FlowersCaring for a Parent: Strain on a Marriage

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Being a caregiver for a senior family member or friend is very demanding and time consuming and sometimes, can put stress on the caregiver's marriage. The caregiver has to divide his or her time up between his or her spouse and the senior (and sometimes children), which may result in less quality time with the spouse and may lead to feelings of neglect and resentment. In addition, the spouse may be expected or required to do more work to compensate for the time the caregiver must spend caring for the senior. The spouse may also be required to help with the actual physical care of the person.

Caregiving causes stress for both the caregiver and his or her spouse. They may express this stress as frustration and anger directed at the other person. This may also be seen when the person becomes resistant to doing anything more than than he or she has to and everything becomes a major battle. The tension and hostility can multiply for both the spouse and caregiver, becoming an endless circle of stress.

If being a caregiver puts too much stress on your marriage, re-evaluate your options. Try to determine what situation is in the best interest of all parties involved. Consider respite care, live-in help, or contact organizations that offer assistance. If you must be the primary caregiver and it is affecting your marriage, try talking to your doctor or a social worker. They may be able to offer you suggestions to reduce the stress between you and your spouse and help you remain a caregiver. Both partners must learn to deal with the caregiving situation. It is important to take time for you and your spouse. The following are some ideas to reduce the stress when dealing with caregiving:


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