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I have been needing a support system for sometime now. Hopefully, I have found a place. As I read through the messages, my issue seems small in comparison. How dare I complain. But, I will put myself out there anyway.

I have been married to my husband for 22 years. Twenty of those years he has suffered both mental and physical illnesses. He has been on disability 17 of those years.
We are currently dealing with recovery from pacemaker surgery. He is only 50. He originally received the pacemaker 9 years ago. The battery was replaced in 2005. This year he suffered infections twice. In October they had to remove the pacemaker (complicated procedure) and replace with a new one. We treated with IV antibotics at home. Lest I be too long, the problem is I feel resentment and angry many times. I feel guilty for having theses feelings. It is not his fault he has been dealt these varies heath problems. But how can I be more loving instead of resentful. I hate the way I feel sometimes. I pray to God everyday to help me be more loving. Love as Christ loved us. It is so hard.
When my husband is well, I feel there is more he could do to help me around the house since he is home and I work outside the home. When he gets sick then all the built up resntment comes flowing in instead of the love. Thanks for letting me share.
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Hi Savvy:

Welcome to the boards... We are happy to have you here! It sounds as if you have had a very challenging marriage with your DH. It is never easy when one person isn't healthy.

I think it is only natural to feel some anger and resentment... It is a part of the roller coaster ride. The best thing is being aware of it. Since the emotions of anger and resentment are the worst for our own health, it does help to find ways to cope.

It is good to journal. Write down what you are feeling and release the negative feelings... Also, it helps to talk about it to your DH. Let him know that you need him to help out when he can... Venting at the board is also totally acceptable. Doing things that take the anger and disperse it is good. Finding time to yourself is a good thing and breathing helps along with your prayer. I pray for grace most every day...

Hopefully these thoughts help. You can become more loving, I believe, because you want to be. That is very admirable, Savvy, and your DH is so lucky to have you. Hang in there dear heart and take care of yourself in the meantime...

Love and Hugs from Glenda
Glenda,
Thank you so much! You brought tears to my eyes. I don't talk about this much to my friends and family because I fear that they will say what do have to complain about. My husband is the one suffering. I am glad I have a place to go now. I am a Christian and sometimes what a feel conflicts with my faith. Thanks God for his Word and people like you.
Aloha Savvy,

You said it's not your husbands fault he's had these health problems. And that's true. But, dear lady, it's not your fault either !

Twenty years of caring for someone is a long, long time. Most of your youth. And, I'm sure, not what you were expecting when you said "I do". I've been married for 40 years and I can tell you firsthand that resentment pops up all the time, health problems or not. Try not to feel bad or guilty about it, it's normal. And it comes and goes.

Trust in your God or yourself or whoever you require to see you over the bad times. The answers are out there somewhere and they'll find you.

Take care of yourself FIRST, that's the most important thing to remember.

Judi
Hi Savvy:

Welcome... I agree with the support the ladies have given you.. I will take it one step further... there are many people in relationships caring for spouses that not only have the emotional roller coaster and resentments that you do... some of them actual leave the relationship because they never were able to develop the relationship on a deeper level.. I am not suggesting you leave, I am encouraging you to not diminish what you are experiencing.. it isn't abnormal.

please continue to post.. see how the support helps you.. it may take the strain of it all away.. and you may find that you will have to have a heart to heart with your husband asking to have your needs met, especially when he is doing better.

blessings to you

gail
Hi, Savvy.

Well, you've been at it longer than I have, but I totally relate to what you are saying. It's not only the time and energy we must give that we can't get back. When a spouse - particularly the husband - becomes disabled at an early age, there is a financial loss. Lost income, lost opportunities. So we end up "making do" and doing without. It's nobody's fault. It just is. But it does get old.

Any marriage takes work. I have to consciously do things with my DH, so he feels I still care (since intimacy is a no-go right now - another point of resentment). We'll make a movie date with the tv, do crossword puzzles together. I encourage him to pursue hobbies to keep him busy. Yesterday we got his guitar out of the closet. He found some lessons on line he wanted to try.

So, Savvy, tell us. What is something you can do for you? Do you have anything you do that is just for you? It's really important to find ways to block out small pieces of time to do what you want. It may be something as mundane as take a "spa-type" bath with candles and music. Or maybe you do gardening or other exercise. Since you work, do you have friends to share lunch and just gab?

If you hang out here very long, you will note a recurring theme of "taking care of the caregiver." We're here to help you do just that. Please keep posting. You could probably teach us a thing or two, as well.

Hugs,
Barb
Wow. I really did not expect to get this much support. Thanks to you all. I am truly grateful. It feels better to know that I am not alone.
Yes, I have interest and take time to do things just for me, I just have not done it in a while. I have two very supportive girlfriends but I did not want to seem like a whiner so thought I would spare them this lastest battle I am having with myself. Therefore, I am so grateful for this site.
My birthday is in January. I will be 48. I plan to do a spa date by myself. I can't wait.
Hello All, It's been a while since I posted. My husband is stable, but my Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and had 1/2 of one of his lungs removed in mid-October. Thankfully they caught it very early (while looking for non-related stuff) and all he needed was surgery! I'm so glad to see your post Savvy--I wish you lived near me--we're nearly the same age--it would be so nice to have someone close by to meet with in person who knows and understands what it's like. To the rest of the ladies who've already responded, your wisdom, kindness and support is so fantastic. They're all right--marriage is hard work even when no one is ill or disabled, so don't beat yourself up for feeling resentment--remember: we can't always help how we feel, we can only control what we do with our emotions. I was encouraged to see your conflict with your faith because I have been there also. I am also a Christian and one of the hardest things I've had to learn is that when the Bible says "Love your neighbor as yourself"--it's assumed that you are able to love YOURSELF first. Sometimes as caregivers we feel good about our ability to give so much to others, but neglect our own needs. I'm learning that loving myself means that I have to identify my own needs and have the courage to pray and ask God to show me what to do and then not feel guilty or condemned for having my own interests and having a life outside of caregiving. My husband has been ill (cancer) and then brain damaged for 8 1/2 yrs now and it has only been in the last year that I have been able to do things that I want to do and that I am interested in without him (he's perfectly content to stay home every day of the year with the exception of going to church one a week)and not feel guilty or that I am betraying him (ladies I'm only talking about going to the movies or to my daughter's house!). I used to feel that if I wasn't home with him, enduring his suffering and limitations WITH him that I was betraying him. But what I have come to learn is that even though we have been together for nearly 30 years and yes we are one in the Lord, God does not expect me to lose my personality or personhood for anyone. God made me a unique person to fulfill my God-given destiny in this world. I used to think that God had a "plan" for my life--now I realize He has "plans" for my life. There are many roles and purposes for all aspects of my life and yes, caregiving is one of them, but not the only one. I have also learned through prayer and reading the Bible that I am to feel "guilt" for the things that I do that are purposeful and sinful. Anything outside of that is false guilt that will only bind my heart in anger and resentment. I have had more years of experience with anger and resentment (growing up in an abusive, alcoholic household) than not, but God has been faithful and patient with me through it all. He is the GOOD FATHER, he can handle all of our anger, rage and pain--He won't abandon us for our humanity--that's the very reason we need Him! Well, just as in person, I tend to talk too much. I'm glad to be able to visit the site with all of you again. God bless each of you in all you do!
Cookiemama, my problems seem so small next to yours. Twice this week I have gotten on my knees and cried out to God telling him I don't want to go through this anymore. Then I turn around and ask for forgiveness for my attitude. The devil is really working on my and appears to be winning. But I will not be defeated. I just wish I could stop the negative tapes playing in my held. I guess if I were in your situation I really could not handle it. Last night I lost it because I became concerned that we would not be able to fly to Denver for Christmas. I am so looking forward to getting away. Anyway, the trip is two weeks away. My dh fatigue may have improved by then but I started with the "what ifs". What if we can't go. I know it is wrong but I really want to get away. Dh said that our son and I could go without him. Of course that is not going to happen. I am better today. I need to just relax and see what will happen. I just am fearful that dh may be in a mild state of depression but he will hear of it and each discussion about his health and recovery has become a battle. I have zipped my lips tonight. I don't know how you have done it for so long. My journey has been on and off for 20 years. Yours has been continuous. God Bless YOU!
Thanks for checking in on me. Praise God we were able to go to Denver for Christmas. We arrived on Sunday after the storm and left Wednesday before the new storm. DH is still in recovery but I was able to get some rest while in Denver. I let his sister and brother take care of him. When we returned, I felt so rested. Of course after being home for a few days, I am starting to feel tired again. But I am grateful for the time I had with family in Denver. The snow was beautiful. Being from California, it is fun to have a white Christmas for a change.
Hi Cookiemama: Well, I just wrote a post on the other site looking for a answer to a serious POA problem for my Dad, and your post of 12/08/06 "Caring for a Spouse" answered my question. I too am a Christian, and the Lord has pulled me through every time. And, I turn to the Bible for all the comfort and answers and I have had many miracles. And, now I realize my life has as much meaning and future as my Dad's or anyone else's. Thank you for what you said about the guilt and the scripture info you indicated from the Bible. You helped me with quite a problem, and my positive answers come from God ---- May God give you all the blessings that he has promised you as his child. Love & Prayers ... Vickie
PS: I look forward to a bright 2007 ---- it took this as low as I became again, and went over to this post to be pulled up again. It had to be God working through this site to help me see what he "has" planned for me.
Thanks ever so much --- it is like a light went on! I love talking about what God has done for me, and he continues to do through me and for me. My struggles have surely given me a "wholeness" only he could give me.
God Bless You!

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