LIVING For Caregivers of Spouses With Dementia, a Redefinition of Marriage
In my 50s, I realized that I was no longer the fiercely independent, self-sufficient, can-do-and-proud-of-it-person I was when I was younger. A bad back and surgery made me more dependent on my partner’s help. I leaned on him, and when his rheumatoid arthritis flared, he leaned on me. Mutual caring kept us vital, and it still does today, as we approach our eighties. In marriages like ours, in midlife and beyond, the definition of a good spousal relationship changes from self-sufficiency to increasing interdependence. It is necessary and good to have someone to lean on, and it is good to feel needed by another.