able to speak candidly.

      Reply
    • As someone who has been both caregiver and in need of help, often at the same time, the reality is that every day, you feel differently about your situation and the people/person around you. And Milo’s blanket statement that everyone is a burden is false. That really says more about him than you or your caregiver.

      My dad was and my mom is in need of constant care. Despite having a very complicated relationship with both of them, and not getting a lot of help from them for my own chronic conditions, I consider my time caring for my late father to be one of the most fun and enriching things I’ve done in my life, and I know he felt the same. My mom and I have bonded over our shared medical issues as well. I wouldn’t be a caregiver if I didn’t like it or care about the person. I’m sure your caregiver feels the same.

      You’re so right about the Google results being skewed in favor of overwhelmed or reluctant caregivers. If you would like to talk to others who might understand you better, try searching for message boards or successors related to your disability/diagnoses, or even general disability. For example, I follow places related to lupus, arthritis, kidney transplant/dialysis, migraines, and ptsd – it is so nice to be able to speak candidly.

      Reply
    • Nannah, it’s not like that. The fact that you are out here looking for ways to improve and contribute to the relationship is a huge difference. My husband had a TBI and yes he wore me out beyond myself. But he never acknowledged me as a care taker or a contributor to his welfare. He used his injury as an excuse and a weapon of control. If he had expressed any gratitude, support, or attempted to contribute to the relationship, that would have been a huge Help and meant a lot to me. Please remember that there is a lot of information out there on how to be a good caregiver but very little support for the event when a caregiver becomes an object of abuse. The TBI survivor basically gets a free pass on bad behavior and any issues they may cause. It is not socially acceptable for a caregiver to speak out about abuse at the hands of their spouse. Sometimes online is the only place where we can voice all the times we have been shoved, stolen from, and sexually assaulted by the TBI survivor. Please remember that this comment string is not about you. It sounds like you care about your caregiver. Please keep a positive attitude and remember to look for those little ways you can contribute. Maybe you can’t bring in an income for the household but maybe you can walk the dog or remember family birthdays.

      Reply
  6. It’s amazing how he didn’t respect, love you or take your feelings into consideration when he was cheating. I wouldn’t care what happened to him. I would still pack up my things and leave. Let his side chick take care of him. I wouldn’t waste another second on him. Life is too short to be unhappy and to be used for someone else’s convenience. I hope you’ve moved on with your life by now.

    Reply
  7. My husband fell in our home 4 years ago. From that moment on our life was never to be the same. I was told that he had stage 4 kidney failure and his sodium was so high he passed out. He spent 30 day’s in the hospital and another 30 day’s in a nursing home. The social worker at the nursing home told me they could not keep him any longer and I would need to take care of him at home.My husband was not able to talk or walk, was in diapers and had a G-tube for feeding. I had to figure out for myself how to care for him. The day before he came home we received a hospital bed, wheelchair and a Hoyer lift to transfer him in and out of bed. For the first 2 1/2 years I did this 24 hours a day without a day off or a full night sleep. I used a transport service to take him to 54 different doctor’s trying to find some type of help. I would get up and shave him wash his hair and give him a bath before every appointment. This would take at least 3 hours to do. Sometimes we would show up only to be told that we can’t help you. He had so many test such as CT scan, ultrasounds, spinal tap. I was told he was not going to live longer than 8 months. So many night’s I would sleep in the chair in his room afraid that he was going to die and I didn’t want him to die alone. Finally one day I decided to approach this like he was a baby and teach him how to talk and feed himself again. We practice everyday and he was able to talk again and eat enough food that the feeding tube could be removed after 1 1/2 years. The doctor then had a physical therapist come a few times a week. He took his first step after many month’s of physical therapy and was able to stand up from the wheelchair long enough for me to lower him into the front seat of the car, I thought this was a turning point. It was short lived and my Daughter moved in with us so she could help me take care of her Dad. It is now 4 year’s later and he is now stage 5 end stage kidney failure and on Hospice care. We have come full circle he can talk but won’t sometime’s and want’s me to feed him. I am so tired of this and everyday I just feel anger toward him. I am a prisoner in my own house. This is not the life I wanted and feel cheated because he won’t even try to do anything for himself, I even have to brush his teeth. I should be thankful that I don’t have to work and live in a very nice home. I need to find a way to be happy but everyday is the same. Nothing ever change’s and I don’t see it changing anytime soon.

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  8. Itis a really hard and emontionaly draining job

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    • This is just a comment and isn’t directed to anyone. In my younger years I always said I would never put my parent in a nursing home . Well old age has hit me and I have totally changed my mind. Many days I feel like I am losing my mind. After caregiving for 14 years and the last 2 really bad, I have had enough!

      Reply
  9. Itis a really hard and emontionaly draining job

    Reply
  10. Had a patient, he’d left his wife and kids years before to move back to Mexico with his girlfriend. He was in a bad car accident, tube feeding, unable to do anything for himself, complete care. His family sent him back to the wife to care for and pay his medical bills so they wouldn’t have to. And she did. I felt so bad for the woman and wished she had divorced him and let his family figure it out.

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  11. Had a patient, he’d left his wife and kids years before to move back to Mexico with his girlfriend. He was in a bad car accident, tube feeding, unable to do anything for himself, complete care. His family sent him back to the wife to care for and pay his medical bills so they wouldn’t have to. And she did. I felt so bad for the woman and wished she had divorced him and let his family figure it out.

    Reply
  12. Go live your life, he’ll have to figure out how to manage. Life can be cruel sometimes, but you are own person.

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  13. Go live your life, he’ll have to figure out how to manage. Life can be cruel sometimes, but you are own person.

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  14. when the vow (commitment) is broken, the obligation ceases-there is no more contract

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  15. when the vow (commitment) is broken, the obligation ceases-there is no more contract

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  16. No different than taking care of a parent who was abusive or negligent towards their children.

    Reply
    • Who are also not obligated to care for them.

      Reply
      • I cared for someone with ALS. He had a girlfriend who supposedly didn’t speak very highly of him but I never judged her for a second. I was being paid to provide care and had no idea what kind of relationship they had had. Best of luck to you. Your indeed are not obligated. I grew very fond of him and provided good care. That’s what professionals do, hopefully.

  17. No different than taking care of a parent who was abusive or negligent towards their children.

    Reply
    • Who are also not obligated to care for them.

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    • To those who do, I’m right there with you. I couldn’t leave him before his stroke so how was I supposed to become stronger and leave him after? It’s compassion starting for our grown children and grandchildren I do what I do or cannot do alone.

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  18. Don’t! I would not care for a husband who was awful to me! I am a caregiver for our son with severe Autism. That is where my love and commitment belongs to!

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  19. Don’t! I would not care for a husband who was awful to me! I am a caregiver for our son with severe Autism. That is where my love and commitment belongs to!

    Reply
  20. Thank you for sharing this article. It makes me sad, but I absolutely have no idea what I would do. In many ways, I’m lucky in that I never had a spouse to worry about. I have met several women over the years that took care of exes. Several told me it was because there was no one else that would do it and although they had been hurt (many reasons for divorce) they felt sorry for the ex. The author was newly hurt and filled with so many emotions that had not been processed when the accident happened; it’s no wonder she is in turmoil. It is truly her decision and she will need to do some soul searching to determine what’s right for her. She may also need some counseling/therapy to work through decisions that she will need to make.

    Reply
    • Hi I am in the same situation too I left my husband because he was mentally and verbally abusive then I found out he was using a cane now because of his hip went bad because of the weight he put on from eating and sitting in front of his computer all day playing games he got worse and the House was a mess I was told I felt bad for him and came back to help him he went from walking with a cane to he can’t use a cane anymore to wheelchair then he said he couldn’t wipe himself anymore or wash his bottom to he-can only come down the kitchen stairs once so now I help him with his personal care bring his food up to him wheel him around wherever we go which we don’t get out of the house only once a month he wants to keep the lights off during the day because it gives him headaches I am a nursing assistant with my own health problems but I felt bad for him yet he doesn’t do what the doctor tells him he is extremely obsessed he is now diabetic but he still eats what he wants and drinks what he wants and plays his computer games every day all day until dinner time that’s when he eats and watches TV until he goes to bed at 9:30pm he gets up at 11:00am I am now beginning to resent him I was staying with my sister in another state when I left to come back to take care of him I want to leave and go back to my sisters but I will feel guilty and my family and his family and other people will think I am a horrible person if I leave him now.

      Reply
  21. Thank you for sharing this article. It makes me sad, but I absolutely have no idea what I would do. In many ways, I’m lucky in that I never had a spouse to worry about. I have met several women over the years that took care of exes. Several told me it was because there was no one else that would do it and although they had been hurt (many reasons for divorce) they felt sorry for the ex. The author was newly hurt and filled with so many emotions that had not been processed when the accident happened; it’s no wonder she is in turmoil. It is truly her decision and she will need to do some soul searching to determine what’s right for her. She may also need some counseling/therapy to work through decisions that she will need to make.

    Reply
  22. I meant a friend who directed me to Papa online who help people to solve their problem and then i wrote to him and he said i should not worry about anything, that i should give him a day for him to cast a spell for me and after that 2 days my ex boyfriend called me on my office line and started begging. That is how my ex came back to me contact [email protected] com he’s guaranteed.

    Reply
  23. My husband was in a motorcycle accident and is now a quadriplegic. He was in the hospital for 6 months for recovery. He’s been home for 5 months now. I am always tired, depressed, anxious, annoyed and want to just leave. Everyone was so excited he was coming home and I was not. It was scary to know that his every need was relied upon me. The family although supportive when asked for help they always have other plans. I am the full time provider financially and this puts a strain on my job. We had his son move in with us which has definitely helped. However, it’s just not enough anymore. I want to scream most days and runaway. No one seems to understand the amount of stress and pressure this injury has endured. He’s trying hard to recover, but it’s such a disappointment that I haven’t seen much progress. We use to have fun and enjoy things together now it’s just a chore. I can’t talk to anyone about my feelings either. Since he’s well known in our circle of friends both politically and club wise we have a huge following of our story. But I just want to hide. This disability defines who we are, but is destroying me inside. I am tired of people saying I’m a saint for staying but if they knew the truth I would be hated. I wish things were normal again but it will never be the same. I have tried to find the good in this but all I see is the work that I do daily and no break in the future. His son has really stepped up, and lives with us too so privacy is minimal. When we do get privacy I just want to sleep. I have talked to a psychologist but it’s always the same. I don’t know if anyone out there feels the way I do but perhaps some advise on your situation and how to cope. I quit doing the things I love because of his round the clock care. Unless it’s work related is the only time I get any time away. I have considered a legal separation to keep him on my medical but then what? Doesn’t my happiness count ever anymore? I made a vow but the love I felt for him is slowly disappearing and now I’m just a caretaker for the rest of my life. This is not working for me. I don’t know what to do anymore.

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    • Im in the same boat and I find myself hating him more and more bc i was able to gets an aide to help me and he fell in love with her.. even though he is quadriplegic, he communicates with a computer and erases the conversations from the screen when i walk into the room.. I don’t see her acting differently, she is a nice person but i have no idea what he shares with her that he doesn’t share with me… I confronted him and he says its the meds and he doesn’t mean anything by it its just she is nice.., but when i first confronted him he accused me of leaving the marriage and that i abandoned him.., how is that possible after working full time and spending 15 yrs caring for him as the disease grew… this is what im left with? I hate him, i quit my job and take care of him with her help. he asked me to forgive him and I cannot!!! He curses me out when I don’t understand what he says like i should be able to read lips…. he doesn’t have family that would take him and if i leave he would need to go to a nursing home and I cannot bring myself to do that… I don’t know how much i can take but I cannot live with myself if i walk away either !!!

      Reply
  24. I am the same as “I Don’t want to take care of my husband” glad to see I’m not alone! I feel exactly the same way☹️ Would like to connect.

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    • Same would like to connect as well .

      Reply
      • How can we connect?

    • How can we connect

      Reply
      • Laura I noticed you responded to me some time ago. I am sorry that I didn’t read that you wanted to connect. If you still want to chat let me know. I hope you are doing well. Jen R

      • I would have never imagined being my spouse’s caregiver only a few years into our marriage. It’s life changing, exhausting, frustrating, and at times I find myself becoming bitter and have even hoped the next stroke (if it were to happen again) would end his life rather than leave him with a disability that has greatly affected both our lives. I wish there was a way out but it seems it may be more financially burdensome on the other end of divorce. Oftentimes I wish I didn’t listen to those who talked me out of divorce prior to his illness, now I’m left (alone) holding the bag. I feel like only those who have or is going through this would truly understand and judge my feelings. I love my spouse but I’d rather have the choice to love him from afar and with another caregiver meeting his daily needs because this too much…

      • It’s a failure of our society that you’re in this position.

        It’s an economic decision that in some societies marrying someone means agreeing to provide them any financial, medical, and physical support they might ever need until death. Loving someone is a different thing than being made responsible for their ADLs at the cost of neglecting your own health, quitting your job, abandoning your friends and family, etc. That’s not what love is.

        People who are able to access adequate home care or residential care are able to focus on being a loving spouse, instead of spending all of their energy providing nursing/administrative care. Forcing spouses to provide unpaid care work is harmful to marriages and denies both spouses of their agency.

  25. I’d say “H€LL no, I can’t and won’t be his caregiver now or in the future”. Let him, his family and close friends as well as his healthcare professionals come up with a plan.

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  26. I have those moments when I want to give up but I do not. Not everyone can do it and I understand but I will not be one of them. This world is not fair but I have had many good years and I am thankful for them. I cannot give up on my husband because there is that better or for worse. So we all do what we can and I pray for every caregiver because no one knows how hard this job is but us. It can destroy you or make you stronger.

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    • But I dont want it to destroy me

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  27. Cyndi Kidwell, you are an inspiration ♡

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  28. This is the hardest thing to do.To take care of someone you love and see them mentally and physically waste away.But if the roles where reversed I would hope they would do the same for me.

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  29. What happened to
    “In sickness and in health” ?
    Oh yeah, that was “just a piece of paper” wasn’t it… not a VOW.

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    • I do understand if you aren’t physically capable…but otherwise you can learn to be a caregiver. I didn’t sign up for that but did it for eleven years of my life for Mom… with NO sibling assistance.

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  30. It is never ok to leave your husband. You take those vows and they say till death. I know. My husband had MS, he passed away 2 years ago. We were married for 34 almost 35 years. I was his caregiver till the last breath he took. Would I do it again. Yes.

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    • I don’t think so. I think some people are mentally strong enough to do it. Some are not. It is a very subjective question.

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  31. There are honestly only 4 people in this world I would take care of. One is my mother (which I recently became her caregiver and won’t change that for anything) two would be my husband (for better for worse, and he’s wonderful to me) and three and four my son and daughter (because they are my kids.)
    Not everyone can do this job, but I know I can, and let me tell you, taking care of my 87 yr old mother has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done.

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  32. Wow! Did you read this article? He betrayed the marriage! Broke their wedding vows! Then he gets hurt and needs a caregiver and she is suppose to want to take care of his cheating butt! Sorry disagree with your version of the article. His girlfriend should take care of him and she should be free to move on with her life. As a side note, I am a full time caregiver for my husband, for the past 5 yrs now. We have been together 27 years and have a loving and trusting and solid relationship. I am glad that I am capable of caring for him and will spend the rest of my life doing it, for as long as my body will allow it. Caring for someone you love is never easy, but caring for someone who has cheated on you and who you were ready to leave them before the accident, would be hell. If his girlfriend was his lover, than she should take the job in my opinion!

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  33. Wow! Did you read this article? He betrayed the marriage! Broke their wedding vows! Then he gets hurt and needs a caregiver and she is suppose to want to take care of his cheating butt! Sorry disagree with your version of the article. His girlfriend should take care of him and she should be free to move on with her life. As a side note, I am a full time caregiver for my husband, for the past 5 yrs now. We have been together 27 years and have a loving and trusting and solid relationship. I am glad that I am capable of caring for him and will spend the rest of my life doing it, for as long as my body will allow it. Caring for someone you love is never easy, but caring for someone who has cheated on you and who you were ready to leave them before the accident, would be hell. If his girlfriend was his lover, than she should take the job in my opinion!

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  34. I think it depends on the couple and why one spouse needs care. If I was married%. I helped her transfer, bath, use the toilet, eat, made sure she took her medicine, and was whatever she needed. Eventually her needs went beyond what we or any of her other kids could provide for. She needed professional care and with proper equipment. I know many get judge because they put their loved ones in care homes, and yeah many do for selfish reasons, but not all. Our family is big and over emotional so it also had an add bonus where everyone could spend time with her in a neutral territory and wasn’t having to call make sure it was okay to visit. So recap, everyone’s has different reasons and have to do what they need to do to provide the best care. If you leave your spouse cause they are sick/have/need care because of a disability : you are a douche. The end.

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  35. Call his girlfriend and let her take care of him!!!

    Reply
  36. My husband was sick for 7 years. At first I took care of him myself every year he got worse. By the end our daughter was there all day and me at night. Hospice 1x a week. He was on disability and I am a waitress. Paycheck to paycheck. It was tough. I cherish every moment we had.

    Reply
    • This article is about a man who betrayed his marriage vows to his wife and had a girlfriend on the side. He becomes disabled and she is expected to sacrifice her life caring for him? Heck no! Marriage vows were already gone before he became disabled, by HIM. Let his girlfriend take care of his cheating butt!

      Reply
  37. I think we can promise to always make sure our loved ones are cared for, but we don’t necessarily have to be the one to do all the work. Not everyone is wired to do this kind of work. Promising to do it all can lead to exhaustion, illness of the caregiver, and resentment…which is really counter-productive and harmful to the relationship.

    Reply
  38. Well nurse.i toke care of my husband.and the nurse .that came for a hour .said he was getting good care at home.and we toke care of my mom at home.and she died at home.were she wanted to be.

    Reply
  39. Very interesting, this is NOT my situation with my husband. It’s hard to care for someone you love and respect. I don’t think I could do it if I was betrayed and berated by someone. Everyone’s choice is individual and I DON’T judge others who can’t do it.

    Reply
  40. I took care of my husband when he was sick with cancer. Was it easy? No way! And we had a toddler as well as one on the way! But i did it, all of it, and I’d have continued, gladly, forever, if we had been blessed enough to have more time together before the cancer took him. It’s been nearly 9 years and i miss him every single day.

    Reply
  41. It has been my honor and privilege to be caregiver for my husband

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  42. I took care of my husband till he passed, I had EMT/MA training I took my vows in sickness and health, Im also of strong mind set though.
    I promised him I would never put him somewhere and I kept that promise, was the journey easy NO but its a choice I took. ❤️

    Reply
  43. I would try but with my special needs son already I don’t know if I could take on my husband too.

    Reply
    • That was my situation… took care of my special needs son for 25 years till he passed. Six years later, my husband had a stroke. I just couldn’t go back to 24/7 caregiving again. I have nothing left in me to give.

      Reply
    • I can understand that. My son is 17. And he can’t walk and is self abusive. It’s wearing me thin. I can’t imagine adding to that.

      Reply
  44. My husband had a lot of health problems and always bounced back but then he had a stroke and a year later another stroke. I was still able to work for about 7 years. I would get him up dress him, give him breakfast and meds, put him in a recliner chair and give him things to eat during the day . But he was getting worse so for the next 3 years I was his caregiver 24 7 . He wasn’t able to do anything for himself. He passed away in July 2017. I miss him so much

    Reply
  45. “In sickness and in health”. Sad how many can’t handle caregiving. But if you can’t physically do it, hire someone, and get help, but be there for them also. Not everyone can do it.

    Reply
  46. I was my husbands caregiver for 10 years. I had struggles at times but in general it was the most rewarding job I had. I miss him 🙁 Sadly he passed in March. But I would give all that I was given up just to have him back.

    Reply
  47. Husbands and parents! Its OK!

    Reply
  48. I take care of my husband and work full time it’s really hard but i do it because i love him

    Reply
  49. When you no longer can because his needs are out of your hands and also when you physically can’t. The way I looked at it was he took care of me 34 years and now it was my turn. We pledged vows but our love for each other trumped that.

    Reply
  50. Not everyone is equipped to be a caregiver and having the honesty to admit this is admirable and responsible. We all deserve the best care so it should be provided by someone who is capable to do so. And if any group who should know better than to judge another it should be caregivers. We deal with it all the time from those not caring for our LO’s and we know that no one can judge our actions or decisions until they literally walk in our shoes for even a day. If you have chosen to be caregiver for your spouse in light of their infidelities or otherwise inappropriate behavior good for you but please don’t belittle or insult others who choose not to. No one can truly understand what pain and sorrow they have endured.

    Reply
    • Very well said. I totally agree, I have always said that don’t judge me till you walk a mile in my shoes

      Reply
    • I’ve been disowned by most of my husband’s family, because of my decision not to be his caregiver. If it makes them feel better by punishing me, sobeit. I made the right decision.

      Reply
  51. As a Mom who deals with a child who has a TBI I have to say that she should not step forward as his caregiver. TBI and spinal injuries are hard to deal with. You have to be all in for this type of care. I have given up a career, financial security for my son. Recovery is VERY hard on the caregiver also. I would say it’s in both their best interests that she stepped out of the picture. I know I will be criticized for this but I have seen resentment really ruin some great people. Vows are nice but he had already broke them. Please don’t take on caretaking jobs if you can’t be there the full amount.

    Reply
    • Very well said, having experience in this area it’s not for everyone & you need to ask yourself if the situation was reversed would he do the same for you? If the answer is no , then walk away while you still can. It is so very hard on a caregiver in this situation & you could end up severely hurting your own health.

      Reply
  52. I toke care of my hus

    Reply
  53. Wow!! Marriage was rocky before he was injured. Spinal injuries take constant care that doesn’t end. If they don’t divorce, she has to work to provide some type of insurance and keep a roof over their heads. Check to see what kind of assistance is available. He may be in a skilled nursing facility for a long time. Disability insurance takes at least a year to get going. Rock and a hard place time.

    Reply
    • I agree, find out if possible before your husband leaves the hospital about as many resources are available to him & get the ball rolling. It can take months after leaving the hospital before the services can kick in. If he suffered a TBI also make sure you check into those services as well. Then if you don’t think you want to involve yourself with his hands on care you’ll have done what you could. It’s no easy road you’re on, so I wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide.

      Reply
    • You can’t buy disability insurance after you are disabled.

      Reply
    • I’m thinking Social Security Disabilty. Anything else would have to be prior to the auto accident.

      Reply
  54. My husband is 6.6 and 300 pounds and has a bad temper and little patience…. I will not be taking care of him… I physically couldnt. Not to mention that without my full time income being the main bread winner, the family can’t afford for me to stay home. NEVER EVER judge the dynamics of a family’s situation.
    I am a nurse in long term care and I can tell you from 27 years experience, the only good caregiver is the one who can provide quality, effective care and that IS NOT always the family!!!!!!

    Reply
    • Much respect for you Janice! I applaud families that can and do a good job. It’s not that I wouldn’t want to, it’s the reality that I can’ t. I took care of my mom, but that was a different situation. There are many variables at play when it comes to this. I’ve learned tho, that I can’t judge a family and their decisions, and understand that many of those decisions are not what was desired, but what was in the best interest of the patient.

      Reply
    • Tina, don’t you dare feel guilty for not being able to and you do not owe anyone an explanation for why you can’t. I’ve been a caregiver for 20+ years and love my job, I took care of my dad, grandpa and grandma but I can’t and won’t say what I could or couldn’t do if/when the time comes to care for my husband and I’ll be damned if I’m judged. Unless someone can walk on water, they have no right to judge. Keep on keepin on Tina and do what you have to do in your own situation.

      Reply
    • I agree Tina. I helped care for my grandmother, till not having her in a professional facility would had been detrimental to her well being. My family is proof that sometimes the family is not the best caregivers. Her kids were constantly fighting over petty drama and blaming the others for her getting sick and making her into a competition. I had to often talk my mom down when the “mama-drama” would get to ridiculous.

      Reply
  55. People do not understand there may be years not just with one sickness they may become aggressive caregiver goes down and needs rest so many things to consider honey ,you are done your best and love and duty to make sure they are cared for the best. BUT it does not have to be by you❤️❤️❤️

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  56. Yes it is overwhelming and heartbroken. I have professional help as well. I go to support groups. He is in early stages but yet so bright.

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  57. I don’t want my loved ones to be my full time caregivers. I want them to be my loved ones. Expert caregivers do a better job many times they are trained, it’s a job. Fluctuations in temperament during illness are not processed the same way by professionals. I want my loved ones to remain loved ones.

    Reply
    • I’m an overtime caregiver for a living. Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients. And you are correct. There are several reasons why an outside caregiver is beneficial.

      Reply
    • I’ve been trained by my husband’s Drs , nurses & pca’s!!!

      Reply
    • Regina Moreau Bryant you are brave and devoted. Admired.

      Reply
  58. Your loved ones deserve the best care. If you know it cannot be you, then I think it is fine to get someone else.

    Reply
  59. Given the above circumstance I can see where the wife would have mixed feelings about caring for her spouse long term. However, if I were ever to find myself in the position of having to care for her husband, I’d do it in a second. Without a second thought. And I’m certain hed to the same for me. We’re a team.

    Reply
  60. Interesting article. We all have choices, I chose to leave a career I loved to be a spousal caregiver, it was a difficult decision at the time, but I know today, it was right for me. We all have options.

    Reply
    • You must have got paid… Not have to work, pay bills and be caregiver. Drive to rehab 3 hours 3 times a week on your own dime that you don’t have. Never receive a kind word or ever get a hug again or a thank you. Just orders and screamed at (the illnesses, not him of course lol). Knowing your own illnesses are pilling up so fast that you will most likely be the first to go. Ok… Got it.

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  61. It’s never ok to not be a caregiver to your spouse, UNLESS they require care which has specific training or physical demands which you can’t do. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t ask and use help, but I feel you took a vow. Roll your sleeves up and give them your all.

    Reply
    • I cared for my quadriplegic daughter who also suffered a TBI. I told her Doctors & nurses she was coming home with me after her PT , OT, & speech therapy. I was trained from the day after her accident for 9 & 1/2 weeks to be prepared for everything that could possibly happen & then a day before she came home I was literally tested. Thank goodness I passed with flying colors. It made all the difference during the first 6 months with little to no help!

      Reply
    • Patricia Wade kudos to you! What strength, compassion and love you showed. No doubt that took a toll on you physically and emotionally. What a blessing you were. You’re a great mom

      Reply
    • Bushia Calvert Thank you, there is no greater love then the love you share with your child! My child was not going into a nursing home! I would do it all over again if need be! God bless all Caregivers!

      Reply
    • Patricia Wade agreed! 3 months after I married, my MIL got Alzheimer’s. I stopped working, Tom care of her. Then dad with cancer, now elderly mom and aging husband. Love means everything. We treat others how we’d like to be. I thank God my children never needed it, but like you I’d step up if they did.

      Reply
    • You’ll find that outside help is 100% necessary. Consider if your spouse or father became verbally and physically abusive during the degenerative process. How hard would it be to show love, to carry their burdens for them when they are hateful and you’re resentful? Outside help processes the anger and violence differently.
      Then you’re effectively able to give your partner/parent true affection, love and comfort.

      When words fail, loved ones faces become strangers, and they can’t speak anymore, they still can discern who loves them through facial gestures and looking into your eyes. They also can sense being a burden through reading your eyes. They’re scared on top of it all.
      Being able to love fully is a main priority. It’s hard when you have resentments. That’s why outside help is necessary

      Reply
    • Tom Harpen I agree, as I stated help
      Is s true blessing no doubt. My point is I just believe you must also be involved.

      Reply
    • When your spouse is cheating on you and becomes disable as you are planning to leave him for it, is a good reason to NOT care for him. I’m sorry but I disagree. I am a caregiver for my husband who I dearly love and we share a very deep and trusting relationship. It never crossed my mind not to care for him because of the magnitude of our love and devotion for each-other. But it isn’t easy to care for someone with a TBI and it takes everything out of you sometimes. I couldn’t imagine dedicating my life to care-giving, to someone who basically has left the covenant of marriage by having a Mistress on the side, completely betraying your marriage vows! I would be gone, and he would be left with his Mistress or family to care for his cheating butt! Someone who has been walked on and treated this way wouldn’t be a good choice for them as a caregiver anyway because they would have bitterness that could affect their ability to be compassionate. I say she should move on, find someone to spend the rest of her life with that will love her that same way she loves him and let this man’s family or Mistress care for him. Loving the person you care for makes the sacrifice much easier to deal with.

      Reply
  62. Not everyone are caregivers…there are things that some can’t do…that’s when they should get help. I have had training and experience but there are times I feel taken advantage of just because of it….its exhausting. Stay with them and love them know your limits. Its all good

    Reply
    • Yes I agree. I had no training it was really hard to learn. But I had people tell me I caught on fast. But it was still very very hard a devastating. But hubby is coming back really good.

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  63. Not everyone is equipped to be a caregiver. Married or not. Resentment & bitterness towards the other person is horrbible to witness. If you can’t do it in a loving way or unable, unwilling to find resources to help you.

    Reply
    • I love my husband and I am a nurse but this is not the guy I married. He can walk with a cane or without when he wants to. He can get on the ground to polish his corvette but he can not put his dishes in the sink or help me when he can sit in a chair. That does not even bother me. But the fact that he hates my job and tries everyway in the world to get me to quit. He screams at me, calls me dumb stupid, xxxxx and much more. He tries to make it hard for me. I do it all from hooking the card to battery charger or jump it off if it won’t start. I go all the shopping and have to carry groceries across parking lot up stairs no matter how many bags. I can do all that too. He is up 2-3 times a night taking pain pills and griping at me because I am still working on notes. It is not like he cares about my health because he never bats an eye when I am sick. My employers love me, my patients love me but my husband hates me. He has always manipulated me in to doing things he wanted but he did not treat me like he does now. He just has no compassion. I can take care of anyone how ever they are but they are grateful. He is trying to make me fail because he does not like living up here but I am not commuting 140 miles round trip. I did for 27 yrsL I am 56 yrs old and I feel like my life is over. I cry when no one is looking. I don’t know if I can keep doing this and be treated like I am. He lays in be when I am home with his phone and under the covers. All throughout the night. He can walk in the kitchen and get food, cokes whatever he wants and leaves it for me to clean up. He is trying to wear me out. He will not leave the house to go with anyone. He is here all the time griping at me. I am very relaxed when hes a asleep and gone. I have worked and have done an excellent job but I have never had someone wanting me to fail. i know his condition (CIDP) is a bad disease but most of the time he can get around but when I am there he is helpless. Not one thank you or nice complement since 2015. He knows what to do to push my buttons. He trys to make me jealous and he does not want me to know any of my neighbors. He has no drivers license but he has always drove. He bought a corvette which I was against and he was so nice. Well its in my name and insurance so I am afraid to let him drive it too much. I thought it would spur him to get his license or something. And he makes it sound like I am spending a handicap person money when I make him pay bills. Hes the one living there, using electicity, rent etc. I used all my retirement when he first got sick. Am wrong?

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  64. I couldn’t say no and I took care of him until the Lord called him home.

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  65. Seriously we are married and pledge to be together in sickness and in health. I can see hiring someone to help but the spouses should be main caregivers if able to

    Reply
    • I was willing and able to take care of my father , 4 years in and I was done ! Taking care of Alzheimer’s patients is the most trying and mentally and physically challenging job . 30 percent of spouses die trying to care for the one with Alzheimer’s . And I was hospitalized 2 times .I don’t think spouses should be the main care takers . Especially at the end stage .

      Reply
    • Yes its very hard, especially with that horrible memory stealing disease! We just lost my father in law a few months ago, we all live together and it was my honor to do all I could for him. I suffer chronic pain myself and he was a big man with a bigger heart tall and around 247 lbs. We did our very best with him. Even as hard as it was I would do it all over again. I have years of wonderful memories ill treasure forever. He passed at home surrounded by all of us, when my mom n law gets to the same point i will do it all over again as shes my very best friend.

      Reply
    • Please understand im not judging those who are not able to do it, in that case the most important thing is just to be there with them so they know they are loved and have not been abandoned. Its just how I was raised, our parents and grandparents take care of us when we are little, so I feel we owe it to them to do the same when they need us. And even if someone isnt able to be a caregiver, just visiting means the world to them. Im sorry u were hospitalized, were you caring for him all by yourself? Mentally it is heartbreaking when they get confused or mean.

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    • I am my husband’s 24/7/365 caregiver since Dec. 20,2014!

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    • Unless they are cheating on you and you were planning to leave him for it before he became disabled. Why should this woman sacrifice her life to being a caregiver for someone who has left the sanctity of their marriage? She should be free of it as it would only be a burden to her and not a good compassionate choice for him even.

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    • I think the religious people here are taking things too far. It’s kinda late and you’ve probably already made your decision. But if anybody else is reading through this, consider this
      1. We take care of people because we love them
      2. A spouse/any relative makes you hate them before they even get disabled
      3. You no longer feel the need to take care of them because you don’t like them.
      And you ABSOLUTELY DON’T have to. Stop letting people shame you into using up YOUR life on somebody you don’t even like just because of blood/marriage.

      Even if you didn’t initially hate them but begin to feel you can’t, you are still not REQUIRED to care for them. Caregiving is extremely hard. It takes a toll on your mental and emotional health. It is always YOUR choice. Don’t let anyone else make the choice for you.

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  66. Whenever it gets too much for the carer

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  67. I am. Going through my cancer he was there for me. Now I am there for him.

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  68. My wife had a massive stroke fours yours ago n I am her caregiver n if it was me who had a stroke she would care for me

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  69. Wasn’t there a movie about this? Diary of a Mad Black Woman….

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  70. Good insight about assumptions

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  71. I would hand that duty over to the female he was having the affair with, or his Momma.

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  72. Im actually in the hospital right now and my husband has been by my side. God has blessed me with this man❤ and if the roles were reversed Id do the same for him.

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  73. And where was the proof he was cheating? Because she said so? Marriage is a contract.

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  74. Can’t fault anyone for that decision.

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  75. PEOPLE read the article! !! He was cheating and she found out!

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  76. Our marriage wasn’t perfect when Mark’s accident happened either but I never ever thought about bailing out on him. None of us are perfect and my sins are no better or worse then his. It’s not a competition, it’s marriage. There’s a lot of give and take, a lot of tears, blood and sweat sometimes to get through the rough times but when it’s all said done…it’s totally worth it. We’ve been on this T. B. I. Journey for almost 21yrs now, married over 28yrs.
    If she has no desire to forgive and move past the anger for their future then she already has her answer.
    Be Blessed,
    Lacy

    Reply
  77. Only you know what you have to do…trust you gut feelings and go from there

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  78. Been there – done the caregiving after hubby had a stroke – he passed about 18 mos. ago – there is still anger, lots of relief that I no longer have to do all the caregiving stuff for someone who disliked and was jealous of me… he commented to his friends that I might be poisoning him, and why did his health get so bad after he got married…. accumulation of damage he had done to his body via sports and alcohol– chronic back pain and overuse of pain pills didn’t help him either. His narcissistic personality really came out after the stroke – more visible then than before – he could no longer hide it….. I worked from home remotely linked to work on my computer – hubby hated any time I spent on the computer. He did like having me at his beck and call but always ready to escape with his buddy for coffee….. thank goodness for my work family! I probably should have put him in a care center or have had his daughter take him on – hind sight!

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    • Sounds something like my current nightmare.

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  79. Talk to the hospital social worker. Maybe his family. You don’t owe him the rest of your life. Unless somewhere deep in your heart you intended to work it out with him and know he truly loved you, otherwise, I’d be out of there.

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    • Social workers are not always there for the families. The one I had did not give me all the details of my sons brain injury. They lied and said he wasn’t having behavioral issues and then when I discharged him the papers said danger to himself and others. It was too late to turn back and that was 4 years ago next month. I’m still waiting to find him a place to reside. The program he is in found him a group home and he was allowed to refuse even though I’m legal guardian and getting burnt out. I have no money for a lawyer and he can’t take care of himself if I had him removed. The social worker knew all of this before I took him home. She even said I could change my mind before I left with him and when I called her 6 months later she would not answer her phone

      Reply
    • We had good luck with one, but I am sure they’re not all the same nor are all the institutions they work for. I’m sorry that happened to you. That’s terrible.

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  80. I’d still divorce him. Does he have any living relatives? If they send him home to you, drop him off at the relatives!

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  81. Mine was my boyfriend, and not only would he have never taken care of me, but he left me 3 months prior. There wasn’t anyone to help him get well after his traumatic brain injury, and I loved him despite his flaws, and became his full time caregiver for 3 1/2 years. He made an almost full recovery. We are no longer together, and I know it’s an odd story, but the love I showed him was transformative I believe not just in our lives but in many others. I’m not suggesting she stay with her husband. I’m just sharing my own experience. It was the single most impactful and life changing experience of my existence

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  82. Um, wow. My whole point of being with someone is because we would take care of each other, no matter what, taking turns. I hear you, because my first life long partner who I married broke his vows and didn’t follow through, and was abusive. I divorced him. My current guy, huge improvement. We are both caregivers to our parents, his mother has MS, while I care for my father. So for this guy, there is no way I would abandon him, even if it meant he could not return the favor later for myself. As some of the commentators said, talk to his social worker and health agent. That is why they are there. To help you fill in the blanks, find the services, and hopefully, a working solution for both of you.

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  83. I would have never been able to care for my ex. That is not anything to be ashamed of.

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  84. I know I am not the norm here and we are older, he is 70 I am 60. I care for him and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I love him dearly. I am happy except for his illness makes him miserable but he doesn’t complain. He shows appreciation every chance he gets.

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  85. The rotten thing is she should divorce him and walk away but she will be the bad guy to friends and family even the ones who knew about his cheating. She still should though, bad enough she will be responsible for his medical bills and will be burdened with those and never be able to save for her retirement.

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  86. in your situation i’d be gone, no questions asked. i’d arrange a nursing home for him and be outta there before the water got hot. however, my husband is a sweetheart. doesn’t make it easier day to day, but at least i know if the tables were turned he’d be taking care of my to the best of his ability.

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  87. Mine wouldnt he would have left as soon as it meant he wouldnt have his time
    He makes comments now how much of an a hole he his to me if i did that to him he wouldnt have the patience to put up with it

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  88. Walk away. Cheating is unforgiveable!

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  89. I take care of my husband and work all day. And sometimes its really hard

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  90. Sad, not every one can I guess. My husband is paralyzed from his neck down and I’ve been his caregiver for 17 years. We will be Married for 37 years this summer.

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    • Did you read the article? Her husband was cheating on her, and she was contemplating leaving him.

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    • Still sad. Our marriage hasn’t been perfect. I’m sure that this is difficult for all involved. Yes, I read it.

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    • Wow. Guess you’re lucky, you’ll never know. Would hate to judge someone else, you know it come back on you.

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    • I don’t see what Ann said as judging. She was just saying it is sad. And it is. Hoping she finds the answers that she needs. She is in a difficult place.

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  91. Tell him to contact his girl friend.

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  92. I know what it is like to be goaded into caring for someone who doesn’t care for me. Go!

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  93. I don’t want my sweetheart to be my caregiver. I want them to visit, to be happy, not burdened.

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  94. I think my would have – he was very special. We were together for 28 years – he passed May 30th, 2015. I miss him terribly.

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    • So sorry for your loss. It seems you still feel the pain. It never completely goes away, does it?

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  95. i believe my partner would be an even better caregiver than i am… we are both female….but i have 2 very dear male friends that are caregivers for their partners too…must be in the genes…or not….

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    • I think it might have been the way I was brought up. My mom was a stay at home mom and took care of everyone and everything.

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  96. See a social worker. Don’t take on what your heart says no to.
    I was blEssed too care of someone who would of done the same.
    Follow your heart.
    Elaine

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  97. Mine would, ive been his for last 10 yrs, 247, 365

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  98. Hospital has a social worker for him. Tell them your story. They will find a place for him. You don’t have to take care of him. Never feel guilty for your feelings. I’ve been there.

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  99. my decision was not based on whether or not my partner would have done the same for me….

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  100. Give them his gf’s address?
    This is so sad. I feel horrible for her.

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  101. No he wouldn’t have done it for me.. but I did for him alone for almost 18 years no breaks and he was one mean nasty S.O.B.

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  102. Thank you for your brutal honesty. It’s not what i wanted either.

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  103. I’ve been (part time) caretaker for my parents, it’s hard work. I feel bad for anybody in the position of devoting their future to this duty. Especially this lady as she was bring cheated on and her friends supported her leaving him. NOW they don’t seem to be on “her side” as they forget what he put her through before the accident with his cheating. I believe she needs a good counselor to help her make a decision to stay or go and be able to never second-guess herself for the decision. I wish her peace and a second chance to be loved and appreciated, whether it is in this marriage or a new found life with somebody else.

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  104. I took care my late husband for over 5 year’s. I went through 6&1/2 week’s sleeping off and on listening to machines at the hospital. I spent 2 year’s with Hospice calling me for stats cause I was always here. I was with him till his last breath .
    I WOULD ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY DO IT AGAIN !
    Married at age 20 he passed away when I just turned 49.
    I’m older now and got remarried and yes still taking care of family.
    ** Matter of fact, I’m taking care of my 93 soon to be 94 year old Mom with dementia.

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    • I started out my marriage with my husband getting a rare flesh eating cancer on his feet. We went through years of early chemo, possiblilities of amputation and he survived. He recently had open heart surgery and I took care of him. I have been taking care of my 86 year old Mom for 5-years and flying back and forth to be with my husband. It is what it is. My husband, then, took care of me when I had lung problems after congestive heart failure. If he had not been there to take care of me, I would have died. I spent 21-days in the hospital near death. We have been married 37 years.

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    • God Bless You Deborah Ann Rose.

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  105. You never can judge until you walk in someone’s shoes! Maybe because he was a cheater, Karma ???

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  106. Dear Anonymous: I am very sorry to hear that your husband had such a serious accident – that is absolutely horrible for anyone. You question whether to go or stay . . . I’m coming at this from another perspective. When you took vows before God, that meant you were joined together as one and that you were the person he would be united with. However, he–by cheating on you–broke those vows. HE broke that unity, HE put another woman before his wife, HE was deceitful, HE committed adultery. You recognized before the accident that it was no longer a healthy relationship and clearly didn’t have feelings of wanting to be with him anymore. He clearly was not the man you married. I went through a divorce in 2014, and I realized that for my own health and emotional well-being, I had to get off the tracks before being run over by the train. Your husband was actively cheating on you before the accident; your relationship was no longer the united Mr. & Mrs. THEN THE ACCIDENT – first of all, you don’t have to answer to anyone but God. Staying with him because of what people say, how they judge you, you “feel you should,” or because people act like it’s expected ARE NOT reasons to stay in an unhealthy marriage where one has cheated. It would be very different if he had come to you, came clean, and wanted to work on your marriage–that would have given tremendous hope if you worked together. However, that is not the case here. Instead, he was cheating, he was injured. His condition is very sad, but staying when you already wanted to leave the marriage is clearly no foundation for years of caregiving. If you choose to leave (and I would encourage you to pray about it), I would be honest with those you want to share with, encourage his family to come alongside him, and to honestly share your heart with him. Ultimately forgiving him for cheating on you will free you from all the hurt from that, but, in my opinion, since those vows were broken, that forgiveness does not mean you have to continue with him. In the Bible, God does not like divorce, but it states that adultery is grounds for a divorce. If you choose to leave, you don’t have to be mean, but you can be honest. Just my thoughts. I will pray for you. Big hug.

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  107. Knowing he was cheating and wanting to leave BEFORE the accident is the main component to this story. Go. Be you. You should not have to stay. Is that a tough situation? Hell yes! But you need to do what is right for you. Good luck.

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  108. Maybe some of these friends they think you should take care of him should come take a day per week to take care of him also , it sure would lighten your load also ! Prayers

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  109. Until you are a spouse caring for your loved one, you will never know what this woman went through or is continuing to go through. When my husband broke his neck 9 years ago, we both agreed that it wasn’t what we wanted. At 28 I didn’t want to be my husband’s caregiver. 9 years later, I still don’t. And it’s OK for me to say it. Thankfully we’ve worked through our issues and are in a wonderful place and yes, are still married. However caregiving puts a huge strain on families especially spouses – including young spouses. After just 2 years of marriage we never thought he’d become paralyzed and I’d be his caregiver. One day maybe… but it almost broke our marriage and once I realized leaving was my decision alone, it actually made it easier to stay.

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  110. It’s hard enough to be a caregiver for anyone. Being a caregiver for family especially a spouse is significantly more difficult. I have been a caregiver for others, but after becoming a caregiver for my parents and my significant other, I can guarantee it is significantly harder! Each person has their limits on what they can and cannot deal with. We should not be in the business of “judging” others because they are not willing to be a caregiver. Each person knows what they are not capable of doing and if they know they can’t do it then why force yourself. It’ll only lead to major issues down the road.

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  111. Considering he was already cheating, and that TBI’s can often present with improper sexual behavior, this woman has some serious soul searching. Why is she bad for admitting that she doesn’t want to do it? She hasn’t just jumped ship. He didn’t take his commitment seriously, why is she forced to? In the end, it will be her choice. That’s okay.

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  112. You may not want to be caregiver to your husband. That’s what my son’s wife said and she didn’t. .. so I went to another province to be his caregiver for five years and was with him until he passed away. We always talked everyday but when he had three strokes and ended up with cancer I can honestly say I have no regrets. Miss him so much as he passed away.

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  113. It’s your decision alone.

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  114. You have to look at both sides of this argument and considering he never gave a dam about her feelings before the accident now she is supposed to live a life of resentment and become a bitter angry old women.

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    • Again, this is only one side of the story..

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  115. What a heartless feeling this person has. As far as I’m concerned, she has provided one side of the argument, I wonder what is the other side..

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  116. Mike Noland is one of the finest men I have ever met, and for the record, I’ve been walking this earth for a long time. The looks between Marci and Mike are filled with love and devotion.

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  117. When I got married to my wife 54 years ago I didn’t really say I do what I really meant was I am committed.

    We have not been perfect as I am a recovering alcoholic but she continued to see the goodness in me over all those years.

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  118. I feel you. I’m 42 years old. My husband had a psychotic break 2 years ago then got progressively sicker in a physical way. Turns out he cheated on me a couple years before we were married several times with a group of prostitutes and didn’t use any protection. He contracted HIV and never got tested. The HIV went untreated for a decade and now he has permanent brain changes and dementia. He’s more stable now that he’s on HIV meds, but he’ll never be back to full function, where he can work, take care of himself, or be a good husband. I’ve spent two years pouring everything into his health. We only got the HIV diagnosis 6 months ago. I went to a very dark place when I found out. I’m only starting to come back from it. He’s well enough physically that he could be alive for decades at this point. The only silver lining is that I wasn’t infected by him. I don’t have HIV. I haven’t had sex in two years. I haven’t been fully alive in more.

    What I’m doing now, starting in January of 2017…. learning how to not be a victim of all this. I have to make choices for myself that honor me and the life I need. I started with baby steps – like starting to eat really well, gave up alcohol (because I was using that to help me get through this), starting yoga and meditation every day, and a more resilient spiritual practice. The second part of what i’m starting is to reach out to other people to see if they can help me – I need a sexual partner, and my husband can’t provide that. I need emotional support – where do I get that? I need the ability to travel and have fun in life – how can I achieve that? I have to accept that I need to live by a different rulebook than anyone else does, and that has to be okay. I’m getting good therapy – it makes a world of difference. IT’S OKAY TO NOT WANT THIS!!

    Take care, girl.

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  119. I wrote a book called “Living with the Devil” I lived withJust go to my web site at—-www.maryburchauthor.com the devil for over thirty years, and I was the one who came to his defence when he was dying of cancer.

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  120. I have been a caregiver all of my life and yes I would care for my husband if he needed me, I would change his soiled diapers and feed him threes meals a day, and anything else he needed.

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  121. GET A GOOD DIVORCE LAWYER. GO NOW. HE WILL STEER YOU IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. TELL HIS DOCTORS THAT YOU Want him to go to a rehab center. Automobile insurance should pick up out of the bills along with whatever health care you or your husband has. Look out for yourself. For get the friends. If they were trust friends they’d stand by your for support with whatever you decide. GET A LAWYER! PLEASE

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  122. Get out now, while you still have some assets and your self esteem. You will end up very sad and angry if you sacrifice everything for someone who isn’t worthy of you. Your life is every bit as important as his, so have no guilt and look forward to a better future.

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  123. You do not have to be the caregiver. Since it seems that he is still in the hospital meet with the social worker so the hospital can find a place,nt for him, you might have to file for a separation or divorce So that he can qualify for some kind of assistance or long term care. And you don’t have to stay at the hospital all of the time- the hospital staff should be taking care of him now. Go back to work while he is getting that care.

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  124. How sad. I would care as lovingly as I possibly could for my husband.

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  125. First I am a caregiver to my 14yr old son who has DMD (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy), and now I also care for my husband, who had a brain bleed/aneurysm and dementia. I can relate to the frustrations of most of these caregivers. My husband has mostly been a good partner and father, but now with the dementia, it has been a struggle to not snap at my husband. I think for me, it’s the denial on my part of watching him decline.

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  126. Caregiving is hard as hell and if you enter it with anger and resentment it just makes it that much worse for both parties. I wouldn’t in the situation described in the article.

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  127. This has so many of the same raw emotions I experienced with the 3 years I have cared for my husband. It is a tough decision….a responsibility that is assumed by all. Lonely…

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  128. No body else can give you “advice” nor make decisions for you…you have to make them yourself with honesty. Either way, you have to be committed…committed to leave or committed to stay. Either way will be a lot of hard work and people will judge you. One thing I do know; you have to attend to your needs first. This may be spiritual, financial, counseling, …legal. Find a support group just for you, too.

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  129. Then they were not vows–they were words with no meaning. I took care of my spouse for the last few years of her life and now have to take care of her 97 year old mother

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    • The husband already broke the vows. Maybe his girl friend should take care of him.

      Reply
    • The husband already broke the vows. Maybe his girl friend should take care of him.

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  130. I’ve been my step-mom’s caregiver for the past three years. She has Alzheimer’s and it is the hardest thing I have ever done. It is so hard not to get impatient with her but I do my best. She’s been my mom for 50 yrs…when the time comes that I’m doing her worse than better then I’ll have to find a placement for her. It won’t be fair for either one of us. God Bless all caregivers.

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    • I had my mom in my home over 8 years with it, it is the hardest thing ever. But so worth it. Hire help to get out and do your best. My Mom died last March after a seizure with me. Goid luck

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  131. I was in similar shoes as you. I was married to an angry spiteful man. He was verbally and emotionally abusive from day one. I was brought up to believe that divorce was a sin except for adultery and if the person asked for forgiveness you were to give it. Well, that happened too.
    He had diabetes 7 years before we got married and started having problems immediately. He hit me a couple of times but never left a mark. After one particular loud, violent argument, I vowed to NOT be a statistic. I vowed to leave if he ever hurt me again.
    On our 12th anniv. he was diagnosed with cancer. The day he came home he pushed me & I broke my finger on my dresser. He got over cancer, but his health started going downhill. He lasted another 15 years. The last almost 6 was dialysis.
    When he died 17 months ago (yesterday), I was relieved!
    I’ll be praying for you. God has a reason for everything. You will be blessed if you choose to care for him.

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  132. I was in similar shoes as you. I was married to an angry spiteful man. He was verbally and emotionally abusive from day one. I was brought up to believe that divorce was a sin except for adultery and if the person asked for forgiveness you were to give it. Well, that happened too.
    He had diabetes 7 years before we got married and started having problems immediately. He hit me a couple of times but never left a mark. After one particular loud, violent argument, I vowed to NOT be a statistic. I vowed to leave if he ever hurt me again.
    On our 12th anniv. he was diagnosed with cancer. The day he came home he pushed me & I broke my finger on my dresser. He got over cancer, but his health started going downhill. He lasted another 15 years. The last almost 6 was dialysis.
    When he died 17 months ago (yesterday), I was relieved!
    I’ll be praying for you. God has a reason for everything. You will be blessed if you choose to care for him.
    Sincerely,
    Lynanne W.

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  133. You r a great sister, friend and wife / caregiver. I don’t know how you do what you do/ handle!! You. A blessing to so many. Remember that!

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  134. If a person feels this way. Stop! don’t be a caregiver. It’s hard work with no break. The only reward is seeing someone smile and says thank you. <3 🙂

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  135. I am my husband’s caregiver. I get impatient and lose my cool a lot of times and it is very stressful, but I know for a fact that he would do the same for me. I love him dearly and have tried the Nursing Home care for 2 days and he was back home with me. They just do not take good enough care for my liking. I will do it for as long as I can. He and I know that someday I may not physically be able to and that is going to be one of the hardest days of my life.

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  136. He was cheating! Let his family take care of him! Karma

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  137. If you have feelings of not wanting to be a caregiver, then don’t! No one will benefit & too much anger, bitterness will be a result. I am a Private Caregiver now. I helped with both parents, both sets of grandparents. Did alot with working swing shift & single mother of 3. 2 have graduated with 4 year degrees & 1 an RN. Now retired from a large company after 35 years I have chose to do private caregiving so people can stay in their homes. I help when family is tired, close to the end of life, work with Hospice, rehabilitation, whatever is needed. It is so rewarding & difficult as you do get close to clients & their families. I will do it as long as God allows me to be physically & mentally fit!

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  138. I can also relate, my husband passed and I feel so guilty for having those feelings.

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  139. I am burnt out from my parents and then soon to be ex hubby off his feet for 6 months. I can’t do it again, ever

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  140. Wow…..sorry for your pain. I understand.

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  141. My husband died in 1990 from cancer. He died at home and I took loving care of him. He died at the age of 50 and I was widowed at 39. I would do it all over again. <3

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  142. Considering how you feel, it would be best for both of you to get out now!! Don’t let the comments of others affect you, they haven’t lived your life. Caregiving is very difficult, physically and emotionally, feeling the way you do can do more harm than good to both of you.

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  143. My husband was an abusive, out of control cocaine addict when he overdosed five years ago, but did not die. He now needs 24/7 care. Can not walk, use his hands, is in diapers, yells out constantly and has serious behavior problems. The staff at the nursing home have their hands full caring for him. I, like you, decided that taking him home to care for him was not an option. His family has disowned me for my decision. They could care less about my quality of life, only his.

    It has not been an easy road, but you need to take care of YOU. Don’t let others persuade you to do differently.

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  144. My husband of 49 years is in his 13th year with ALS. I burned out years ago and my health is failing. There is no exit.

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  145. It gets..frustrating..depressive..but I am his wife and now caregiver. He is a 18 1/2 year Army Veteran. I do get help from the VA Family Caregiver Alliance. I would be lost without them.

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  146. I don’t think you have to do this . And I have been a professional caregiver my entire adult working life.

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  147. 6 mos before my husband had a dbl stroke and became paralyzed on his leftside I learned I had Graves disease I had no clue about this disorder fast forward 4 yrs and I am now in Graves remission but now Hashimoto’s active with RA,Fibromyalgia. I had been his full time caretaker for the first 3 yrs now our youngest son has stepped up to the plate as I can no longer do his care I am very sad that my son has given up his life to help his father there are zero resources that we quailfy for I once said I will do this because of our vows but now I rethink things and wished I hadnt prayed so hard for his recovery. He no longer has quality of life and mine is fading fast 🙁 I am 57 yrs young

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    • So sorry and relate to what u said

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  148. I can relate to all these comments. . I was my husband’s caregiver.. just 8 mos. I had good / bad feelings. .. in the end, I feel I was blessed to be given this opportunity.. I’ve come to terms I’ll always be a care giver.. to my family … my kids, grandkids and now my uncle.. it’s lonely at times but I get a break … 🙂 <3 wouldn't change it...

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  149. I belong to a wonderful Facebook group. It is a private support group for spousal caregivers to vent and support each other. It also includes widows and widowers after the spouse has passed. It is on FB under “Well Spouse-Spousal Caregivers”. It is the only help I received during my husband 12 year illness. We would love to have you!

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    • Thanks, Leslie. Between The Caregiver Space and Spousal Caregivers, we spouses have the support we so desperately need!

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  150. I can relate. I’m my wife’s caregiver, when her caregiver isn’t here. She has dementia.

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  151. It’s hard being the care giver of a spouse. I have become bitter and angry. Hubby is literally in bed for 23 1/2 hrs a day and it’s become very lonely

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    • I can so relate to what u r saying

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    • Sherrie Starke it’s awful. I hate the person he has made me. I literally do everything from the trash to the bills and cleaning. Being alone is the worst. It’s like he already died.

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    • I have grieved his loss at least 3 times. Every day is a new experience just waiting to happen!

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  152. Can relate. Husband just had second liver transplant in a year. I sit in his hospital room each and every day havent’ even left his side since new years eve. I could only work part time last year and bills are piling up. Not sure what his future will be and not sure how long it will take to find out. Didn’t have a perfect marriage was thinking about leaving when my last child graduated hs but he got sick. Now 5 years later I’m my husband caregiver 24/7. So tired so stressed. There really is no help.

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  153. I feel very sorry for the lady in the article. I am the care-ee and my husband is the caregiver. On my better days I read these articles and I try to understand what it must be like for him. I know how devastating losing my independence was for me, but he’s stuck in a virtual prison. The thing is, it saved us. We were having so many issues before- stupid, petty things looking back. And as ugly and unforgiving as my illness has been on both of us it has brought us infinitely closer together. I am so grateful for all that he does and all that the other caregivers of this world do for those of us who can’t take care of ourselves ❤️

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  154. Going by the situation described by “anonymous” , I most definitely would not give up my career or bring him home! The state would have to take possession of him at the time of release! I would not take flack from anyone for his bad judgement and subsequent consequences handed down to him by his “Maker”! His birth family would have to make any and all decisions from that point on!

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  155. I can relate, though I do want to be my husband’s caregiver. I would like to have moral/mental/physical support from his “loved” ones while I’m caring for him. I could use a break but no one wants to help bc “I’m acting ungrateful”…
    I’ll never forget those words or how they made me feel!!!

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  156. This is part of the reason why I don’t want to get married.

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  157. Ive been caregiver for my husband, last 10 yrs, 247, he has short term memory loss from a cardiac arrest, i have just recently been diagnosed with depression and exiety, no days off here

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    • No matter how much you love the person your caring for. You have to remember yourself. Get a break, a day out. There are programs like respite care. Check on them. One day a week. A movie, fun with friends etc. don’t let this into a life sentence for you. Bless you. ✝

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    • you really should look into respite care, gotta look high and low for it

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  158. You must research every avenue of getting help. You must have a break to recharge. You cannot or should not trade every aspect of your life for a loved one who is ill or disabled. You can supervise or be spelled for a bit. You cannot be effective if you are so exhausted you cannot see straight. It doesn’t mean if you are not involved in every aspect of their care you love them any less.

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    • I have not found anyone person or gov assistance that is available to us! We do not meet their “requirements”, for available benefits other than meds.

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    • There are organizations of kind people who can offer ideas and charitable organizations. Some churches can help brainstorm and nursing org may help. Look everywhere. Even senior daycare where you may have a meal together and don’t have to clean up after.

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    • Even someone to plan or social workers at the hospital or in the community.

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    • Roderic Lally If you ever need to find this kind of help good luck to you! It is not out there unless you are medicaid approved or a veteran. Even then you will have to fight to get it! I tried for 12 years to get help. Believe me I looked everywhere. All I ever got from 3 different social workers was a list of people who were available and what they charged.

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    • Oh I’m so sorry! I was a caregiver for my Dad. Not nearly like you folks are. I had some help. I feel for you as I was young and had help actually quite a bit of help and It was still the hardest thing I’ve ever done. That is why I am encouraging those brave souls out there to keep scraping for some assistance. I don’t mean to sound like you are not trying enough. I’m hoping that you can get some relief if only to rest. Sorry. Please don’t misunderstand I am in awe of your resolution and bravery and am tiny in my contribution to my Pops.

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    • Roderic Lally No, that is huge that you took care of your Dad. I admire your dedication to do that.

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  159. My situation is different. My husband didn’t cheat. He’s a nice man whose had a lot of bad health breaks. I’ve been his caregiver for a decade on my own. A few weeks ago, I just snapped. His personality is very difficult from his meds and he’s turned his anger on me. I’m seeing professionals, but I still have to deal with it. It’s vs very difficult situation.

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  160. But, I AM! It’s in our vows: For better or worse, in sickness and health!

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  161. I have often wondered about that one myself, but it is not me that needs the help, it is him and I do the best I can, by myself most of the time.

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  162. I believe the anger and resentment you are feeling, will get so.much worse if you take on the roll of his forever caregiver. Which, won’t help him and will hurt you. Quality of care will not be there. If you really love him, you will help him. Human nature. If you don’t love him, you won’t. The anger and resentment is not going to go away, and most likely will get so much worse. You’re in a really tough position, if, in fact he was having an affair. I was a loving husband caregiver, but it was still very difficult at times. You need to pay attention to your feelings, and not let the thoughts of others drive your decision. You are either all in, or all out. Or ask some of the folks telling you to care for him, if they’ll take on a shift to help you out now and then. They won’t. They will tell you God would say to you, forgive him and help him. But, He would say to your friends, help her care for her husband. They still won’t. Here’s my suggestion. If what you say is true, use common sense but follow your heart. An angry resentful person makes a lousy caregiver. And things will eventually spirall out of control. I wish you the best, knowing that we only have one life to live, and when it’s over, you have to know you did the right thing. I cared for my wife until the end, but it was out of love, not because it was the right thing to do.

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