I’m leaving my terminally ill wife
My wife and I had 6 incredible years together before she was diagnosed with young onset dementia 3 years ago. She is only 44.
She is unrecognisable from the wonderful, vivacious, kind woman I married. That woman was the kind of person that lights up a room. I feel like I no longer know the person I’m married to.
Her dementia means her behaviour is radically different now and usually unpleasant. She goes through ‘sundowning’ and becomes incredibly aggressive and hateful. Or hysterically tearful.
Her mood swings are continuous and unpredictable. I have help from family and friends but it still doesn’t make it bearable. She hardly knows me at best and hates me at worst.
I’ve decided to leave. Not divorce, I need to be there legally to support her medical decisions, but leave the relationship. Pay for a carer to support her where I can’t and eventually move her into a facility when that isn’t enough.
I know I’m evil for leaving but I can’t do this. I can’t stand that she no longer loves me, barely even likes me. None of it’s her fault, none of it is even her, but I just can’t do it. I’m so sorry B
- Heartbreaking. I’ve worked with early onset dementia patients before but never as young as 44, that’s the most tragic thing I’ve ever heard
I’m deeply sorry, I know it’s impossible to have a relationship in those conditions
- If you are still going to stay involved to make sure she is taken care of, then you are not leaving her. You are just acknowledging that the relationship is now a different one.
Sounds like you are doing the right thing.
- I have told my SO that if I reach the point where I dont know him, to please put me in a facility and never ever visit me or feel guilty about it. To me that’s what love allows. Best wishes.
- This isn’t leaving, this is more like being widowed. You’ve reached a stage of acceptance in your grief. This is you acknowledging that her illness has gone beyond your capacity to care for and that it is no longer in yours or her best interest for you to be her primary carer. There’s nothing evil but knowing your limits.