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Signs that Spousal Caregiving May Be Becoming Too Risky for You

Spousal caregiving may becoming risky
All caregivers who experience elevated levels of stress are at an increased risk for physical and emotional issues.

Find home care near you or your loved one:

"Will you still need me,
will you still feed me,
when I'm sixty-four."
The Beatles, "When I'm 64"

Times have certainly changed since Lennon and McCartney penned and sang those words in 1967. Medical and healthcare strides are allowing people to live well into their 70's and 80's. Despite those health advances, the fact remains that caring for a spouse in need, regardless of their age, is very demanding, stressful and could threaten your own health.

The Journal of American Medical Association reports that if you are a spousal caregiver between the ages of 66 and 96, and are experiencing ongoing mental or emotional strain as a result of your caregiving duties, there's a 63% increased risk of dying over those people in the same age group who are not caring for a spouse.

As a caregiving spouse, you may begin to feel very isolated from friends and feel tremendous guilt about your own unmet needs. There can also be a sense of loss, especially if your spouse suffers from dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

So how do you know if caregiving is becoming too risky for you? Examine this list and see how many apply to you:

  • Missing or delaying your own doctor appointments
  • Ignoring your own health problems or symptoms
  • Not eating a healthy diet for lack of time
  • Overusing tobacco and alcohol when you feel stressed
  • Giving up exercise habits for lack of time
  • Losing sleep
  • Losing connections with friends for lack of time to socialize
  • Bottling up feelings of anger and frustration and then being surprised by angry, even violent, outbursts directed at your spouse, other family members, co-workers - even strangers
  • Feeling sad, down, depressed or hopeless
  • Loss of energy
  • Lacking interest in things that used to give you (and your spouse) pleasure
  • Feeling resentful toward your spouse
  • Blaming your spouse for the situation
  • Feeling that people ask more of you than they should
  • Feeling like caregiving has affected family relationships in a negative way
  • Feeling annoyed by other family members who don't help out or who criticize your care

All caregivers who experience elevated levels of stress are at an increased risk for physical and emotional issues.

Even if you are only experiencing two or three of these items, it is important to get help and support.

The truth is your spouse/partner will be in better hands if you are healthy.

Last revised: April 11, 2010

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. January 10, 2015 at 7:37 pm | Posted by Tammy

    I have read all of the post and don't know how I feel. I feel worse. Is there nothing that will help getting through this? About 3 years ago I was ill. I was told many years ago that I would not have a long life so getting sick made that reality hit home. I have been with my husband for 15 years but we have only been married for 1 1/2 years. When I got sick I told him we needed to get married. My thoughts were in case I passed he would be taken care of and not have any issues with receiving my assets. I deal with my illness and continue on with living my life. For the past year my husband has been ill. The doctor has told him to go on disability but he wants to continue trying to work. I go to work each day, come home make his dinner and handle any other items he needs me to do. His anger has gotten worse. If I don't look at him when he is speaking to me I'm disrespecting him. If I disagree with him, I'm trying to kill him. I've been told how stupid I am, that I have mental issues and that I just need to deal with him treating me like I'm nothing but taking care of everything. I want to run! But yet I stay here and deal with the verbal abuse. I honestly don't know if I can do this. I wish I had the strength of many of the people who posted to continue to be a long term caregiver. I feel so guilty and worthless all of the time. My health has had a turn for the worst but I can't even tell him about it. If I start to mention something he starts in on me how I'm not taking care of myself. Wow how many of you find time to even breath? I wish I had the man I fell in love with so many years ago back. I wish once he would say, "how was your day." I'm not asking him to cook, clean, or even tell me he loves me. I would just like to feel that I matter to him still. I will keep all of you in my prayers and ask the same of you. Thank you for sharing. At least now I know I am not alone.

    Reply

    • August 10, 2016 at 9:06 pm | Posted by Joyce

      My heart aches for you. I think this site will be a Godsend for me. I can't believe how man of us are hurting, or angry or both or just sad......

      Reply

  2. January 4, 2015 at 9:37 pm | Posted by Jennifer

    Wow . I feel the same way and I've only been taking care of my stroke survivor husband for 6 weeks . I'm 38 and he is 44 . Life just sucks so bad .

    Reply

    • January 8, 2015 at 11:38 pm | Posted by Kathy

      I feel the same, my husband 75, I'm 65, 2 years ago,was in hospital and rehab for 6 months. He made a full,recovery and we were finally living the retired life, I just retired. October of 2014 he had a stroke, paralized his entire right side. He is now walking with assistance, just came home from rehab, but has no hand or arm movement on his dominant side. He is so strong and at this point so,otherwise healthy I don't know why this happened. I retired at 62 to care for my mom, she passed and he got sick. In 3 years of my retirement I've enjoyed 6 months. I love my husband and he has been thru so much, but now I am and so is he at our wits end. Frustrated and I'm angry, I don't get why us??? 3 years of constant illness, death and caregiving. What did we do wrong? We had a nice life , good kids, the best Grandkids, we should be living the good life. Sorry, I'm looking for answers: why bad things happen to good people?

      Reply

    • August 10, 2016 at 9:07 pm | Posted by Joyce

      So young for both of you. Yeah it does just suck a lot. Hope things are a little better in your life.

      Reply

    • December 19, 2018 at 10:24 pm | Posted by Kristin Rogers

      I'm not sure how long it's been since this was posted but I'm in the same boat. My husband had a stroke 3 years ago and we are in our 40s. I could use someone to talk to. If you see this please email me at [email protected]

      Reply

      • August 11, 2019 at 12:45 am | Posted by Maria

        I don’t know your current situation but I can remember when my husband was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer at 47 years old. Durning his fight and multiple surgeries he gave me the most wonderful 5 years I could hope for. I was 49 when he passed. We were married for 21 years. It may seem like it’s so hard now and you hate your life but you will not regret the time you had together, even if it wasn’t his best.

        Reply

  3. December 18, 2014 at 12:06 am | Posted by sarah

    My name is sarah dixon, am from Dublin. i want to use this opportunity to thank my great doctor who really made my life a pleasurable one today. This great man Dr. Zaza brought my husband back to me, i had 2 lovely kids for my husband, about 3 years ago i and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me for one lady. i felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, until one day i met a good friend of mine that was also in a situation like me but her problem was her ex-boyfriend who she had an unwanted pregnancy for and he refused to take responsibility and dumped her. she told me that mine was a small case and that i shouldn't worry about it at all so i asked her what was the solution to my problems and she gave me this great man phone number and his email address. i was doubting if this man was the solution, so contacted this great man and he told me what to do and i deed them all, he told me to wait for just two day and that my husband will come crawling on his kneels just for forgiveness so i faithfully deed what this great man asked me to do and for sure after two days i heard a knock on the door, in a great surprise i saw him on his kneels and i was speechless, when he saw me, all he did was crying and asking me for forgiveness, from that day, all the pains and sorrows in my heart flew away,since then i and my husband and our lovely kids are happy.that's why i want to say a big thank you to Email: [email protected] This great man made me to understand that there no problem on earth that has no solution so please if you know that you have this same problem or any problem that is similar, i will advise you to come straight to this great man. you can email him at:Email: [email protected] or call him on +2348103508204 he is a professional man you can trust and believe

    Reply

  4. November 13, 2014 at 8:51 am | Posted by sherry

    married over 30 years, have a couple of kids still living at home that are over 25, that don't work. Husband was worse than energizer bunny, never stopped working. Got diabetes, went blind, had gangrene, kidney failure, heart disease, now kidneys are hardly working and I have so much stress in my life I feel like screaming, if I could only explode. House is in foreclosure, no help, no money. Anybody got any suggestions?

    Reply

    • November 21, 2014 at 11:32 pm | Posted by jim Ernest

      hang on sherry my dear, I feel your anger and your pain I just posted under Jeff comment , I'm going thru hell and back for the last 12 years . if you need someone to chat with I'm here Sherry and you have a new best friend ....take and your always in my thought , you friend Jim.......

      Reply

  5. October 21, 2014 at 3:13 pm | Posted by jeff smith

    Another day dreading to go home. At times I wish the car would just explode and end this misery. I do love my wife, but this constant struggle with her "medical problems" are taking there toll. Today, at work no less, I had to call 6 different doctors for appointments, even money says she wont even go to them, but still bitch how sick she is, how nobody cares, blah, blah, blah. I hate myself for feeling this way. We take an oath till death do we part but shit, I already feel dead. Blood pressure last night was at the all time high 211/156 and you know what, I was glad. I was hopping to either stroke out or die. Either way it would be quite for a little while.

    Reply

    • November 21, 2014 at 11:00 pm | Posted by jim Ernest

      I'm right there with you Jeff I feel your pain believe me after 15 years I can't take it no more ,I letting my self go can't sleep not eat good -have o friends have not had sex in the last 12 years , she has brain damage from a tumor in 2002 she can't talk , she only has use of one side ,she is very hateful to me we been married 35 years ,I'm 56 now feel 70 . and I honestly don't know a way out ,I don't feel any love for her, the big killer was she had a affair just months before this happen ,so I have that to deal with ,we never had children .if you fine a way out humanly please let me know asap , I'm a easy going person and a hard worker ,I feel I could make some one a good husband ,this time I'm going for a much younger gal at least 45 years old most people have no idea how she is when were out they seems to always to feel sorry for her . sometimes I just want to jump in and give them a ear full ...if you need to chat are need some to talk to I'm here and I personally know all the details . Jim

      Reply

      • December 22, 2014 at 8:13 am | Posted by jeff smith

        Jim, Since it seems that you know where I am at mentally at this point, I am washed up. I don't know how much further I can deal with it. I am just really tired of all the bull shit. Let the state and the rest of her useless family take care of her for a while. I have done my time and would like to a least feel free. I have only one option left in my disposal. It is the most offensive to me, but at least one I know that will work. I cant take the abuse anymore. The constant complaining and bitching are taking their toll on my and I am not sure how much more that I can take.

        Reply

        • January 7, 2015 at 10:22 am | Posted by Bella

          I have just begun this caregiving journey. Ironically, I would also regard my spouse due to his abusive past behavior as being undeserving. We went to a therapist which helped a lot. I also had an older lady confide in me that after 10 years of caregiving, she just had enough and stopped. The upside was her children, church, the government, and extended family picked up the slack. Her husband is also more independent. She now works, goes on vacations, and socializes with friends. At first, she has to develop a strong backbone to deal with her own guilt, and the guilt put on he from others. The main refrain was " but don't you love him," her reply " don't you love me enough to help?" I don't know what I am going to do, but I am thinking of how much I am willing to give.

          Reply

          • August 10, 2016 at 9:20 pm | Posted by Joyce

            I'm so glad you posted this. I have the same feelings. I was just about out the door for good when my husband was diagnosed with dementia. Our marriage has been pretty dismal for a lot of the time. He is nastier now than ever at times. Often though he can be sweet. I know it will only last a short time so am waiting for the nastiness to happen. Way too much stress and sadness. I know I deserve better than this. three professionals have told me to leave so I can have some quality of life. I would be okay without his nastiness but considering our past it seems like just too much to bear. Not sure what I can do or how to do it. Now we have his dementia.,He's always been distant, arrogant with me not others. He also has bi-polar.(2006 he was finally diagnosed with it) I'm so tired of being treated this way.

    • May 2, 2020 at 12:02 am | Posted by theresa

      Um, my husband had a stroke. I can assure you it wouldn't improve your lot any.

      Reply

  6. October 20, 2014 at 4:05 pm | Posted by jeff smith

    I am the primary caregiver for my wife who had brain surgery in 2011 and never has fully recovered and whos behavior just makes me sick to my stomach. I feel that I am not only the maid, gardner (I hate flowers), the lawn man, the this, the that. I am at my limit. I hide my pain because it would be selfish to take it out on anything or anyone. No one from her family calls to ask for anything but money. Not one person in the last two years has asked, hey, do you need a break. Hell NO. No one wants to be around her and her OCD behavior. We go to a shrink that's a joke because the real heart of the matter never gets out because then I am selfish bastard. Yes I am a man. No I haven't left when many would have already. The definition of being a man means that you never leave someone behind. The one thing the military really beat into my head. But when you finally break, there's no one to pick up the pieces. All that sympathy or whatever you call it has been used up already. All I am left with is anger, rage, hopelessness, got fat because we cant do anything that last longer than 10 minutes. I am so filled with an inner rage. My life is over and I am only 44.

    Reply

  7. September 17, 2014 at 7:45 am | Posted by Joan

    My husband of 14 years is dying of n Metastatic bladder cancer that has gone to bone, also Parkinsons. Early on when his behaviour was sane, he set up all financial trust issues, end if life wishes, etc. now he is accusatory and suspicious of any oversite. We are near the end, and certain things need to be monitored. He refuses to be hospitalized, doesn't trust hospice, and he is an M.D. Himself. Self medicating and now yells at me. I will not allow him to damage me and so don't know what to do when he says crazy things. We meet today with a nursing company, I feel someone should be here 24/7 now to take the abuse I'm now getting.

    Reply

  8. August 16, 2014 at 10:10 am | Posted by Mary

    Before going into my situation, it's amazing that all the posts I read ( and I didn't read them all) were from women caregivers. I guess the men either leave or get help. Anyway, my husband has had 5 back surgeries, can't stand up straight, this, according to his doctor and physical therapists, because he refused to do the exercises that would prevent it. He also is on dialysis, which he uses as an excuse to sleep most of every day. Takes a lot of pain medication and thinks there's a pill for everything. Needless to say, there is no intimacy in our marriage, but that stopped before his illnesses were the cause, something I deeply resent. I don't love this man, and not because of his health issues, but I feel responsible for him. I actually feel like I don't have a husband, just someone to take care of. I do have good things in my life, so I don't hate my LIFE, just hate my relationship with this man that I'm bound to. I'd love to leave, but he'd have no one to care for him. I am determined to make a life for myself outside of this marriage, even though often he gets pouty and angry when I go out and do things, even though there's no way he could physically join in. I'd have more sympathy if most of his disability was ts a result of his own laziness. Thanks for letting me rant, and it does help to know others out there are dealing with these issues.

    Reply

    • August 10, 2016 at 9:24 pm | Posted by Joyce

      I feel the same way about so many of your comments. I'm glad you're being so strong to care for yourself.

      Reply

    • September 10, 2016 at 1:54 am | Posted by Kelly

      I am going through a very similar situation. Just take deep breathes and listen to some Good Music :) Don't forget about your Health and Needs. Wish you well :)

      Reply

    • March 11, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Posted by Lou

      I wish I knew of some magic solution. And if I did, I could use it for my own situation! Good on ya for being honest with yourself. Try to schedule pleasant activities for yourself as much as possible.

      Reply

  9. August 3, 2014 at 10:33 am | Posted by Carolyn Maes

    Caregiving since 2009 . Husband has a rare blood cancer. Long long goodbye....exhausted .....question ..... How are we suppose to live without intimacy ? I went from a wife to a caregiver in the blink of an eye!!!! .....i miss feeling like a woman , I feel just robotic now.....thanks, cbm

    Reply

    • August 17, 2014 at 10:10 pm | Posted by Mike

      Wow I just read my own story.Im in year 7 since 2008 my wife had massive stroke in middle of night,and just like you said now I'm a robot, no intimacy is a hard thing to go with out.Miss those dinners out and fun with friends.Im alrerady in burnout .Wanting to live a life so bad.Im only 51.She had another stroke and cannot talk no more that's extremely difficult.What do we people in our situation do now ?

      Reply

  10. March 16, 2014 at 3:43 pm | Posted by sandra

    Four years ago this summer my husband suffered a massive stroke. the doctors gave me no hope and told me to tell him goodbye. I chose not to do that, and he has always been stubborn beyond belief, so I am happy to say, my 50 year old husband is a(almost) 4 year stroke SURVIVOR! I am 46, and we have been married almost 8 years. My husband used to be the one who did all the housework, did grocery shopping, cooking, paid bills. I've always been the one with a more reliable job. I had worked as a para in schools with special ed students. But after a year of dealing with behavior issues at school then coming home to more behavior issues with him, due to the stroke, I transferred to EL and work with non English speaking students. My husband has no use of his right arm/hand, walks with a limp but has to use a wheelchair anytime we go outdoors. He has finally learned to clean him self after toileting, but pretty much refuses to bathe. He can not make his lunch or meals on his own, but can feed himself. Safety wise, we cant leave him home alone. I take the bus to and from work, or now ride my bicycle to get exercise, and we have someone who comes in 8 hours a day to be with him. But that does leave him home alone for about an hour in the morning and a little while in the afternoon. Once I get home he demands my total attention. First is giving him his medication, then getting his dinner, then whatever it is he wants to do. He doesn't want the care giver to take him out during the day, he wants to wait until I get home. Weekends, its serving him around the clock. Insurance says he doesn't need a motorized chair, that it would be a convenience for me, so when we go places I have to push him every where. My family all live in another state, and his family does nothing to help us. In fact they criticize everything I do and have reported me to adult protective services numerous times. Each time they investigate, its the same thing...my husband is an adult who is free to make his own choices. Sometimes he chooses NOT to eat meals and sometimes he chooses just to eat cheese for a meal. He knows what he wants when he wants it. I have a bath/shower chair...everything he needs to bathe, but he chooses NOT to. He has always been stubborn, but it has been majorly intensified since his stroke. He gets angry at nothing, and then a couple minutes later, totally forgets it. He is able to forget the hateful words he says to me, but I remember them. I try to let go, but at times it is hard. He thinks nothing of picking up food off the floor that falls when he is eating, and putting it right in his mouth, even at restaurants. There are times I wish for our old life..even the rough times. Seven years ago we had a 6 1/2 years ago we had a miscarriage. Not long before his stroke we talked about giving it one last try. So not only did we say goodbye to our old life, but also to our future. Friends don't seem to understand, nor does my work. I have family medical leave set up, but have used all my sick leave to take care of him, so if I get sick and have to miss work, its non paid. My work...if someone has a child, they can bring them to meeting or such and they can sit in another room on the computer or whatever. Can I do that...nope!! And then I get criticized for not going out of my way to do "extra" at work. People dont realize when you have to check out everything beforehand to make sure it is accessible and "safe" for his outbursts

    Reply

    • June 24, 2014 at 6:55 am | Posted by mc

      Sandra..would love to email you privately. Can totally relate.

      Reply

    • July 11, 2014 at 9:10 pm | Posted by Janet

      I do understand, my husband has parkinson's and dimentia. He is 64. I have no help from any family, their in complete deniel. never even check to see how he is. I do own a business next to our home so i'm with him most of the time. I can leave him alone for short periods. I also feel anger, frustration, i hate to see other people leading normal lives like everything is ok. they do not have a clue what it's like. i don't wish this on them but i just wish they would be in my shoes for just a day. they would all have a different attitude. i've lost the husband i had, i'm just a caregiver. My husband doesn't see why i'm so stressed out. Makes excuses for everyone that we don't see anymore. even his children and family. I don't know foresure of anyone cutting me down, but i'm sure they are i just don't know it. i'm making plans to take some trips, i don't care anymore what anyone says or thinks, if i don't look out for myself no one else will . i've already been hospitalized twice just this year 2014, i know it's stress related, he just does't even see it. FRUSTRATION!!!!! I OPEN to emailing any time you want to. we all have to support each other, no one else sees it but us.

      Reply

    • August 3, 2014 at 7:54 pm | Posted by Mike

      Hello,Sandra I hope you are having one of those good days we rarely get to have. As I also care for my wife whole right hemisphere stroked,she cannot walk alone,nor eat by herself,I could go on but you have described it just like it is. All very similar. Im on my 7th year of cg and was fired from my job after 2 years, then she had another stroke,and cannot talk no more. So moved south to stay warm at least but she is very demanding and like you said waits till im here to do things for her ,when the caregiver is here all day. I only get 16 hrs off a week and am now fighting cancer and she doesnt seem to notice my struggles. Its hard to keep the good face on so much. Hate to say but the only way to get the power chair is to have the right sales/P.T to help fill out paperwork. Its not fair but ,we have to do what we have to. I have become disabled myself from the wear and tear of transfers and so on. I wish you all the luck in the WORLD .Mike P.S. Same thing with her family called in on me three times for not caring for her right ,they havnt been in our house for over two years ,no help at all . Peace.

      Reply

    • October 14, 2014 at 9:06 pm | Posted by Annette

      Hi: I see that you mentioned about insurance not wanting to cover a motorized wheelchair. Does your husband have Medicare? (not sure if you are from the U.S.?) If he has Medicare, it should cover with a prescription from the doctor. Good Luck!

      Reply

  11. October 9, 2013 at 9:25 am | Posted by Alison Rynveld

    Well I am on the receiving end of care. Unlike some of these stories mine is a broken leg with being bedridden. My husband now almost nightly come in and yells what a f ing pain in the ass I am..... That its not hs fault I broke my leg and he shouldn't b suffering. Has a flexible job And golfs full time on weekend. Again my injury thankfully is a broken leg Is it asking too much of a healthy spouse with family leave available to give up a month to help me? Will not come in and talk to me....... Is doing basic household chores that I used to do blindfolded. Coud b up in a few weeks but I'm sure this will have destroyed any relationship. I can honestly say if the tables were turned........ I would have done ths for him with no nastiness or resentment Just 6-8 weeks. Any thoughts or suggestions would b welcomed.

    Reply

    • November 18, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Posted by carol Kirker

      I read your comment. I was so sorry to hear of your treatment. I guess this broken leg was too overwhelming for your husband who must have been used to having everything done for him. Find a good support group, a good girl friend you can talk to. Know that God loves you and you are important to Him. Hope you feel better soon.

      Reply

    • August 28, 2018 at 8:18 am | Posted by Amy peterson

      He wouldn’t resent it if there was genuine love in the the relationship. I’m a caregiver for my husband who has alpha one genetic emphysema. We’ve been married 33 yrs. I’m not in love with him due to his treatment of me. Never physical abuse but neglect emotional forever. I resent taking care of him when his family and our kids never help. I want out but don’t want the backlash. Had he been loving and nurturing I wouldn’t feel this way. It still wouldn’t be pleasant but I wouldn’t be so resentful. I don’t hate him and don’t want him to hurt or die. I just want to move on without him.

      Reply

  12. May 22, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Posted by Bob Mac Farlane

    My wife is continually hiding things, things that are important for both of us in the processes of our daily life. Is this an Alziemer symptom and how can I deal with it.

    Reply

  13. April 26, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Posted by Tonya

    I am 41 yr old and My Husband is 60 yr old. He got hurt at work several Yr. ago. Has had back surg and knee surg twice. He is on pain management and meds for pain, depression. I work 12hr shifts nights. Come Home to Him complaining How much He hurts and how bad He feels. I am a Diabetic and take Insulin and Other med for Health Problem Myselif. And still His Full Time Care Giver. He takes a hand full of meds, then later He doesn't care what He says and Hurting My feelings. He doesn't remember later what He has said or done. We use to be so active together. Go out dancing, fishing, etc. Now all He wants to do is sit in House with blinds down or take meds and go to bed. His physc says there is nothing else They can do for Him. His meds have been adjusted several Time. We have a 17 yr old Son. They don't have a Father/Son relationship. I am on antidepression meds,other. The Stress is getting to be too much to deal with. I got to where I don't even want to come Home after work. Please Help.

    Reply

  14. April 19, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Posted by Julie

    My husband and I have been married for almost 29 years. 4 years into our marriage, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I was told that he would be in the hospital for at least 3 months, would need to relearn walking, talking, eating, dressing, etc. All this IF he lived through the surgery. Well, I brought him home in 7 days. Everything was fine except for one small detail that no one warned me about; his personality completely changed. I was married to a stranger. He worked non-stop, became very argumentative and critical and also became very nasty when he drank, which started being quite often. Since then, he has undergone 2 more surgeries, 36 radiation treatments, 2 gamma knife treatments and many, many chemo treatments. After his last surgery, 4 years ago, he became completely disabled. He cannot talk clearly, is fed through a tube, has extreme memory issues, cannot walk at all without extreme help, has a trach, etc. I have a full time PCA during the week so I can work at a very stressful government job which I would quit but we need the money and the insurance. I have not been treated like a wife in almost 8 years; no affection, no sex, not even any form of touching. I try to hug or kiss him and he backs away laughing. The only time he talks to me is when he wants something. I hate my life. I want to leave everything behind and just go away. I loved my husband with my whole being and now I'm not even sure that I like him anymore. The guilt is eating me alive and I find myself thinking that my life would be so much better if he weren't in it. I hate myself for having these thoughts.

    Reply

    • May 1, 2013 at 12:52 am | Posted by Kimberly

      Hi Julie I cried reading your post. I felt ur pain frustration fear and every other emotion you feel. My husband is 47 and a severe brain injury left him totally dependent upon my care 24/7 for bathing feeding toileting etc. and we have a now four year old that has suffered through this for two years since his brain injury. I have so many emotions running thru me and so many things I'd like to write as I feel your pain so strongly. I have few encouraging words as I find so little really helps when others try to empathize with me. I simply wanted to reply to tell you that I feel the same things you expressed in your post about hating your life at times and wanting to run. I too would like to gather my child and run so fast to another life. But- well there's so much with that but isn't it?!? Just know at least someone like me has the same thoughts and feelings and sadness and frustrations and all else you wrote about earlier. I will pray for you tho I don't know you and I don't even know what to pray for except ask God to please help you in the best way He knows how and to give you some peace and happiness and all else you need. Sincerely I will pray and think of you!

      Reply

    • June 9, 2014 at 8:31 pm | Posted by janna

      I have been taking care of my husband for over 15years. On and off. Mostly on. He has had numerous illnesses and injuries. Mostly, he falls and breaks bones. I also hate my life and want to run away. I feel helpless and hopeless. He now has dementia and has nobody to help him. I feel guilty when I think about leaving. It's like a huge trap that I set for myself ( it was my decision to caretake him). I don't know any way out of this other than to just leave. It sounds so cruel because he could not take care of himself if I left. What can I do? Where is the help for me?

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      • June 14, 2014 at 5:32 pm | Posted by Janet

        I also completely understand. I am the caregiver for my 64 yr old husband that has parkingsons and dimentia with psychosis. I too want to leave but i don't think i couldl really do it. He has family but they stay away, guess their afraid i'll ask them to help. We have a very few friends that still come around GOD bless them. I feel frustrated , trapped, angry and resentment. We go to a parkinson's support group and that's good they are all very honest nd open and that's what we all need, not some tryin to pretend their enjoying all this. As you said we all have to pray for each other. THIS TOO WILL PASS.

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  15. February 26, 2013 at 6:08 am | Posted by Jolene

    I am 45 and my Husband is going on 62. He is disabled and has P.E., takes blood thinners, I have a nurse come twice a week to help me with his shower. It has come to making that hard choise, what else can I do for him. I take care of him 90 percent of the time, I work nights and come home by 7:30 in the morning and take care of him and try to sleep, He is basicly living on health shakes, he has no appitite, I am visually impaired and do the best I can, it hurts to see him this way. He had 2 spinal surgeries 2004 and 2005. I love him very much, I feel bad when I go out to the stores, or go biking. I take the moped and sometimes go for 20-30 minute rides. I feel sometimes I want to send him to his family for a break, I can't do that. I do the best I can, Thanks Jo.

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    • March 15, 2013 at 11:47 pm | Posted by Marie D

      Jolene, I understand. I am 49 and he is 70, I have cared for him for the last eight years. Take some time for yourself and don't feel guilty. Hang in there...

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    • July 11, 2014 at 9:16 pm | Posted by Janet

      i'm right there with ya. i've been a caregiver to my husband for 5 yrs. getting worse slowly . i feel trapped, i love him, i think about what and how he use to be to try to remind myself then reallity comes back. i never dreamed in a million yrs my life wouldl be like this. i have no help, his family ignores us. i have no family . some friends, but i hate to impose. i'd rather pay someone to help. we have to support each other and pray pray pray!!!

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      • October 14, 2014 at 2:50 pm | Posted by joy

        I know where you are coming from. I have been the full-time caregiver to my husband for the past seven years. He had a heart attack in 2007. Afterwards he needed open heart surgery, which was the longest I have ever sat through. It took 12 hours for the surgery. Well he survived that to have severe memory loss. He was not the same man I married in 1989. He's impatient, rude, he never hugs me no affection at all. He has had 5 strokes one which left him blind fir 6 months. I have no family, his family couldn't care less. I have no me time. I love him dearly as I have for the last 26 years. I have lost myself, I don't know who I am any more. Sorry for the whining. I have no one . Thanks. God Bless all of you caregivers out there.

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