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    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

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    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

Male Alzheimer's Spouses - where are they?

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by Nordholm123, Sep 11, 2015.

  1. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    Brixham Devon
    Well, male carers DID give their opinions.

    Nordholm asked the question and he received comments both supportive and 'negative' -although if someone has an different opinion to a fellow poster I fail to see how that can be classed as 'negative'- just different.:)
  2. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    Near Southampton
    #82 Saffie, Sep 21, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
    Not at all Kassy.
    I apologise as I realise that this was really about having an affair, 'cos that's what is is, when a spouse is still alive. It wandered off a little and that was relevant to my present muddled position but I should have left well alone.

    So many responses here say they are not judgemental but continue to make a judgement, even on other's judgements - well it's a bit difficult not to I know.
    So, here goes, I am judgemental.
    If Nordholm is thinking, as he says he is, of actively seeking a full relationship with another woman whilst his wife is lying ill in a care home, he is betraying his marriage.
    Companionship for a lonely man is forgivable but hard if it develops into something more.
    Planning that development from the start is something else.

    Only my opinion of course and fortunately it can get lost amongst all the other opinions here.
    I would imagine that Nordholm will do what he wants regardless of any of them!
  3. Mal2

    Mal2 Registered User

    Oct 14, 2014
    I only meant, (it's sometimes difficult to select the right words ) that, maybe he was hoping everyone would say- yes, they thought it was ok for him to go ahead with his life. He probably wasn't expecting to get differing comments.

    I was interested in, and, respected everyone's views. As I had said previously. I hope my OH will be at home with me for many years. If he did have to go into a home, a new companion, is not something for me. A decision that Nordholm will have to make for himself.
  4. Eleonora

    Eleonora Registered User

    Dec 21, 2012
    Abingdon Oxfordshire
    I am in a similar position to Nordholm, except that I have cared for my husband, at home, for nine years.
    We have an old friend, of whom I am very fond; and he is stuck in a miserable marriage to an alcoholic wife. She is still a good friend of ours too.
    Her husband and I still feel a strong commitment, and yes love, for the people our respective spouses used to be.

    When, and if, we find ourselves single again, it is quite possible that we will join forces - who knows? But for now, we are both married, and a warm hug is the most we permit ourselves.

    Cue for. "Brief Encounter" music?:D

    If Nordholm, quite understandably, feels the need for a new, fuller relationship; he still has the option to seek a divorce from his wife.
    He would still be able to care for her, but then he would be in a position to offer his new love the security and commitment she would probably need.

    From previous posts, it would appear that a divorce would be fairly easy to obtain.
  5. Padraig

    Padraig Registered User

    Dec 10, 2009
    Such interesting views by so many people. It goes to show how each person views and acts when Dementia strikes. Each to their own. Some people feel lonely and unhappy to be on their own and can't cope with out a friend, or to be in a relationship.

    If you are looking after a spouse, especially in the end stages of Alzheimer's I can say from personal experience that there's no time for any one but the wife/husband. The whole 24 hours, day in day out is accounted for, I wouldn't have it any other way. The one fact you know with AD, is that time is running out. With that in mind, I treasured each moment till the end. If it were at all possible I'd have traded places with her at the end, for her to live, and me to pass on. Some day it may be possible to transplant a brain.

    The down side to my approach is that our family knew I had no time to spend with them in my busy day. As a result, in those years they got on with their busy lives and families. Nine grandchildren 11 great grandchildren. The one person I now see is our daughter, thank God for daughters. At the moment she's away on a few weeks holiday with her husband. Am I lonely? No way, I've lived a full life 'my way' and can now eat , sleep and do as I wish when I wish. For me there was only one girl.
  6. Countryboy

    Countryboy Registered User

    Mar 17, 2005
    if because this guy’s wife is unable to communicate and he wants a relationship with someone would this be with someone who is genuinely unattached or would he be breaking up another relationship or marriage because you can see the results of this sort of behaviour on Jeremy Kyle everyday always ends in tears because that excitably what this is
  7. Mal2

    Mal2 Registered User

    Oct 14, 2014
    So true. As you say thank God for daughters. I am lucky, I have one married daughter here, and, she pops in most days. Unfortunately my other daughter lives in Florida with her husband and my lovely grandchildren ( 11 year old triplets ) unfortunately I haven't seen them for 4 years. It is not so easy for them to travel to UK, but, we chat on skype now and again. My daughter phones every week.
    I miss the conversations with OH that we used to have, but, as you say, there is no time to be lonely, I do not know where the time goes. Once minute it is Friday and before I look around the following Friday is looming down on me.
    My main worry is I hope nothing happens to me, I dread the thought of him going into care. At home he knows the surroundings and I have tried to make each day for him as 'normal' as it was before D. He is always smiling and happy. I don't know for how long, but, hope it will be for many years yet.
  8. Padraig

    Padraig Registered User

    Dec 10, 2009
    Very true Mal2

    The older you become the faster time moves, it's an unequal race. Time is the most precious gift to offer. You can't put a price on it. It's what makes memories to be treasured long after you've lost the race.
  9. Louisek100

    Louisek100 Registered User

    Sep 27, 2012
    A more sympathetic view perhaps?


    I would like to suggest some options which may help you through your thoughts on this subject..

    You may like to look at an archived post in this Forum titled "When is it ok to move on" regarding an ex moderator Bruce who found another love.

    PLUS you might find an article on the Internet which was in the Daily Mail dated 9 Nov 2011 regarding a vicar who found new love whilst still visiting\caring\loving his wife who was in a care home.

    Alternatively, as this is an emotive subject could I suggest that you discuss it with a counsellor who would be able to discuss this rationally with you. Another option could be to discuss your feeling with a vicar or similar, I think you and perhaps many on here might be surprised at their thoughts on the subject.

    You only have one life and you need to be able to live it and be happy, if for you that means perhaps finding companionship\love with someone else whilst still caring\visiting\loving your current partner then don't worry about anyone else.
  10. Nordholm123

    Nordholm123 Registered User

    Mar 2, 2012
    My wife has no conception of reality whatsoever. She always did her best during her life and I can tell she is doing her best now. Inoffensive and cooperative. Well liked. I thought I was well prepared for her eventual decline into a CH. BUT I was not. I kidded myself that I was fine. Wrong. I tried to recreate a life similar to what we had. Wrong again. I think I am accepting how things are now. Thanks for your comments. Peter

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  11. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    I don`t think any of us can be fine when confronted with this illness Peter. It really is most devastating to everyone it affects, those who become carers and those who need caring for.

    All we can do is make the most of what is left of our lives however we see fit. My rule of thumb was to try not to leave myself with regrets.

    I found Talking Point my primary source of support, information and friendship. I`m really pleased to see you back on the Forum and sincerely hope Talking Point will be of some help to you.
  12. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    Near Southampton
    Me too. I hope you will be able to find an element of happiness along with all the natural concern we all feel when coping with this devastating disease.
    Like Sylvia, my main motivation when my huband was in a nursing home was to make his life there as comfortable as possible but I doubt I was wholly successful.
    So I am left with unresolved feelings of guilt that I doubt will ever leave me.
    I wish you well and hope you can find some peace and quality of life for yourself.
  13. Caz60

    Caz60 Registered User

    Jul 24, 2014
    I say ,live and let live ,have no regrets ,life is too short and do what you feel you should just as everyone else will do .xx
  14. jan.s

    jan.s Registered User

    Sep 20, 2011
    I too have guilt, even though like you and Sylvia, I tried my best to make Roger's life as good as I could in the care home.

    I remember saying to you Saffie that you have no reason to feel guilty, and yet, I too feel guilt, wondering could I have done more for Roger.

    I am pleased to see you back, Peter and hope you will gain some support on the forum, I know I have. J x
  15. Scarlett123

    Scarlett123 Registered User

    Apr 30, 2013
    We're all great at telling others "you have no need to feel guilty!", but we all have guilt to some degree. But mine has lessened a lot this year, not because I was a saint, but I realise now, rationally, that I did my very best, and was absolutely exhausted. And so were/are most of you!

    Notice I didn't say "mine has disappeared" ;) because even though I might say it has, I don't think it ever really goes away, but hovers there, in the background.
  16. jimbo 111

    jimbo 111 Registered User

    Jan 23, 2009
    North Bucks
    It is through conversations like this , that it really comes home to me the difference
    to losing a partner into a long stay in a care home , without any chance of recovery
    and losing a partner through death
    My wife died 5 years ago and had Alzheimer's and other ailments , I cared for her for the many years of her illness
    I have feelings of guilt wishing I could have been a better husband and these feelings of guilt are with me permanently
    But I know that with her death our time together on this earth are over
    This feeling is far removed from the circumstances of someone who was responsible for their loved one being permanently separated in a nursing home
    I can say without any doubt that I would feel wracked with shame and guilt that I was not capable of continuing to look after her
    I know the truth of this situation by the many posts I have read in the years I have been on TP
    I have a genuine and deep sympathy, and admiration for all those of you who have had to face up to this dreadful situation
    It may be not the wisest thing to say
    but I am grateful that my separation from my wife was the natural cause of death and not the slow destroying future that so many of you face
  17. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    Glad you posted again, Peter.

    I think acceptance is a good 'place' to be, for me it was preceded by years of torment raging against the dying of the light, acceptance followed, it was a better launch pad for other thoughts.

    I wish you well. x
  18. Mal2

    Mal2 Registered User

    Oct 14, 2014
    Couldn't have put it better. You said it all for us Scarlett.
  19. Mal2

    Mal2 Registered User

    Oct 14, 2014
    Welcome back to TP. Peter.

    It IS very hard trying to cope each day. Up days, Down days, somehow, we carry on, one way or another.

    I class myself as one of the lucky ones, my OH is still with me. To me, he is still the same person I fell in love with. Only now, it's, 'the way' we share our life together, that has changed, I just try to make each day as near to what is was, for us both.

    I do hope everything works out well for you. Good Luck. M
  20. gringo

    gringo Registered User

    Feb 1, 2012
    I have fought long and hard against ‘acceptance’. It was a vain battle that I was always going to lose. I wish, though, that I were still up for the fight, believing that, somehow, somewhere, there was still hope.

    Slowly you emerge from a nightmare, to the problems lying in wait.
    Slowly you begin your renaissance, by accepting your lot, as one must.

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