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Unfortunately my wife has decided to divorce me after three years of taking care of her through six hospitalizations, many anxious moments in emergency rooms and ambulances, and my working two jobs, one which is very stressful, in order to keep health insurance. Her reason? "I'm not the person she fell in love with." I always thought that when she was well enough again it would be my turn to have time to take care of myself. I made plans to change careers but that was cut short by her stroke, then we planned to open a small antique shop on her porch but when the time came to do the renovations she decided she would rather leave.

She is being extremely dishonest in the divorce proceedings. She twice physically assaulted me but denies it in court. She instead says I verbally abused her and controlled her. Because she is "disabled" as determined by SSDI she makes a very believable victim. But this victim planted an acre and a half garden this summer and her spreadsheets for the divorce are better than mine. She now wants to have access to the house without me there so she can "inventory the contents."

When we go to court she has a container full of medical records, but no one recorded me sitting by her bedside night after night in the hospital, or me trying to hold on to my job and health insuarance while trying to take her to medical appointments, etc. Even the physical assaults against me were in our home with no witnesses. She of course wants alimony and yet she is probably in better shape than I am right now. I suffered from post traumatic stress syndrome four years ago after my partner died of cancer and I rebuilt my life only to meet Susan and go through all these medical crises with her. She seemed healthy when we met; I would never have willingly involved myself with medical crises again after the PTSD.

Yet I keep going. Why? I think it would be better to just stop. Now I will be working to pay her health insurance, alimony, my pension plan split with her.

I realize there are not that many people out there who would be this cruel. And for that I am thankful.

The person I loved died and now there is monster inhabiting her body. Or the person I loved never existed and now I see the monster.
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Hello toomanycares:

I am truly sorry for your pain and what you are going through. Times like this are so very trying and it is most important to keep the faith. And maybe time to step back and realize that everything must happen for some reason (unbeknownst to us at the time).

You are right that she is not being honest. I think her reason for leaving you is ridiculous - or should I say shallow - without merit. It makes me think that she never "fell in love" or, more likely, has no idea what love consists of in a healthy relationship. (Not that I am sure that I do either) However, I think that love weathers time. It is not discarded because you "are not the same person". We all change with time... plus, love does not devalue what we contribute to the relationship such as health benefits or - care.

Anyhow, that is my ideal of it all. You do deserve that kind of love. You have worked hard and cared for her during the rough and scary times. Sometimes, it seems, the more we give, the more we are taken for granted.

Take Care toomanycares, Glenda
Hi toomanycares...

Gosh I'm so sorry about what's going on with
you and your wife...'tis true in some cases...the more you give, the more you're taken advantage of...and can sure understand you not wanting to be mean because of her
previous health problems...you're sort of stuck between a rock and a hard place at the moment...
Stay strong and try your hardest to make things as fair as she will allow during this..
It is unfortunate, but I have seen this happen when someone is ill...because of the support, sympathy, etc bestowed on the person during an illness it seems if there is a recovery..that the person misses the attention..not sure if your wife has seen a counsellor regarding this or not, or if you think this may be part of her problem now?
I hope you'll let us know how things are working out for you..
take care
PrairieGal
It turns out that she has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Of course when she was sick she was getting all the attention she needed to keep herself afloat, but when she recovered from the heart surgery and was declared "well" she developed depression and anxiety. She went to a counselor then. It is very hard even for professionals to tell when someone has this disorder because they have an almost perfect false self which they present to the world. God knows I didn't see through it for the first year of our life together. But she still wasn't getting enough attention, and by then I was worn down and not such a good source of supply for her anymore. I needed help myself at that point for the medical crises had left me in a state of post traumatic stress. So off with me!

It's so hard to understand. I've read books about NPD but I just don't understand what it is like to be that way. I think Scott Peck wrote a book called "The People of the Lie."

And now she is trying to ruin me financially, she is lying in court, she is accusing me of abusing and controlling her. It's all turned back around on me.

I'm not doing well, but I am keeping on going. The one thing that it has done is make me spiritually stronger. I realize that you can ruin a person financially, ruin their reputation, ruin their sanity, but the spirit in each of us can never be ruined except by ourselves.

I so much appreciate your words of concern and encouragement becasue I feel very alone in all this. After three years of devoting myself exclusively to her health I don't have many friends or interests to take my mind off this.

So thank you again.
Hello toomanycares:

Of course Sue is right. Strokes (even the mini-ones) do damage to critical parts of the brain. There is no predicting behavior after one of them... I swear - strokes are the most damaging health care issue there is (or so I think).

If nothing else is gained, the best you can get out of caregiving are new ways to care for oneself. The more positive experiences we have in life, the better we feel. Take care of yourself now.

Love and God Bless from Glenda
I wish that I could believe it was due to the stroke, and I know that storke does cause changes in brain chemistry. But I spoke with a former partner who had the exact experience of being physically, verbally and emotionally abused and that was before the stroke and heart attack.

For so long I did believe it was the stroke and I kept hanging in there expecting to "get back to something like normal." Now I know that would never have happened, stroke or not.

It is so very painful to remember the nights I spent sleepless by her hospital bed only to be treated so heartlessly now. It doesn't make any sense.

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