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Keeping Marriage Strong While Acting as Caregivers

Posted on in Divorce
aging parents, caregivers, Illinois divorce lawyer, reasons for divorce, baby boomersMany individuals of the baby boomer generation may suddenly find themselves continuing in or resuming their role as caregivers. Only this time, instead of providing care to their children, they are caring for their elderly parents. Many are happy to do what they can for their parents while they can, fully realizing that older generations will not be around forever. Further, many adult children feel that they owe their parents a certain bet of gratitude for all they did for their families and the world around them.

Strengthening Marriage while Providing Care

Despite the privilege of having elderly parents, caring for them can bring its own set of challenges. Specifically, as discussed in a recent article, many baby boomers may experience challenges to their marriages as they struggle to care for their aging parents. This is due, in part, to the increased stress many people feel as they take on the responsibility of caregiver.

Here are some tips to deal with the stressful situation of being an elderly parent’s primary caregiver while keeping your marriage strong at the same time:

  • Talk openly with your spouse about the feelings, emotions, and stresses you may be feeling as you care for your aging parents. Successful marriages are made of happy couples who know how to communicate well with each other. This not only reflects a trust in one another, but a reliance on one another’s good judgment and dependance on the other for truth and honest talk.
  • Make an effort to keep love alive everyday. Carve out time for romance and dating. This includes small gestures, spending more time together, and making it a point to have fun as a couple.
  • Approach financial challenges with teamwork and open communication. Once parents are added to the mix, family budgeting may be even more important. This requires common goals and family support. Spouses should work together as a team in addressing economic challenges.
  • Avoid placing blame on one another when things get rough. Blaming each other is destructive to your marriage, and usually no one is to blame for an unfortunate situation.
  • Do not indulge in self-pity. Doing so does not solve any problems. Rather, work with your spouse toward a solution. Making a family work is often difficult, and can be even more so when caring for an elderly parent.
  • Enhance your marital relationship by carving out time for privacy and being alone. This is crucial to a successful marriage. Being able to refresh and recharge by being alone will go a long way in improving the quality of your relationship and communications with your spouse.
  • Remember that the little things matter in marriage and should be practiced daily. Doing these little things, such as performing small tasks or making small gestures of love, every day for the one you love matters in a relationship, and the more they accumulate, the more of a positive effect they have. Mastering this improves your chances of making it through the difficult times.

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