I have been caring for my wife with dementia and miss having a meaningful relationship with a woman. Family is supportive, but in a very limited way. We moved from one state to another and that only increased my isolation.
I have a lot of interests and miss having someone to share them with.
Second.. You are a Veteran have you talked to a Social Worker to find out if your wife would qualify for any services through the VA. I know most of the time the services are for the Veteran but by helping her they would be helping you.
The Senior Center near me has a great program. Volunteers will make calls to people to connect with them and make sure things are alright.
My thought for you is you might be one that would enjoy making some calls to other seniors that do not have contact with many people.
If this is not something you would want to do getting your name on a list for a weekly call might be a good step.
Contact your Senior Center and see if they have such a program.
There are other ways that you can Volunteer your time either from home or if you can get out for a couple of hours a day or 2 or 3 a week.
I also think an in person Support Group would be a good idea.
Would your wife be able to attend an Adult Day Program? It would give her a bit of socialization and it would give you a break from caregiving for a few hours a few days a week.
Lastly and probably not what you want to hear/read...
If it becomes unsafe for you to care for her you need to make the tough decision to place her in Memory Care. This is not an easy choice but safety is most important. This is not a "failure" it is acknowledging that her care is beyond what you can safely do at home, by yourself.
If you are looking for "approval" of a relationship with someone that is for you to decide. What I think of it personally is of no consequence to you or anyone else. You are the one that has to live with any decision you make. I suggest that if you do find someone to share time with that you keep it to yourself, it is no ones business but yours.
Being a caregiver for a spouse totally changes the relationship and that is a GREAT loss.
I said when I was caring for my Husband that I was ruled by 2 major organs in my body. My HEAD and My HEART. I relied on both to make decisions but I always hoped my Head would rule over my Heart when it cam to the tough decisions.
In my caregivers group I am at my best helping others.
Adult daycare rejected her for opening every emergency door and refusing guidance. My doors are alarmed. Most of the furniture is empty and water is used under my supervision since she likes to flood the house.
Up until last week I have been housebound for the last 12 months without respite.
Approval. I was a bad boy up until about 1982 then I became a serious practicing Christian until too many Christians started attacking each other over politics.
If it comes to it I will choose whatever seems to be for the 'greater good'.
Years ago my DH brought me home a record album (!) by Huey Lewis and The News for ONE song : "Happy to be stuck with you". That's worked for us.
A number of us have been here for some years, etting to know one another, sharing our stories, experiences and wisdom and enjoying the cyber company of like-minded souls. Some of us email one another as well. You may find a pen pal here or you may just join in and find that that alleviates your loneliness.
My best wishes for you and your wife in caregiving/care receiving journey. It's a very difficult one and we all need support and human contact of some kind.
Sorry your wife got horrid early dementia. If you got that how would you feel if your wife was in next room or maybe same room looking online for a 'meaningful' relationship with a man? Probably not so good.
More respectful is to find friends to "alleviate my loneliness" instead of telling whole world you want a 'meaningful relationship with a woman' while your wife that loves you is strucken with a disease.
Please don't disrespect your wife. I hope people here didn't encourage you and say it was ok.
May be you can meet neighbors where you and your wife moved to make new friends.
See an elder lawyer.
Place your wife in managed care with Medicaid to fund the cost, file for divorce, and that frees you up so you do not have to "honor your marriage vows" anymore.
Please make sure to visit your wife in managed care and be her advocate, as it's VITAL a loved one have an advocate while in care. And someone to visit and bring gifts and necessities and treats. Just bc she has dementia does not mean she doesn't need all that and won't appreciate those visits and your touch. She will, even if she doesn't acknowledge it.
I'm not passing judgment on your desire to find another relationship, just advocating for you to get divorced before doing so to preserve both parties dignity.
Do you have an old friend from the neighborhood or school days? Start sending some letters to those you know. And continue it with those who write back.
My mom mentioned a guy from the past that she dated at one time. I found him via the internet and called. Put her on the phone and they caught up on the years gone by. (Both were in their 90's by the time I initiated this). Neither was looking for another spouse, but it was a day of enjoyment each time she got a letter from him...and visa versa. Old times and old memories that no one else could have shared with her.
There are some people who cannot be only friends and confidants with the opposite sex, without getting sexually involved, mentally or physically. Then of course there are the catfishers, the scammers, and the people from another country who want to befriend you just because of citizenship.
You are at a very vulnerable time of your life.
Are both of you living in Assisted Living or in a senior community? That might be an option as many of these communities have activities that bring seniors together.
Do you live in a decent sized city? What kind of interests do you have? Look on the internet and facebook for groups that have that same interest. They might have face-to-face activities as well as remote activities that you can participate in. One of the groups I'm in, meets face to face only for events (about 3-4 times a year) and the rest of the time, does everything else through zoom, chat or email.
How about volunteering? I personally have found it difficult after moving to another city, to actually find volunteer positions and then stay with them. You might be able to volunteer with a church and not be a member of the church. So far, that one is the most satisfying to me and I'm not a member of the church.
Try to find the Office of Aging in your community. Most of the people that help out that agency are volunteers. We do presentations (remote and in-person), become pen pals to elementary school children, help out at booths, counselors, etc. AARP also utilizes a lot of volunteers in their programs.
Who will take care of your wife if you are gone for two hours or so? Your profile indicates that your wife is starting to require more assistance. Maybe the first step is to look into caregiving services so that you can at least be "off the clock" to free you to go do something else outside your home. As my mother's dementia progressed, it was nearly impossible for me to do anything other than tend to her when I was in the same house as her. She needed a lot of assistance and no longer could understand the TV or read a book, so I was the source of "entertainment".
...and yes, my mother exhibited the same behavior as your wife....great with most others, mean and nasty to me 50% of the time.
I feel for you. There are many people going though this same dilemma.
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