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Lonely With a Disabled Wife

I've been married for 15 years.  My wife has been disabled for nearly 10 years now.  She gets extremely fatigued and makes it so every weekend I have off, we are stuck at home.  No place to go, but can''t anyway even if we wanted.  No camping, out to dinner, etc.  It just gets miserable sometimes.  I still work, but my work only has a few people there and rarely much work to do.  I find it very cruel to just divorce her, but I am so bored and lonely most of the time.  I have done several home projects over the years and exercise.  I'm still going batty most of the time because of the loneliness.  I think I feel the need for other companionship and friendship with another woman.  Most people think that it would be wrong, but I just don't have the heart to divorce her when she is so disabled. 

authenticangel authenticangel 51-55 58 Responses Jun 7, 2009

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You need to watch how much self pity you fill your tub with. Much more & you'll drown in your tub full of pity. Man up-and try a day living the way your wife must. Can't be much fun for her to be married to a narcissistic person such a you present yourself as.

I have been married for 35 years-and 13 years ago was injured landing me in a wheelchair-also unable to handle trips, camping or travel-except to the doctors who are quite a trip away-over 6 hours round trip. My husband is never happy and despite my best efforts to at least keep what was a strong friendship going, things are fading into such resentment and verbal abuse on his part, its no longer easy to hide from our grown kids. Its been at least 12 years since he's hugged or kissed me, other than a peck on the top of my head when he's heading out the door to work. I thank my husband for everything he does, but this year he didn't bother to get me a Christmas gift or even a card, although the rest of our family had gifts that almost seemed overdone, selected by my husband. I too have not been shopping or out to dinner in 12 years-and its not for my lack of wanting to go. I am desperate to get out of the house & get back to living life-as opposed to waiting until my husband comes home to call the shots-from what and when we eat to just about everything we do. I co-own our companies, yet he's cut me out of as much as he can. Although I am physically disabled I have continued working, although I never see a penny of what I make since my husband handles all our finances. So, the comment above sounds like my husband could have written it. All I have to say is this guy needs to get out of the bathtub he's filled with self pity and get on with his life. He seems to be able to resent his life, with his wife's disability as the reason he feels so miserable, but I wonder how miserable she must feel?? Sure, this is a tough situation, however seeking someone to take the place of your wife who is disabled to the point where you'd divorce her but don't have the heart to, as you put it, shows what a narcissistic disposition you have. She may be physically disabled but clearly your moral compass is beyond being disabled and no longer exists. Shame on you.

you think you feel the need... I am way past the thinking stage. I have read some of the replies to your post and the only thing I can say to everyone is don't judge until you have walked a mile in these shoes. Like you I just can not leave. To me that would be just horribly wrong. But I have decided to find a woman with the same or similar challenges that I have so we can at least have the intimacy and sexual contact.
Only problem is - how the bleep do you find your other half?

I am in similar circumstances. My husband of 27 years became so disabled (Louie Body) the State required him to have 24/7 care. The first 5 years were good. But for the next 20 he became increasingly difficult. He has been in Assisted Living for two years now. His behavior can be similar to a difficult 9 year old, with impulsive problems and no ability to understand consequence. I, like the original author found it cruel to divorce (for better or worse), but I have not felt an intimate hug in 15 years. I am lonely for the companionship of a partner. In caring for him I was not able to maintain even my female friends (they were freaked out/scared by his behavior and I could not leave the house). (Concurrently I was caring for his father, and both my parents... I did not have time to nurture my own friends. Right now, I just want to be held by someone who can receive my love and make me feel cared for.

I understand how you feel. I want to get out n do so much riding going places seeing diff things. The hub has severe arthritis n is hurting a lot of the time. I would love to hv more friends to do the things I want.
I try hard to be compassionate n understanding it is so tuff sometimes. I think he forgets how hard things can be on my of luck yr not alone


I used the term Bat s##t crazy the other day.
I hear you.
Hubby disabled for 8 years and is only getting worse. We finally got a diagnosis 5 months ago, but they say there is no known treatment.
No clue if he will ever get well enough to resume a normal life to include work and play.

Fortunately, he does not mind if I gout with friends and he trusts me to remain loyal. Admittedly, it has been tempting to seek male company, but in reality, I just want to enjoy time with good people without the constant worry or need to honor his exhaustion.

It is not the best idea to have an affair. The guilt will do a lot of damage, in my opinion. But companionship is essential.

Best to you. I hope it all works out.

i used ot feel like you do, unitl i got internet and facebok, in facti think fb saved my sanity, now i have got back inotuch with loads of old friends, some in real life as well, i used ot think,it this it? go to work come home, watch telly, sleep go to work, drove me mad, i used ot wonder whyi was racing home after work, for what, my wife is bette rnow, and we do go out, andi go fishing, whichi reall ylike as i meet other anglers and have a chat, also some peace and quiet, lol,i also have taught myselg guitar from lessons on you tube, and ep can be fun, but reall yits just fantasy

i know exactly how you feel, it snot easy

Seriously!? Have you ever bothered to ask your wife if she is lonely and depressed? I am the disabled wife, and all my husband does is watch TV. He doesn't clean, doesn't do the yard work, doesn't do laundry until HE runs out of work shirts. Goes out with other people without even bothering to ask me if I want to join him. No mention of inviting your friends over to your place so your wife won't be so lonely. Nope, just "me, me me". Why does the companionship and friendship you seek have to be with a "woman"? Get over yourself. Try living with what your wife has to deal with. Try creating the company you seek for both you and her without having to leave the house. If you weren't so self-absorbed you might find your wife reaching out to you.

Wow- you are not making it easy, are you? Your husband didn't ask for this. Perhaps if you asked him for specifics, he would either help you or hire someone to help you. And maybe he needs to read up on things to do to care for a disabled spouse.
Most men have no idea what to do. Berating him is not going to get it done. Does he know you feel so upset? Maybe all he hears is anger, when what might help is expressing your fears.

Geez - yelling at a guy who might be doing vastly MORE than your guy is so far from helpful to him. Try honey instead of vinegar.

Ditto. My life is very much like yours.

My (or Our) story is long and complicated. My wife has RSD )Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy) diagnosed since 2005 with a spinal cord stimulator implanted in 2006. Now, the complicated part. We have been in the Swinging Lifestyle since we got together in 2001. Silence, all you self righteous folks, we are good people. Lately, my wife's disability has basically put a screeching halt to trips to such activities and she has recently became more and more distant and no sexual desire. While I do have ****, that does not replace a "sexually hungry" woman. I would never leave my wife and have permission to play alone, but my conscience is stopping me. Besides, try to convince another woman that your wife is ok with it, good luck with that one. I know all about the loneliness as we don't even sleep in the same room anymore. I would never leave her, but would love to meet someone to help release this tension. I wish you all the best, I would not wish this Hell on my worst enemy. And yes I mean the Hell for my wife also.

I am in the same situation, my husband was hurt on the job, that left him with his back broken in 4 places, it's been 11 years since his injury, and he is constant pain everyday, I feel hopeless because over the years I've learned there is nothing I can do to help him. I just turned 35 and feel I want to experience life, I am lonley and if I inniciate romantic ideas he gets mad, because he can't! Then I feel guilty for wanting to, and making him upset! I want to live, but feel I am living the life of. 90 year old couple !

I am disabled. I have been married to my husband for almost12 years now. I have been disabled since the birth of our daughter 11 years ago. I didnt get really bad until 2009 when i had to have another operation on my bowels. None of this disabiliyt is my fault. I am unable to work (though i would like to work from home). I have asked for a divorce so many times over the years. Last year I had a lawyer (he sucked) . I had a BC scare and my husband sd he didnt want me to leave. I dont want to be a burden to him. I have to be here for our 11 year old daughter. My marriage sucks and i want out but my SSDI check is only 735.00 per month. I dont want to live off the system. I worked from 1980 till 2001 and then i could not work any more. Doctors sd NO MORE! I have tried to end my life one time. I dont know if i will try again ( now i know how to do it right.) I would hate to do that to my daughter. My husband makes me so depressed i am starting to hate him. He is gone on the road part time and works long hours. He is at the lake every weekend (in the summer) with our daughter. Have you asked your wife if she wants to be married to you? I would love to be on my own and out of this bad marriage but i am stuck. Have you ever thought that your wife may feel stuck also. TTFN, Chris

I am 42. My wife has been disabled for 10 years. I love her but our marriage even before her illness was difficult. Prior to being diagnosed with brain cancer she cheated several times. We would be divorced if she had not gotten sick. I put that in the past and took care of her. She needs constant care and at times can be extremely difficult to care for. She is verbally very abusive. I have been faithful but recently I feel like I need and deserve sexual intimacy from another female. I miss it. I am lonely. I am very unhappy. My life is about self sacrifice and has been for a long time. I have tried psychotherapy, anti depressants, and exercise. None of it works for me at this point. I am so lonely.

I feel for for you. It can be very hard being a caretaker at times especially if it is your spouse that you are caring for. I was in a similar situation back in the 1990s. My first wife had muscular distrophy. She had it since being a young child. At the time of our marriage she could get around fairly well and was able to walk unassisted but that all changed fairly soon. Before our first anniversary she fell and broke her knee and soon therafter became totally dependent on a wheelchair and gained nearly 70 pounds in 3 years and became dependent on me for nearly everything. Even though I did everything I knew to do to help her and support her, I was all of a sudden not good enough for her. I couldn't do anything right, she was constantly putting me down and being verbally abusive. I still loved her and remained faithful, in the hope things would get better. Things only got worse though. By our third anniversary she was wanting a divorce and was talking with other guys. Our intimacy and her love for me basically ended when I became her full time caretaker. I was very lonely and unhappy for a long time but I wanted to live up to my marriage vows. Deep down I think she still loved me also but didn't want or know how to show it. She eventually also was very depressed and may of felt like a burden because she had lost so much independence so rapidly. Her muscular distrophy advanced very rapidly in the last 2 years of marriage. After 5 1/2 years of marriage we finally came to the realization that our relationship couldn't be saved. She wanted to be single again, I wanted a brighter future. I still loved her but finally decided we both deserved a life we wanted. I finally agreed to a divorce, we remained friends though until she passed away. While getting a divorce was difficult emotionally, it was the best decision that we could of made. We were both much happier afterward. My only regret was not agreeing to a divorce sooner. Two years later I met my soul mate, got married and started a family.
You are still young and deserve a better life. You might benefit from marriage counseling but both partners need to be committed to making it work. Given how she treats you she may want to be divorced, have you asked? I feel every married man (and woman) deserves sexual intimacy (that's one reason for getting married).
Morally, I don't think cheating is the answer because you would not only be cheating on your wife but also the other woman (as long as you reamain married to your wife. I think if your marriage can't be worked out and saved then divorce would be the best answer.

So sorry does she hv family you could turn her over to

Prostitution has be around for thousands of years, so what are waiting for, just do not get in legal trouble.

I am a female and my husband and I have been married 20 years and have 2 sons one is 20 and one is 7. My husband became disabled 16 years ago - everything fell apart between us. He became very depressed, stopped trying to live, just started existing. I have handled this well until this year- I became very successful providing us with everything we needed and we have lived comfortably. He can do things at home, but chooses not too. I communicate with him I really NEED this help. What I know has happened is this has dragged my health down and that really scares me. I have done without intimacy, a partner, help for so long and now that I have chosen to leave my great job that was taking a toll on me for the long hours I am wondering how I can just "EXIST" with him. I am very spiritual but know we are no more than roommates. I cry alot- pray alot and wonder what I need to do and where do I go from here if it weren't for my 7 year old I would have left long ago.

youre a terrible husband. you deserve to be disabled, not your wife. plus you dont deserve her. youre a siiiiiiiiiiick swine.

I'm sure youre all teh same sicko weird men that troll craigslist looking for something "discrete".

get over yourself. no one loves you. no one wants you.

You never know what your saying unless your walking in that person's shoes.

You need to walk in an English teacher's shoes.

Looks like it's mostly husbands just looking for a LAY. men, youre sick. get over yourself.....

Who knows the real story- stop judging people we aren't in a perfect world.

Aren't you judging that they're judging? Makes sense ....

I feel you.My wife just wants to watch tv.Does not go out .her idea of romance is candel light in the bed room.She wont go to counseling,and I feel like sex is a chore for her.I've tried everything massages talking foreplay ect.I get distractions from her (like cat wants out ect.)When sex is successful there is no doubt if she got her cookie.I just dont know what to do

You are probably right- sex probably is a chore and something she would like to get over and done with as fast as possible because it is unpleasant. Why might that be- you need to ask yourself...

Time to stop having sex if it's such a chore. Give your poor wife a break, you pig.

My wife suffers from Huntingtons and I will start by saying I love her very much. I work shiftwork but care for her during the day feeding, toileting, dressing etc. We still go out together to friends, family and outings. We have been married for 30 years and there is absolutely no intimacy. She does not like to be touched and never has had a sexual libido of any description since our early years.
For many years I have been missing this huge neccesity, and let's accept it is a basic human necessity to be intimate with someone. I have been extremely lonely and I can fully understand the resentment shown to one's partner. I have to admit it was ripping me apart as well.
Recently I met someone who I have become very close to. She fully understands my situation and knows that I still love my wife and would never leave her or let her down. It is actually working really well. We spend time together when I have a day off and it gives me intimacy and social integration that I have not experienced for many years.
Marriage is not all black and white sometimes situations create a huge grey. I wish things were different and we could have a marriage that was complete but unfortunately that is impossible. I accept it is not my wife's fault. She is a beautiful woman and she will always be my main concern. I also will never discuss this with her and keep it discreet as it would break her heart.

You think????????
you do not deserve her.

It is not fair to judge until you walk in another's shoes. Shame on you.

No, shame on you for questioning the sanctity of Marriage and Jesus Christ.

Wow this is how I feel, but with a twist I am the disabled one, I met a amazing man afew years ago and he wants to marry me,, I do love him but I cannot see sentencing him to my wheel chair bound life, I cannot walk but I do alot of things,but I worry about how he will feel weeks, months, years down the road I cant go up stairs, walk on the beach or dance and well am I being unfair, he tells me all the time age, status , and the wheelchair does not bother him . To the author I do know how you feel and I dont want to be a regret.

Not at's all about us us us ! My husband has been fantastic and we BOTH enjoy a loving happy relationship and marriage, as we both remembered what we signed up for. We're it him with the illness I would be there in a heartbeat as I love him....and he has done the same for me. Sexual frustration passes, genuine love and friendship is rare

Well boo hoo ! Whatever happened to "in sickness and in health?" I'm the disabled partner, in a wheelchair, and a sexless marriage. I'm appalled at how many of these messages have the subtext that since their disability the partner has simply become too much like hard work. We would all like a nice simple happy pain free and fulfilled life, but in some cases you make the best of what you have. Get over it !

it's all about you you you

Most spouses who had a good relationship before their spouses became disabled don't start off with a negative but develop one when the disabled spouse let's their disability consume their life. Life is harder when you have a disability but it's also hard on the one's that love them sometimes you just want them to be there for you. They expect you to make sacrifices to be there for them and if you complain they make you feel guilty for being healthy that's a negative attitude most spousal caretakers deal with regularly. It's not only the spousal caretaker that needs to be happy in all circumstances but the disabled spouse also. Most spousal caretakers want intimacy and companionship from their disabled spouses not just sex but after years of stress and loneliness your disires tend to become more primal and simple because your craving attention so much. No, it isn't the answer to the problem but it's how you feel in the many helpless moments. It's complicated loving someone and losing that person you married while their physically still there but emotionally gone.

This "emotionally gone" happens all the time including with whole people.:(

Wow so well put..I can relate to a lot of this

Your negative attitude makes her more disabled than you think she is. The question is - Do you love her still? Does she love you still? Do both of you love each other. True love is not plain sex or money or any comfort that life can offer. True love takes a sacrifice that will free yourself of the guilt you have been keeping. True love is being happy in all circomstances with your spouse.

I am the disabled spouse. Married for 28 years now. I was diagnosed with MS 2001 and although I had been "sick" alot of the first 13 years of marriage, I have been doing very well since diagnosis and preventative medication. I went into this marriage with a "death do us part" attitude, and took my vows seriously. My husband, although a good man has never been a good provider-always losing jobs,and never his fault of course. He even "worked" for a company for 1-1/2 years without pay, hoping to reap the benefits when the company grew, which it did not, all the while depending on me and my very well established and growing cleaning company to pay all the bills, mortgage etc...I stayed with him. Then I got deathly sick and was hospitalized for weeks. Upon release from the hospital it was another 10 months before I could even walk. Needless to say, all of the savings was gone for monthly expenses, food, clothing and children's needs. We lost the house. I lost my business. My husband still did not work. I had to go on disability. So, now the kids have grown and moved on, he is still here sucking everything from me, even my life...Now, I am the disabled one, providing for a good- albeit useless man who still does not work or just outright refuses to work to help make ends meet. He up and tells me last September the HE wants a divorce, that a divorce will make HIM happy! I told him he can have it as I am done carrying his sorry *** anyhow. He will not leave. I can not make him leave. I am miserable. I want him gone. He has had several affairs over the years, that I forgave him for. Now he has a long term GF. I told him to go move in with her. He still won't leave my home. I am so disgusted with my life, knowing that it is all my doing by not making him work and so forth in the early years. I just wanted so badly to believe and have faith in this man that I let him ruin me. I have a great apartment that I can afford by myself, not with him and his lack of monetary help. His own family-brothers and sister don't want him and won't take him in. He is nothing but a user and it took me 28 years to see the real "him" and the light. I will move on and have a great rest-of-my-life without him. I don't think I'll ever marry again. I do, however, want a relationship. A healthy one for my remaining years.

Go get a court order to get him out! You so have every right to divorce the parasite. Even by bible standards he committed adultery.......

You are perfectly normal to have these feelings. My late husband was disabled for a few years before passing away in 2009. I went five years without sex -- or any intimacy for that matter. I kept my vows lovingly and faithfully -- but it was so difficult. I know exactly how you feel, and my thoughts are with you. Hope things are better for you now.

I know the loneliness is hard, you probably should divorce her if you really aren't happy. There are attendant services to take care of her needs. Show yourself respect by realizing what you need, and treat her with the same HUMANE respect by being honest with her. You both deserve to be happy, and cheating is cheating no matter how you put it.

Me too. Married nearly 16 years, she's been disabled for 13. I've never been with anyone else, even before we were married. I haven't strayed but have to admit thinking of it more and more. I won't, because it's not who I am. But god, how I need to get laid. The stress of worrying every time she's in the hospital and working two jobs to try and stave off financial issues and trying to get the kid to take school seriously and no chance at "blowing off steam." I know I signed up for " in sickness and in health" but I'm gonna go batshit crazy one of these days.

I think anyone who is a caregiver can totally appreciate EVERY single thing you just said. I don't miss any one thing about my husband (TBI 2 years ago) but a 1000 little things, especially the companionship and partnership. And yes, the sex. There. I said it.

It might just be the same for your spouse in that maybe she would like to seek companionship elsewhere but does not know how to begin the conversation with you for fear you might be offended knowing of all the things you do for her. Anything is possible. It seems likely that she is aware of your unrest on some level. You can be sure that you will get older while you are waiting for something new to happen.