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  1. #1

    burned out and fustrated

    First off let me start by saying most of you will hate me for my post. Now on with my story. I am 32 years old and have been married 7 years, no children. 3 years ago my wife sustained a spinal injury at c2/3. I have been her main carer and used attendants and family only when im not there. Let me add that she had left me a note she left me for another man and was with him leaving me when she was injured. I took her back and have helped her every since never mentioning that she left me. Now the problem. Lately I am resentful and fill i want to leave. Why should I have to do all this care when i know if she hadnt gotten injured shed be with him. I dont think i love her now as this is all boiling in me and i feel if she hadnt left she wouldnt had got hurt. I know if i leave her shell end up in a home and most will think im a butthole for leaving a wife that needs help. Ill probably stick around but am fustrated. If i bring it up and want to go to counsling she says i dont want to stay in the marriage becasue shes to much work. Its not that, if i felt she loved me and had she not left id care for her no matter how disabled forever and lovingly but right now i feel as i got the booby prize. Any suggestions or am i just a butt for feeling resentful.

  2. #2
    Senior Member justadildo's Avatar
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    i'd feel resentful....sorry, no judgement from me

  3. #3
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    I was in a similar situation but I am disabled C6/7 and my ex-wife was the care giver.
    We dated 6 years pre-injury and I was uncommitted, cheated in our relationship (she found me out once for sure) and had no plans of marrying her.
    1 1/2 year post injury we married but all along (she told me after divorcing) she knew I wouldn't have married her if I hadn't become paralyzed.
    The marriage was good for awhile (5 years) but she too became resentful of me not only because of my previous behavior but because she too had to care for me. The last 3 years of our marriage was misrable with fighting all the time and living seperate lives.
    Finally she told me she wanted a divorce (she hooked up with her old high school boyfriend) and moved out.
    My situation is different than your wife's in that I can care for myself if I really have too.
    My suggestion is to talk it out and both express your true feelings. Make a point or ultimatum to go to counseling. Keep in mind that counseling will only work if your both true to your feelings and honest with your counselor.

    Good Luck

  4. #4
    I would strongly recommend counseling too, even if you have no intention of staying in the marriage. The counselor can help you work on your issues, as well as help the two of you come up with a solution.

    For now, use as much attendant care as you can afford instead of doing her care. I assume you are providing her board and room...that is significant support. It would be better for her to learn to not depend upon you for personal care, and be able to direct and supervise attendants. It would take some of the pressure off you.

    Are there children involved? Are you worried about being judged by others if you leave (family, friends, etc.)? These are issues that counseling can help you deal with. Please use us as support....we understand.

    (KLD)

  5. #5
    I am glad you guys didnt get mad at me for my thoughts. No we do not have children, it was decided long before we were married i wanted no kids. I was to selfish for that, and that may be part of the problem now. I wanted to remin free of commitments so we were free to do whatever and now the injury kind of keeps me at home caring for her. I do fear our friends would think im leaving her becasue of her injury as most do not know she had left me when this occurred. The only people that know is my best friend and my father. I told noone else and niether had she, other than her sister. I havnt decided to leave i just have feeling that i may. I think deep down i do love her but between the built up resentment, her lack of talking about it and the busy schdule of care, i dont feel we are close enough to talk and work it out, I feel like an employee of hers. I think this morning i will try to talk with her.

  6. #6
    Hi Carcollector

    I wouldn't judge you in a bad light if you left her. Just make sure you make all the necessary arrangements and make it as smooth a transition for the both of you as possible. Maybe her sister, or if she has other family, will step forward and accept some responsibility for their family member.

    Counseling is a good idea too and will give you a chance to air out your problems and at the same time perhaps give you time to make plans if you still want to leave her.

    She's unfortunately a quadriplegic, not you. And not everyone is cut out to be a 24/7 caregiver to such a severely incapacitated person. Especially if there is no love left and only arguments and resentments dominate the relationship.

    If the tables were turned do you think she'd be there for you?

    Only you can make these decisions but I wouldn't blame you for wanting to move on to a more "normal" life/relationship.
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

  7. #7
    Well I have the week off so thought this is a great time to talk and sort through the issues. We talked for about an hour and many tears on both sides were shed. I was angry she never approched the subject of her affair nor asked me for forgiveness so we could move on. She said she was afraid to bring in up in fear of losing me because i took so good care of her and she has fell back in love with me but was afraid to act on it as she did not want to upset me. We ended with me hugging her and calling for a counseling appointment and we will work through this. We also decided to increase her help for now so that i may be her spouse and lover and maybe later go back to the caregiving. I will still caregive some just not as much for now to we re establish we are a couple. Thanks all for your support ill keep u posted

  8. #8
    Senior Member justadildo's Avatar
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    SEE!!...TALKING DOES HELP...wish i'd been that smart after my accident....good for you!

  9. #9
    I wish you the best!!!!
    If you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.


    Sometimes it is easier to widen doors than it is to open minds.

  10. #10
    She'll be fine without you. Go your own way. Do it properly but get away from her. The vortex will kill you.

    Those Who Care for a Seriously Ill Spouse Are At Increased Risk of Death – Study
    Date Published: Thursday, February 16th, 2006
    A new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine finds that seniors who care for seriously ill spouses significantly raise their own risk of death.

    There has never been any dispute that the death of a spouse can hasten the death of the surviving husband or wife. Whether by study or simple observation of individual cases, the “broken heart” factor is often identified as a distinct precipitating factor in the death of a spouse who has been left behind.

    After studying extensive data on over 500,000 couples over the age of 65, a research team led by Dr. Nicholas Christakis, a professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School, found that this same risk extends to those caring for a seriously ill spouse.

    In fact, when the illness invovolved is especially debilitating, as in the case of dementia, the toll exacted on the caregiver is even greater than in situations where the spouse dies.

    At a press conference, Dr. Christakis stated: “We showed you can die of a broken heart not just when your partner dies, but when your partner falls ill. We showed it is not just death that can give you a broken heart, but illness — even when the spouses don’t die.”

    Statistically, the couples analyzed ranged in age from 65 to 98 with the average man being 75 and the average woman being 73.

    According to the study, a spouse’s death increased a man’s risk of death by 21% and a woman’s risk of death by 17%. When all situations were considered, illness was only one-fifth as “deadly” to caretakers as when a spouse died. In some situations, however, the risk in the case of spousal illness was at least as great as when thespouse died.

    Thus, the psychiatric illness of a spouse was found to increase the risk of death by 19% for men and by 32% for women. A spouse’s dementia raised the risk of death by 28% for women and by 22% for men. Heart failure, hip fracture or other serious fracture, and chronic lung disease also take a heavy toll on caretakers. Oddly, cancer of a spouse did not increase the risk of caretaker’s death.

    Christakis observed that it is the “disablement and not the lethality of a spouse’s illness that can be harmful to you and contribute to your risk of dying.”

    Poverty also exacerbates the pain of a sick or dying partner. “If you are living at the margin, economically or in terms of age or being sicker, you are more vulnerable to your spouse being sick. If I am richer or younger, it is not as big a shock.”

    Seniors living in poverty have limited access to health care and often suffer from more of the things that have a negative impact on health, such as obesity-related problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, and small strokes.

    According to Christakis, there are two danger periods during a spouse’s illness that combine to increase the risk of a caregiver’s death. At first, elevated stress levels can lead increases in harmful behaviors (drinking or unhealthy diet for example) as well as an increased risk from heart attack, suicide, and accidents. There is an increase in infections.”

    When the initial impact of added stress diminishes, a new set of health risks can occur as support from family and peers begins to wane. Once that happens loneliness sets in.

    The researchers hope their findings will prompt health care providers and insurers to pay more attention to caregivers. Such an approach would also save money in the long run by heading off problems before they take their toll on the health of the caretakers.

    Christakis also pointed out that the teams work “shed light on particular vulnerabilities to elderly people, and shows there are time windows to target interventions. Seeing people as interconnected might change the way we see the costs of health care. Taking care of both spouses while one is dying increases the health benefits for the surviving partner.”

    In a broader context, Christakis observed that: “Because people are interconnected, we think this phenomenon we studied in elderly married couples applies more generally. We are looking at broader connections — between parent and child, brother and sister, neighbors, and friends.” (Sources: New England Journal of Medicine, 2/16/06; WebMD Medical News 2/15/06)

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