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What to Do When You Resent Caregiving for Your Spouse

An older woman hugs her husband as they both look out the window, as she knows what to do when you resent caregiving for your spouse.
When you resent caregiving for your spouse, keep these four important tips in mind.

You both promised to care for one another through better or worse, in sickness and in health. When these cherished sentiments are first spoken on your wedding day, it’s hard to imagine how it will feel to actually live them out. It might come as a surprise to you that frustration, anger, and resentment can go hand-in-hand with fulfilling your vows, and that there may come a time when you resent caregiving for your spouse.

How Can I Resent Caring for the Person I Love the Most?

In a nutshell, it’s overwhelming, both emotionally and physically, to care for someone you love. You may feel:

  • Concerned about your spouse’s prognosis
  • Frustrated from insufficient time for self-care
  • Angry or irritated for inexplicable reasons
  • Stretched too thin
  • Unappreciated and taken for granted

All of these feelings are valid and perfectly normal, even if unexpected – and there are things you can do to overcome them while strengthening your relationship with your spouse.

Four Steps to Take When You Resent Caregiving for Your Spouse

Face your feelings. You might be attempting to cover up how you feel to keep the peace, but it’s important to find a safe space to vent. Caregiving is hard on many levels, and identifying a strong network of support is crucial. Speak regularly with a trusted friend or family member, counselor, or spiritual guide.

Set and maintain boundaries. Remind yourself that you are human, and you can’t (and shouldn’t try to) do it all. Setting an unattainable bar for yourself as a caregiver will quickly result in burnout, depression, and a diminished quality of care for your spouse. Determine reasonable expectations that are in line with your strengths and abilities, and bring in help for the rest.

Consider couple’s counseling. A professional marriage counselor can be helpful to both of you individually and as a couple. You’ll gain the tools you need to resolve disputes in a healthy way, to better understand each other’s perspective, to more effectively manage feelings of resentment, and to improve communication. The counselor can also provide you with referrals to other helpful resources as appropriate.

Take care of YOU. If you think of self-care as selfish, think again. Caring for yourself empowers you to take better care of your spouse. Carve out and prioritize time for pastimes you enjoy, socializing with friends and other family members, and stress-relieving activities: exercise, reading, journaling, listening to music, being outdoors.

Superior Senior Home Care is here to serve as your partner in care to help you restore a healthier life balance and to rediscover the joy of spending quality time with your spouse. Contact us at (805) 737-4357 to inquire about our respite care services and to request a complimentary in-home consultation to learn more about the many ways we can help. Our services are available in Santa Ynez, Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach, and the surrounding areas.

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