I try and take care of my parents and there are many times when I wish I could share what is happening to them and me with my husband. He does not want to hear anything about what is going on.
He really just does not care and actually gets mad and jealous of the time and energy I put into caring for them. I feel so alone so much. Do you have any suggestions that might help me?
Not everyone has a support system at home that they can count on.
Many times caregivers lead very lonely lives and are unable to share stories and get support. Here are a few suggestions that I developed over the years to help me cope when I felt limited support at home.
SEPARATE YOUR WORLDS
- Consider treating each major part of your life separately.
- Try not to let one flow into another.
- I developed skills to focus on one part of my life at a time and let the others take a back seat. For example, when I was helping my parents, I rarely had my cell phone on. They got almost all my attention at that moment.
- Learn to not share stories of one part of your life with people in other parts of your life. For example, if you are out with friends at dinner, don’t go “on and on” about your caregiving. People really do not want to hear too much about that. They will be polite to hear a sentence or two, but that is about all.
- “Who needs me the most”? I put my energies and time where they were needed the most.
These are simple guidelines that helped me to stay focused and mostly helped reduce my guilt and stress. As caregivers, we are pulled in many directions, many times each day.
As for your husband, treat him the same way. Give him the time that you have together and enjoy that moment. Don’t even bother to share stories of your caregiving. This will only further frustrate both of you.
He is one part of your life and not your whole life and keep it that way. Learn to only tell him what is either really necessary or important and find somebody else you can share your caregiving journey with. You are more than welcomed to share your journey with me. I promise I will listen.