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Old 23-01-18, 01:39 PM   #1
giddyup
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 9
Default Staying together but living apart?

Hello all, first time posting in a long time. I'm at a point where I'm considering suggesting to my HD husband that he lives separately from the family. I have thought long and hard about this and am pretty convinced in my mind that it is the best solution for all of us, including my husband. (We have two children aged 10 and 7 - my 10-year old son vulnerable with his own physical and mental health issues). He is increasingly removing himself from us anyway within the house - doing his art all day long, finding it hard to engage with me or the children, increasingly provoked and irritated by us all. Locking himself in the bathroom for extended periods of time is not unusual. I want to relieve him of the daily pressures of having to look after the kids, clean the house and do the food shop (I work full time and then some just to try and keep things ticking over). I don't want another argument about cleaning the bathroom but instead to let him live out his last quality years doing what he wants. I still love him and do not want a divorce but I simply cannot live with him any more.
You will all be familiar with the reasons why I am considering this so don't want to list them at length. Similarly, I am all too aware of the arguments against doing this, and believe me, my sense of guilt is enormous and overwhelming. My question here is more of a practical nature.
I'm keen to hear from any other families affected by HD who may have made this decision (or perhaps are also in my position and considering the pros and cons) and how it has worked out for them? How did the HD person react when the suggestion was first made? How has the family adapted? Is it possible to still be a family while living in separate houses? How did the children react?
I am also trying to figure out how to manage it financially. Council housing provision is very poor where I live and renting seems too uncertain. My plan is to pool resources with some other family members and buy a flat locally (where he has better access to public transport, shops, etc) and then rent that flat out to him, paid with housing support? (I simply can not afford to pay his rent / mortgage on another place). I have heard anecdotally of this working with other families with an ill relative - but wondered if there was anyone in the HD community who had gone down this road?
Thanks so much x
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Old 23-01-18, 10:44 PM   #2
Jomhv
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Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 12
Default Re: Staying together but living apart?

Quote:
Originally Posted by giddyup View Post
Hello all, first time posting in a long time. I'm at a point where I'm considering suggesting to my HD husband that he lives separately from the family. I have thought long and hard about this and am pretty convinced in my mind that it is the best solution for all of us, including my husband. (We have two children aged 10 and 7 - my 10-year old son vulnerable with his own physical and mental health issues). He is increasingly removing himself from us anyway within the house - doing his art all day long, finding it hard to engage with me or the children, increasingly provoked and irritated by us all. Locking himself in the bathroom for extended periods of time is not unusual. I want to relieve him of the daily pressures of having to look after the kids, clean the house and do the food shop (I work full time and then some just to try and keep things ticking over). I don't want another argument about cleaning the bathroom but instead to let him live out his last quality years doing what he wants. I still love him and do not want a divorce but I simply cannot live with him any more.
You will all be familiar with the reasons why I am considering this so don't want to list them at length. Similarly, I am all too aware of the arguments against doing this, and believe me, my sense of guilt is enormous and overwhelming. My question here is more of a practical nature.
I'm keen to hear from any other families affected by HD who may have made this decision (or perhaps are also in my position and considering the pros and cons) and how it has worked out for them? How did the HD person react when the suggestion was first made? How has the family adapted? Is it possible to still be a family while living in separate houses? How did the children react?
I am also trying to figure out how to manage it financially. Council housing provision is very poor where I live and renting seems too uncertain. My plan is to pool resources with some other family members and buy a flat locally (where he has better access to public transport, shops, etc) and then rent that flat out to him, paid with housing support? (I simply can not afford to pay his rent / mortgage on another place). I have heard anecdotally of this working with other families with an ill relative - but wondered if there was anyone in the HD community who had gone down this road?
Thanks so much x

Hi Giddyup

I have the same question. My husband is in early stages and I'm finding it very difficult mainly due to concerns about the effect on the children. Separate houses would solve a lot of issues. From what I've read though this forum is contributed to mainly by people who have chosen to stay and maintain contact on here as a means of support. I could be wrong but I don't see many people who have decided to separate/leave/live apart posting here. Maybe once the problem isn't having such a massive impact on their lives they don't feel the need for support on here. I'm hoping that you do get responses as I too would find them very helpful.

In answer to weighing up the pros and cons I find it hard to separate the practical aspects from the emotional/feelings of guilt so I'm sorry but my answers below don't deal with just the practical as with HD they are all interwoven for me

Pros
- Peace! - a home to raise children without constant anxiety and fear of aggressive outbursts (is this necessarily guaranteed though if the spouse actually isn't happy about living apart)

- a possibility of hope for the future rather than feeling like life is on hold for 20+ years

- a less complicated life for the HD sufferer. Would remove all responsibility from them other than tending to their own needs

Cons

- financially maintaining 2 households will be expensive. There is not just rent to consider but utilities, power, rates etc etc. To be eligible for any government assistance the disability needs to be recognised and a formal diagnosis made. Is this the case with your husband? Quite often HD sufferers present ok to the doctor as they are in a controlled environment ie no background noise, temperature is just right, have recently eaten etc etc. so the doctor says "not affected".

- reaction from the children will be mixed I'm guessing. Your children may still be young enough to not have overwhelming feelings of guilt and empathy "poor dad living on his own" "is dad lonely" But then again they may and the older they get I'm thinking these feelings will develop more so better to act sooner rather than later. What sort of relationship do your children have with their father? Do they remember the "old dad" or has the effect of HD been present for as long as they can remember? is he at times an active interested dad? Will they miss him? Or will they, over time adjust to a new normal in a relatively peaceful household and thrive? Separation is not uncommon for children to have to deal with.

- how the HD sufferer will react is anybody's guess. If he is happy about the arrangement all well and good. A feeling of being shoved aside, too hard to deal with, I'm a burden etc etc. is likely though. The amount of times I've had yelled at me "you don't care" (which makes it even harder to care!!) Could this trigger more aggression towards you?

- have you thought about future years when caring for himself becomes more and more impossible. Will you step back into a caring role then? You may not want to. What if one of the children decides to do this? They may not want to see their dad in a nursing home. These are big questions for me.

-can you still be a family? I think so. Will you still do family outings together? Will you visit regularly? Talk on the phone? Would the children spend time there without you for sleepovers etc? I guess it all depends on how much you want to maintain contact. Would you be happy with your husband turning up unexpectedly? Phoning constantly? Wanting to move back??

- how do you think your husband will cope on his own? If you are technically still together and not divorced this leaves a lot of responsibility still on your shoulders. Running backwards and forwards to him as problems will arise, maintaining your own house, raising 2 children while working full time. Sounds like a lot to ask of yourself. I'm thinking though that compared to how sad, desperate and overwhelmed you are feeling now though that any situation would be easier..... Is he eligible for government funded home assistance? This would relieve the pressure from you.

You mentioned guilt. In any other abusive/domestic violence situation the victims are supported/encouraged to leave. Just because this is caused by illness doesn't make it any less difficult for us. We ourselves though, and society to a degree expect we should be able to "suck it up and get on with it. It's the disease not the person". Yes there is guilt about not wanting to live with our spouses. I also have guilt about staying and the impact it's having on my children. They did not ask to be brought into this situation. Guilt in my opinion is no reason to stay. Are you worried about losing friends by doing this? I expect that will happen sadly. People like to judge. Others though will support you.

I hope this helps x
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Old 25-01-18, 01:15 AM   #3
giddyup
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 9
Default Re: Staying together but living apart?

Hello Jomhv and apologies for my delayed reply to your considered and thoughtful response (I have failed to figure out how to set up alerts on this forum!) I agree that this may not be the place to have this discussion, so if you don't mind I will PM you so I can respond in more detail. Thanks for taking the time to reach out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jomhv View Post
Hi Giddyup

I have the same question. My husband is in early stages and I'm finding it very difficult mainly due to concerns about the effect on the children. Separate houses would solve a lot of issues. From what I've read though this forum is contributed to mainly by people who have chosen to stay and maintain contact on here as a means of support. I could be wrong but I don't see many people who have decided to separate/leave/live apart posting here. Maybe once the problem isn't having such a massive impact on their lives they don't feel the need for support on here. I'm hoping that you do get responses as I too would find them very helpful.

In answer to weighing up the pros and cons I find it hard to separate the practical aspects from the emotional/feelings of guilt so I'm sorry but my answers below don't deal with just the practical as with HD they are all interwoven for me

Pros
- Peace! - a home to raise children without constant anxiety and fear of aggressive outbursts (is this necessarily guaranteed though if the spouse actually isn't happy about living apart)

- a possibility of hope for the future rather than feeling like life is on hold for 20+ years

- a less complicated life for the HD sufferer. Would remove all responsibility from them other than tending to their own needs

Cons

- financially maintaining 2 households will be expensive. There is not just rent to consider but utilities, power, rates etc etc. To be eligible for any government assistance the disability needs to be recognised and a formal diagnosis made. Is this the case with your husband? Quite often HD sufferers present ok to the doctor as they are in a controlled environment ie no background noise, temperature is just right, have recently eaten etc etc. so the doctor says "not affected".

- reaction from the children will be mixed I'm guessing. Your children may still be young enough to not have overwhelming feelings of guilt and empathy "poor dad living on his own" "is dad lonely" But then again they may and the older they get I'm thinking these feelings will develop more so better to act sooner rather than later. What sort of relationship do your children have with their father? Do they remember the "old dad" or has the effect of HD been present for as long as they can remember? is he at times an active interested dad? Will they miss him? Or will they, over time adjust to a new normal in a relatively peaceful household and thrive? Separation is not uncommon for children to have to deal with.

- how the HD sufferer will react is anybody's guess. If he is happy about the arrangement all well and good. A feeling of being shoved aside, too hard to deal with, I'm a burden etc etc. is likely though. The amount of times I've had yelled at me "you don't care" (which makes it even harder to care!!) Could this trigger more aggression towards you?

- have you thought about future years when caring for himself becomes more and more impossible. Will you step back into a caring role then? You may not want to. What if one of the children decides to do this? They may not want to see their dad in a nursing home. These are big questions for me.

-can you still be a family? I think so. Will you still do family outings together? Will you visit regularly? Talk on the phone? Would the children spend time there without you for sleepovers etc? I guess it all depends on how much you want to maintain contact. Would you be happy with your husband turning up unexpectedly? Phoning constantly? Wanting to move back??

- how do you think your husband will cope on his own? If you are technically still together and not divorced this leaves a lot of responsibility still on your shoulders. Running backwards and forwards to him as problems will arise, maintaining your own house, raising 2 children while working full time. Sounds like a lot to ask of yourself. I'm thinking though that compared to how sad, desperate and overwhelmed you are feeling now though that any situation would be easier..... Is he eligible for government funded home assistance? This would relieve the pressure from you.

You mentioned guilt. In any other abusive/domestic violence situation the victims are supported/encouraged to leave. Just because this is caused by illness doesn't make it any less difficult for us. We ourselves though, and society to a degree expect we should be able to "suck it up and get on with it. It's the disease not the person". Yes there is guilt about not wanting to live with our spouses. I also have guilt about staying and the impact it's having on my children. They did not ask to be brought into this situation. Guilt in my opinion is no reason to stay. Are you worried about losing friends by doing this? I expect that will happen sadly. People like to judge. Others though will support you.

I hope this helps x
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Old 28-01-18, 11:46 AM   #4
Gabby
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Berkshire
Posts: 351
Default Re: Staying together but living apart?

Quote:
Originally Posted by giddyup View Post
Hello all, first time posting in a long time. I'm at a point where I'm considering suggesting to my HD husband that he lives separately from the family. I have thought long and hard about this and am pretty convinced in my mind that it is the best solution for all of us, including my husband. (We have two children aged 10 and 7 - my 10-year old son vulnerable with his own physical and mental health issues). He is increasingly removing himself from us anyway within the house - doing his art all day long, finding it hard to engage with me or the children, increasingly provoked and irritated by us all. Locking himself in the bathroom for extended periods of time is not unusual. I want to relieve him of the daily pressures of having to look after the kids, clean the house and do the food shop (I work full time and then some just to try and keep things ticking over). I don't want another argument about cleaning the bathroom but instead to let him live out his last quality years doing what he wants. I still love him and do not want a divorce but I simply cannot live with him any more.
You will all be familiar with the reasons why I am considering this so don't want to list them at length. Similarly, I am all too aware of the arguments against doing this, and believe me, my sense of guilt is enormous and overwhelming. My question here is more of a practical nature.
I'm keen to hear from any other families affected by HD who may have made this decision (or perhaps are also in my position and considering the pros and cons) and how it has worked out for them? How did the HD person react when the suggestion was first made? How has the family adapted? Is it possible to still be a family while living in separate houses? How did the children react?
I am also trying to figure out how to manage it financially. Council housing provision is very poor where I live and renting seems too uncertain. My plan is to pool resources with some other family members and buy a flat locally (where he has better access to public transport, shops, etc) and then rent that flat out to him, paid with housing support? (I simply can not afford to pay his rent / mortgage on another place). I have heard anecdotally of this working with other families with an ill relative - but wondered if there was anyone in the HD community who had gone down this road?
Thanks so much x
I cant offer much help as not been there but have you talked to Social services or rang the HDA to speak to a specialist adviser they may have come across thsis before ( i'm sure they will have ) .

hope you get the help you need


Take care Gabby x
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Old 04-02-18, 11:53 PM   #5
Annie
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 12
Default Re: Staying together but living apart?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabby View Post
I cant offer much help as not been there but have you talked to Social services or rang the HDA to speak to a specialist adviser they may have come across thsis before ( i'm sure they will have ) .

hope you get the help you need


Take care Gabby x
I have lived separately from my husband for nearly 5 years and am still married, myself and our children still see him often and have days out. Sadly a volatile temper and occasional violence led to me seeking an injunction from the court.He went to a respite centre which I thought was temporary, but then we realised he couldnt care for himself sufficiently so has remained in a Care Home, now a Nursing home ever since.Until recently I had hoped he may return and I would play my part in caring but as time went on I realised that he would find it confusing and stressful, and also traumatic and unpredictable for the kids. Sorry its tough to read this , but I looked and found nothing here 5 years ago. You may discover that he is entitled to funding ( social services or NHS CHC,) for a placement, depending on the severity and unpredictability of his behaviour. It was extremely muddly and stressful to work it all out- I was in financial limbo for months and the NHS has got worse since then - but some regions of UK are better. Local SHDA s can advise.
You need your friends and family to help you find the way forward - my husbands family have not spoken to me since , which makes me and the kids sad. I read and heard about variations on the theme you are thinking.
To some extent the person affected finds it easier in their own space, own routine, but I had to act out of fear. Now I can see it protected the kids from witnessing more trauma. Not easy at all. I hope I havent written too bluntly. You need to look after yourself , in order to keep looking after others, ie your children. best wishes in your decisions.
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