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How do I cope with my Mother making passes at my Husband?
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Chrystiane posted:
Mother has Alzheimers. She makes passes at my Husband by rubbing his arm or trying to hold his hand and telling him she loves him. She tells him she wants to go out without me along. It makes him very uncomfortable. I have past issues as a teen with my Mother always trying to compete with me for attention. Many of the things she does under the guise of Alzheimers brings back negative memories. She followed me everywhere when I lived at home, and does this now. I can remember how I couldn't study in High School because she was always interrupting me with goofy questions. She does this now, when I'm trying to work here at home. I'm trying hard not to take all this personally, but it seems like she's doing this on purpose.
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Byroney_WebMD_Staff responded:
Dear Chrystiane,

I have a few suggestions for you. The first is that you need to let go of the past. Your mother is not competition for your husband's affection. She may well be in diapers in the not too far off future. I would strongly urge that you see a counselor or therapist to resolve any past issues you may have. Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's is trying enough without carrying around a burden from the past.

Does your husband give you any reason to believe that he is tempted to take your mother up on her "offer?" If so, then marriage counseling is in order. If not, then discuss with your husband some techniques for politely brushing your mother off without being mean. Perhaps if he responds, "Chrystiane and I love you too, Mom" might be a good solution.

If you've ever had kids, you know that they can say things that you can feel pretty bad about, such as "I hate you!" But that's only if you give those words power over you. That choice is yours.

My grandmother who had Alzheimer's would occasionally accuse me of being "the other woman" and trying to "steal her husband away from her." I just reminded myself that my grandmother had a disease from which she would never recover, and that she would continue to get worse. Whether or not she knew who I was, both she and my grandfather needed me. So some days I became my cousin, some days I had to introduce myself to her, and some days I was a spiteful woman of ill-repute.

Best wishes and don't be shy about writing back and letting us know how you're doing. You can also check out the Alzheimer's Exchange if you haven't already.

Byroney
 
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Chrystiane replied to Byroney_WebMD_Staff's response:
Thanks so much for some sage advice. I sought counseling years ago, and learned some valuable tools. Obviously, I forgot some. My husband is uncomfortable with Mother's advances so we make sure she is busy and he's not alone with her anymore. Mom is doing the best she can under the circumstances. I needed someone like you to wake me up and I thank you. It helps to know other folks going through this have a few solutions. Thanks again.
With kind regards,

Chrystiane
 
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Byroney_WebMD_Staff replied to Chrystiane's response:
Dear Chrystiane,

I think you've come up with some good solutions, like not leaving hubby alone with her. It's a very difficult, emotionally trying situation for everyone, and all we can do is our best.

Make sure you and your hubby get breaks away from caring for mom. If that means a family member, friend, or a special sitter you hire, it's an important thing to do for yourselves. You might check to see if any place in your area has respite or senior day care programs.

Write back and let us know how you're doing,

Byroney
 
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Chrystiane replied to Byroney_WebMD_Staff's response:
Yes, we are practicing creativity for sure. It's not easy. Sometimes, mom does stuff that she always has done bringing to mind the stuff I had forgotten. This too shall pass. Dad was so pleasant to care for, so I'm blessed for that. Thanks for your positive input.
 
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Byroney_WebMD_Staff replied to Chrystiane's response:
Dear Chrystiane,

Thanks for writing back with an update. I'm sorry that your mom's care is triggering memories you would rather leave behind, but as you wisely note it will pass.

Any time you feel like sharing an update, please feel free to post again.

My best,

Byroney


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