Shame (from the series A Love) by Max Klinger (German, Leipzig 1857–1920 Großjena)As promised last week, here’s a quick update on being told that we need to get a divorce so that I can take of my husband. It’s true. I cannot be his paid caregiver while being married to him or his power or attorney.

Which leaves me with all kinds of questions and mixed feelings. Part of me knows that logically I have to do what’s right for my family, and that being married or not being married won’t really change anything for us as a family unit. But it still hurts. The last 20 years haven’t been easy but we’ve managed to stay together. Now I have to break our vows to keep our vows.

The thing is, there are other legal protections for us because we’re married. As his wife, I can make decisions about his health care, file his paperwork for assistance and other things he cannot do himself. If I’m not his wife or power of attorney I can’t do those things anymore.

There’s also the fact that if I’m living in the house my income counts against the income limits for getting assistance. Meaning, if I am working to take care of him my income for taking care of him may put us over the limit for the program paying me to take care of him. And that of course completely defeats the purpose of what we’re trying to do in the first place.

office-1209640_1920I’m trying to find someone with professional experience who can give me some advice or suggestions…I can’t make any decisions without information, and I’m hitting dead ends trying to get that information. If you know anyone who may be able to help would you please let me know? At this point, I need to widen my network to try to find some help. I’m on the clock to have a meeting and start getting the support he’s been approved for in place – the 3 months they were supposed to take to get approved took a little over 4 months and I’ve managed to get myself a week to get information before I have to set an appointment to start making decisions.

We’ve been trying to stay upbeat, making jokes about Keith finding a girlfriend who can file the paperwork. Or maybe we could get married again later on and we can get new stuff because what we got 20 years ago is wearing out. But it’s not funny. Nothing about the last 14 months has been funny.

To say I’m stressed and anxious is an understatement. Again. There is no good way for this to end. There is no happy ending. I’m tired of being a grown-up. Anyone else want a turn?

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