(Closed) Husband has new girlfriend while caring for his wife with Alzheimer's

posted 5 months ago in Married Life
Post # 105
Member
278 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

Overjoyed :   I did think that many if not most include some version of “I will love you forever, no matter what” and/or “I will never cheat on you.” Even people who write their own vows tend to express these sentiments in some shape or form. So, yes, it is unusual to see all these comments of “well you don’t know what they voweddddd” to suggest that the expectation of being there through thick and thin and not having affairs is somehow outlandish or unreasonable.

Again, there is truly no point to blanket statements when it comes to relationships. “Not having an affair” is a different definition for everyone. My line in the sand with this is likely far away from yours, and this definition can change over time, and with situations that arise. Making assumptions about individual relationships is a dangerous practice. 

Post # 106
Member
3449 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

zzar45 :  “I just find it interesting that so many posters mentioned “in sickness and in health” as some be all and end all, yet believe in divorce and obviously don’t put the same value “til death do us part”.  It just seems like if you see some vows as unbreakable in all circumstances, surely they all should be?”

I completely agree with you. I treat my marriage vows like a more serious version of a contract. The only way I’d get divorced is if my husband broke the vows first (thereby “breaching” the agreement, which allows me to “cancel,” freeing me from my own obligation). One thing that crossed my mind when I first read this topic was the idea that in Christian marriage, the vow is not just between the bride and groom. God is also a party to the contract. I vowed that I would love/honor/respect my husband for as long as we shall live together on earth. Even if things got bad enough that I was willing to break my promise to my husband, I’d be far, far less likely (I try never to say “never”) to break my promise to God.   

Post # 107
Member
3449 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

slomotion :  no, I’m not assuming that ALL relationships are 1:1. I said “many, if not most.” And while I have no scientific data to back that up, I’m willing to bet that no fewer than 51% (i.e. most) marriages were set up to be monogamous. If so, then that would be a perfectly reasonable thing to expect in the majority of marriages, including B and Dan’s. Dan has done a lot of public rationalizing of his relationship with his new girlfriend. Not once, to my knowledge, has he suggested that B would be ok with this situation. Instead, he appealed to ideas of fairness and so on (he even made some nonsense racial argument). If he really thought he had B’s permission to do this kind of thing, I believe he’d have been shouting it from the rooftops for years now. 

longtobee :  And on the “affairs” piece, Dan admitted in the WaPo article that it bothered B when he so much as flirted with other women. So there is no reason to assume that they had previously agreed to any kind of poly arrangement. I wouldn’t go making blanket statements about what a marriage should be, in general. Because I realize people and relationships vary. But this thread was created to spark discussion about this particular situation. Everyone is, of course, commenting based on their own worldview. Some of us are also incorporating details that we happen to know about this particular couple. I don’t see anything dangerous about that. 

Post # 108
Member
249 posts
Helper bee

I would have had a conversation with my spouse as soon as I found out that I had the disease and let them know to move on once I am no longer able to recognize them. 

I highly doubt they didn’t have a conversation and that he just decided to be sneaky now that she is no longer aware of him. 

Otherwise yeah it is kinda shitty but I can’t imagine being able to handle that type of stuff alone and would hope my spouse would feel the same. 

Post # 109
Member
1021 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

i can say with 100 percent certainty that if this shit ever happens to me i would want my husband to move on and be happy. did we say vows? yep. but i love him too much to have him suffer along with me. i would want him to find any type of happiness he could. but thats just me….

Post # 110
Member
11495 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

From the Washington Post article. This makes it sound to me as if the reporter who was observing is not so sure that B. is totally unaware, or unaffected, even if what she says sounds mostly like garbled nonsense. And even if she’s got a very compromised long and short term memory. By The Way, I’ve seen no evidence in these articles to suggest that she doesn’t know who her husband is at least some of the time. My feeling is that if this setup causes B. even a moment of distress it’s one moment too many. 

For that matter, why does he attempt to tell her he has a girlfriend? What possible benefit is there to that? 

 

“When B. was lucid, she and Dan sometimes clashed over his flirtations. Now, in photos and videos Dan posts on social media, his wife and his girlfriend seem like friends. But are they?

As they talked, B. was in the background, chatty. “Boop-boop-boop,” she said, interrupting. “This looks like a . . . no, I’m not going to say that. I’m not going to say that. I’m not going to say it. Over there. He’s not in there. He’s not in there,” she said. “The guy.”

“What’s his name? What’s her name?” Dan asked, gesturing at Alex.

B. didn’t answer.

“You okay?” Dan asked, softening a bit.

B. looked over at her husband.

“Mmm-hmm.” “

Post # 111
Member
146 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

konablend :  i genuinely doubt they had the conversation, bc in his defensive post, he wouldve definitely stated as much.

To me this is sick & heartbreakingly sad. The photo of B standing next to that vile woman broke my heart. She looked so sweet in that pic, & she literally had no idea who she’s looking/smiling at, & that’s hurtful & gross.

& to me (possibly unpopular opinion, IT IS abuse. She probably built that dude from the ground up with her brands & house wares, & THIS is how he REPAYS her? I mean just WOW. Next thing you know he’ll be funneling B’s money into that hag’s account. Greedy b****.

Women these days have zero shame, & it’s sick.

Post # 113
Member
1472 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2019 - City, State

awholenewbee2019 :  Why attack the girlfriend? For all we know – he’s telling her that this is something he had arranged with his wife before she deteriorated. You have no idea what lies and manipulation he used to make this arrangement happen – he is the architect, he deserves the blame.

Also, “Women these days have zero shame, & it’s sick.” No, what’s sick is your sexist attitude.

This article is gross, this particular situation is gross, but I don’t think the concept of this is gross. I would want my partner to find happiness, love, and support if this were to ever happen to me. I don’t want him to throw away his life to care for my empty shell. If my mind is so far gone – what makes me, me, is dead. The person he married will be dead. I would like for him to make sure I receive appropriate care, but for fucks sake if I can’t remember him what the hell kind of right do I have to want him to stay faithful to his vows? Vows that I don’t remember, vows that I don’t have the capacity to understand myself anymore. That’s pretty crappy to expect IMO.

Post # 114
Member
3449 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

chelbell23 :  yeah, according to Dan, the girlfriend was the one who initiated the “friendship” that became more. At some point after the diagnosis became public, she  supposedly slipped him her number in case he “needed to talk.” And she slyly invited him on a date to a gallery (or something). Unfortunately, it looks like she’s a bona fide homewrecker.

Post # 115
Member
1021 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

chelbell23 :  amen sister!

awholenewbee2019 :  girl what is the matter with you making insane statements like that? no shame these days? fuck outta here with all that noise. you can bring your ass right back to the 40s if you’d like to. how dare you place that kind of blame on that woman?! thats some judgemental ass shit right there.

Post # 116
Member
1021 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

Overjoyed :  typical. what an eye roll comment youve made. let me guess? if your man cheated on you, you would go find the woman and fight with her wouldnt you? you couldnt DREAM of it being YOUR MAN that cheated. its all the owmans fault for seducing him right? he has no choice right? laaaaaaame. when are people going to understand that there is no such thing as a homewrecker! these people dont we you a thing! its your partner that is supposed to remain faithful to you!

Post # 117
Member
1472 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2019 - City, State

Overjoyed :  Yeah, I don’t trust anything that guy says. Also, none of those actions are inappropriate – male friends have my number and I’ve been to art galleries with male friends before. I’m not dating one of them behind my fiance’s back, nor do I have any interest in doing so.

Post # 118
Member
24 posts
Newbee

She is now unable to contribute to the relationship in the ways the couple agreed and vowed to when they married. She cannot uphold her vows (unintentionally of course, but the fact remains) and he is actually trying to uphold his and take care of her as much as possible in such a terrible situation, it’s honestly admirable. I feel like many bees ldon’t grasp the reality of the situation and how ugly disease is. In sickness and in health is easy to say, but incredibly hard to do with serious illness and honestly inhuman to expect out of someone.

I work in a nursing home and the best one can hope in that situation is that their spouse comes to visit them and make sure they are well taken care of. Alzheimer patients do not just forget their own names, they forget how to do eveything. Over time they become incoherent, incontinent, they play with their feces, they become a danger to themselves and others in a home setting where risk of setting fires and them getting lost become a constant danger, that is until they eventually forgot how to even walk. They require constant care and supervision. That woman is lucky her husband is able and willing to keep her home, she is no doubt much better taken care of than if she was placed. Many people are left in nursing homes without so much as a visit in those circumstances. There are also wondeful people who visit daily, help to change and bathe and feed their spouse who cannot speak or recognize them anymore, but honestly I think that’s as much as you can ask for in those situation, taking care of them 24/7 is impossible as the disease progresses.

If your spouse died, would you spend the rest of your life single? No. The woman this man married is essentially dead, I know that sounds mean and terrible to say, but that’s the truth. It’s great that she’s able to stay in her familiar home with her husband for as long as possible and if the husband managed to find a new love who is willing to help him take care of his sick wife who will become like a child, that’s great for all involved. 

You all need to stop thinking of this as a husband cheating on his wife, it’s a gross misundersanding of the situation. His wife no longer needs monogamy at this point, as her disease progresses she needs to feel safe and be fed, bathed and eventually have her diapers changed. 

 

Post # 119
Member
3449 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

alfalfasprout10518 :  please take that drama someplace else. I’ve been nothing but measured and respectful in this thread (and on this board in general). You lashing out at a total stranger, and making wild accusations about what you “guess” I would do does not bolster any point you may be trying to make.

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