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I need some advice with a complex situation - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

I need some advice with a complex situation

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Thank you for the reply.

At the moment my Dad has been co-habiting and caring for my mum (who does have carers throughout the day.) The issue is that she is not accepting the fact that their marriage is over. The reason for the breakdown is nothing to do with her situation, as I said my mum has been disabled since I was 10 years old and my Dad has taken his vows very seriously. The reasons for the split are around something entirely different, but the conclusion is that my Dad is no longer in love with her, and with the added situation with her condition it does make things very hard.

I have pointed out the financial implications should they split and sell the house in terms of Mum's care. This is all something I am urging they both consider (which my Dad has) This is why the Co-habiting arrangement was put in place in the first place as my Dad doesnt want my mum to be put in that kind of situation if possible. The issue is that yes she is hoping that he will change his mind and cannot accept that things are the way they are, it's almost as if, because he's still living there, its not happening and over time if she tries to be a "good wife" he will change his mind and all will be well. The thing is my Dad has not felt for her in that way in a long time now due to a various amount of issues outside of her condition, and cannot simply be fixed with the other trying to be nice and patch over a marriage that isnt there anymore.

To my knowledge my Dad has not yet found another relationship, we are quite open and he has spoken to me about how I would feel should that happen, but at the moment he has not more than likely due to the fact he is still caring for my mum.

I am 31 years old and married myself, and of course I have my life, but I am not in the position to care for my mum at the extent my Dad does, financially mainly. And it would not really be an option for me and hubby to move in to care for mum as the house is too small to accomodate that. Of course I know that more and more that mum may need my assistance with things (hense why I have joined and started this post in the first place) My mum is quite good at dealing with day to day, but when it comes to complex situations like this she needs help running through the options and looking at the alternatives, but as I have said at the moment she isnt really letting me do that with this as she is hoping it will all blow over and her marriage will be saved. As the only daughter I will always do what I can to help my mum I am simply looking for options or if anyone else has come across anything similar.

Thanks for the input guys its nice sometimes just to get it all off your chest x
I really feel for you, being "Piggy in the Middle" between your parents.
Their relationship really is something they should sort out for themselves, it certainly sounds as though mum would benefit from some counselling.
I'm not sure that dad still being there is allowing anyone to mentally move on.
I'm really pleased to hear that you are married with a life of your own, whatever happens to your parents, it's not a good idea to move in with mum if dad left, you need your own space.
Hmm, if your mum is 'in denial' that her marriage is over (in that her husband wants to leave her)(irrespective of his current reasons for having stayed 'beyond' the duration of what he felt to be his marriage), then I suspect that it will take his actual leaving to convince her.

Even so, and I know this from women friends of my own, even when a husband has physically left the house, the abandoned wife can continue to hope against hope that he'll 'see the light' and come rushing home, realising that yes, he does love her after all.

It's VERY hard emotionally to accept that someone really does not love you any more, and wants to leave you.

But it does seem that right now, everyone is 'on hold'. The 'letting go' process your mum MUST undertake (because her husband is not her husband any longer in the sense of not wanting to be!) can only even begin to begin when your dad leaves her. And it won't be quick to complete that process as I say above.... (sometimes it just never happens, and an abandoned wife can continue to hope right up until the end, even if her abandoning husband actually marries someone else).

As BB says, I'm glad you are married and 'settled', though it will be a grim time for you as well - it always is for children, however old they are (!). Also, as I say, your mum is very likely to 'collapse' on you and pour it all out (does she have good women friends by the way? They may be essential for her! Especially any that are also 'abandoned wives'.)

Financially, however, there should be NO impact on you. YOU should not have ANYTHING to do with funding the care she needs, and if your dad is not there to do so, then professionals have to come in, whatever the cost.

But that can be easier said than done.

Overall, from what you've said, I do suspect that it will be up to your dad to 'force the issue' and simply leave, as hoping that his wife will understand their marriage is, already, over, while he is in the house, is unlikely to happen???

What a sad situation all round....
Thank you all for the comments

Thank you for saying exactly what I am thinking in that Mum will not truly accept it until Dad actually leaves. This is what I have said to him already, and that is what they need to decide themselves.

I did mention that living with mum is not an option for me, but I will do what I can to find her the necessary information for support should the time come that my Dad moves out.

I think I was trying to think of all the implications myself such as selling the house, what that means to her savings and paying for care. Where would she live etc etc etc.... I think I just need to break it down and step away from their relationship side...

I guess all I can do at this stage is talk to them about what they want to do next, and help mum at the point of finding who to contact for support when my Dad does opt to leave. My mum has in the past had counselling which she told me she still has, but apparently does not ... so I am looking into this serpately with her but ultimately it is up to her what hep she gets.

Thank you for the kind words xxx
Do you think your mum would benefit from some kind of sheltered accommodation/retirement village? I know she's a bit young for actual retirement, but many of these places take residents from 55 onwards, and they are usually very focussed on activities and social life, and are wheelchair friendly and so on. Plus of course they may have more 'medical facilities' given that they cater for later old age as well.
Also, just as a general point, one possibly acceptable 'compromise' for her solo future might be to say to her that routinely comes to stay with you and your husband every other weekend (or whatever you can cope with long term) so that she does not feel so 'abandoned', but neither does she impact too heavily on you and your own family? It may depend on her level of disability of course.

Do you happen to know if any of her friends have also gone through divorce? If so, could you get in touch with them yourself, and 'line them up' to give some informal counselling/friendship to her. Has she told any of them that her husband wants to leave her? Some 'abandoned wives' don't tell people for ages. I've got a friend of a friend who was abandoned two years ago, but I only know that through our mutual friend, so if I see the abandoned one I have to 'not mention it' as strictly speaking I'm not supposed to know that her husband left her. Many women feel so 'ashamed' of being abandoned, as if they've done something wrong, or, at the very least, look 'pathetic' (oh look, another middle aged woman dumped by hubby.....), and that can hurt almost as much as the abandonment itself.

(Sorry I keep saying abandonment, as I'm not really 'getting' at your dad, whom I feel sorry for as well.....)
Some good suggestions there ...

I have spoken to my mum today and she has only just today started to speak openly to me about it. No-one around her knows not even the rest of the family as of yet. This will change in due course...

I'd love to have my mum stay with us periodically but we don't have the necessary equipment to care for her whilst she is here. And we can't afford to get it either which is a shame. Of course we go there periodically at the moment so I would do my best to ensure that she does not feel abandoned.

As for whether she has anyone else that has gone through a divorce... I don't think we do which doesnt make matters any easier. Come to think of it, my mum has kind of cut herself off over the years from the "friends" that she used to have ... she spent a lot of time at the disabled charity volunteering but I dont think she would feel comfortable telling them what is going on.

She is however due a medication review with her GP soon, when I was talking to her I've suggested that she mentions what is happening as they may have an idea on support groups or counsellors that could help...

With the other things she does seem pretty happy with what her social worker has done for her so far, and has (to my knowledge) spoken to her about this today, thankfully it seems after me talking to her a bit she's finally beginning to realise what is going on, although the outside world do not know the full story yet....

Sheltered housing would probably be the best bet. I'd love her to be able to get into retirement homes but it's just too expensive whether to buy or rent and she wont have the capital for that. We will start to look at what can be done over the coming months I'm sure... I just hope that she keeps at the state of mind she is today and carries on researching so she is not "left" with nowhere to go...

Thanks All x
If your father leaves your mum, would it be financially possible for him merely to rent a place of his own, and therefore leave your mum in the 'family home' which is, presumably, all set up for her disability? I'm not saying he should give up his 'fair share' of the property, merely not actually take that share as he leaves/divorces?

Sorry to hear your mum doesn't know any other 'abandoned wives', but I'm wondering whether she might benefit from various online forums that cater to that sadly-growing sector?

I'm glad it's starting to 'percolate' down through her, that her marriage is over, but I do feel for her - and for your dad. It really is a 'no happy ending' scenario.

One other thing, grimly, your mum will probably have to face that fact that even if your dad is not in another relationship at the moment, that will, I would take a punt on it, almost inevitably happen. Statistically, single men of his generation are in VERY short supply, and there are a whole 'army' of 'other abandoned wives' who would snap him up, and doubtless will.....

Sorry if that sounds tactless, but it does tend to be the way things work in our society - the middle aged woman 'declines' and the middle aged man 're-blooms'.

(This is another whole issue, but you need to have a conversation with him about 'second wives and step-children'. It is, grimly, not at all unknown for a man to remarry, the second wife to have children of her own, then when he dies, she inherits from him automatically, and then passes what is now HER property on to HER children.)