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If a woman in her 60's has a husband in a nursing home with no chance of getting out. She took
care of him and worked and financially supported then for seven years after his stroke and
before he went to the nursing home. Now for the first time in a long time she has some time for
herself. She has
renewed a 35 year friendship with a man that is in a caregiver role for his wife. They have
coffee,breakfast,go out for an occasional glass of wine and long talks on the patio, no sex yet.
They enjoy each other and the relationship has added joy and happiness to both of their lives.
This relationship has in no way changed the care or concern for their spouses. If things were
different, they would like to be together as a couple.
Who if anybody should be unhappy about this relationship.

comments please

Caregivers trying to cope
Original Post

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Hello Zone 35.

Welcome.. truthfuly no one should be unhappy about this relationship. However, humans are critical.. children have a different viewpoint because you are the parents and they have a certain image of what a relationship is suppposed to be like. As for friends, conditioning and old negative beliefs come into play and they can be judgmental.. are you wrong for having this relationship? I can't advise you especially since I don't know the real details.

I do encourage people to have relationships for companionship, support and even a sexual encounter if it is what feels right in their heart.. it isn't about how I or anyone else feels.. it is the nature of the relationship, the connection, the soulfulness, the coming together of two who are caregivers and may be filling an important need that is missing from their own individual relationships with their spouses.

You indicate that you care and support hasn't changed for your husband nor his spouse.. how do you feel inside? How does the companion feel? This is what is vitally important.. as for the spouses feelings.. this too, is important and if the relationship is healthy then I can't imagine them being uptight or threatened.. but as the saying goes, different strokes for different folks..

I am asked this so many times, especially from men .. I think as long as you are thinking with your heart rather than other parts, that you can keep it all in a healthy, meaningful perspective..

I hope this assist you in some way.. I feel like I might have rambled on.. but this is it..

Hi Zone35...and welcome...

I had to give this one a lot of thought...I think if the two caregivers are not feeling any guilt that would in any way be felt or sensed by the spouses, then it'd be whatever makes you we all know caregiving and seeing a loved one have health problems is not the easiest of things in life to deal with..
Each and every human being is an individual and our emotions, morals, attitudes, etc should be handled accordingly...I personally am the type of person who will do what I please with the attitude the heck with what anyone else't go through life pleasing everyone...

I hope this was even just a little bit of help?

take care
Thanks Gail and Prairiegal for your comments.
Neither of us feels guilty, we both know we have done our best for our spouses. Both
marriages are our first and only marriages, over 40 years. Both marriages have been
good, but the last 10 years have been difficult and exhausting for both of us. My husband
was left paralyzed on one side after the stroke and he refused to put any effort in to rehab, as
a result nursing home was the only answer.
My friend's wife has emphysema, diabetes and neuropathy. Oxygen full time and can not
walk unassisted most of the time. She is already in assisted living, but at home, taken care
of by her husband. He is now getting some help so he can get out of the house sometimes.
We have decided not to discuss our relationship with our spouses, we do not believe either
one of our spouses would understand or be sensitive to our needs, we believe they would
only be hurt. We have decided however to talk to our children, two each, about our
relationship. And we are considering talking to some of our mutual friends.

Comments please

Caregivers trying to cope
Hi Zone35, welcome.

I can see you are in a difficult situation. However, you are amongst the living. I believe we all need companionship of our own capacity. I simply believe that we all deserve happiness in the short time we are here. I think listening to your heart and knowing all you have done and are doing, shows your compassion. I knew a woman in a similar situation, and she ended up marrying the gentleman after her husband passed. Wishiing you the best.
Hello Zone,

It would be great if you could get some friends to understand and the children.. understand you may not.. and at this stage in your life, it may not be necessary although it would be nice.. it sounds like both you and your companion have it all in the right perspective and this is what is so important.. be in gratitude and enjoy.. the special connection...

Hi Zone...

The sense I get from reading your post is you both have given this all very much thought...I can imagine it feels wonderful having someone in the same boat, in which you can share all your feelings with..
If your children are a bit resentful at first, don't give up...after they have some time to weigh the situation, especially if they can put themselves in your place, they may have a change of heart..companionship and going on with one's life if not detrimental to your spouses care can only be a good thing...

take care and let us know how things work out for you both...
Thanks Sue, Gail and PrairieGal for your input, it is so helpful. We are just trying to find our way.

I talked to my children and explained what was going on in my life. My daughter was very
happy, understanding and supportive of the new relationship in my life. My son who lives about an hour away, divorced and no
children, had some reservations. Among other
things, he was concerned that his father would find out and be hurt. We had some sharp
words and I advised him I was not asking for his permission but was giving him
information.. We ended the phone call on a very cold note. I expect his sister will talk to
him and he will think it over and be OK. I will let you know.
My friend(Dave) talked to his daughter. She, like my daughter was very happy and
supportive. He has not talked to his son yet, but expects him to be very supportive.
We expect the kids to have conversations with each other, they grew up together. We
expect good things to come out of those conversations.

It is so wonderful to have some one to work through difficult situations with. It has been a
long time since I have felt this connected with anyone.
Thanks for your support. More later.

Comments please.

Caregivers trying to cope
Hello Zone,

It sounds like you are presenting yourselves in a positive light and being received in that same light.. you just can't please everyone. I think you handled your son beautifully when you said you weren't seeking his approval, just keeping him informed.. keeping your power, letting your love flow and staying balanced and focused in the priorities is what is essential and it sure sounds as if you have them all in check. Take care

Hi all
I last posted in August. I have been very busy putting to work the advise you wonderful
people were nice enough to share with me.
The condition of our spouses continues to deteriorate but we are coping.
My relationship with Dave continunes to grow. With the help of our kids(all of them)
and several friends, we are now getting to spend at least one day a week together. It is
amazing how one day can rejunivate and let you deal with the other six days with a light
heart and a happy attitude.
This is probably not the answer for everyone but it has been a blessing for us.
Thanks again for your wisdom and good advice and we would welcome any other
comments you would like to share

Sue and Dave
Hi all

Just checking in to keep you posted and to thank you all for your advise and help.
We are still taking everything a day at a time. The condition of our spouses continues to deteriorate but we are coping. Dave is getting some help from a respit organization,so that really helps. The drug bills continue to increase. Dave got a new prescription today that will cost $287.00 a month. sure wish we could get drug prices down. All and all we are doing OK
Will keep you posted.
Sue and Dave
Hi All

Well it has been a year since Dave and I started spending some time together and giving each other support. We have been through some rough times with our spouses but having some one to lean on has really helped.
We have had many people that have been caregivers tell us that caregiving will be the hardest job we will ever have, well, we are inclined to believe that is true.
Oue hearts, prayers and thoughts go out to all caregivers that are just trying to make it through the day.
God bless you all.
Sue and Dave
Sue and Dave,

I don't know much but I know a blessing when I read one. Thank you for sharing such a touching story. I wish you many more years together of comfort, support, and love. All of us should be so lucky to have someone to lean on when life's challenges are dropped in our lap.

God bless you both and your spouses.

Hi All

Well, it has been a very tense and trying two months. Dave's wife has been in and out of the hospital with severe breathing problems (COPD). While there the MRI's indicated she had an infection in the mastoid bone. If anyone knows anything about this type of infection, we would be interested.
Everyone ,kids and friends, have been a big help to Dave during this time. It sure is nice to have friends. She is now back home and everything is starting to settle back into a routine.
These COPD attacks are coming more often, they are sure taking their toll on Dave.
Thanks for all your comments and encouragement.
Will keep you posted
Prayers and best wishes to all you caregivers

Hello Sue:

Well,it is good to hear that you two are still care-giving together. I am sorry to hear that Dave's having difficulties in his care-giving situation... God bless you both and your families.

Here is a wonderfully informative site:

So, it is typically a childhood health issue. However, infections can hit anyone at anytime. Is Dave's wife on antibiotics at this time? It sounds as if one of the most important steps is to get health care as soon as possible - which has been done already.

I think your wonderful, loving, care-giving relationship, Sue and Dave, is a godsend! It seems that it has enhanced your qualities of life and, thus, others... Please keep us posted in the meanwhile...

Love and Hugs from Glenda

[This message has been edited by glenderella (edited 10-01-2005).]

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