Oct 30th 2008, 01:34 AM
My grandmother had a stroke last night. She's in her upper 80s. She was in an assisted living group home. The checked on her once that night, she was fine. They went back in about 2 hours later and found her unresponsive. They don't know how long she was in that state before being found. The left side of her body is fully paralyzed as far as they can tell. The right side of her brain has no activity at all. She is currently in a coma, but not doing well. She stopped breathing several times, and has a DNR order on herself - so there is no artificial life support.
She's my last natural grandparent (I still have Charles' grandmother, too). So it's hard. My parents left today to drive up to Memphis to be at her side should anything happen (which she probably would within the next few days).
So, please pray for my family as we enter this season of letting go of another person very dear to us.
In terms of guidance:
My husband has a career connections thing to do next week, three days next week. Knowing that my grandmother is probably going to be with Jesus soon, he told me tonight that if the funeral ends up being next week on those days (or if we have to leave on those days) that he would have to stay since this is a one-time event.
While I appreciate and support all he's doing for his career searching (even though it means that he's gone every night until 9 or 10, sometimes later for group meetings, which means I get little to no time with him at all), I can't help but be upset. If I have to attend this funeral without him, I really will be all alone. Both my sisters will have their families and husbands to deal with, my mom and dad will have one another...especially with it being Dad's mom.......and then there will be me. The one married less than a year whose husband told her to do it alone because of a career expo at school.
I told him tonight that I'd be very upset and it would be very hard for me to deal with this by myself, and that I'd be pretty mad for being tossed into second place behind a potential career, but I tapered that with telling him I'm not going to supposed to tell him what he should or shouldn't do.
However, I'm hurt...deeply hurt. I'm trying not to let it show, but I'm really having a hard time with this. For the past few months, we've had very little time together. I had to have a colonoscopy which led to hard feelings because he didn't check in on me at all while I was doing the prep and then just dropped me off after the dreadful experience and went to work. He and I discussed that, came to a mutual understanding that next time something like that happens he knows I need to feel looked after and that if I felt like I needed him I'm to speak up and say it so he isn't forced into the role of mindreader.
And now this...I find out yesterday about the stroke - I didn't see him until 9 (to drop of cookies for his group) then not again until midnight when he came home to sleep. Tonight he tells me that he needs to do the expo rather than be with me. Tomorrow he won't be home until after 8, the same on Friday. He'll be out most of the afternoon and evening Saturday (I'm running the SATs at my school in the morning for 3 hours). Sunday we have church then he has work again and another group meeting. Monday he works late, Tuesday through Thursday are expo days....
Basically I've been taking a backseat to career and work for so long now I'm feeling a huge disconnect. Him choosing the expo over the needs of his wife, especially in the case where someone dear to me is dying, is just ripping me apart heart and soul right now. I need him - and it's almost like he doesn't even care.
Ladies - PLEASE help me. I just don't feel I can do this alone...
I know God is there. It's just not the same as having the arms of the man who vowed to love you as Christ loved the church to hold you when you're in desperate need because he's too busy or too tired.
Oct 30th 2008, 02:45 AM
I haven't been on this forum in a long time but my mom read your post and told me about it and thought I could help. First let me give you a little background. I am also newly married. Well kind of. It was a year this past August. It has been an adjustment! I am 23 and happily married, but can understand your pain. Let me tell you how I deal with coming in second sometimes in my husband's life. With us, it is video games and hanging out with our neighbors who have 4 young boys who my husband like to play sports with. I felt like he would rather spend time with them then do anything with me. Right now we don't live near any family so he is all I have sometimes. It really hurt me that he didn't even consider my feelings. But then I talked to his mom when we visited his family last Christmas. She gave me some advice. She told me that he needs things pointed out to him for him to get it. He really didn't get it sometimes. Once I realized that that was just who he is and that if I wanted him to understand I had to sit down calmly and completely tell him how he makes me feel. If I didn't, he simply wouldn't understand. Guys just don't see things the way we do. You have to remember that. It is just how God made them. Once you can accept that, it makes it a lot easier to handle. Now, in your situation, it is more personal. If it were me, I would feel like everyone would look at me at the funeral by myself and think that I had a bad husband or something. But if you tell people that your husband had to work to take care of your family, they will understand. All you can do is be the best wife you can be. Maybe he won't always be the best husband, but if he sees you really trying and being understanding, he will follow. Marriage isn't always the fairy tale it is played out to be. It is work. But, when you both work at it, it is wonderful. I guess my advice is to just try to understand where he is coming from to. Also, don't get angry about a situation that hasn't happened yet. It may all work out in the end. I will be praying for you and your family.
Oct 30th 2008, 06:13 AM
You will be in my prayers as well. I am so sorry you're having to go through these things.
I have to reiterate what missalyssa said about men not thinking of things as being the same way we women perceive them. Sometimes they can be more ''practical'' about things for one thing, while missing the point of how we're feeling about a situation.
And at the same time, as you said also, men are not mind-readers, and we have to remember that! It's just as much our responsibility to let our husbands know how we feel (even though we can't understand why they just don't seem to ''get it'' sometimes!), and it sounds like you have, and that you realize that anyway. :)
Sorry if I'm being of no help whatsoever here. Please know we are here for you! I will be praying for your grandma, you, your hubby, and your family during this rough time. And remember, praising the Lord even through our pain can be so uplifting!
Remember we will be here. :hug:
Oct 30th 2008, 02:00 PM
I'm so sorry about your grandmother. I will be praying.:hug::pray:
I agree with the others. You need to let your husband know how hurt you are and how you feel about all of this.
Take it from someone who's been where you are, the best way to approach this sort of thing is by phrasing your sentences in such a way that it doesn't put him on the defensive. I've learned that starting a conversation with words like "you never" or "you don't" shut the lines of communication. Instead, expressing how you feel is more effective ie.. "When we don't spend time together it makes me feel lonely and hurt".
I used to fight with my husband about this for years and years, but I would do it in an accusatory manner.
Once I took the other approach he really began to hear me.
Another good idea would be for the two of you to agree on a date night.
Ask him about setting aside a specific amount of time each week to focus soley on each other, and I don't mean in the bedroom, I mean going out, or even just talking in the living room. That is so important and makes a big difference.
Let him know how much you love him and how much you need his time.
Of course I can't end this post without stating the obvious, and that would be to get alone with the Lord and pray, pray, pray.
Stay encouraged and don't lose heart. Marriage takes work, but is well worth the effort.
Oct 30th 2008, 09:18 PM
Thanks for the advice ladies. Those are already all things that I've been doing and trying to do many times, it seems. The main problem is that we don't get a chance to talk - and won't until probably Christmas when we'll be in Iowa with his family, not even home (I get 3 days out of school then we're flying out of Florida). Otherwise, I may get an hour with him over dinner, then he heads back to campus to work then comes home and goes to bed. Even when he's home, he's usually in the study working. There's no chance to launch into that sort of conversation since it's the sort of thing you don't want to shove into a 5 minute car ride.
In hopes of at least spending some time with him I've been going with him to campus while he works just so I can be near him without him snoring in my ear.
Like I said, he and I have had this conversation many times in 11.5 months...it feels more like accusing or nagging when he drifts away into the land of the Type A personality. I know some of it is just how he is. At the same time, who he is is also a husband...and it seems like there's no way I can sit down with him and even have a dicussion about it without one of us coming across in an accusatory manner or the other interpreting that then later blaming it on fatigue. I can't even get him to answer a text message about if he's planning on eating here or on campus tonight since he'll be there until like 10PM again.
It seems like there's no winning situation in any of this.
BTW - Nanny was in V-fib for a long time last night. She pulled through it (showing her heart is pretty darn strong), but she's getting weaker.
Oct 30th 2008, 09:39 PM
:pray:raying for you and your family. May the Lord reach down with HIS powerful arm and give you the peace and joy that only HE can give. HIS Grace is sufficient for all of our troubles...Amen. You can depend on HIM, when you cannot depend on anyone else, even yourself. Amen.
I'm just curious about this "campus" thing! Is hubby working yet?? Or is this for preparation for a possible job???:hmm:
Oct 30th 2008, 10:01 PM
It sounds like the timing of all of this happening with your grandmother is just unfortunate, because it's falling right in the middle of all of this stuff already happening at home. I think that's what you need to focus more on.
Believe me, I understand at least part of what you're feeling. My grandmother passed away a few months ago. My husband had just started a new job and he had only ever met my grandmother once, so he decided to stay behind. I wanted him to go, but logistically it made sense for him to stay behind, so I let him stay without too much argument. Yes, it was awkward being there without my new husband, but I survived.
Honestly, I think the part you need to focus on is finding time to be together. Is there any flexibility in either of you schedules at all? Is there some responsibility that you could step down from for a while to make time for each other? Is there a way for you to feel closer to him without physical presence? Could you ask him to leave notes for you around the house, just to let you know he loves you? Even better, could you show him by example and start sending him with notes from you? I don't know what the compromises would look like for you two, but I'd start trying to think of ways that you could foster your romance and love, even through this tough time. Maybe you guys could invest in a handheld tape recorder and on his drive home from work, he could record a message for you to listen to the next day. I'm just throwing out ideas... :rolleyes:
I am sorry about your grandmother. :hug: Praying for comfort, guidance, and wisdom for you and your family. :pray:
Oct 30th 2008, 11:55 PM
Could you ask him to leave notes for you around the house, just to let you know he loves you? Even better, could you show him by example and start sending him with notes from you?
Was a great idea. I did it for 3-4 months when I'd have to stay up late grading and he'd have to leave early in the AM. Once he returned the gesture (even after we had a discussion where he asked what made me feel loved and appreciated and I told him that was one way - directly, no veiled hints). Don't get me wrong, my husband is a wonderful man and I love him to death. He just gets very absorbed with work and classes that he almost forgets there's someone at home who needs him, especially right now.
I'm just curious about this "campus" thing! Is hubby working yet?? Or is this for preparation for a possible job???
There are certain programs he needs on the computer for the design classes he's taking that can only be run at the school because our computers are older and slower. He's working full time, going to school part time to get an Aerospace Engineering degree. I'm a full-time English teacher.
The career expo is something he's doing at the school for networking possibilities with potential companies to work for after he graduates with the engineering degree. It's a once-a-year thing. Granted, he's going to one at a neighboring university in the city he actually wants to get hired in during the spring, so I don't know why he's so bent on this being his only chance to get his foot in the door.
In terms of stepping down - he's working and doing classes for a degree. There's no other way he could cut back on time. I've been so lonely I started throwing myself into work, signing up for National Board Certification and ESOL Certification in the same year in order to keep myself occupied with something self-paced that I can put down whenever we want to go do something and pick up again when he needs to focus. In a way, it makes him feel a bit less guilty over working so much.
If it was work he couldn't get out of, I could deal with it; I wouldn't be happy with his employer since he has a TON of vacation time built up. However, this is an optional event, with his intelligence by far not the only chance he has to network, but it is possibly the only chance to meet some of my family members (he never met my grandmother...she was too far gone with alzheimer's/dementia by the time he entered my life; visiting her in Memphis was going to be our next big trip...which won't happen now...). I just still think that especially with this going on his place should be with me...not focusing so much on all these extra career service meetings/speeches that aren't going to matter a few months from now. After all that stuff is over, I'm going to be the one still there...however abandoned I'd felt for those months...I'll be the one still there that he has to spend his life with, not an A or a B in a class, not a meeting about "dressing for success." I guess I'm just a bit bitter right now...I'm also overly emotional as we just got another report.
At the rate she's going...Nanny will be gone either late tonight, maybe tomorrow...I wish I were there right now.
Oct 31st 2008, 02:22 AM
My prayers are with you.
Is it possible that your husband, as the provider in the home, is taking his job seriously in preparing for your future?
I know from a woman's point of view, it seems he's being unsupportive. But from a guy's point of view ... he may not see it that way. Maybe he's just towing the line to make sure you're taken care of and that he does what he needs to do to build a future for you guys. And he's probably trusting you to keep the home front strong and take care of family matters.
My husband doesn't do emotional support. Like, ever. I mean, he tries, God bless him, but it usually doesn't work because he's always approaching it from the angle of "something else to fix." That's alright though because he's able to keep a clear head during those times when I want to dissolve into a puddle. And during those times I've really broken down and just needed to lean on him for a minute, he's always been there.
Guys ... they really just don't see things the way we do. :B
Oct 31st 2008, 03:00 AM
Actually, he's normally a very supportive person; exceptionally caring.
My sister called shortly after my last post; my aunt thinks my Nanny is hanging in just so Dad can say goodbye (the family has known for years he was her favorite :)). When my hubby called right after that, I was crying on the phone (couldn't hold in that wave). He came home as quickly as he could and just sat with me.
Once I composed myself, I asked if we could talk about the working thing. He keeps saying that there's just nothing else he can do, that he's strapped for time. I tried to explain that I wasn't trying to make him feel bad, but that I have been feeling like everything else is more important when over the weekend I can't even get him to sit down and watch a movie with me because he says he's too tired, yet he makes time for everything else. I also tried to remind him that what he's working towards is his role as a husband, and I'm thankful that he's so driven. In that same breath I also tried to remind him that this is the only season of our life, the next few years, where we don't have kids and can focus solely on each other.
He and I didn't come to any solutiobs, but we did agree that right now it really sucks overall.
On the funeral front, my sisters apparently don't want to take their children since they'd need to be out of school for several days for it. So, unless they put up a fight, it appears they will be leaving the kids here with their husbands and we will be driving up to Memphis (about 12 hours to get there...straight through...about 4 hours of driving each) since it is cheaper and quicker (believe it or not) than trying to fly due to layovers. At least the three of us will have each other with my parents. We went through my other grandmother's death basically on our own back in 1999 (they were married...I was a junior in high school...but their kids were so young their husbands mostly took care of them).
I'm exhausted and heading to bed.
Thanks again ladies.
Nov 1st 2008, 04:44 PM
Just an update...
Nanny went home to Jesus around 9AM EST (she's actually CST...8 AM). Funeral plans will be determined today with my dad, aunt and uncle.
Thanks for your prayers about it all.
Nov 1st 2008, 05:31 PM
Just an update...
Nanny went home to Jesus around 9AM EST (she's actually CST...8 AM). Funeral plans will be determined today with my dad, aunt and uncle.
Thanks for your prayers about it all.
:hug: I'm praying for your family and I'm sorry for your loss.
Nov 1st 2008, 09:59 PM
I'm so very sorry about your grandmother. My heartfelt condolences to you and your family.
I'm sad for all of you, but happy that your grandmother is with the Lord.
Nov 1st 2008, 11:59 PM
I am sorry for your loss.
Thank goodness things worked out so that you and your sisters are able to be a support to one another.
As far as your situation with your husband, I suggest that you write him short succinct letters. Letters only afford the reader the opportunity to absorb. There's no one to respond to. So the reader just has to listen and ponder until the they make an opportunity to discuss things.
I hope this may work.
Praying for you!!
Nov 2nd 2008, 01:17 AM
Well...looks like my hubby and at least one sister are going after all. The other is figuring out if she can get off work.
Thanks again for all the prayers.
(Yes, my hubby is going to be able to make it since the funeral is on Monday. We'll be back in time for his event.)
Nov 3rd 2008, 03:32 AM
First of all, I am very sorry for your loss, and I am praying for you and your family. While death is never easy (I lost my last grandmother last thanksgiving), I am a nurse and work geriatrics/hospice in a hospital that specializes in stroke care. I do have to say that the stroke patients I see pass away appear more comfortable than anyone else. I hope that is of some comfort to you.
As far as your husband goes, I am recently married (in April), and because he is Canadian and we had to go through immigration things, he didn't work for the first 5 months of our marriage. He cooked, cleaned, ironed, did laundry, etc, and every day I wasn't working, we spent the entire day together.
He has never been the romatic type, and I don't expect it. Now that he is working, we rarely see each other awake for more than a couple hours at a time. We have made a habit of changing our sleep schedules a bit so we see eachother more, and leave little notes for each when we get home or leave from work.
Even though sometimes it seems like he is putting his sleep or work before me, I know that he is happier being able to contribute to our finances, and I try to appreciate that.
I feel closer to him now that we see each other less, because I know the time we DO spend together is special. We try to plan time together whenever we can, even if it is just dinner for 1 hour.
This is long, I guess I just wanted to say that I understand some of your pains of early marriage, and not always having a husband give things in the way we need them. I'll be praying for your relationship!