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    • CommentAuthorSedgly
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2018
    It hit me hard tonight I want someone to share life with....the good days and's not just that I'm lonely..I could call someone and chat if I wanted I guess.....but I want more....I want someone to be there, .....for the good,...the bad....the tears....the do you fill that void???
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2018
    That has been the biggest loss. The partnership. It hits me hard every afternoon. Our routine is to sit on the patio, have a couple of beers, go for a.dip in the pool and talk about our day, problems solved, problems.needing solutions, what we like,.what we.want to do. It's been more than a year since I stopped talking. He would argue with anything I said for awhile. Now he has no idea what I am talking about. Mostly. Recently I brought my mp3 player and that keeps him calmer since I don't have anything to say any more. Even with that, he eventually just gets up and goes in the house to watch tv. Even if the tv is off LOL.

    No idea how to fill the void. I have a couple of neighborhood girlfriends who like to get together to cheer me up once in awhile. I email with two of my brothers.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2018
    Good question. Some couples manage to stay intimate (even without sex) for a long time having that void filled until late in the disease. Others like me pretty much disconnected early into the disease. It has been at least 5 years since we could converse about subjects with any meaning. I guess the hand holding, and non-sex intimacy ended by that time. Sex has not been a part of our life pre-diagnosis which means longer than 10 years.

    How to fill that void? Some here have found new mates who always understand their spouse's needs come first. Some have gone on to happy marriages. We had a guy on here named Marsh. I am Facebook friends with him as others here are. He and his new wife have been traveling the world the last few months. He is 86 (almost 87) remarried 3 years ago. Phranque is another older guy who has remarried to live life more (he is a character). We have ones like Gourdchipper who moved into a senior complex for friendships. I think he is 93+ and sure the ladies keep him busy!! Other younger ones have found companions who they married or moved in with after their spouse died.

    The other option is to try and find people to hang out with (when you have time) to foster friendships but they will not be the same as a companion. Until you find it, we are here.
    • CommentAuthorlindyloo*
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2018
    Companionship. That is what i am missing most too.. Sitting, even quietly together. Deciding together to have a barbecue and a campfire in the back yard. Deciding together whether to have the house painted or the wing chair upholstered. Planning a vacation together and then going off on that great adventure……. And then returning home.

    Things that are partially filling the gap for me:

    Having friends come over for lunch or supper a couple times a month.

    Going out to lunch with friends or to the movies with my brothers.

    Taking virtual trips here on this website to the “Cottage on the Lake” or the”Christmas Lodge”.

    These things help but they don’t anyway come close to filling the gap. I am lonely. But I’m not craving intimacy. And I do not want the caregiving role again. Had that same feeling of loss during the last few years of my partner’s life. Still have the same feeling of loss now nine months out from her death.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2018
    The men on this site seem more likely to remarry than the women do. Gourdchipper is one of the guys who remarried. Charlotte, you may be thinking of George, who moved to the retirement community and who often shares his memories of his late wife, Helen.

    For some reason, I have no interest in sharing my life with anyone right now. I still feel close to my husband, even though he 's been gone for 16 months.
    • CommentAuthorbqd*
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2018
    I did have a traveling companion for a few years, after DH had been placed. And one of my quilting buds and I took a four day three night road trip checking out quilt fabric shops. The only guilt I felt was the freedom I had when DH was confined to a nursing home.
    Right now my health isn't good enough for travel but even if I was healthy enough I can't go anywhere with hubby in end of life care.
    Thanks for getting me out of that senior complex, myrtle! Yes, I think Charlotte must have been referring to Georgie. I'm 90 and eight years into a remarriage and still mowing our five acres here in sunny (real sunny today -- I just came in from spraying weedkiller on the driveway) Florida. My reason for remarriage was exactly what Sedgly was talking about -- wanting someone to share life with. As new wife Joyce's health has declined due to chronic back pain plus dry macular degeneration that has rendered her almost completely blind, the "sharing" is now looking more like caregiving again, but we still have our moments and it still beats being alone as far as I'm concerned. Not being able to get out as much as we used to, I now spend lots of time on my computer, helping with an archive we've established at a local university, remembering the fantastic company we worked for during those perilous Cold War years.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2018
    Sorry Gourdchipper and George for the mix up. Guess what is important you both are enjoying life as much as possible.
    • CommentAuthorSedgly
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2018
    I've started to reply here a few times... but just find myself getting upset/frustrated...

    Everyone seems to know exactly what I'm talking about......they suffer through it......

    The difference is...I don't think I will keep rowing this boat.....

    I was going to respond to each response but they are mostly the same... everyone misses the companionship.....

    For me..friends and visiting doesn't fix it....

    I can't very well remarry like gourdchipper....I'm already married......I strongly considered the friends with benefits thing a year or so ago....basically I guess I was craving sexual intimacy and thought a meet up for a couple hours a couple times a week might be good......but I thought about it thoroughly and decided it wouldn't fill the void....

    I came to terms with it religiously...

    I am rather a prude, ..don't at all like the way the next generation passes mates I said, a prude.... I've never stepped outside of our marriage... ...but...a time and a place.....

    I'm not like so many people who can bypass the calling a lie a since so many have decided it's ok it doesn't count...there's no such thing as a fiblet..... it's still a lie....still a broken commandment...... and from what I've read a sin is a sin.....

    So it is the same conclusion I came to about having sex with someone else.....I think God would understand.....just as he understands lying to someone to save them......I realize a lot of people would disagree....but it's not their right to judge.....

    At any rate... I decided a couple hours wouldn't do it...because then you go home.... and your still alone....I'm not sure of the answer......but I will find it....I have to to survive.....

    I love Jim, very much....differently...but very much.....btw....tomorrow is our wedding anniversary................
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2018
    Try to do something special if only for yourself for you anniversary.

    I totally understand a couple hours is not worth it or will cut it. Like you I have not had sex with anyone else nor have I been tempted for 47 years. Honestly, I would worry about an STD from someone who has been sleeping around. So I personally can not see how people can jump from bed to bed where it is just a physical act - no emotional commitment. But many do even in the older generation. It is their choice, it is what matches their values and they can live with. And, I also know that our feelings and thinking can change after our spouse is gone but for me my faith would keep me or hope it would.

    As for the fiblets - I understand your feelings of not doing it. For those of us that do it is usually to keep our spouse from getting upset or for their safety. For me, I know God knows my heart, understands and forgives.

    Yes, we all will find our way to survive.
    • CommentAuthorRona
    • CommentTimeJun 28th 2018
    As mentioned many times on this site there is no wrong or right answer everyone is an individual. I have expressed my feelings and my situation many times on this board but for those new on this thread here it is again. My DW has been in care now for two years she was diagnosed just after her 56 birthday in 2012 by then she was in mid stages it was and is a very long go. WE are in the final stages She is still eating but loosing weight down to I think by now below 100 pounds she was never big but still. One of the first things she said to me when diagnosed was you are going to have to meet somebody and go one with your life. A gift, Lisa was my second marriage and like you Charlotte I never strayed I am a one woman man. I could not do that what kind of relationship would it be if you were not honest with each other? Having said that I totally understand the feelings expressed here the loneliness the lack of a companion someone to talk with share ideas laugh with plan with. Don’t get me wrong for the years we were together after diagnosis we still did well traveled went out for dinner socialized etc for as long as we could but it was not the same as you all know.

    I feel I am one of the lucky ones after reading so many posts here where people are having trouble making a new life for themselves I was determined that would not be me. This experience has taught me that life is fragile and fleeting we must try and enjoy everyday and there is no time to just wait around. Out of the blue through a mutual friend I met somebody. That was in January 2016 we have now been living together for 18 months and are extremely happy lucky me. Do I feel guilty no do I feel like I am betraying Lisa no, she gave me that gift of allowing me to find somebody else. Has it been easy no caused all sorts of problems with in laws all our friends were extremely happy for me as they know what I have been through. Only one friend had trouble with it she just lost her husband around the same time my new partner and I met so I understood. This week she apologized to both of us saying it was hard as Lisa was her friend great that the air was cleared.

    I should mention I still visit Lisa most days and my partner totally understands and supports me in what I have to do she wouldn’t have it any other way. So for me I truely feel I am lucky. Still one foot in the Alzheimers world but the other one is in the real world enjoying life. Don’t mention all of this to say this is what you should do but just to express that it is possible I am doing it.
    • CommentAuthorMitsou*
    • CommentTimeJun 28th 2018
    Rona – I do think you are very lucky to have found someone to be with. Although I think it is easier for men. The 2017 census showed that there were 3.28 million widowed men against 11.64 million widowed women. In addition men can usually pick from women who are a lot younger than themselves, and it is more difficult for women. My husband has had AD since 2006 and frankly, even before he went into AL 3 weeks ago, he had not even given me a hug in 10 years. Living without any type of affection is not easy.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeJun 28th 2018
    I agree with Mitsou. The laws of supply and demand make it unlikely that an older woman will easily find a suitable mate. As for just finding someone to have sex with, that is not "companionship," as Sedgly so beautifully described it - someone to share life with, the good days and the bad, the tears and the laughter.
    Sedgly, did you and Jim ever discuss what you or he would wish or expect the other party to do if he/she were no longer here? My wife and I had had that conversation, never expecting anything like Alzheimers, but I think the answer would have been the same. We both would have wished the other to remarry or whatever else it took to continue leading a happy life. Knowing that, I refused to let myself feel trapped or doomed, and started thinking and planning in terms of my "after", and I think that's what saw me through the last hard times. Are you able to visualize a happy "after" for yourself? Anything you could start doing now to move you in that direction, without violating your scruples? Just having a vision of happier times in the future sustained me, and I started actively working the problem, leading to my remarriage only seven months after my dearly beloved wife died. It's what she would have wanted.
    • CommentAuthorJan K
    • CommentTimeJun 28th 2018
    No matter how much I would like to have companionship or someone to share life's events with, I honestly believe that being a caregiver for over a decade and a half has damaged me so extensively that right now I'm not fit company for man nor beast. When I think of companionship, I think of what I need, and then realize that I have nothing left to give that other person. And I think that's a permanent state.

    I have been married to DH for 70% of my life. When I think of the person who should be sitting there across the breakfast table from me, he's the one I think of. He's the one I want to have a conversation with. When I think of the word "husband", it's his face I will always see.

    There is this myth about old age that after a lifetime together, you get to coast into the sunset with someone you can talk over a lifetime of memories with. Instead, with this disease, you wind up gutted by the loss of your spouse, even while they are still living in the house with you.

    I think it's wonderful when a caregiver can find someone to care for, to continue their life with. But for me, I don't ever see that happening. I have too much baggage to be able to pick it up and move it, even with help.
    I guess I'm what bhv would call one of those "lovey-dovey" spouses. I had a happy marriage, and doubt that I could find the best twice. So I don't worry about it much. I feel very fortunate that we had what we did, and enough time has passed since the hellacious caregiving years that I look back with a smile--remembering the good stuff much more than the bad.

    Sometimes I feel that there's an emptiness in my inner circle, which now has nobody in it. It isn't just DH, it's all my close relatives, the ones who were true friends to me, who have died off. I think about how to fill this space--what can take the place of the husband and family relationships that are now gone with the wind. I don't have the answer yet, but I'm working on it. It may be creative pursuits, it may be community activities (church choir and the Irish Cultural Center), it may be some combination of things. I'm not really looking for a relationship--seem to be past that stage-- but I do like hanging out with groups of people--a network of friends and acquaintances. And having a dog helps a lot--they keep you busy and are surprisingly good company.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeJun 28th 2018
    We all have to remember 'never say never'.

    I don't think I would marry again, at least not until I have a chance to see what is it like just taking care of only me. Gourdchipper gave some good words which I am trying to do: envision some happy moments of the future - dream a little. I think that is what keeps me going.
    I also can't imagine another man in my life. I have a great friend that I have known for 50 years and I enjoy going to FL in the winter to visit. We enjoy doing things together but it is all very platonic. I don't have a circle of friends where I live now and have no one to call and say "come over for coffee or a drink". I do go to a womens fitness center 3 or 4 days a week where I see a lot of the same people. I also bowl once or twice a week with a group.

    That is why I like to get away on cruises. I think I am escaping my hum drum life. I am leaving in 2 1/2 weeks for another one of 38 days. Taking one daughter and her boyfriend one way and other daughter the other. It gets me out with people of similar intrests.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeJun 29th 2018
    I feel the same way a elizabeth does. Because of that, I don't envision another romantic relationship in my future. But Charlotte is right, too - never say never.
    • CommentAuthorCO2*
    • CommentTimeJun 29th 2018
    I concur with Elizabeth. I am trying to fill the emptiness and some days r better than others. My church is starting and over 50 group and the kickoff was last night. Over 200 people showed up. I am hopeful I can find a friend to do things with. I stay busy but sometimes busy does not cut it and I crave a relationship. I do miss being married but do relish my own time.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJun 30th 2018
    I'm copying ladylimbo's comment about craving companionship to here so that the topic is whole here:

    Ladylimbo wrote:

    "Greetings all... It's been a bit of time since I have actually posted on this site, however; I check in often and found over the years that this was and still is the one and only "place" where people get it, 100%. My husband passed away in 2017 on Easter Sunday. So, it's over a year now but I have been craving companionship for many years as when he was alive he wasn't alive, he was in a memory care facility for three and a half years and the years before that he really wasn't in my life as a husband. I cannot for the life of me actually remember when we had an actual give and take conversation, I know it's close to 10 years... So, no conversations, no future planning, no intimacy of any kind that would be shared between a married couple. For quite some time now I have been actively seeking to meet someone but have pretty much given up and am delving into my lifelong hobbies and reading and enjoying all the things I enjoy alone. Movies with a dear girlfriend, concerts with a group of friends, reading again, so I do have a life that I have glued back together even though there are some missing pieces but I really desire to have a relationship and it's very depressing to accept the fact that men my age do not want women my age. I am not a bad catch if I say so my self but that's my opinion only. On the same subject of Craving companionship... Even my spouse had a "girlfriend" while he was in memory care. Of course there was nothing going on, the facility kept a close eye on such relationships but my husband had a lady friend that I was very much in agreement with him having a special person. They would eat together, sit together at all of the music events, hold hands and walk around the facility/garden/outings. When I was still visiting him I would go in and put on my pasted on smile (more of a grit) and place my singsong voice at the ready to greet the both of them... I always hugged them both together in one big hug and would say "how are my two favorite people", they loved that. It was a gauge of how far gone my husband was, he recognized me in some world of his but certainly didn't realize that I was his wife hugging him and his girlfriend... He had her eyeglasses on one day and I asked him about his new glasses... he told me they were his old glasses... okay, roll with it like all the other parallel universe discussions that we would have... My final point is that people crave companionship, even those that don't even know who they are. So, for the rest of us in the so called normal world it's the same but so elusive."