While caregiving is often a rewarding experience, it’s also mentally and emotionally challenging and can significantly impact even the strongest marriage. Here are a few of the most common ways caregiving can affect the relationship between you and your significant other.
Your spouse is accustomed to a certain pattern in your lives. Schedules revolve around your life together, and responsibilities are typically divided between the two of you. When you assume the role of caregiver for an elderly parent, your spouse may have to take on more tasks, see you less, and potentially share the caregiving role with you. Time to devote to relaxation, hobbies, and each other becomes limited.
If an elderly loved one doesn’t have adequate health coverage or savings, the financial burden will fall to family. You may have to ask other family members for assistance or your own finances could become strained. This can create hardship at home and may breed resentment within your spouse.
If independent living isn’t possible, your parent may have to move into your home. You and your spouse lose privacy and assume constant responsibility for your parent, which can make everyone feel like they’re on eggshells. The needs of your parent will come first, and downtime will be minimal. It’s not uncommon for this to affect the intimacy shared between spouses.
No matter how fulfilled you feel when caregiving, you are likely to experience more stress in your own life. Attempting to manage caring for your parent while also caring for your home and juggling family relationships can leave you drained, confused, moody, and ill-equipped to give your spouse attention. People also often take their stresses out on those closest to them, potentially putting your partner in the line of fire.
Providing home care for a senior parent can be a necessary yet rewarding task for you. Though there may be added stress with your spouse, it’s also an opportunity to grow your relationship, build a deeper connection, and embrace a new chapter in life. Clear, ongoing communication can help ease the strain. If you foresee issues arising, don’t be ashamed to seek professional help to bridge the gaps.
With the right support, meeting a loved one’s care needs will feel much more manageable. Find the resources you need by calling Home Care Assistance at (603) 471-3004. We provide respite, hourly, and live-in care, as well as stroke, Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s care for seniors in New Hampshire. Call us anytime. We are available to help families and their senior loved ones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.