Originally Posted by MarriedWifeInLove View Post
It almost feels like the last 27 years of my life meant nothing.
The past years mean a great deal no matter what happens today, tomorrow is always unknown. Your life in happier times should not be forgotten.
I truly sympathize and empathize - my stbxw's mental issues - depression, OCD, & narcissism went up more than a few notches these last few years while her libido disappeared much to my disappointment. We met in '84 and married five years later, until 2008 or so it was a very happy relationship, good sex, very few arguments and many kind words, but something happened and closeness disappeared. When I retired and friends died or became seriously ill I realized I wanted to live fully and seek love, companionship, and affection.
Until I moved out she refused to speak with a counselor, my departure was the kick she needed to work on her issues, while my life is much more enjoyable w/o her.
I think you are now struggling with the issues I dealt with - you've been together so long, done so much together, see your spouse as a key part of your life, wonder what will happen if you separate, wonder about your moral obligations and still care about your spouse.
It isn't easy to change your life in your 50s or older and requires a lot of compromises and tears no matter what choices you make, your husband's TBI complicates matters greatly.
I don't know what the best course is but have you considered taking a month or longer break from your h? Physical separation might allow you to see how you would live your life w/o him. This doesn't have to be an either/or decision, it seems to me as if you need some distance and perspective and a real break - not a week, not two weeks.
I don't know how much care your h needs, but it sure sounds as if you need some time for yourself.
If you still work or are retired and can take a long vacation, short term furnished apartments aka suites can be found in many cities around the country, Marriott's Residence Inn's are one example, while a little bit of googling will find other units just about anywhere - think about Spring in Paris or Rome or Nice or Florence or Hawaii or travel to places you've always wanted to visit.
If you want to stay in your house and work many excellent nursing home, that homes offer "vacations" in short stay units. The residents of these units are recovering from surgery, falls, &c, or have various health issues that have stressed their caregivers to the breaking point. In many homes these patients are not part of the general nursing home population so it is much nicer for all parties.
Alternatively home care aides can be found in many communities through agencies that monitor the aides - do a lot of checking, this is one area where you don't want to make quick decisions.
If it turns out you and your h prosper with him a resident of a nursing home I understand Federal laws or regulations states that since "the home has the body" they have to keep him and he bypasses the waiting list if there is one. Ugly words but true, though you should check with a nursing home admissions person.
Unfortunately for most of us the price of long term care in a good nursing home is unaffordable and the rules for Medicaid assistance mean middle class spouses will spend just about every penny before the state will provide care for ill spouses. There is a lot to be said for divorce once the kids are grown.