Coming Out About Dementia

At first glance, Alzheimer’s may not seem to fit the overall theme of women’s empowerment in Mary’s Sword. I will tell you why it does.

This is likely the most important argument for equality in marriage. What happens when a husband is mentally incapacitated? Gradually, or suddenly, he is unable to carry out his “roles” in the household, his place in the family, and marriage. If this were a marriage where both the wife and husband were restricted to a rigid patriarchal model, this woman is now left helpless.

My husband and I had what would be considered an egalitarian marriage, but I still did not pay close attention to many responsibilities that I considered his area of expertise. Now I must be responsible for everything because my husband cannot.

I feel alone.  In my situation, my husband has what is considered early onset Alzheimer’s. He is in his sixties and had to retire from the profession that was his identity. The readership I am seeking is women, in their sixties, with a husband who is no longer the man they married.
I am “coming out” to seek advice and support. I hope this page will become a resource for women who need a safe place to share—question, rant, rage, cry, commiserate, and pray.

Some issues I would like to address:

  • How does one survive the disappointment of missing retirement together?
  • How does one live with the uncertain future?
  • How does one not be angry with God? Why does God seem to be absent from the marriage?
  • Depression and stress.
  • Resources that are helpful.
  • How to modify activities and travel.
  • What would happen if we had been a family that kept to rigid male and female roles?
  • What plans do hierarchical-patriarchal families have for this situation?

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