A husband recently told his wife to file for divorce after she gave him an ultimatum: he must stop financially aiding his mother with Alzheimer’s, or she will leave. Here’s what the married man had to say.
The Couple Didn’t Normally Argue
The man began, “My wife and I have been together for ten years and married for three of those. We are both in our late 20s. Generally speaking, during our years together, we have never really gotten into fights or been at each other’s throats over anything.”
His Mother Moved To A Care Home
Yet, the dynamics shifted significantly over the past year when the man’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Driven by a desire to provide her with appropriate and skilled care, he made the decision to shoulder the financial responsibility, considering that his mother didn’t possess any assets of her own. Consequently, he is now incurring monthly expenses ranging from $6,000 to $8,000 for home care.
Their Finances Became Strained
Recently, their financial circumstances have become more strained.
While they were not exactly in dire straits, the added financial obligation of supporting his mother has inevitably impacted their lifestyle. It has imposed certain restrictions, leading them to cut back on luxuries such as dining out and holidays.
He Had to Work More
On top of that, he had a new job that came with higher pay but also more responsibilities and longer hours away from home. The man’s wife suggested placing his mother in a Medicaid-funded nursing facility, but he strongly disagreed.
The couple both worked in the medical field, so they understood what would happen to his mother in such a place.
Medicaid Would Be Worse
The man’s mother was able to walk unaided but needed a lot of emotional support due to her strong attachment to individuals rather than places.
The loving son explained, “Even if we went with Jane’s idea of Medicaid, does she really think that will make things better? I would still go and visit her often just to make sure they were doing right by her.”
A Competent Facility Was Too Expensive
The man knew that any adequate private memory care facility would cost two to three times what he was currently paying for her home care.
His wife replied that he was forgetting about them, that they were young and deserved to be enjoying their lives, creating memories, and having new experiences.
His Mother Had Made Sacrifices
The husband emphasized that his mother had raised him single-handedly, often working multiple jobs while he was growing up.
It had been particularly hard because he was on the autism spectrum, and consequently, she had faced additional challenges.
He Became Frustrated
While the husband agreed with his wife that they should enjoy life and create memories, he pointed out that it would have to be less frequent than before.
However, his frustration grew. “My wife tried to play me by saying if your mother were of sound mind, she would want you to enjoy and live your life and be happy,” he said.
She Gave an Ultimatum
Feeling angry at the weight of her words, he replied that, had it been her family, he would understand and do everything he could to support her through it.
The man continued, “This is where she replied that I have to choose between her and my mother. She cannot live this way anymore.”
He Refused to Be Threatened
The man replied that partners support each other through tough times instead of kicking them while they’re down and accused her of being childish and unreasonable.
He told her that if she wanted a divorce, so be it, but she shouldn’t play the victim or pretend that she was being reasonable.
Was His Wife Fair?
Struggling to balance his devotion to his mother and his love for his wife, the man felt that his wife had forced him into making a difficult but obvious choice.
Feeling like he had done nothing wrong besides wanting to care for his beloved mother properly, the man asked the Reddit community for validation and an outside perspective.
One person commented, “It sounds like there’s barely any ‘couple time’ left. He’s either working extra hours to afford the extra care his mother needs or visiting her. So yes, his wife’s statement that this can’t go on and he has to make a choice is valid.”
Another user posted, “I doubt it’s just about vacations. 6-8k a month for decades means never buying a new house, limited savings for retirement, struggling to afford children, etc.”
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