How Much He's Deteriorated

Just got off the phone with social workers who are involved because I contacted them and also through his pain management program. The questions they asked make me realize how much he's deteriorated. I feel terribly guilty, and I know that's not rational; more than that, though, I feel so very terribly sad, like I am mourning him already, the person he was. If he continues on this downward spiral, mostly not of his own making - just talking here about the physical ailments - he won't be independent for long.

Also outlines how much I need to get out. But my poor kids, they are going to be heartbroken to leave their dad. This will take a lifetime to sort through for them.

I understand, I really do, I am doing the right thing. In the long run. Right now, leaving someone so very sick, who is the father of my kids, who used to be the love of my life, to a not-very-bright future, to possibly travel across country or around the world, breaks my heart.

Sometimes there are no good paths. Just necessary ones.
zsuzsilowinger zsuzsilowinger
36-40, F
8 Responses Jan 8, 2013

You are in a life boat in turbulent seas. I wish you the strength and clarity to know the flotsam and to save yourself and your kids. You are strong

Stick with the plan. Everyone's welfare, your husband included, depends on it. Good luck, and best. R

oh zsu, so sorry to hear this news. but i believe you have been so strong to just get to this point, you've sacrificed so much for his condition that you've been left as an empty shell. i can't imagine the level of guilt you might feel over leaving him right now, but you also need to allow yourself some breathing room and freedom for you and the kids. thoughts are with you. xo.

I give you permission to realize that this is all happening to him and that you, while involved and affected, are responsible for none of it.....there ya go..

....and that is absolutely meaningless unless you give you permission. And that includes the permission to think that if the deterioration continues it is likely to force the decision to be single onto you. This is also perfectly OK....and thinking it is not terrible... it is truthful.

His apparent deterioration has nothing to do with you, it has nothing to do with your marriage, it has nothing to do with your divorce.

It is something that was happening with him, something that is happening with him, something that will continue happening to him.

And would have happened if you had never met him, never heard of him.

Tread your own path.

You are so brave! It is such a terrible and difficult situation, but I believe you are doing the right thing for you and your family. Your husband would be going downhill whether or not you stay. Sometimes the only person you can save is yourself. And your children! You sound like a great Mom.

Zsu, I really get how you are feeling. My ex is in his seventies with chronic health issues. I too still feel guilt about leaving him - but he is managing his issues very well. He always did and continues to do so. Also, I had no dependent children and my children were his step children, so I was also spared that issue. If I feel guilty, I can imagine how much WORSE it is for you.

But dear friend, think on this:
Often, when an elderly frail person is moved into a Nursing Home, that person deteriorates very quickly. Family will say "This was a bad move because she/he has gone down hill since moving to the Nursing Home." But in reality, the person is simply demonstrating how FAR "down the hill" they already were - it looks like a deterioration because it becomes much more easily seen in a new environment or situation.

I suspect this is true of your husband. He may well have not actually deteriorated so severely, but his current state of health is SO easily seen now that you are not propping him up in every possible way . . . . .

By the time a person goes into a Nursing Home, it is realistic to think that there is NOTHING more family can do. And that the person needs the higher level of care that a family can no longer give.

In your husband's case it would seem he may well need that higher level of care soon. It may seem to have a direct connection to you leaving him - but it truly is NOT your responsibility. Yes, you could possibly (and only possibly) have spared him for a few more months (maybe even a couple of years) if you had stayed doing "everything" for him.

But what would that sacrifice do to you AND to your children? To a large extent, your husband is in this position from a choice he refused to make - ie. to vigilantly and responsibly manage his health conditions. He cannot help having these conditions but he certainly COULD have chosen to manage them more wisely. . . .

When I worked as a Ronald McDonald House Manager, and in many instances where I was working with children with disabilities, I would see a parent (or parents) devote their entire energy to the seriously ill or disabled child. They did this for the most admirable of reasons - BUT! it was never a wise choice. Spouses and other children suffered - often very badly. The all consuming task of caring for the most needy child caused immense burn out in the dedicated parent. And the dedication was rarely as effective (saddest of all) as a more rational and balanced approach would have beeen . . . .

Please draw your own conclusions from these stories. I know nothing will take away the guilty feelings, but please HOLD TIGHT to the knowledge you ARE doing the right thing.
Many caring thoughts and {{{hugs}}} winging their way to you.

Zsuz: Wow. This is an amazing story. What you are doing is incredible, brave and affirming. I think you wouldn't be the fine person you are if you didn't feel badly about the necessary path and where this "leaves" him. I am staying with DH for now, for a much less significant disability and it's a mixed bag for me. The thought of leaving is uncomfortable and so is the thought of staying.

You give me courage. Thank you.