I Just Decided to Leave My Husband, Because He Wants to Move in His Mother With Dementia
Being there for our parents as they age, especially if they face health challenges can be a significant and meaningful obligation. Nevertheless, the situation may become more complex when it entails additional individuals and various factors. The following is a recent post on Reddit where a woman shared her own experience, seeking support from the community.
"I have been married for 8 years, and my husband and I are in our late 20s. His mother had him late in life, she is currently 68 and has been showing signs of dementia for the last two years, and she was recently officially diagnosed. My MIL does not have much to her name, and both my husband and I do very well for ourselves.
My husband wishes to have his mother move in with us, and I am against it. I did not sign up to share a home with either of our parents. I have no desire to become a caregiver, and I want to have children someday. Raising a child while living with someone with dementia sounds like extremely hard.
I love my husband, but the truth is I know him. If his mother moves in with us, he will be so focused on her that I will become an afterthought. I know this makes me sound petty and jealous, but I cannot keep up with his mother. His focus will be on her and rightfully so. Over the past year, I have joined support groups, and read forums regarding this topic and to be honest, it looks like it hardly works out.
My husband was pleading with me telling me we would be different from others, but a part of me just did not see it. I do not want to put my life on hold. She is healthy outside of dementia she has no other health issues, which means she can easily live another 20 years. My husband will never put her in an NH, and if he did it would be private pay so that is a major financial commitment.
I finally came to a decision to leave my husband. My friends understand, but my husband is simply devastated. My own parents understandably think I’m being unreasonable, stating I made a vow to be with him. My brother told me he was disappointed in me, and questioned if I would do the same with our parents. I think I would, you only get one life. Now, I am torn. I truly do love my husband, and I know he loves me, but at the same time he loves his mother. My family and my husband’s feelings are making me question and second-guess what I want..."
People reading her letter shared their own experiences of family members with Dementia, and tried to help her with personal advices.
- Sundowning is terrible, and patients can become very hard to handle. That is not a good environment to raise kids in. Especially small kids. My grandmother had dementia and sundowned terribly. My aunts’ kids were older, but still suffered. They heard her screaming, calling my aunt names, etc...
I’ve already told my daughter, “If I get dementia, put me in a home before it gets too bad.” © Prestigious_Dig_218 / Reddit
- My dad had Alzheimer’s. During the last few years of his life, there was no safe way for my mom to care for him. It would have required her to be awake and alert 24 hours a day. It was incredibly difficult for her to make the decision to have him spend his last few years in a nursing home, but it was the ONLY realistic option to keep my dad safe and to allow my mom to sleep at night. © ShaMaLaDingDongHa / Reddit
- My mom has dementia. After nearly 5 years of trying to care for her and only getting a break when I went to work, we had to make the decision to place her in a nursing home. It takes a tremendous amount of emotional effort to care for someone with dementia. Meltdowns and bouts of anger/rage are very common in dementia patients and there’s only so much one person can handle. © k1k11983 / Reddit
- I took care of my husband’s grandmother with dementia while raising our children, foster kids and working full-time and I can promise it will eat you alive. It should be a beautiful thing to help take care of our older family members, however reality is rarely a thing of beauty. Best of luck but I don’t see it going well if you end up being a caregiver for your MIL. © Interesting_Pizza529 / Reddit
- A family friend took care of her MIL with dementia for over 10 years. They had to have locks on both sides of all doors, because she would go wander the neighbourhood in the middle of the night stealing things. She would constantly cry that she was hungry even if she had just eaten and then would stuff food in every crevice in the house. Her son did take care of his mother, bathing her, etc, but it fell mostly on his wife. © ravynwave / Reddit
- My grandmother developed dementia, and my mom moved her in with her and my dad. It broke my mom honestly, having to take care of her mom that didn’t even realize who anyone was. She thought my dad (she had known him for 3 decades) was another patient.
She ended up in a care home, where she could be properly looked after and engage with other people on a regular basis.
So from experience, try to convince your husband to look at care homes, especially ones that deal with dementia and Alzheimer’s. © NerJaro / Reddit
Dementia stands out as a significant contributor to disability and dependency in the elderly population globally. A conducted study affirms that seniors who engage in regular social interactions with friends have a reduced likelihood of developing the disease.