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#212579 - 03/24/08 12:14 AM what do you think of the word caregiver?
roxanne Offline
New Here

Registered: 03/22/08
Posts: 16
I am a woman. I am a wife. I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a granddaughter. I am a friend. I am an employee. I am a listener. I am a talker. I am a traveller. I am a cook. I am a reader. I am good company. I care.
17 months ago my husband of 14 years told me of his sexual abuse history for the first time. It was like ten thousand lightbulbs turning on. In one moment, I understood what was not right and had never been right between us.
From that day forward, the professionals and the books that they have written have been telling me that I am now a caregiver. His caregiver. This man who is able-bodied, physically fit, smart, talented, capable, well-liked, my husband, is now my responsibility, my charge.
I wear this label against my will. I perform this function very badly. I am a poor caregiver. I feel bad and guilty that I cannot fulfill this duty in the way they say I must. I fail daily. I can't remember the list of do's and don'ts. I get it wrong every day.
Is this really my role in his recovery? There are so many other things I'd like to be for him.
Who is my caregiver? Do I not get one too?
To the women: do you feel the same?
To the men: do you not feel insulted that your women are being asked be this? What do you want us to be? Is there a role for us at all in your healing process?

#212592 - 03/24/08 01:01 AM Re: what do you think of the word caregiver? [Re: roxanne]
WalkingSouth Offline

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16270
Loc: Waldport, Oregon

I don't know what books you're reading, but I've never read anything remotely akin to what you're talking about. Perhaps you should change books or failing that change your perception of what the books are telling you.

In my opinion the last thing we as men need is a care giving wife. To me that puts pictures in my mind of a wife that is enabling me to spend time wallowing in my victimhood (is that a word?).

What we need is a wife who is not willing to enable us in any way. Sure we need a wife that understands the brokenness. and even understands things about the road to recovery from that brokenness. On the flip side of the coin we do not need a wife that is trying to manage our recovery. It is our journey and we must make that journey under our own power knowing we have a loving partner and family backing us up.

Anyhow those are my thoughts. Hope you don't find them offensive in any way.

Lots of love,


"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting 'Holy Shit! What a ride!'" ~Hunter S. Thompson

#212653 - 03/24/08 05:40 AM Re: what do you think of the word caregiver? [Re: WalkingSouth]
frost Offline

Registered: 03/15/07
Posts: 1377
Loc: Eh?
i agree with John on this one;
this is not something ive ever seen in any book and it doesnt sound like good advice to me



#212654 - 03/24/08 05:58 AM Re: what do you think of the word caregiver? [Re: frost]
frost Offline

Registered: 03/15/07
Posts: 1377
Loc: Eh?
and to answer your questions

i have yet to believe wives are being asked to do this by professionals so i cant say that im insulted

what i want my wife to be is: still there when i get through this.

as far as a role, that part is entirely up to you. i dont feel right about asking anyone for anything. i think its a common thing for us to not know or understand how to ask for help, or what to ask for.


#212684 - 03/24/08 02:32 PM Re: what do you think of the word caregiver? [Re: frost]
KENKEN Offline

Registered: 09/25/07
Posts: 762
I keep telling my GF the journey is mine and how long it takes or when it will end is up to me. I know I will be a better person/lover/friend/BF when I work my way through the SA on my time schedule.

I try to be very understanding to her feelings and emotions. The only possible way for our relationship to survive is to talk and talk and talk.

I do not want my GF to be a care giver. I want her to be here for me when I need help. AS much as Love my GF, I need my space and I need her to understand this.

I hope I am not coming off as everything is ME. I do feel for everyone around me. I just know I am no good to them If I don't like who I am.



From the Movie: Antwone Fisher


#212687 - 03/24/08 02:51 PM Re: what do you think of the word caregiver? [Re: KENKEN]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Hi Roxanne and welcome.

"Caregiver" is not what I am, nor what I want to be. My b/f may need to learn stuff that I can help teach him, but I am not his caregiver, I am his partner. If he breaks his leg, I'll help him out by bringing him food and water for a few weeks, but then he'll get up again and feed himself - that's the plan.

I agree that you're talking to the wrong people and reading the wrong books. I've NEVER seen or heard anyone who said I was now "in charge," quite the opposite actually.

ROCK ON.........Trish

If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.


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