My wife quit her job at her mother's request to help care for her uncle. I came into the picture much later and though we made commitments and discussed the situation, it is taking a toll on our marriage. We both need support. I can't help but feel taken advantage of and abused. I have lived up to my end of the commitment, but feel she has abandoned her part. I love her and keep hanging on hoping I'm not just being used for financial and medical purposes, which seem to be the only part I play and get nothing in return. The care is in another town, so we don't see each other often. If I don't do the visiting there isn't any. I feel like her mother has taken advantage of her and is draining her of emotion and health by using guilt and family commitment. I keep wondering where the family commitment is to our marriage. Her mother and Uncle would be better off in an assisted living facility, then everyone could have some balance and happiness. Unfortunately for me to mention this would be the unthinkable in their eyes and would only cause resentment towards me. My wife hasn't stepped foot in our home since the end of April. I didn't get married to be alone. I keep wondering why she said yes, knowing her uncle's situation far better than me. It started out as visiting for two or three days off and on every month and has steadily become what appears a permanent full time job. Any support and comments would be appreciated. I've tried to be patient, but it is running out. I don't want to consider divorce, because I do love her. Neither can I see continuing on for years like this. Doesn't she have responsibilities to her marriage. I know I sound selfish and don't mean to, because I have worked with her in every way. the problem is it is all one way. Help!
Last edited by saxxyman; 08-05-2008 at 10:42 AM.
Reason: word not needed
No I don't think you are being selfish. Caregiving is a lot of work and should not be decided lightly, but usually is.
I think that you need to have her sit down with you and discuss your feelings. Write them down if that helps to get it across. Suggest counseling.
Your wife has shifted her priorities without consulting with you for your imput and in a marriage that is not right.
There are MANY ways to care for an elderly family member. It doesn't mean that you drop all of your responsibilities to save them.
Thank You! I just feel like the cycle of guilt never ends. Her mother made the promise a long time ago. When it became too much to handle she enlisted her daughter who agreed.
how do you tell your mother no to something like that? My wife is too caring to do that and puts herself last. The expense to her has been giving up a job that supported her and a life of her own. ( Her mother promised to pay the bills) I'm sure my wife has some resentment about that, but the guilt of duty to mom has won out. I've asked her what she would do if I weren't in the picture and something happened to her mother. She would have no way of supporting herself and maintaining a household. I'm just completely frustrated as I feel guilty for making such demands. After all she has the best excuse in the world for being gone. It just doesn't help my own feelings. Anyway enough of the vent for now.
Last edited by saxxyman; 08-05-2008 at 02:35 PM.
Reason: missing word
I agree with Anita that you are not selfish. I understand your situation quite well. My husband's family has cornered the market on emotional abuse. He spent his whole life feeling it was his responsibility to make sure that everyone was happy and cared for, physically, emotionally and financially. The weight that had been hoisted on his shoulders his whole life, finally took it's toll a year ago. He had a nervous breakdown. And do you think his family cared? Not one bit. They just couldn't understand what was "wrong". And why hasn't he been paying his parent's bills anymore? (As well as a myriad of other guilt trips)
He is healing, slowly. He is in therapy and on anti-depressants, but still struggles with the sense of guilt and obligation to these people who abused him with a smile on their faces.
I think it would be a good idea to do as Anita suggested. You have to remind your wife that she made a promise to you as well. I am not an advocate of divorce in most situations, but when the marriage doesn't really exist anymore, what are you supposed to do? And please, do not let your wife make you feel bad. She will most likely react without thinking clearly. She may try to tell you that you are being selfish, but you are not. If anything, it is the other way around.
I wish you the very best. I am sorry that I couldn't give you any more suggestions. My heart goes out to you, and also to your wife. She is actually a victim of these people. She just doesn't realize it. Take care.