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growing apart at this stage in life?
November 8, 2004
7:57 pm
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ron
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I’m in my late 50’s, my wife is in her mid 60’s; we’ve been married about 30 years. No children and we’re both retired. I look about 10 years younger than I am and I feel 10 years younger than that. I’m reasonably fit, and getting fitter each day with regular exercise. I am not an observer, I am a doer; I have an interest in many things, and prefer to participate fully in life.

My wife is the exact opposite. Due to significant health problems that have robbed her of most of her mobility, she looks, feels, and acts like a person in her 70’s. Worse yet, she thinks that way as well. She cannot participate in any activities that keep me going. She has a very negative outlook on life.

I am having a hard time dealing with the differences. I need more out of life that watching it go by. She has little choice but to set and watch it go. She cannot understand my need to enjoy life to the fullest, and has become non-supportive of me when I want to do things that are of no interest to her (as most things are).

Any ideas?

November 8, 2004
8:03 pm
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CAMER
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cant she at least "watch" you in your activities for support....not sure if she is in a wheelchair or not, but what about just being outdoors if you take her for a walk/stroll???

November 8, 2004
8:06 pm
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on my way
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Well, it is just me but why give up on 30 years? If your wife's health is failing, and if you are feelng great, have you taken up any extra activities, exercise, or something to occupy yourself, so that you are not focusing on her illness as to why you can't be happy? It isn't her fault that you need more in life. Our mates cannot possibly meet ALL of our needs, and we are fools to think that they can. I think she needs you, there has to be something you can do together. My thoughts if I were her would be that since you were so much more fit, energetic, and 10 years younger...I would be afraid you would leave me for someone younger and who could keep up with you. Maybe to reassure her would help her insecurities, and then maybe she would be more supportive. 10 years is more of a big difference if the man is younger I think, women age quicker in that respect. So if I were you I would reassure her, keep your commitment, and maybe you can find a way to make both of you happy.
Hang in there and good luck!

November 8, 2004
9:34 pm
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gingerleigh
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Do the two of you have any interests in commmon? I know that my husband and I have had frustration in the past where physical activity was concerned. I'm not horribly out of shape, but he is like an iron man and I always felt left behind and unable to participate. Snowboarding and running are two things that I like to do, but grew to dread whenever he was involved. Conversely, he wants to do musical activities with me and some of my ex-music major friends, but he gets really frustrated by it due to being unable to keep up. It's tough!

One of the things my husband and I found that we could do together was bike. Neither of us were out to set any records. But we could be physical together. Musically? I'm not sure what we'll do there. But I'm sure there is a compromise somehow. I'm not about to ask him to join one of my more advanced groups, and he knows I'm never going to join his co-ed football league. But as I grow to be a stronger runner, I might go jogging with him, someday, but I'm not promising anything.

Anyway, is there anything that the two of you can do together to keep some interests in common? Can the two of you go for easy walks in nature? Could you engage in one of her more sedentary activities as well?

November 8, 2004
10:02 pm
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mamacinnamon
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Ron:

I am your wife (in a sense). Can I please speak for her. I have an illness that prevents me from doing also. I was intelligent (still am), had a great career, loved to get out and do things. I used to be very active; now I am lucky if I can sit and watch some days. I have both legs in bandages ALL the time, I have to wear a c collar ALL the time, I gained 80 lbs. in less than a month (nobody knows why and we can't get one ounce off). I have to sleep with a machine on my face so I don't stop breathing and die in my sleep. (Thank God my hubby works nights).

Because of all this I am overly sensitive; I am self conscious; I am also afraid my hubby will find someone else even tho he reassures me he won't; I feel worthless; I look like a monster or should I say a tent. I want more than anything to be that girl my hubby can take skiing, bowling, walking, etc. I can't even sit out in the sun without my skin burning coz of some of the meds I take (14 presc/4 homeos). I do my damnedest to try to keep up with the housework and meals. Most of that I cannot do either. My hubby works 7 nights a week to support us and the kids. The medical bills are ungodly even with insurance.

He has in the past told me how he feels. Almost exactly like what you wrote above. He has even talked about going out w/ others (including girls) to get some relief from all his hard work. He has never and has even reassured me he would never cheat on me. But, a couple years ago a girl at work turned his head and he wanted to see her as a friend. My God how I fought hard to stop that. Thought sure he would leave me I was such a witch about it.

I realize you are young, energetic, wanting to live and see life. I don't condemn you for that. I'm glad you are not just a lazy bum. I commend you for staying with your wife. I know the work and mental anguish it takes to deal with her and her illness is great. I know the amount of support she needs from you can possibly never be reached.

Your wife has her very own hell to live in right there with her and in her face all the time. It's a wonder the poor girl isn't in bed and depressed. Give her credit for that. I fight hard to keep from getting there myself. It takes all I have just to get thru the day.

My hubby wants to take me out to dinner, out to drive, out anywhere. It's hell to have to wait to see how your body is gonna act and feel before you can decide to go. Plans can never be made in advance. Oh and how I love to get out my once in a great while. My four walls have become my reality. It sucks! He doesn't want to just sit home again, and I can't get out and go. It truly sucks!

I'm truly not here just trying to complain. That is honestly how I look, feel, think. Possibly she feels the same. Possibly she hurts just as badly as I do. Possibly she is devastated she cannot give you what you need or want. Possibly she would rather die than to sit and watch you suffer with her. Ever think of these things? Try to sit in her seat and think about how you would handle it. Then imagine it 10 times worse coz the mind cannot imagine the magnitude of a beautiful lady in a body that's shot.

I am truly sorry if I have upset you. I probably got a bit more in depth than I should have. Maybe it's what I have wanted to say to my hubby for many years now.

God bless you for staying with her and loving her and being supportive of her; and God bless my hubby for staying with me, etc. too.

November 8, 2004
10:12 pm
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bubishi76
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Hey ron,
Don't forget "for better or worse". It's not just about conveinience. You can do activities that will feed you thirst but don't forget thirty years. You need to remenber the woman yo fell in love with and know that she is the same woman. Don't just leave her behind.

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