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Old 12-29-2014, 03:53 PM
Location: Planet Woof
3,139 posts, read 3,508,503 times
Reputation: 9889


So after 9 months of retirement my 65 year old SO has done absolutely nothing in terms of ''living''. And I mean that literally.
From the time she gets out of bed around noon until the time she rolls back into it around 2am she sits in a recliner and watches TV and plays solitaire on the computer. Non-compliant with health issues, hygiene, doing anything at all around the house, caring for pets, nothing.
Takes a bath once a week, if that.
Just sits day and night and if I want any conversation with her I have to go into her room and talk. Otherwise we don't go anywhere for fun as she refuses to bathe and dress in clean clothes.
She is not physically handicapped, certainly presents as majorally depressed, and definitely fights off any attempt on my part to try to get her to do anything even as simple as go out to eat.

It goes beyond all that though and she flat out tells me, her partner of 25 years, that she just wants her solitude and to go ahead and get my own place, she really does not care.

And I believe that she doesn't and also that if I do go she will be totally alone as her ''family'' pretty much has shunned her for years. No wonder-she wants nothing to do with anyone, family, friend, certainly me, and even her pets.

I've told her she needs help. That no one lives this way out of choice. She says she wants it this way and she refuses to see a mental health professional.

I have put up with a semblance of this attitude of hers for years, but since her retirement it has worsened. I truly ''live alone'', eating alone, sleeping alone, sitting alone apart from her in the house. It is no life and I am ready to move out and let her older sister, out of state, know what is happening. Living around this 24/7 is taking its toll on me. I want a happy life, even if it has to be living alone.

I don't believe my SO could manage her own ''household'' and that includes shopping and paying bills, etc. Due to her mental status. I've thought of moving out and helping her as needed as a neighbor might, because living like this is beyond depressing and sad for me.

I'm not sure if this belongs in retirement or relationships or caregiving or what, but any thoughts appreciated....
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Old 12-29-2014, 03:59 PM
Location: NC
6,555 posts, read 7,977,981 times
Reputation: 13460
Can you find a health care professional who will visit her in your home? Perhaps she could be diagnosed while at home, and if medication was in order your wife could start on it right away.
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Old 12-29-2014, 04:18 PM
4,481 posts, read 4,743,078 times
Reputation: 9940
Ok, so this doesn't "just happen". I bet you anything you have seen this type of behavior for years. As you have stated, she has burned her bridges with family. So, obviously she has displayed this rather anti-social behavior before.

This isn't a retirement issue. It's a long term relationship problem that you, no doubt, have decided to live with and maybe with retirement she ramped it up a bit but I can not believe for a moment that this "all of a sudden just started".

You probably need to go the Relationship Forum for this one.

Last edited by brava4; 12-29-2014 at 04:38 PM..
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Old 12-29-2014, 04:33 PM
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,978,143 times
Reputation: 15649
1) What kind of work did she do before she retired? What level of education does she have?

2) Does she smoke or drink or do drugs?

3) Have you had big issues out in the open between the two of you?
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Old 12-29-2014, 04:43 PM
Location: Bay Area, California
118 posts, read 128,012 times
Reputation: 619
I agree that this probably belongs on relationship boards... but I will comment here.

You say that this behavior in some form has existed previously and you allowed it. I understand that out of love and concern you helped her live this way thinking that it would get better. Now you are at the destination that all of the signs have pointed to all along the path.

To me this sounds very much like watching the alcoholic drink and hoping it will get better. She is an adult who has made a decision (very much like the alcoholic.) Offer her the helping hand and if she makes the decision to continue on this road it is your responsibility to save yourself. You are the only person you can help!

Where adults are concerned we offer the help. When they say "no" we offer again. And then if they are no danger to the community we hope that help will come in some other form and we get on with our life. I say this from experience. My SO had major health issues, after his extreme non-compliance I finally said, "I love you dearly but you need to live elsewhere." My life or his... I had to save myself, the only choice left.

Good luck! Her much miracle may come if you get out of the way, who knows what the future holds for her?
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Old 12-29-2014, 04:58 PM
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,737,509 times
Reputation: 32304
OP, couldn't you initiate a process whereby your wife would be committed to a psych ward against her will for a designated time? That way they could perhaps start her on medications? I have no idea how to best initiate such a process, even if you decide to go that route. Elder care attorney for information about legal guardianship? County social worker? Your family doctor?

I am all for respecting the autonomy of other adults under almost all circumstances, but this case is so extreme as to constitute an exception, it seems to me.

Last edited by Escort Rider; 12-29-2014 at 05:17 PM..
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Old 12-29-2014, 05:18 PM
Location: Living near our Nation's Capitol since 2010
2,177 posts, read 2,916,553 times
Reputation: 5851
I am sorry you are in such an awful situation. As others have said, she clearly needs a mental health evaluation. It sounds to me as if she is deeply depressed. What she is doing is a slow form of suicide. You know that, right?

That said, you also need to take care of YOURSELF. You deserve more of a life. I admire the fact that you are willing to still help her..if even from afar. I urge you to get help not only for her but also for yourself. I sense you feel guilty about making a change that you must know should happen. A good therapist could help you make decisions about what to do for both of you.

Good luck to you, you are in a very bad spot.
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Old 12-29-2014, 05:18 PM
1,135 posts, read 1,841,653 times
Reputation: 1571
Well, she's not at the point of "commitment". If she doesn't want to see a mental health provider she just might be ok with a family physician. Sounds like major depression and that can be treated prior to a psychiatrist. Sounds like she's withdrawn from life and probably doesn't know what to do with herself. Depression can be debilitating to the point of resembling a mental illness. I would definitely start with the family DR and go in with her. You can also make an appointment with her doctor prior to that and relay everything that she might not admit. The Doctor will definitely broach issues in a fragile way.
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Old 12-29-2014, 05:54 PM
Location: Prescott AZ
6,125 posts, read 9,083,586 times
Reputation: 11545
I would not try to handle this alone.
You should try to get as many "helpers" in the house as possible. Even hiring a part time worker who can clean and assist with household concerns. Contact your mental health line in your community. Ask them if they will send someone to your house to talk to her. Yes, do contact her sister. Put her on the phone when she calls your home. Try to get people in the house who will talk to you and to her, even if she resents you for this. Does your insurance include mental health? Look in your patient guidebook and if so, call them and explain the situation.

As I said, get help from others. Don't isolate yourself in any way. Depression breeds depression.
Is she on any meds? Some meds can cause depression and may need to be changed. Good luck to you.
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Old 12-29-2014, 06:58 PM
9,778 posts, read 16,983,142 times
Reputation: 18395
She has done anything that would warrant an involuntary commitment.

You can try to get her help, but realize that she will not change unless she wants to. As noted above, at some point you may very well find yourself saying, "this is not working," and you need to take care of yourself --don't let her drag you down with her.
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