tempted, frustrated

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tempted, frustrated

An old friend, a female, has recently contacted me on facebook. Old feelings are creeping up. I know its wrong. I don't know what to do. Any suggestions would be welcome. My marriage has been laid thin by, among other things, my wife's illnesses. it makes frustration high, and makes temptation easier. Your thoughts?

I feel your pain and

I feel your pain and loneliness Mike...hang in there and focus on one day at a time.

is it possible to LOVE two

is it possible to LOVE two people at the same time?


Yes, I believe it is possible to love not only 2, but many people at the same time. 


Yes Mike you are right.It is

Yes Mike you are right.It is very hard on us caregivers.
One can only do so much.I suggest you get some time for yourself without feeling guilty.

I believe in you Mike. Even

I believe in you Mike. Even more I believe in God and His faithfulness and grace. I "feel" your statement of wishing you didn't have to be strong. I have been there and revisit this place from time to time. Leverage God's strength (II Corn 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” ) In your prayers ask Him for peace and joy. That He would send His angels to embrace you in a way that you can physically feel them. He will and I know this because He did it for me. He can do more than we could ever ask or imagine! Last thing...know that you can do this! You have the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead LIVING in you! That is powerful and it's available to you 24/7!! Don't try to do this on your own, leverage the gifts He's equipped you with and unlock that power by acting, speaking and believing in His Word. Be blessed!!

I agree with the above

I agree with the above comments. I'ts imperative that you take time to take care of yourself without guilt. I don'tthink you have to assume that your actions will compromise your relationship with your spouse.

Hi Mike,

Hi Mike,

As a caregiver for the last 14 years, I can relate to feelings of loneliness over the years. At times, it can be easy to entertain thoughts that would not promote the on going success of my 31 year marriage.

A few strategies I use to get beyond this temptation is to remember the my husband as the man he was in our youth, his kindness and commitment to me in our marriage. I also reflect on my commitment to him to love him for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, 'til death do us part and how I might feel if the roles were reversed in this situation. Most importantly, I honor him because of my relationship with Christ. In that relationship, I've learned that I can't love my husband if I don't love myself. Stepping outside of our marriage for any reason would not honor me and so inhibit my ability to love anyone else. Be careful in your entertainment of any thought for too long. An action is the result of a thought pondered beyond the first few moments of inception. Some other tactical strategies I incorporate: exercise, spend quality time with your family, and have established support contacts that assist me along this journey.

One final suggestion is to make arrangements to take a break from care giving for a week to collect your thoughts and know there is a solution that will honor both you and your commitment to your wife, you just need time to figure it out. I've done this 3-4 times in the 14 years and each time I came back refreshed and with a renewed love and appreciation for my husband, best friend and brother in Christ!

I sincerely wish you the very best.

okay. I wish I didn't have to

okay. I wish I didn't have to be strong, but I am glad I am able to be strong.
My job is to do my best to care for my wife, until she or I dies. Sadly, I am afraid it will be the former first. I suppose when God decides, He will bring her home. Until then, I pray for His mercy and strength.

KarenS's picture
I Understand Completely.....

It's far from easy being the healthy one.  We still have desires.  The death of the person you once knew comes before they actually die.  With no intimacy comes distance, feeling you're not desired along with many other feelings.  No matter how you try to reason the feelings you have, there are still there. 

My spouse won't talk about it, he acts if I've said nothing.  Maybe my feelings don't matter.  Yet I have them, and they go unheard.         I call myself the "cook and bottle washer"... because I feel although I do so much (make all his appointments, attend, cooking, washing, bills, etc) I've lost me...  lost us.   There's not much one can do if it's one-sided, and you can't express your feelings.  So I feel invisable.

The doctors are there to treat the patient, but who treats us?  I've learned to not over-do, say no, and find some interests...  but the closeness and intimacy lost is not easily dismissed as others write.

I've been through the death of a fiancé from cancer, a grandmother, and now a husband's thats come back.  I feel like a great deal of my life has been caregiving, and years of emptiness from the intimacy loss.  Is there guilt to feel a need...  Yes...  Do they stop...  No.  So what is one to do.  Praying, crying, pledding change to hurt and turning somewhat inward with your feelings.  Still you have them.  So one either suffers, or acts on them.  It's an individuals chose.  You get to a breaking point.  I'm almost at mine.


I hear ya Karen.  We have

I hear ya Karen.  We have lost all intimacy in our marriage as well...for a big chunk of it now.  It started when I was hurt in an accident.  Then my wife had surgery.  Then she was diagnosed with cancer.  It's been 7 years of more of a business partnership than anything else and now I get to be housekeeper, nurse, and os much more and everyone expects me to be strong.  Be brave.   Be ther for her.  And I do.  But now I wake up crying a couple days a week form sheer exhaustion.  I feel tempted to do things I've never been tempted to do before.  And the ultimate solution has crossed my mind.  I hnestly don't know now much longer I can "be strong", if that is what this really is.  I know I should probably seek help, but who has the time?  The money?  The support?  I can't talk to her about anything other than bills, legal stuff, what color to paint the living room.  Anything more than stuff like that in she breaks into tears and the more personal it is the worse it is.  I can't even mention the prospect of seeing someone...or her seeing someone to deal with her issues.  I can't even hire anyone to come help clean the house or anything..."Don't want any strangers in my house."  {sigh}  Cary on, wayward son.  Carry on.

DM Cook
Hi Karen. I'm new to this

Hi Karen. I'm new to this forum, and website. Your statement is so close to how I feel, so I wanted to reply and let you know I understand those needs. My husband suffered a series of small strokes a year ago and was in the hospital and rehab twice in a 4 month period. He is totally dependant on me. He has turned into my child now.  I have accepted the fact that some issues with him will never get better. Our marriage has not been a good one either, so this situation has been extremely hard on me. My husband was very emotionally abusive to me. Like Mike, i had an old friend contact me on facebook a few months ago and offered his shoulder to cry on. At the time I was feeling depressed, overwhelmed and so alone and I really needed someone to talk to (plus factor in a not very good marriage). Even though our contact was only through facebook pm and emails, I couldn't be more than friends with him, so the communication stopped. I have missed that communication with him, but the temptation was too great. I really think God intervened in that situation. All I can do now is try to give my husband the best care I can and cling  to the hope that God has something great in store for me in time.

KarenS's picture
OMG... I just lost my reply

OMG...  I just lost my reply.  It was a long one too.  I'll have to laugh.  Ugh.

Here we go again. 

I agree, it's more like a business relationship or room-mate situation.  You lose a great part of those feelings if you don't get them returned.  No matter if they can't be, or they don't want to. You start feeling you're not desired, though you may know you would be pleasing to another..  you get in your head that you're less. 

Not talking is a bad thing in any marriage.  Mine won't even look at me if I want to discuss my feelings.  It's as if I'm talking to a wall...  unheard.  He tries to blame me...  maybe that makes him feel better than taking the blame for his inadequacies.  Mine can be intimate, but choses not to.  I think the effort is too much for him.  Sad.  Sad for me.  I've come to realize that if I want that, it would have to come from someone else.

This sexless article isn't about caretakers, but it hits home somewhat:


My husband's lung cancer came back after 5 years, and 4 nodules metastisized in lining outside lung.  Terminal Stage 4.  That was a year and a half ago.  He gets Alimta chemo infusions every 3 weeks(indefinately...  no cure), which is keeping them from growing or spreading so far.  He's a lucky man in many ways, but doesn't seem to appreciate me.  Oh yes, maybe like you say..  as the cook, advocate to go with on appointments or tests..  do the bills, take care of schedules, acknowledging family occassions, etc..  but NOT as a wife.  So when I hear him say marriage, or that he loves me...  I feel really, this is no marriage and love goes much deeper than I feel he's capable of.  He's become more of a type A, and I feel like the whipping post at times.

I used to feel I didn't want anyone in the house, but I've learned to start doing me.  Get the house cleaned at least once a month, go get a 2 hour massage to destress, get out if they won't (go to bookstore, movie, get a hobby).  Learn to say no, and don't over-do.  That's what I'm doing now.  You need to stay healthy, and this stress really takes it's toll.  Right now I'm having a glass of wine, and taking time for me to chill.

Doing you is so important.  Honestly I can't do enough for me, and still it doesn't take it all away.  Nothing takes that lose of feeling some loneliness away.  I've already lost a fiancé to cancer, so I know this is one hell of a ride we have.   



Love is Love

I think that we need love and fun and we shouldn't give that up. Especially those of us who may be caregivers for the rest of our lives!   I have to fight to get away to do two things I have decided I need to live: 1. workout - go for hikes or take an hour everyday to do yoga or strength training, etc.  2. I also get out of the house to volunteer doing an activity that I love, and helps others.  I have met someone who is so extremely attractive to me.  I am a little embarrased to say that I use the fantasy of that person to help me get through no sex with my spouse.  I know my vows to my spouse and God will stop me from ever trying to make anything more of this relationship, but we are pretty good friends now too, so I get to love this person in a way that is sometimes even more deep than a sexual relationship can be. I think I oculd not look myself in the mirror or sleep at night if I broke my vows and broke the cherished bond of true love that I promised to uphold.  But as I said, we love our best friends sometimes more than our spouses. So maybe this experience as caregivers can teach us a new way of appreciating love. The idea of going until one of us dies with no fun, no connection to anything magical in life is too much to bear. But learning to salvage whatever we can that is good in whatever ways we need might just be a big lesson God is giving us at this time.  I know the most patient and amazing person I have ever met is a caregiver for life, with no chance of their spouse dying of their illness. Just ongoing illness for the full length of life.  That makes my trial seem small in comparison, and also makes me wonder if that person got to be so amazing BECAUSE of being made to learn the lessons we are all faced with in order to get by - each in our own way.    Allez