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As my regular readers know, and as new readers will discover, I meant it when I said that this website is for spousal issues related to Alzheimer’s Disease.  Nowhere else will you find such frank, honest discussions about our issues, and nowhere else will you find the understanding that you will receive here. I tried to deal respectfully with the sex and intimacy situation in three previous blogs ( sex, #I, #2 ).

You, however, have been much more frank and open about the problems AD brings to the bedroom, and for that I thank you. Today’s blog has no solutions. It is being written for one reason – to allow all of you who have read this website; all of you who have e-mailed me; all of you who have written on the boards; and all of you new readers who have done none of these, to understand that you are not alone. Your problems, your emotional pain, your withdrawal from sex, your ambivalence towards your spouses’ sexual advances, your mourning of the loss of the sexual relationship you had, or your relief at the loss of the sexual relationship you never enjoyed, are shared by and understood by, all of the spouses of AD sufferers.

We have discussed how, when your spouse is more like a needy child than a husband or wife, the emotional connection between you is broken. Without those emotions to drive your desires, you no longer want a sexual relationship with your spouse. But, as so many of you have expressed, your spouse still wants it. That feeds your anger and resentment, especially when you “give in”, just to please them.

There are those of you who have expressed the sadness that engulfs you, when, for whatever reason, for one night, your lovemaking  is as it used to be. You feel the pain of loss all the more.

In all the literature I have read on the subject, the same theme emerges – the sexual desire of an AD patient is one of the last things to go. Since their memory is one of the first things to go, that leaves you with a spouse who wants sex all of the time because they can’t remember if they just had it. (I suppose that falls under the “humor” category). It is an extremely frustrating and difficult situation with which to deal.

Then there is the general stress of being a caregiver to an AD spouse. You have to do everything, be everything, and know everything. No one who is under stress of any kind is particularly interested in sex. But you have a partner who is incapable of understanding that.

I have heard mostly from women on this issue. The men who have expressed an opinion have all been in agreement – they do not want to force themselves on their wives, so they do not bother them for sex if their wives are not interested. Thumbs up to those male spouses.

As I said in the beginning, I have no solution. I just want everyone who reads this to know that the issue is a real one – you are not alone if you are struggling with it, and every single person dealing with an AD spouse understands exactly what you are going through.

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