LEARN WHY PATIENT WON'T RETURN LOVE
“When you are a caregiver, you know that every day you will
touch a life or a life will touch yours.” Anonymous
Next to my shock regarding the issue of lost love, the frequency of caregivers who related they were unappreciated and verbally abused by the ones who were receiving care, was runner-up on my list of disappointing surprises. While it is not hard to understand that their medical condition and accompanying pain can accelerate their anxiety, the realization that those receiving merciful and tender care would in any way be unappreciative or abusive was troubling.
Service Should Enable Love to Grow – Some caregivers relate the service actually drew them closer to the person being served. In many cases, deep friendships were created. They speak with fondness about what was accomplished. Therein lies the mystery of lost love in care giving. By the reports of dozens of caregivers, the service to the patient chased away any of the old romantic feelings. To be fair, in other cases, the actions and words of an unappreciative patient had a tragic influence on the diminishing of love. This is clearly a dilemma. Service should not depreciate love. Service should magnify it. So, something else is in play.
Below you will read a family caregiver's description of grumpy, rude and irritable treatment of the caregiver by her husband. She has lost her love and yet recognizes the responsibility to hang in there, though depressed:
“He is in denial of the fact that our marriage is not meeting my needs and gets very angry if I try to explain why I am not as enthusiastic about him and that I don’t think of him in an intimate way anymore. We haven’t been intimate for several years now. He calls me at work to tell me what he needs and to stop at the store and get him this and that, and then when I come home he expects me to be attentive to all his needs and his desire for conversation. He is also not a happy camper when it comes to his situation and is grumpy and irritable most of the day. Then he forgets that he said rude things to me and claims he doesn’t remember any of it. I am not “In Love” with him anymore, but I love him as my long-time husband. I can understand what others are saying about loneliness and being alone. I gets so tired and depressed sometimes and he doesn’t seem to understand that. When other people come around, he will act all cheerful and happy but the minute they leave, he goes back to his depressed state. He falls asleep when I talk to him and then claims that he is listening.”
Patient Won’t Return Love - A different kind of difficulty is caused by the apparent inability of a loved one to return love and affection. This becomes a problem not only for the loved one but also for the caregiver. It really is possible for those with the illness to be kinder and more considerate. They really should be more appreciative of the care they are receiving. So why aren’t they? They may just need more attention and patience from the caregiver in order to accomplish a “cease fire.”
What You Can Do - So, do what you can do – give love, share love, and be happy doing it. Patients should eventually notice your caring and loving ways and quite possibly they will begin to change. The change may come slowly, but the consistency of your loving efforts will likely bring about positive change. But what if they don’t change? And as difficult as this might seem, it might happen. But, you need to know there is a way. That way is definitely love!
When You’ve Tried All Else – Try Love – It is possible to believe that after trying many ways to help your loved one, you have tried everything, and nothing helps. That might be true. But, there is always something else that can be done. And, it is likely to be of far more assistance than anything that might have been previously tried. The answer is love. Expanding your efforts to increase or gain back your love may be the very best thing you could possibly do for both of you. While love should be the first resort and not the last, at least it needs to be tried. So many lives have been changed by loving conduct – touching, speaking, feeling, etc. It is never too late to try.
Listen to the story of someone who did try to restore love:
Relationship restored! - We conclude this article with a story of hope, proving life can change:
Here is my story to the world on how I got my love back and saved my marriage. I really love James so much that I cannot even do without him. I was married for seven years with two kids and we lived happily until things started getting ugly and we had a fight and argument almost every time….it got worse at a point that he filed for divorce….I tried my best to make him change his mind and stay with me because I love him with all my heart and didn’t want to lose him but everything just proved abortive….He moved out of the house and still went ahead to file for divorce….I pleaded, cried and tried everything but still nothing worked. The break- through came when someone introduced me to this wonderful man who eventually helped me out….Within two days James called me and was sorry for the emotional trauma he had cost me, moved back to the house and we continue to live happily, the kids are happy too and we are expecting our third child. I have introduced my friend to a lot of couples with problems across the world and they have had good news….Just thought I should spread my experience because I strongly believe someone out there needs it. Don’t give up just yet, the difference between “Ordinary” & “Extra-ordinary” is the “Extra” so make extra effort to save your marriage/relationship if it’s truly worth it."