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Angry but sad too

(5 Posts)
123fushia Sun 26-Jun-16 00:33:28

My DH has an elderly mother who he has cared for in her own home for 6 years. She has dementia and has needed a lot of help which carers have given her 4 times per day. My husband has spent a lot of time there for years. He went to put things ready for the carers and would often stay to help them. He reduced his hours to 3 afternoons per week which has greatly reduced our total income. I work 4 days per week.
We have a DS who is lovely. Over the years our family life has been very restricted as he has been to sort food, personal care etc out for his mum. Meals out, evenings out, holidays have been very limited because of his need to be with his mum. Responsibilities for our home and family life have fallen to me as he has been elsewhere and generally unreliable eg getting DS tea at a reasonable time when I work late - he will call on his mum first.
So...after 6 years his mum has been given a place at a nursing home nearby and he has changed his routine.
This evening after a heated exchange during tea he said that I had not given him any support whilst his mum was at home. I feel angry but sad too. The more I give, the more he takes. I understand that he is in a period of transition but he has never thanked or appreciated the hours and hours that our family have given to allow him to do this. He sounds like a caring man but is he if his own DS and wife have been neglected for the sake of his mum in EVERY occasion?
I would be interested to know how you would feel and what you would do?

TheMorningAfterTheNightBefore Sun 26-Jun-16 08:06:59

I'd have a conversation about it. It sounds to me like this has one of two explanations:

1) He feels very overwhelmed by/sad about/is grieving over the situation with his mother. Moving into a nursing home is a clear sign of the inevitable; the beginning of the end. He feels hopeless and helpless and, unable to articulate fully how he feels. He might not even realise these feelings. Sometimes, people experience an emotion, but aren't able to process it immediately so can't label it accurately. He is having all these sick in the pit of his stomach feelings, he is feeling angry, he is feeling hurt, he is feeling heartbroken and he is experiencing these all at once.

He might not have really reconciled the fact that you might not have been as easily willing to make the sacrifices of time and money as he was for his mum. He hasn't realised that that was your support; the fact that you didn't object or complain and made it easy/possible for him to do that.

or

2) He is a dick.

I would open a non confrontational, quiet and caring, blamefree dialogue with him and wait and see what his response is.

FWIW, my exh and I split up after my dad died and his affair came out. He was very supportive all through my dad's very lengthy illness, but it had destroyed us as a couple.

TheMorningAfterTheNightBefore Sun 26-Jun-16 08:08:38

Oh and supportive in the way you had been. He wasn't supportive in many other ways, but he allowed me the time I needed and I stopped working at his suggestion (although he wasn't happy about it ultimately).

MatildaTheCat Sun 26-Jun-16 13:42:16

He will be feeling guilty that she has had to go into a home. Quite unfounded but common. You could have a conversation telling him he has done a great job and much more than most people are able or willing to do but he should be aware that it has come at a cost to you.

Try not to fall out about it, it's sad and difficult. Can you try now to establish a few new boundaries around visits and time spent away from you and ds? It will take time to adjust and find a new routine but it's more likely to work out if you can be in it together.

Best wishes to you both, it's very hard.

123fushia Sun 26-Jun-16 20:58:15

Thank you so much for your responses. Some things to think about. Feeling a bit stuck at the moment. Thank you for your time and care. You are right....it's very hard.xxx

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