Spousal Caregivers

Is anyone else caring for a spouse while also living with a new partner?

This topic contains 12 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Jeannine Day 9 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #5309 Reply

    Margaret Yakoda

    It’s a long story, but the main points are that my husband’s dementia first began with a personality change. I suspected something was wrong, but due to massive unrelated stressors I couldn’t at that point quite put my finger on what it was.

    Anyhow, he threw me out of our house, and for a few years I was living in my car and couch surfing while I was also assisting my husband with Dr visits and the VA and SSDI disability process. And that’s when I found someone else.

    Eventually it became obvious that my husband could not live alone safely, so I moved back home to care for him. Not long after that my partner also moved in with us, in large part because it was clear my husband enjoys his company.

    Three years later – and after enduring extreme flak from certain problematic family members – Here we are. One complicated buy relatively happy family.

    Am I the only one doing this?

  • #5523 Reply

    Cori Carl

    I can’t think of anyone else doing this for caregiving reasons, but I’m so impressed with how you found a way to make it work. A healthy relationship is defined by how people treat each other.

  • #6772 Reply


    My husband and I both live with my new partner. We take care of his rural home and land, which calms my husband and makes him feel very secure. The two of them are partners in crime at times, ganging up on me with their mischief. It takes a LOT of respect, communication, work and love. It works for us because we talked it out while my husband is still lucid and made it his choice. We have a lovely home he will never have to leave until hospital care becomes necessary. He never has to worry about another drug dealer walking in like he owns our home or someone being killed in the street in front of our house. He gained a good friend and trusted confidante in my new partner. I gained a support network, as well as the emotional and physical connection I needed to maintain my own health and well being. It’s not rude, or sick. It’s what works for ALL OF US, but most especially for my husband. If it ever stops working for him, he and I will move out and live on our own for as long as we can. Right now, it’s working out just great for everyone concerned, and after 2 years of doing this on my own, there is finally someone to talk to who sees the same things I see; who understands my stress and fear.

  • #6784 Reply

    Cori Carl
  • #7545 Reply

    Cori Carl

    This week’s caregiver profile is about a woman who is caring for her ex-husband after she got re-married.

    • #7707 Reply

      Margaret Yakoda

      I saw that. 🙂

      In some ways it’s similar, but because I’m still married it is different in some fundamental ways. The biggest is that many people find it extremely difficult to wrap their head around a wife, husband, and boyfriend all living together without a problem.

      Some have told me to my face that I’m just doing this to “Take everything” As if being a full time caregiver for a loved one with dementia is a job anyone would take lightly. And as if, as a spouse in a community property state, I could “take” something I already own….

      But those are the words of the haters. The family members who were counting on me leaving so they could … well .. continue doing what they were doing. It isn’t everyone.

      Even so, most people don’t understand that I never stopped loving my husband.

  • #7876 Reply


    It’s tough to deal with people’s judgement when what works for you and your family is outside the norm. Personally, I find it difficult to understand how other people stop loving the person they said they’d spend their life with – sure, maybe it doesn’t work well, but feelings and history don’t just go away.

    Ate you involved in the poly community at all? It’s a little different, but might be a good place to find supportive friends.

  • #8154 Reply

    Margaret Yakoda

    Thank you, Ayden.

    I too am puzzled by people who just assume the love isn’t there. I think part of the reason comes from my husband’s delusions and confabulations, which began before his obvious strokes, and were the reason he threw me out of the house.

    Anyhow, no, we’re not involved in the poly community. That said, we do have some friends who are poly. And my partner and I have described our current situation as a type of poly relationship.

  • #24431 Reply

    Donna Gunness

    My ex-husband does not live with us, but my new husband and I have been primary caregivers for 4 years as he battles prostate cancer. We take him to appointments, install grab bars and poles so he can get around, find equipment, interface with doctors, do paperwork and most importantly, make sure that he gets out and goes to things. Concerts, plays, sports events, gatherings of any kind.
    My family is extremely supportive and helpful. They consider things like wheelchair access and timing when planning family events which include both husbands. They don’t complain when I can’t make it to some family events because I am caring for one or the other of my ‘mates’. My current husband has had 3 strokes and has the occasional tia.

    My husband’s family is hostile to me and I just avoid family get togethers with them . They feel that I should have no contact with my ex and that I should not be ‘forcing’ my husband to help.

    My ex husband’s family is not involved either. His mother is 99 and in a home, and his sister lives 2 hours away. She visits her mother, and lets him know when she is in town, but he can no longer drive himself around.

    I am really dreading the inevitable end, but refuse to let others’ negative feelings interfere with this journey, which although weird, has been a lot of fun for all of us! The ‘boys’ love their sports and I love watching them cheer on their favourite teams together. It’s become a way of life, and although it is winding down, I will treasure the memories we have created.

  • #24433 Reply

    Cassie Aaron

    This is more commonly called polyamory. It is not uncommon and actually has a great amount of information as well as support in it’s community. I don’t know of many that have your dynamic but we all have our dynamic that works.

  • #24445 Reply


    I know of a family that consists of a husband and wife and her ex husband. They joined forces to care for the wife and ex husbands son after an accident left him in a coma. The husband calls the ex his “step husband”! It’s worked for them! I also know of an older couple who hired a a woman to help care for the wife at the beginning of her dementia. As the wife’s disease progressed the caretaker and husband developed a friendship. After the wife passed they stayed together. It’s not conventional but it is what it is!

  • #58010 Reply

    Jeannine Day

    Its good to listen such caring stories.

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