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Ryan LCSW, Mental Health
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 872
Experience:  Individual and Family Therapist
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I am a widow dating a man whose wife has total dementia and

Customer Question

I am a widow dating a man whose wife has total dementia and does not recognize him. He talks about her incessantly, acts guilty and depresses. When I complain, his mantra is:You must have repeated hundreds of times that I couldn’t love you
Because I still love Cathy and I repeated as many that I loved my life with her but that she was gone. The fact is, with Alzheimer’s, there is no closure and I long to be with her and at Goodhill and with my extended Henderson Family for the fond memories that only grow more idealized as they flow away.

I have huge stress with that.
My question: if he loves me, shouldn't Cathy and the past be less invasive?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Ryan LCSW replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for your question. My name is Ryan and I'd like to help you out.

I'm sorry to hear about what you're going through with this man you are dating. I can understand why you would be questioning his love for you, especially because of how much he is still focused on his past with Cathy. I think it is possible that he loves and cares about you very much, but at the same time, it does seem like he is still in the process of grieving the loss of his wife and his life with her. That can make moving forward with a new relationship very difficult, even if his intentions are good and he does love you as much as he says he does.

Unfortunately it is possible that his past will continue to be intrusive in your relationship together until he is able to come to some type of peace with it. I don't think that's necessarily a reflection of how much he cares about you, but it may make it difficult for him to give as much of himself to you as you might like. If he would consider counseling, that would be one of the best ways to help him through all of this so that he can start moving forward with his life without allowing the past to be so intrusive. If he can at least acknowledge how his behavior could cause you to question his love for you, that would be a step in the right direction and reason to be optimistic.

I definitely wish you the best in working through all of this. If there's anything else I can do to help just let me know.

Expert:  Ryan LCSW replied 4 years ago.
Hi again. I never heard back from you so I hope that I was able to help you out. If there's anything else I can do to help just let me know. You are welcome to send me a follow up question. Otherwise I'd appreciate a positive review if you are satisfied with the response I was able to give you. Thanks a lot.