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Ollie

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Posts: 8
 #1 
Hello,

I have been a caregiver for most of my life, for my mother then a ten year break then for my wife since 2005. We have a 16 year old son. My problems surround our son who has picked up the rudeness in my wife's tone, the sharpness and meanness that come out when she is in a lot of pain, which is almost all the time. As her Lupus SLE has progressed over the last 11 years (since he was 5), our relationship has deteriorated tremendously. She has blisters in her eyes both on her eyeballs and lids that get stuck to another blister. Has lost sight in one eye due to the lack of pressure in that eye. She has no cartilage in her knees, hips, shoulders, it has disappeared in most joints. She can barely move around and still works as much as she can so when she is home she is resting while I cook, clean, change the beds, do everything else.

She is as pleasant as possible while at work (I hope) and then just can only keep up the facade for so long. We had such a wonderful relationship, we've been together for 25 years, married before it was legal then federally married in 2014 (we're both women you see). I love her dearly and do anything I can for her. However, her pain demonstrates itself in her lack of the filter of appropriate things to say kindly and the sarcasm comes out. Our son hears her and sees her level of energy and is emulating these things. He has gone through a difficult time this past summer as he was robbed at gunpoint at an ATM.

I just don't know how to get him to understand that it's the pain talking and we clean up after ourselves, do our chores with kindness, get things from the kitchen when we are healthy and able. We have no family backup and he is around cousins and godparents for short periods of time, not enough to learn the better, more responsible way to live, not to come home and want to lie down in bed.

Anyone else have these kinds of parenting issues? I'd appreciate any advice. A strong family back up would be the best answer but I can't make that magically happen. He's never had grandparents to stay with or another family that treats him like he's their family.

By the way, the What Not to do as a Caregiver is a really great article and I appreciate the reminders.

Thanks in advance,

Ollie

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Ollie
Raglet

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 #2 
Well ..... you may not like what I say, but I do think that pain and tiredness should not be blamed for on-going unpleasantness to children. So I think that if your wife is being unpleasant to your son, the only person who can fix it is your wife. I am a single parent, I have raised my child on my own since she was 6 months old, have severe lupus but no I am not unpleasant and rude to her in an on-going way. She is now a young adult and we have a good relationship. So I wonder if you are so used to being Mr Fix-it that you see this as your problem to fix, but really the only person who can fix it is your wife as it is an issue that she created. Sometimes people need to stay out of other people's relationship, so if your wife is interested in fixing this then she needs to woman up and fix it. Again, sorry to be so blunt and I wish you all the best, I just don't think that pain and tiredness can be an on-going excuse for rudeness. It sounds like your son has had a very difficult year and I would focus on supporting him and doing stuff with him.
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Ollie

Junior Member
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Posts: 8
 #3 
Hello Raglet, Thank you very much for posting!

It is not my wife's relationship with our son that is the problem. It is that he is picking up her attitude and comments to me and adopting them for himself. I'd like to turn her comments off and she sometimes realizes the inappropriateness of her tone and words but he still hears them and imitates them which is hurting his relationship with me.

Ollie

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Ollie
IrishLass

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 #4 
Hi Ollie,

So your son is mimicking how his mom behaves and her behavior is inappropriate thus your son's behavior has become inappropriate as well. Your son sees your wife's behavior and is beginning to emulate her.

I'd go straight to the source on this one: Your wife. It would be difficult to sit your son down and explain to him that his behavior isn't acceptable when his mom is behaving the same way with no consequences. Instead, have a sit-down with your wife and explain to her how her behavior is affecting her son. If your wife can be out in public in a job and act appropriately then it should be expected that she do the same at home. She can't hold it together all day then come home and unload on her family about whatever she's unloading about.

Illness isn't an excuse to treat others badly, especially those who love and care for us. It is possible to not feel well and still treat the ones you love with respect.

Have you considered family counseling?

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