Dear Amy: I sustained an injury that caused internal bleeding. It caused me severe anemia, which I didn’t know I had.
I was unknowingly struggling with symptoms of depression and anxiety before I was diagnosed.
I had no idea what was happening to me. I haven’t had any mental health issues my entire life (I’m 45) until this medical condition significantly changed my behavior.
My wife of almost 20 years left me before I was diagnosed.
After the diagnosis, the doctors managed to stop the blood loss. The anemia and its symptoms disappeared, and I was back to normal.
I was sure my wife would reconcile with our family after my diagnosis, but instead she said I was using my illness as an excuse for my behavior. She does not understand that this was the cause.
She does not understand that these symptoms disappear when the illness is successfully treated, and believes that I am permanently mentally ill.
She believes that the disease revealed my true personality, which is not true at all. What happened was a complete accident.
My wife and family are my whole life. I would never get this medical condition on purpose.
We have a 4-year-old daughter to whom I am a great father.
My wife is rejecting our family and trying to take me away from our daughter because I had a curable disease that I no longer have.
How can I save my family from this tragedy?
dear heartbroken: I understand that depression and anxiety are possible side effects of anemia, but you don’t record exactly what significant changes in your behavior have occurred during your illness. If this change in your behavior has had a significant and direct impact on your wife and child, then it is important to acknowledge and own any specific episodes that may have been alarming or harmful to them.
This is part of the marriage contract on sickness and health, and your wife clearly doesn’t have the guts to endure it.
You should find a couples therapist as soon as possible so you can talk about this in a calm and controlled environment, with someone who can help you communicate your concerns.
Unfortunately, people leave marriages for a variety of reasons, and sometimes for no reason at all, despite the life-changing disruptions in their children’s lives.
Once a spouse decides to leave, there isn’t always a clear path to saving the marriage, and if your marriage is ending, therapy (and the advice of a good attorney) may further help you accept that and clarify your choices moving forward.
Dear Amy: My husband and I have a friend in her early 70s whose husband is in his early 80s.
He has dementia and will soon need a hospice facility. He knows that.
She wants to stay in their house after he moves, but we believe that would be a mistake.
Should we share other options with her?
How should we proceed?
Dear Concerned: You don’t see why you think it would be a mistake for your friend to stay in her home after her husband moves out, but if she’s healthy, a person in her early 70s can probably enjoy many years of independent living before moving out on her own.
In my opinion, staying in her home might be the best thing for her for now. If her husband moves, staying in her home during his period of decline can provide the sense of stability she needs.
If she asks for help or advice looking at her housing options, you could be of great help if you research local places and offer to tour them with her. Even if she decides not to move right away, being aware of the options will help her make a decision later.
Dear Amy: Your response to The Nervous Newly Welcoming Her Bickering Parents to Her First Thanksgiving in Their New Home had some good suggestions, including that each person should make a toast about what they are most grateful for.
When I was hosting a Thanksgiving celebration, my mother decided that everyone at the table would take a THANK YOU letter and say what they were thankful for.
My elderly father got an S and couldn’t think of any other word but sex so he said; The mother was horrified and never made that suggestion again!
Dear Thankful: Maybe I’ll enjoy your anecdote this year. Thank you!
(You can email Amy Dickinson at email@example.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NI 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingami or Facebook.)
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