Family Problems

Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
North Derbyshire
Oh dear, this is going to sound like more moaning from me.

First of all the husband. He is supportive in many ways, practically, but not at all emotionally. For example, he could not cope if I cried. If any of you know the story of Lazarus and his two sisters, one was always cooking and cleaning and the other always sat at the foot of Jesus, and I always remember as a child thinking tht the cook and cleaner was the most useful, well I now realise that the one doing the listening was equally, if not more, useful. My husband is the cook/cleaner and definitely not the listener. Never has been, but illness makes him even less so. He is sort of aware that I am not happy, but wouldn't think to talk about it.

Anyway, Christmas is coming, and I've been worrying privately about whether to invite mum to us for lunch. Problem one is Chris likes a big fussy lunch, at least 20 trimmings - he is happy to cook it, but can't possibly manage to have it ready before 5 p.m. I don't think that will do for mum this year, her first year in the Home. Hubby is not around much to discuss, but I have suggested to him that we have a different regime this year, have an earlier lunch than usual and invite mum, and take her back to the home quite soon after. Okay he said (without really listening). I've discussed this with our elder daughter (age 27, worth listening to), and as far as I'm concerned it was agreed. Imagine my distress when I overheard husband on the phone to elder daughter "we are thinking of visiting grandma in he morning, but leaving her to have her Christmas Lunch at the home, and tea, and doing the same on Boxing Day". I swooped in in my usual careful manner - "No, that is not what we are doing". He waves me away, and continues to tell daughter of his plans. "No", I shout, "Please don't start assuming what the plans are when C and I have already discussed and agreed them, it isn't right". And then I got a response that I can only assume came from the 19th century. "Margaret, That's Enough!".

I felt like a doormat.

I didn't cry - no point, he would walk out of the house if I did. I told him I didn't want to be spoken to like that, and his response was that I shouldn't speak to him like that either. I pointed out that this was the first Christmas of my mother being in a care home, bereft, bewildered, unsure, and I thought we should make an effort to accommodate her in a sympathetic manner. I told him I had discussed it with C, and we had agreed. I reminded him that I had told him of our plan. "Oh yes" he said "A plan made without my knowledge or approval". I said he had been too busy to discuss it, and I didn't imagine it would need his approval cos it was so obviously the kindest thing to do as regards my mother.

Response "You do what you like, but don't expect me to be eating at 1 p.m. with you". Nice.

Anyway, never mind the marital issues, onto the daughter, C. Normally a very supportive person. I just felt a body blow this week. She lives about 35 miles away, our younger daughter 200 miles away. When C bought her first home (2003) we visited a lot, decorating, assembling furniture, I made curtains, dad sorted out her garden etc. Then my dad became ill with stomach cancer and died(2003-04), then my mother in law had a stroke which was eventually fatal (2004-05), an aunt and an uncle died earlier this year (2007), we are both in full time jobs, and C turns round and says "I think you have been a bit lax this year in visiting, I hope next year you are going to make more effort". What? I said "well I have been a little preoccupied this year C". "What with?" she asked. Eh? What with? Isn't it obvious? Doctors, mental assessments, brain scans, psychiatrists, the little matter of mum reported to the police in the middle of the night at the bus stop, abusive phone calls from her "friends" in the middle of the night, 6 weeks in hospital, hunting for a care home, organising the financing of the care home (5 visits by the Independent Financial Adviser, two enormous cheques being written, 7 new bank accounts being set up, power of attorney which the Court of Protection lost - and then found), visits by the Social Worker, selling mum's home, emptying 50 years of married life to the tip, 20 phone calls at least to organise a new hearing aid for mum, two trips to the hearing aid centre 20 miles away, the optician, the dentist, settling her into the home, pursuing a complaint for physical abuse, further mental deterioration (mum hearing voices), mum having no shoes, being cold, organising the GP to remedy a fungal infection which won't yet budge, supporting mum in all this (she was upset about her home being sold, it took a lot of emotional effort to help her accept that), 38 letters from the DWP about her pension and benefits (all wrong), redirecting her mail, notifying gas, electric, council, insurance, water rates, ground rent, solicitor,.......... boring!

I began to wonder if this was a dream - a nightmare.

I have been a little preoccupied - do you agree? Or am I just not superwoman any more?

I tell you all, I really feel like walking away from my family. Not my mum, I will stick with her, cos she is my responsibility. Not because I love her, I have posted on this before, but because she is my mother. Fact.

Do I really have to put up with a huband telling me "That's Enough!" when I am upset that he is changing my plans for my mother? Do I really have to put up with a daughter who tells me I haven't made enough effort to see her over the last 12 months and wonders why I have been a little preoccupied?

I will say nothing to either of them. I just let it pass. I will never forget either of those remarks to me. Why? you might ask. Well, because they are both much more clever than me with words. They will beat me into the ground. My husband will tell me of all the brilliant things he has done over he past year, and it is true, he has cooked all the meals (albeit mostly ready meals), my daughter will stand her ground and say I should still find time for her and that I should be better organised, which is true. So they will both be right, and I will not have a leg to stand on. My younger daughter is probably my only support, but she is 200 miles away and over the last couple of years she has got her own life that I don't know much about. So maybe not.

My friends have not a clue. My closest friend saw her mother in a care home for the last 3 years of her life. Perfectly happy to be there, chose to go there, no mental problems, no need for company cos she watched telly and read, my friend visited for half an hour a week, that was it. Fully funded by the local authority, no issue with managing money. When her mother died, it was me that she rang. I went to the home, made all the arrangements for the funeral. Another friend lost her mother years and years ago, thinks I should be glad I have still got my mother and stop moaning about it. Isn't interested at all. A third friend has a fit and healthy mother, same age as mine, as doesn't understand why I have "put" my mother in a home. Hers doesn't live with her, and thinks she might like to go into a home for the company and fun. My friend thinks my mum should be the same. They haven't got a clue what Alzheimers means.

And my mum aint half bad compared to some of your relatives.

I feel so unsupported by my family and friends. Desperately unsupported. Seriously. I could just walk away. I could cheerfully leave them all to cook their own Christmas dinner and anyway I probably won't eat any of it. That is one thing I have noticed, that since my mum was diagnosed with AD my appetite has gone. Most days I cannot eat more than half of a normal evening meal, and some days I eat none at all. I have a small breakfast, and often no lunch.

I really do feel so emotionally unsupported, and now criticised by my daughter who I thought was so understanding.

Well, friends, sorry about all that, but it seems I have only you to turn to. But please don't just tell me I am wonderful and right, if you think I am wrong somewhere, please tell me that also. Nicely, please, cos I just can't stand another bruise, but maybe a nudge in the right direction.




Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Hey Margaret.

I very, very much hope that by writing this down you feel marginally better, because sometimes it does help. No solution for you really - I've experienced most of the things you've detailed although, very fortunately, not all at once (and I don't think I've had the pater familias style comments, or at any rate, not to my face), but yes, there have been one or two comments in my married life that I will not only never forget, I don't think I'll ever really forgive. They don't rankle day in and day out, but they're there, lurking in the shadows - it makes you realise you can be married to somone for quite a long time and they still can surprise you, and not in a nice way. And I suppose that the point of my response - this all feels very raw to you at the moment, but time does and will take the edge off.



Registered User
Nov 16, 2007
East Midlands
Dear Margaret- you really have had a lot to deal with-sorting out everybody else. reading your thread it sounds as though you've lost you in all of that somewhere. I can see a lot of elements of myself in the way you've been "coping". You certainly sound as though you need some support. Maybe it's us as women who always put other people first and forget about ourselves. It's not being selfish to consider yourself-it's important to your self esteem. Have you thought about seeing a counsellor and talking this through. Someone impartial can see things in a different way and help you to learn how to stand up for yourself. I wish you well. Am sure other members will come up with support for you too! Love Gigi x


Registered User
Jul 7, 2007
What can I say to help it get better ?

Good morning Margaret,
You are not alone !

- and in my case after 33 years of marriage I don't think anything I can say or do will change the situation - I've almost learned to tolerate it (just) because I just don't have the energy right now to fight the fight that may improve the situation.
One of my coping strategies is to have a little daydream of revenge - and then its usually so ridiculous that I make myself laugh - and hope I'm not "moderated out" here when I say it's a "well, lets see how you like it when I spit in your coffee" type of revenge. I've been such a "don't mess with me" type of mother and wife over the years that a bit of secretly being a toddler really does help me. So now all on TP will know that I'm not really a very mature woman just about coping with AZ & all it brings but just a scared silly tantrummy hysteric !

Hope getting it all off your chest helped a little - agree with previous responses - we're all in it together - and although other people's behaviour can really really hurt us we can't change what we can't control - ugh - really trite but the sentiment is sincere.
Humour - however silly - always helps me - there will be something, somewhere, that will push your own buttons - hope you find it soon.
All the best to you (and get some sleep - saw you were posting at 2.12 a.m.)
Much luv,


Registered User
Apr 15, 2007
Dear Margaret,

I can honestly see where you are coming from with regards to your mum. It seems that your family may feel now that your mum is in care that plans shouldn't have to change and are resentful that you expect them to.

Margaret, Would it at all be possible to return your mum later that evening, that way your husband can go ahead with his cooking plans, your mum will still be with her family for Christmas and hopefully all would be happy.

I know Christmas is supposed to be about cheer and goodwill but for some reason a lot of pent-up frustrations surface. I hope someone else can be more helpful. Fingers crossed it all works out. Regards Taffy.


Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
I agree with Gigi that seeing a counsellor might help and would certainly be worth a try. Also, do you have an AS support group nearby? Maybe you could look into going to some of their meetings/social events. I know you might find it hard to fit this in to an already overloaded schedule but if it is going to help with your stress levels then it might be worth giving both of these options a try.


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
Some Men are so dismissive to woman emotion and tears , as they think they so in control of they when they not really deep down , Men are from venus woman are from mars is a good book to read to give you a good insight to men , if you get the time to read it that is

Me I am fed up of getting any of my family to understand where I am coming from when it come to my mother ,or even a boyfriend who said see a counsellor or it can break a relationship. he was right about seeing a counsellor, but I wont tell him that:cool:

My son who 28 is a good at listening to me he make a great partner to a woman , well his main role model in life was me :D , but I have learn do try to not of load on him as he get fed up of hearing the same issue I have, but is great with a big hug and thats all I really need now days
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Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Dear Margaret, I'm so sorry you're having all this family argy-bargy when you've so much on your plate already.

You have every right to be upset, if we can't rely on out nearest and dearest for support, then family life really has gone to the dogs. (Speaking from experience, I get more support from two of my step-sons than from my own son).

I can't say anything about your husband; if he's used to being the alpha male, I don't suppose he's going to change now. So it's your choice whether to put up with it or leave. If he's otherwise supportive, you may feel it's worth putting up.

As for your daughter, how often does she visit you? Does she realise how much you have got on your plate? Possibly you have wanted to protect her from the grim realities of AD, and she has no idea what you are going through. You might need to sit her down and spell it out.

As for friends, well, we all know where you're coming from there! You very quickly realise which are true friends, and which will walk away when the going gets tough. I've found true friendship coming from the most unexpected sources.

And yes, words do hurt. Whoever devised the saying about sticks and stones just hadn't a clue!

I posted some time ago about the fact that harsh words spoken years and years ago always remain fresh in the memory. Someone explained that they trigger the 'fight or flight' mechanism in the brain, and the resultant adrenaline rush 'fixes' them. Makes sense!.

So what to do? I think the first thing is to see your GP. I remember you posted quite recently about considering retiring, now you're wanting to walk away from your family. I think the 'flight' mechanism has kicked in. (Not criticising, I've been there, often!)

Try to explain to him exactly how you feel, and ask for help. He may suggest medication, or counselling, or both. Gigi and Brenda have already suggested the counsellor, and that's an excellent suggestion, but medical help would get you through this bad patch.

Please try, Margaret. Your problems are real, and though you may be able to improve the situation, they're not going to go away, at least in the immediate future. And Christmas has to be got through, somehow.:(

A very wise doctor once said to me when I was in your state, and wanting to walk away, 'Don't make irrevocable decisions when you're on a down'. They were very wise words, and I always remember them.

In the meantime, plenty of support here. Please let us know how it goes.


Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Dear Margaret.

What you have said about your past relationship with your mother, could have been written by me. And what you say about your reaction to your mother`s dementia was mine also.

Although we both had poor mother/daughter bonds, our feelings of duty and our conscience came to the fore when they became vulnerable. Neither of us were able to turn our backs on our mothers.

But throughout many years of marriage, our husbands have not known our mothers being an importnant part of our lives. We have never had to make adjustments to any plans to accommodate our mothers. That is, until dementis reared it`s ugly head.

My husband was the chief cook too, funnily enough. He also responded to emotion by walking away.

The big difference was my husband`s Indian culture. Although my mother had been horrid to him and had objected to my marriage on grounds of race, it was all forgiven and forgotten when she became ill.

He shared the caring, and as I didn`t drive, did all the driving, helped me find a home, he even fed her when she had difficulty feeding herself.

You seem to be a strong woman. I imagine you have always put your family first but still had the strength to do your own thing. Your family have become selfish with your time and attention.

I would tell them to grow up.

I`m sorry if I`ve been too outspoken, but you have done so well for your mother, they should admire you, rather than make life more difficult for you.

Love xx


Registered User
Nov 28, 2005

I am so sorry you are feeling so down and fed up with family etc etc. As you know I am very local to you and if I can help with just a 'chat' please let me know (PM anytime).

I think in a family when things are difficult then it is easy to get into 'sensitive' mode. That does not mean I think you have nothing to be unhappy about. I also have had difficult patches with family issues (in my case it was mother in law mainly but I also coped with my father with Vasc.D and still coping with a brother with MS.

I wonder if, because, you are not eating well, also naturally extremely worried about your Mum plus all the other family problems you have had over the year - are you just plainly unwell. I think many will agree as Carers we need all the stamina and good health we can muster - so we do have to take care of ourselves for the sheer necessity of coping.

Don't let this get hold of you - as others have suggested a Counsellor could be useful and if you are really down what about your GP? When I was going through an extremely stressful patch a couple of years ago, I was offered either relaxation classes, hypnotherapy or mild relaxant tablets - one of those may help you.

Sorry to ramble - hope it helps.
Best wishes Jan


Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
I think I have been brainwashed by silly American TV stuff into believing that my family are abnormal. It never rains on TV, the dog never poos on the new carpet and the cat is never sick on the bed, the grown up children are supportive, loving, handsome/pretty and have wonderful, white, sparking teeth. Huggs,love and kisses abound. I also have this image that everyone else leads a perfect life - other TP carers cope far better than I do etc., etc., What rubbish I have in my head! Talking Point Posts keep me in touch with reality

Normal families are spoiled rotten, sometimes selfish, self centred and can be cruel and thoughtless. I have an elder son who is so busy climbing the corporate ladder that he is a nasty, stressed out and unfeeling monster. I have another son who is thoughtless, erratic and at the same time as driving me up the wall, understands all that I am going through.

Keep gritting your teeth and smiling Margaret, you know you are the glue that holds everything together. However save enough glue to keep yourself healthy and sane through all the madness you are enduring. xxx TinaT


Registered User
Jul 31, 2007
Dear Margaret,
I agree with the octors and Councelling. You have had more than enough to endure.
This is from my own experience when Peter was at home - I had forgotten ME. I have been very fortunate with support with my family and I have read what you have gone through. I will probably get a lot of stick for this but I would leave them to the Christmas Dinner and have Christmas Dinner with your Mum. It is clear the family are not going to go 50/50 on this. I just hope that YOU get what is your wish for Christmas.
Do take care of yourself. Love from Christine


Registered User
Oct 1, 2006
Dear Margaret
How I feel for you
I do not know what to say about your husband sounds like he`s used to getting his own way.
As for your daughter please forgive me if I speak out of turn as I do not know if you had any help from her, why don`t you do what you have just done on TP and write down everthing you have had to do and then show it to her saying this is why I did not have much time to visit and say you could have come to visit us during this difficult time.
Once again sorry if I speak out of turn I wish you all the best

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Not my mum, I will stick with her, cos she is my responsibility. Not because I love her, I have posted on this before, but because she is my mother. Fact.
Remember she wasn't yours out of choice - whereas your husband and family ARE!!!!

Margaret I am coming at this having just had a huge reminder personally that I have got my priorities wrong ...... (and I am so wrapped up in my 'responsibility' for my mother I am losing sight of other things which really matter in life - including ME!!!!!!!)

No, you're probably not wonderful and you're probably not right all the time - else frighten me to death and prove there is a human being out there who is!!!!! (is this making you feel better? - OK I'll cut you some slack on the wonderful ......... :p:D)

It doesn't mean turning my back on her (although don't tempt me too much at times!!!!!:eek:) just a bit or re-prioritising - and sssssssssssshhhhhh - don't say this too loudly - COMPROMISE.

Therein lies a terrible stress for all us carers methinks ..... and yes, I have had a battle I could have done without about 'Your mother isn't ruining another Christmas!' and 'How do you think I can desert her now?' I have just read this thread nodding at so much you and Sylvia have said ......... why our mothers have such a hold on some of us? - well, there are theories - too deep to go into here .......

Best I can offer in terms of any comfort (although I know it's actually a stress) is that you should congratulate yourself for being such a 'VIP' is so many people's lives - that causes conflict and tortured loyalties if they all aren't singing in harmony - but should make you feel proud that they all want your attention. Being 'loved and needed' has its drawbacks, eh? And appearing to be a 'strong person' when you seem to be able to meet everyone else's needs but never your own ........ well.........

Sorry, not much help :eek: just an empathetic 'hug',

Love, Karen, x

Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
North Derbyshire
Good Lord, you are all fabulous,and I don't mind being told if I am wrong, as I surely am in some respects.

I will consult my GP, I think it is long overdue, the whole thing is getting to me suddenly, it has built up over the past year, though if I think about it, 18 months. I don't know about counselling, I am resistant to the idea, having beeing to Relate at some point years ago and found it useless. I think you are all great counsellors in your own way - and incidentally, every single one of your replies has given me something useful to latch on to. One or two of you apologised, or said you didn't think you had been much use - by golly you were all lots of use, I can't thank you enough for your correspondence.

Karen, I can't say hubby has complained about my mum ruining Christmas, she is such a mild individual, but unfortunately his parents (now both dead) did put great pressures on us at Christmas and I think we are both still remembering that.

Roseann, what a good idea to write everything down for my daughter, but I will have to learn how to do it in an non-confrontational way, and I ain't good at that.

Christine - good idea. Two Christmas dinners. But I think I will bring hubby round in time.

TinaT - in my house it is the cat squirting his "scent" up all of our nice new white doors.

Margarita - hubby would not be impressed that I have been discussing "personal issues" with strangers, or indeed anyone at all.

Jan, yes you are right, I am not eating well, so probably lacking normal strength, and yes I recall we said we would meet up. New Year?

Grannie G - perhaps I've been a bit unfair about my daughters. I suppose they do live in a bit of a cocoon compared to say, our ancestors (as do all young people nowadays). And I have to say, I've always given them the impression that I can cope with anything on my own. My elder daughter is Bulimic (possible now gone "down" to being anorexic), she copes with it fabulously, but not without 5 years of help from me between the age 17-22, and the worry that entailed, she was suicidal at the time, and believe me help was hard to find - and still is. There was no Eating Disorders website then, but I had stirling help from their phoneline. My husband walked away from that, too. My daughter is very grateful to me, knows what I did, and at this point in my mum's stage of AD, the Bulimia was far, far worse, so I have coped with worse.

Grannie G again. You described me as a "strong woman". Eh.
When my beloved dad was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer, I was there. My mum didn't understand the words. I told her. I discussed the chemo regime with the doctor. A couple of days later a fellow patient was diagnosed with the same. He asked my dad "how did you tell the wife", and my dad said "I didn't, I told my strong daughter and she saw to it for me". Phew, Strong daughter, I was eating up inside, I was weighing up whether to demand an operation, asking about chemo, how it would work, etc., and all my mum said was "Well, he's going to die then".

I wonder what we "strong people" actually feel. Some people might translate "strong" to mean "hard" or "cold". Believe me (and I know you all do), being strong is one thing, being feeling and upset and hurt is separate.

Skye (no, you are not Skye, that is your dog!), I was definitely on a down when I posted the message, but I do bounce back pretty soon. So I am okay today, in general.

Margrahita, I've read the book. Learnt nothing from it, cos I forget it all when reality kicks in.

Everyone else, not ignoring your points, just running out of steam at 2.15 a.m., thanks so much, you have all so much to say that is sensible when I lose my sense of proportion.

I wish you all well in your own difficulties.

Much love


Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
I wonder what we "strong people" actually feel. Some people might translate "strong" to mean "hard" or "cold". Believe me (and I know you all do), being strong is one thing, being feeling and upset and hurt is separate.Margaret
Just my first take on it - but 'strong people' (I am often described as confident I'm not sure about strong) feel exactly the same as everyone else - despair, frustration, anxiety .... but display an exterior to the world (often self-cultured because of need for self-preservation) which doesn't always show that they are dying emotionally inside .......

Margaret, you have shown how strong you can really be - in being honest with yourself let alone sharing it anywhere else ...... Well done!!!!! And don't feel you have to 'bounce back' too quickly - that's the 'strong exterior' for everyone else - give the 'squishy insides' a chance to recover for you, eh?

One small step, as they say ... much love, Karen, x


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
'strong people' (I am often described as confident I'm not sure about strong) feel exactly the same as everyone else - despair, frustration, anxiety .... but display an exterior to the world (often self-cultured because of need for self-preservation) which doesn't always show that they are dying emotionally inside .......

Well said, Karen.

Margaret, please take notice, see your GP, and give yourself some recovery time.

Karen, what are you doing posting at that time? Methinks you're in dire need of some recovery time too.

Be good to yourselves, both of you. :)


Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
North Derbyshire
I'm never quite sure how to respond to all these multiple replies, which I much appreciate. But Germain, that is me. Keep quiet, hope it passes over, no energy to argue or put my point forward. Yes, that is me. Maybe we need an assertiveness course!

Stay strong. Believe in yourself. Here is me offering advice when it was me ASKING for advice.

What a muddle.

Thanks everyone. Will read the rest of the replies.


Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
North Derbyshire
Hey Karen is in my league! 3.38 a.m. is normal!

No, it shouldn't be, but sometimes it is. Take care Karen.

Well, I've read through everyone's posts again, as I do sometimes forget, and for the second time I thank you all. I've just been telling my husband how wonderful the site is in terms of people willing to advise and listen, and he just shrugged his shoulders and said "whatever helps". No attempt to ask what kind of problems you help with or what responses you had given.

Ah well, this is not a marriage guidance website, and he has just popped his head in to tell me he is going to bed.

Sorry all, like I said, feeling lonely, but boy how you have helped.

If I don't post again on here before Christmas, I wish everyone the best possible. Most of us will experience difficulties, I hope you all cope with them - me included.

I think I said earlier that I tend to sound off about things when I get in a panic, and later calm down. It is true. But your sensible words help me. Thanks all.