weekly blog--one for the ages
Even in the happiest marriages, caring for an elderly parent can have a degenerative impact on the relationship with your spouse. All too often spouses fail to reach out to each other and talk about the many problems and conflicting feelings that arise, leading to misunderstandings and resentment. They also forget to do things that keep their romance alive and find time to have some fun.
As a society, we place a huge amount of emphasis on being there for each other when we are in need. Surprisingly, the emotional support from a partner can have the unfortunate side effect of making us feel indebted and more aware of our negative emotions.
Research has shown that people in a long-term committed relationship are especially sensitive to their partner’s emotions. Reacting positively to each other’s good news may very well be one of the essential ingredients to making a relationship stronger. Spouses who are unable to differentiate their partners' emotions from their own tend to be viewed by their partners as more controlling, smothering and uncaring.
It gives pause to not only finding ways to cope with the challenges of caring for an elderly parent, but devoting the time necessary to enhance one's relationship with their spouse.