Supporting a Different Kind of Love
BARRY JACOBS & JULIA MAYER
Clients whose spouses need constant care because of a life-changing chronic illness, such as multiple sclerosis, dementia, or Parkinson’s disease, can feel that deciding to stay in or leave their marriage is like choosing between entrapment or abandonment. It’s little wonder that spousal caregivers have higher rates of stress, depression, and anxiety than caregiving adult children. Yet some spousal caregivers manage to redefine their relationships, drawing on their personal and spiritual values to find caregiving’s positive rewards and a different kind of love. In this workshop, you’ll explore:
- The challenges of being committed to a spouse changed by illness, such as losses of mutuality and physical intimacy
- Specific methods for honoring the caregiving mission, including prospective retrospection and celebrating enhanced purpose
- How to reduce imbalances between over-functioning well spouses and under-functioning ill spouses through collaborative renegotiation of roles
Barry Jacobs, PsyD, is the author of The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers and coauthor with Julia Mayer of AARP Meditations for Caregivers. Julia Mayer, PsyD, specializes in women’s identity, caregivers, and relationship issues. She’s the author of A Fleeting State of Mind.