My wife of 34 years with AD now has told me that we are not married and she isn't sure who I really am. We have lived in the same home for 33 years and all of her belonging and favorite things are here but seem to make no difference. Any conversations about it with me or our family only seems to make it worse. From this site I read that it happens but still it is heart breaking knowing there is very little I can do. Rich
if i try to correct her and tell her i am her husband it only seems to upset her more and tells me to keep my sick lies to myself and you are not my husband. we have been married for 26 years and i think its the pain of my wife not knowing who i am that hurts more than anything else. Many times i have thought of getting out of this problem, but the vows of marriage say for better or worse in sickness and in health and i value those vows to much to leave
Does she feel this way all the time? My mom fluctuates in her cognition, but that may be because of her type of dementia. She often awakens not knowing who Dad or I are, but will gradually move into another mindset. She seems to move into another mindset more quickly if we don't challenge her delusions, but instead say things like, "Oh, well, I guess I don't have it right," and try to talk about something else. Sometimes she can be distracted with another topic.....sometimes not. Do take care of yourself, Rich, as others have mentioned. Sorry for this painful experience.
As difficult as it is, I encourage you to hour by hour endeavor to wholly accept the reality that she simply cannot help herself. It is a constant process. Likely except for perhaps fleeting moments of recognition, you and everyone else will only continue to demoralize yourself if your priority is focused on trying to get her to come back toward reason. It won't happen because through no fault of her own, her brain cells simply do not function as they once did.
From another perspective, briefly look at things as if your roles in life had changed. Know the heartache you'd have if while in the midst of the disease you were able to capture an awareness of what you were putting her through. Also know though, the love she'd still maintain for you.
Rich, sometimes recapturing an understanding of the long time love you've shared helps in such a moment as this. And know that if she could gain the awareness of where she now mentally resides, she'd surely even now cry with you and strive to comfort you. As you now do for her.
With my Mom, I discovered if I took time to journal those infrequent moments of levity she and I experienced, then during quiet moments I'd re-read my writings and gain a smile. These promptings would also help me remember instances in the past... which would also help me smile. Making life a bit easier.
Rich, you can't count on your wife to any longer maintain the ability to reason. But, and this is very important, by endeavoring to lift her positive emotional content you'll bring her life experience toward ever escalating peace with you... and surely a deeper love for you, as well.
Who knows, but this 'new' person you are nurturing toward peace and happiness, even joy in life will in time recognize you as being a wonderful 'new' person in her life... and want to marry you. That, because her entire being is so dearly responding to the love you are providing her. (It quite often happened to me... just like that. Thankfully, Mom always asked me to marry her in private, my Step Dad never hearing.)
My best to you, Rich,