My husband is in a nursing home and I run to see him everyday because he asks for me and I don’t want to let him down. We’ve been married for 58 years.
-Devoted Wife Who’s a Bit Tired
Dear Devoted Wife,
Wow! Congratulations on 58 years of marriage. That speaks volumes of your endurance and commitment. However, I’m wondering if you can balance those attributes with some self-kindness. One of my favorite mantras is: “When we are actively caregiving it’s vitally important to take care of ourselves as we take care of others. Otherwise, we create an imbalance that neglects the mind, body, and spirit.”
Your husband may not realize he is adding additional stress to your life when he says “Will you be coming to visit me again tomorrow?” He is most likely not aware of the balancing act you are performing by visiting him every day and taking care of everyday responsibilities and how that makes you feel exhausted and unhappy. Therefore, that places the responsibility back on you to consciously make some new choices.
I suggest you set a visiting my-husband schedule, as well as a my-time schedule. This way he is clear on when to expect you and when you will be taking care of yourself. By creating this balance, I guarantee you that the next time you walk into his room at the nursing home you will have a smile on your face and enjoy your time together much more than ever before.