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I'm 70, husband 75. He is a lifelong smoker. His health issues have piled up: COPD, macular degeneration, no physical stamina. I'm in better shape, younger, never smoked, moderate physical activity. (I walk 18 holes, he rides - golf course.)

I worked in the past but now my time is house and BIG yard. He doesn't help. Spouse is still working, he spends 3/4 his time there, which is where he smokes.

We have big changes ahead, downsizing our home, reducing what we maintain. I don't see him as my partner where we have each other's backs. (This was our strength, with kids and everything.) Now, it feels like it's all going to be my problem as he becomes more debilitated. I'll be pushing him around in a wheel chair with his oxygen canister.

For the first time I'm afraid of the future. He has a constant cough, wheezes, has an order for Xray and blood tests that he's (so far) ignored. When we talk, there is little communication. He says he'll quit smoking, work on physical stamina, but doesn't follow through. He lives a lot in the past, as if the next 10 years don't exist. He gets really angry when I push. I get really angry when I think about what "more of the same" will lead to.

Anyone else out there ... dealing with anything close to my experience?

Thanks
 

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Sounds like he takes you for granted or just assumes that you will be there for him.
I'm sure he feels some comfort knowing that you will be there for him if he gets worse and needs more care.

Would he turn things around if he realized you were serious about him getting healthy? ie, separation divorce? Is it even possible at his age? I've yet to see many cases of these older people (with life long problematic habits) turning it around before the damage has taken its toll
 

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Try to get him to switch to vaping. I'm sure that won't be easy, but at least his lungs will be able to heal a bit once the tobacco smoke goes away.

The reality is it's going to be tough to get him to make any changes. Even if he truly wants to quit and lose weight, it will be a monumental struggle. Many people try and fail over and over before either giving up or finally coming out ahead. You probably need to come to terms with the fact that he's not going to be able to change. Especially at his age, he's very set in his ways.

He may also be worried about what his health and lifestyle means for the future. He may be avoiding tackling the issue because he doesn't want to face the reality of the situation. So the more you press the issue about his failing health, the more he might pull back because he can't face the reality of what that means.

You may want to come to terms with the fact that things are going to stay like they are. So rather than lamenting or being sad that things aren't a different way, try to enjoy the way things are now. Sometimes you just have to love people despite their faults.
 
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