A dementia affected relationship

 Ash came into the kitchen this morning, looked at the weekly planning board and then there was this:

Ash: Someone's coming this afternoon.

Me: They are, it's a lady from the memory clinic.

Ash: Why is she coming?

Me:  To see how we're doing.

Ash: Why does she want to know how you're doing, there's nothing wrong with you.

And that, ladies and gentleman, tells you all you need to know about the self absorption of the imposter of a husband I now live with.  The lovely Ash of old has long since disappeared to be replaced by the most selfish man I've ever met.  I know he can't help it and I'm sure it's partly a self preservation thing but it's so sad because he used to be the loveliest, the most thoughtful and the most caring person in the world and now he's such a different being.

On the positive side the lady wasn't from the memory clinic at all, it was a ruse but for what I can't tell you just yet.  Watch this space however for further details as they're worked out.

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Carol Westover said…
Goodness... his 'language filter' is gone, for sure. It's hard to know why his personality has taken on this very selfish personna, (almost as though you don't matter at all--even though his whole existence is tied to your care of him). Notwithstanding, it's just the opposite of how he's been all his life (I'm presuming here, based on what you write about him). Yesterday, as I was driving through the parking lot at Costco, Robert cussed quite loudly at a woman who had taken my right of way. This is not like him at all, and I told him I didn't care for that kind of language. He didn't apologize, but I didn't really expect him to. It was the tone and the language I found to be out of the norm. And we were never in any danger of being involved in an accident--it was just that she went when she didn't have the right and he acted as though he were the one driving and it was HIS right of way that had been abridged. Hang in there...
Carol S said…
Jane don’t you think that the fact he doesn’t see there’s a problem is confirmation of the fantastic job you are doing of caring for him, providing a lovely home and keeping him safe. You should feel really proud of yourself, I certainly learn such a lot from your blog on building resilience.
You have got me intrigued about the visitor tho. 🤔
Hope you can get the love and support you need from other sources - you so deserve it. It’s so sad that our partners just aren’t capable of giving it any more.
Sending you a huge virtual hug.
Carol XX
Carol S. said…
My partners parents are both still alive and in a carehome. He obviously hasn’t been able to see them in a long time and they have both had several health scares during covid. He doesn’t have any empathy for them a all and cant really be bothered to talk to them over the phone. Dementia just seems to strip away any ability to think of others’ needs. He does seem to still recognise the needs of out dog and I think he is the only living being he does care for. It’s all so strange.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for your kind and sincere honesty ladies. Validation for what care partners do for their loved ones will always be hard to come by. I hear the odd thank you and acknowledgement for what has been done from my spouse. I know this is not who is really is but it is what he has become. I also know that the type of dementia that are loved ones assume plays an even bigger part in their ability to validate the things that are done for them. Each type of dementia takes on different characteristics of behaviour. In my spouse's case self absorption regarding his needs being met are always at his forefront. I find that somedays I can handle the lack of respect and validation and other days it weighs so much on me. I'm thankful to have wonderful friends to distract and listen to me.
Take care,