Thursday, December 31, 2009

Why or how would declining health in a spouse?

Bring you closer together or further apart?

I read a local study that states that many couples, when faced with declining health seems to bring both older and younger couples closer together, or to the other extreme. What are your experiences with this issue?Why or how would declining health in a spouse?
I would disagree with the result of that study. Since it depends on the

relationship the couple has had before the declining health issue inter-

vened. If a couple is dear to one another, the devastating knowledge

that they will soon loose their loved one, will invariably bring the two

closer than before. Their moments together, will be more cherished and meaningful.

But if a couple is not devoted, or one is less than the other whose

health is declining, the pressure and stress of having to care for, or

find someone to do so, can push a couple even farther apart. While

one may perform duties out of responsibility, they will often resent their ill partner and sometimes, place them into a care facility and

shun them for the most part.

I have seen devoted partners' in the past, share their undying devo-

tion to the sick one.. And of course, there were those who never

had a visitor, which is sad, and died alone without even so much as

someone holding their hand. Working in a nursing home as I did for

a year and a half, I learned one thing. And that was, I'd never put

someone there. Of course, they are more improved now,

than those of the 60s'. But the lonliness factor can be a killer before

the actual cause of illness takes it's toll.

I envy seniors who have many children. With the hope that a few can

share the responsibility of helping to care for their elderly parents.

Especially, if one has been plagued by a lingering illness. Often the

devoted spouse is unable to care for his mate. So that's when the

children should take the lead and join forces to take turns caring for

the sick one. No one wants to be put away in a nursing home, unless

they have no other choice. When caring for themselves is no longer

an option. It's so hard for the spouse who visits and can't do anything

to reverse the situation. They can only continue to love them, until

the light has been removed from their eyes.Why or how would declining health in a spouse?
And yet the divorce rate for women who become disabled while married is extremely high. Disgracefully so.

For disabled men not so much. I think thats very sad, and I would like to see the stats for declining health based on gender.

I think a lot of men cant seem to or arent willing to step in and take over the cooking, cleaning, childcare etc that most women do on top of their careers. So far it seems men are not prepared to carry the same load that working women do.

So I would say the outcome depends on how severe the impact on the home environment is. And what kind of support the couple has from family or care givers.

Though I am sure the lovely men on here who have been married for decades do NOT fit this profile. (disabled women/divorce) Its lovely to see so many very long marriages --

When my uncle got ALS my aunt was amazing, I dont think I could as an able bodied person have done everything she did, lifting my uncle in and out of bed, in and out of the bath tub, on and off the toilet, into his wheelchair, then into the car, out of the car, into the wheel chair to take him where ever they were going - then lift him back into the car, and so on.

I had so much admiration for her. She was an amazing loving strong woman and she went the distance and then some. Definitely brought them closer together. And she cared for him until the end without any respite or help because the Cdn Govt is too cheap to provide any.
I've seen declining health bring several couples closer together who have had stormy marriages for many long decades. I think this happens because of genuine need and compassion. Perhaps they need a health crisis to reach out to each other with love instead of burning with anger and resentment. I've been amazed at the tenderness shown. We humans are a strange bunch, aren't we?

I've also seen a health crisis destroy one young marriage. The financial difficulties became too much for the man and he left his wife. Her parents took over her care. Another couple I knew divorced soon after the death of their child. Sad, sad situations.
My mother-in-law had a stroke and was very ill. My father-in-law who used to be the domineering and quarrelsome one immediately mellowed down. It was like a role reversal. She would scream and hit him, while he took good care of her through thick and thin during her illness. She died two years later, and he followed closely with a stroke himself and passed away three months later.

Declining health had definitely brought my parents-in-law closer together.
When my husband became ill, I wanted to spend as much time as I could with him because we didn't know how much time he had left. However, there were days when I was so tired and so frustrated and resentful that I wanted to run away and never come back. I think that most people have these mixed emotions when they become caregivers to a spouse. Fortunately for most, they are able to grow closer despite the frustrations, as my husband and I did. For others, the stress and sadness are just overwhelming.
Closer. So much closer. I hear people say they love someone so much they would like to die before their loved one because they couldn't live without them. But when someone you love is in declining health you realize that when you love someone you want to be there for them to the very end . That the worse thing you can think of is leaving them alone to suffer.
having worked in aged care for 20 yrs, it amazed me the devotion some couples have for each other.

the elderly man who came to the nursing home each and every day to feed his wife and stay for 2-3 hours.a woman ill herself, still taking care of her husband .older couples tend to see their years out together. ......some young couples feel they are missing out on life , and feel resentful.or move on.others are devoted to their spouse.
I know that after I had surgery on my feet, my late husband proved he was truly my best friend. There are just some things that most people just won't do for other people unless they are in the medical field and are paid to take care of such needs. These needs can be disgusting and it takes a lot of love to be able to handle it. Plus, when someone is ill in the household, they are not the best people to be around. I found out that I was a terrible person when I'm not at my peak performance level and many folks couldn't handle my lousy disposition. If it weren't for love, I'm sure my husband would have just walked out rather than deal with my depression and self-pity. It takes a strong person to stick by sick people. Great question, Noonecanne!
bad health brought me closer to my mom, sister and brother before each of them passed. i like to think the same would happen if something happened to my husband.too often, it's the fear of losing them that makes us realize the importance of those we love. too bad we can't figure that out a little sooner sometimes.
Well in my created problems...since there were kids to care for and I was the Incapacitated one...Lets just say I learned what I was made of...and just how tough I am...There was no love lost, but , the is a division of the responsibilities and jobs in a marriage and when a partner cannot pull their share it does become hard... especially when there are 3 small kids in the mix , and the man is the one who the burdon falls on...I do not say this in jest...we made it through by the skin of our teeth! None , the 2 of us the worse for the wear!!! still togather.
It all boils down to the character of the healthy one. Some would see it as a good excuse to walk away, while others dig in and stick it out to the bitter end,, , , I have seen this happen all my life within my family of aunts, uncles and cousins. The odd thing is. . . they all stuck it out. I am proud of my roots !
I can't relate personally, but if declining health brings a couple closer together, it may be because neither forgot the part of their wedding vows that says, ';in sickness %26amp; in health.'; That's truly what it's all about when a spouse has health issues.
I'm a widow now, but my husband had been badly burned in a propane explosion, though we were close, it brought us even closer. When the one you love is in pain, or needs you, all the love comes through.
We are fast growing further apart. He becomes very angry and aggressive towards me.

I can't force him to a doctor and apparently our friends can't convince him he's in desperate need of help.
It can bring a couple closer together by making them realize how precious life is and how little time they might have left together.
Closer, much closer.
Sounds like a good time to load up on life insurance and love the person to death.

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