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taking care of a chronically ill addicted spouse.

By March 9, 2012 - 4:21pm

i took care of my husband who was very ill until the day he died. he was a young man, only 44. he was also addicted to drugs, alcohol, and women. the women still hit on him even though his appearance had changed drastically. you want to do the right thing and stay with them until death do you part,but how many times do you want to throw in the towel, especially when the abuse starts and walk away. i beat myself up many times and cried my eyes out for feeling that way; however, it really feels good to know that i am not the only one that feels like this. if i had not gone through that, i could not relate. if you still love him or her, find some outlet to get away, if you don't love that person then get away. its not fair to either one of you if you are staying there out of guilt. no one is getting the care they we all would like to and deserve to have. i was glad i stayed with him until he took his last breathe, i still loved and and we made our peace with each other. i would have beat myself up unmercifully if i had left and was not clear on what i wanted to do. whatever you do take care of yourself, because with all the emotions and physical aspects of taking care of the chronically ill, it won't do all parties involved any good,if the caretaker becomes ill. take care.

By March 10, 2012 - 2:10pm

whew! the more i read your story, the more i could not believe this also happened to someone else, and i am not just talking about your husband, i am the black sheep in my family, always have and always will.i've been going to therapy for years and it has helped me so much.i read a time mag. article about the pecking order of children and yes, i am the middle child. i watched every one in the family have birthday parties, get gifts, and sometimes people would treat me like they were treating me. but today i'm better, partly due to therapy, partly due to faith, but most of all due to GOD! IF I DID NOT LET HIM BACK INTO MY HEART, I DON'T KNOW WHERE I WOULD BE.i've been sexually , verbally,and physically abused, and i was alone in this battle, even though there were people present. but today i'm okay. not the best but i'm okay today. and in time you will b also. i learned that i am a very nice person, but the one that i should have been the nicest to(me) i totally neglected. i have learned to be my biggest cheerleader. no one is going to feel or take care of you the way you should be but you. the more i read your story, i said nope this can't be true and if i was not in a similar scenario, i would not have believed it. you will get through this, i still have my insecurites,but they are not so bad as they were before. a piece of advice if you don't mind. once you start feeling a little better about yourself , you will look at life in a different pair of eyes. oh yeah, guess what, I ALSO HAVE LUPUS! :) take care of yourself.

March 10, 2012 - 2:10pm
By March 10, 2012 - 5:00am

I understand completely how you feel/felt. My husband, also very handsome is a pill/alcohol addict. He was in rehab 2/3 times. The last time it was go in or die. I watched my brother die early (34) from chronic illness like which i have(lupus). It reminded me so much of same thing...he beg me at night to help him than in day light just drink till he was numbed out than beg me again. It was horrible! He had seizure type of reaction to poisoning of himself from alcohol and pills. BP was sky high but he would not go to hospital. He say help me please..just stay with me please you are my only one that will not leave me. It tugged on my heart plus when i been horribly sick and often he always was there for me in very sweet ways..like hold my hair back, he had to clean me and bathroom up when i got sick out of both ends and pass out.
So i wanted to help him..i just do not know why i did not use my logic side to find real help?
When he finally went into rehab it went from I was his soul mate to i was the cause for every wrong thing that ever happen to him. A woman hit on him...and this guy who thought cheaters where scum became scum. She went through all our available cash than dumped him. I had to leave because he was so violent with me that i was terrified he was going to kill me one day.
I went to Al anon and the told me to hang in there that if i could just wait 3 years i get the man i had married back. Problem was, by all abuse, drinking taking of my pain pills that i dearly needed..i was not sure i wanted to be with him anymore. But like you i felt i had to give my marriage a go.
After that other woman, in AA in our small town another woman went after him...i was told by him she was just friend and i tried to believe it since i had really had men friends all my life. He has since told me entire story...she went after him. He said he did not want to leave me but she filed for divorce ...which made him made but eventually he filed too. I was served on day I had out patient surgery. He took me in and back entire time acting very nice...yea he was feeling guilty as hell. I got served ..in severe pain and vomiting. The server felt so bad...he kept trying to tell me what i needed to do.
I felt like you...that if i did not try i would beat myself up but i also did not feel i deserved abuse. So at some point when i figured out she was not just a friend i said leave. Which is what he wanted me to do so he would not be the 'bad' guy.
Worse part was all people coming up and telling me about this woman and how she had this reputation. That this was not first time.
She also eventually went through he entire 401 money...a lot of money! He had to move back in here because he could not afford to rent anywhere due to all the bills on credit cards from her.
We had started walking our dogs together again...so that was fine. I see him to walk dogs...he bitch about her but he loved her and just could not say no to her.
Now living here...i look at him as friend. I made it clear since he is on pain pills due to arthritis that if he over uses them he cannot live here or if he takes any of mine. He did get high one day and i said ..i mean it you have to move it you cannot keep it under control.
I know he makes me sicker being here. It is very hard at times. The woman lost her house, moved back east with her brother but calls if she needs help. HE JUMPS when she calls...she tends to only call if she needs help too. Even he points that out.
He broke me when he hated him...he went after me so hard and would not let it go at all that after month or two of it...i finally broke inside.
I know he feels bad now about all he has done. We never did get divorced partially due to medical and because i decided if he really wanted it...he would have to do it. I wish at times i had just done it.
other times i am glad we are still married. We really do like the same things more than other people. I think it would be okay if i only could fix what broke inside. I gone to counseling and helps but something is not right with me still. I use to wake up happy always. I mean i had bad days but i was really a happy person even during bad times. Now...i hardly ever feel joy...or love. I feel so unloved and i know being loved was one thing i wanted in my life.
I am not sure what i am doing now is right for me or not. it could be if we did some fun things...or worked at healing what broke in both of us. my counselor who also had seen my husband, still feels he loves me deeply just is afraid i will reject him. I am not sure how i feel. I know i do not love him how i did....feels like friend. I do not want him to touch me etc.
My family is mess...my father abused my older sister and I...i was also mainly abused by uncle and his son...than my father started and that was it. I stayed away from him as best i could and just realized he was sick man as well.
I was one that broke the silence to save my nieces from it happening to them. My older sister did not help with the letter but small amount...but was told my me what he had to do to be allow back in our lives. So my father hates me with great passion and now just comes out and says how he does not want me in his life. he hates me etc.
I hoped my sister in law and sister would be supportive of me again and let him know he had promised to make it up to me for rest of my life. Instead, since i said look i cannot be around him with how he yells at me...he only does it when they are not around. But he did in front of my mother and friend. They my sisters and nieces said basically it my problem...which was major shock since i did it to protect them!
I apologize....talking about this pain is great and hard and since i hardly ever speak about it to anyone...it like flood to you guys. so i apologize for how long this is.
i just understand totally how you felt/feel. I still want to do the right things.. I still love my family but feel the do not love me...
I cannot imagine how they think it is okay to pick my father over me...my older sister does not really but she won't say anything either. SHe holds a great amount of guilt that she did not help with the letter and all this grief has been mine since letter went out.
She was going to same counselor who pressured her to write it with me i just found out last year. Because counselor said to her...that in time it is going to be too much for me alone and she is so right.
So my older sister finally told me all this...counselor confirmed it and yet my older sister does not even try to help me. She just has to bury it somewhere....but every once in while she says how guilty she feels. so i do not understand her at all.
my niece that once use to call me her mom...or her other mom...who was so excited to move back west to see me more often. Has not seen me once up here...due to this all coming out right when she moved back. She thinks fight is about...i would not help my parents pay for their cabin bills. Her mother wrote a very nasty email how horrible i was for not helping them and how i am not down there to help take care of my parents. My mom is healthier than i and when she did have heart surgery i was there taking care of her.
So i wrote this sister in law back and said i do not know who you been speaking with...most likely my dad. But i have always been helping out paying bills. that was not why i was upset with my parents. than i told her.
She has never said sorry..or she would help nothing. She wrote back after like 4 months and it was sort of apology lol!
so i still love them all and try my hardest...but i also try and be honest with myself and i guess they do not like that. I am not the witch. I am honest in nice way i say my truth. I want to have them all in my lives...but sometimes i think my younger sister who does not have anything to do with any of them....was smartest. lol
i just know how you felt and i am sorry that he died...but in one way it was blessing too....i hope that is not hurtful for me to say to you. Just after all i have been through, i do sometimes think if he had died and i felt he was still in love with me...well it would be so different. Even my sister in law how lost my brother said that she felt it was much harder to have them leave you for another after you supported them through so much! and she was so right! my heart broke literally i think and i do not know how to repair it.

March 10, 2012 - 5:00am

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Superwomen... we all are. But now lets add the 24-7 responsibility of caring for your chronically ill husband/spouse... whether it be depression, ALS, MS, diabetes, heart condition, cancer... or...? It takes its toll. Even when they are appreciative, but what about when they are not.. when the anger is directed at you. The depression of theirs add to the challenges. Many of us don't want to leave...but how do we cope? how do we find time for ourselves without making the situation even worse?


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