Divorced because of Parkinson's?

I'd like to hear from some fellow PD'rs whose marriage or long term relationship ended or is ending as a direct or indirect result of your disease. What happened (and would it have happened anyway)? How did you cope? Where are you now? Dating? Remarried? How did you accomplish that? Alone, or at least unattached? How is that working out for you?

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  • We finished the legal divorce process in 2004 (although it was de facto between us in Spring of 2003). It was an amicable thing, and we just didn't get around to collecting all the financial records needed for the process for a while.

    I would say that my PD symptoms were a factor in her dissatisfaction with the marriage.(This was 6 years before my PD diagnosis.) I was fatigued almost all the time. She'd be up at 7 on weekends ready to go out and do fun stuff. I'd be (wanting to) lay in bed until noon because I was too tired to do anything. That was frustrating to her. More specifically, we had a young child then (he's now 16), and they both wanted the three of us to do more things together.

    > Where are you now? Dating? Remarried? How did you accomplish that?

    > Alone, or at least unattached? How is that working out for you?

    At first, I wanted to date. Did a little match.com, but not much. Over time I got used to being on my own, increasingly getting the impression that being hitched wasn't worth the potential work, hassle and stress of having a girlfriend/wife. But, that depends a lot on what that other person is like. Which is hard to know until you're in that circumstance. Which makes it a Catch-22. I have enough stresses in life right now (eg, health, economy/job security) that I didn't want to chance making that worse by adding a relationship to the mix.

  • Which came first? The chicken or the egg? My ex says the PD had nothing to do with her decision to divorce, and has since become my best friend. I believe her but the more a learn about the disease and symptoms before DX I still wonder. Also having time to reflect (almost five years) I can see how I took her for granted.

  • In my case yes after 19 years she called it quits . I don't think there women who can handle this. What happen to richer for poorer health and sickness !

  • Thanks for the replies. I agree that there are people who can deal with it, and those who can't. I dunno. When I said "in sickness and in health" I meant it. I've accepted the idea of my marriage ending. But I'm not happy about the possibility of saying goodbye to relationships forever. I just don't know how many people there are out there who would appeal to me and would be willing to take this on. Most of the time I'm fine. But sometimes I'm a pile of work. Time will tell.

  • I've been widowed for 7 years. I was diagnosed with Parkinsons in Dec 2010. Before I was diagnosed I dated. Since I have PD I stopped. I don't think any man would want to go out with someone that has tremors. I'm 56 years old.

  • i was married in 2002,got pd confirmed 2003,and was divorced by 2006,my wife decided that she wanted someone at work who didnt have pd despite the fact we have a 10 year old daughter,it makes me extremely angry if i let it,

  • I was diagnosed in 2005 and in 2006 my husband left me. We were togeather for 23 years 19 of them married. April 2012 would have been our 31st wedding anniversary. He also claimed that it had nothing to do with the PD. Do I believe him?? No I don't !! Like you Michael, when I said for better or for worse and in sickness and in health, I meant it. We haven't gotten a divorce because he has excellent health insurance from his place of employment and cannot afford to give that up. I have 2 sons from a previous marriage and 6 grandchildren that help me keep my sanity.

  • I met my ex in 1996 had our son in 1999 the same year my p.d symptons started. I was diagnosed in 2002 and we split in 2005. It was my decision to end it because of all the emotional abuse that he gave to me. He eventually admitted that he couldnt "cope" with my p.d!!!. Well how the hell did he think how i felt at least he could walk away from it, i cant. So now im a single mum and im never going to put myself in that situation ever again.

  • Married in 1999, diagnosed in 2001, husband used it as an excuse for "looking around". I kept a close eye on him and when we retired in 2005 we had a great time traveling. However, he continued to audition replacements for me. Marriage ended last year. I have male friends but no romantic interests. I am fortunate in that I am still quite active at age 55 but most men would not want to sign on for the role of eventual caregiver. It would be nice to hear a story of one of us finding a special someone after being diagnosed. I fear that it is rare.

    I am blessed with many good friends and I do not mean to say they are not special. I treasure them .

  • I am divorced from my husband of 33 years - we r now friends but were not in the marrriage- i realised i could survive wihtout him

    i met my current (and ony man) nearly 4 year s ago and 12 months since diagnosis we r movign in together

    I cannnot believe anyoen would want ot take me on as a PSP Problem and i think he is mad to be doing it

    BuT I am so glad that i do have a life with him( for how logn i do not know])

    i have no children friom my marriage adn thus no grandchildren but i think it is so difficult for children to see a parent declining

    love jill :-)

  • My husband will not acknowledge my diagnosis and instead picks fights and puts me down constantly about everything in the kitchen sink. I think he doesn't want to be saddled with me, but can't reconcile his image of himself as a great person with the kind of guy who leaves his wife of 25 years when she gets this diagnosis. So he calls me lazy and clumsy. He says i am making up the pd. confirmed by 2 neuros. he is disgusted that i take meds for it. he talks about other wives that help more around the house. if i have a symptom he doesn't want to hear. so i say nothing and just creep to bed, then he accuses me of not being anything but lazy because he didn't hear about any symptoms. it's lose lose. he hates sickness and now i am sickness. Seriously. I am still working but it is hard. What a weasel, I would have stayed by him. He yells and accuses me of dropping things on purpose. I am in hell. When I see the supportive spouses and the pd meetings I feel so alone and depressed. I would have stayed by him.

  • Honestly, he's an asshole. I thought my wife was bad but your husband is much worse. You have PD, and it's going to progress. I hate to say this, but unless he changes his attitude things are going to get much worse between you. Make him talk to your neurologist.

    It's interesting that you would write me now when I wrote the original question last November, because my divorce is final tomorrow. It's been rough, but I'm ready to move on now.

    Best of luck to you, Mike

  • My husband has had PD for 5 years now. You do not deserve that kind of abuse. That is despicable. Are you a able to get to a support group? Do you have a pastor or a priest to talk to? Please try to get some kind of support. Like you asked to get Parkinsons. You need emotional and spiritual support. I'm going to pray for you.

  • Thank you, that helps. What a scary place to be. There really are worse places to be than alone. Oh I can't make him do anything. I'll make an apt with a mediator next week and start looking for a place. It's scary because I get about 2000 per month now working .75 time after taxes but I get so tired and I am worried about being all alone with this disease and eventual disability only. But maybe if I get to a more peaceful home I'll have more energy for work? I still feel like an enormous sap because had it be him I'd have taken care of him. I'm a pile of work too :)

  • I can't imagine how hard it must be for you to continue to work. I know my husband has had to delegate a lot of responsibilities to me. We own a small restaurant and the stress is very difficult for him to handle anymore. I really hope that you will find a more peaceful environment and again try to find some kind of support group. I know that stress makes all the symptoms worse. Take the time to exercise every day I know that has helped my husband tremendously. Even if you have to push yourself get out and walk or bicycle or do something strenuous.

  • Thank you, that helps. What a scary place to be. There really are worse places to be than alone. Oh I can't make him do anything. I'll make an apt with a mediator next week and start looking for a place. It's scary because I get about 2000 per month now working .75 time after taxes but I get so tired and I am worried about being all alone with this disease and eventual disability only. But maybe if I get to a more peaceful home I'll have more energy for work? I still feel like an enormous sap because had it be him I'd have taken care of him. I'm a pile of work too :)

  • Well, my story seems different than most - my husband was diagnosed 3 years ago and he wants our of our 11 year marriage. We have two young sons - 15 and 10 and have been working with all of our heart to be supportive, positive, hopeful. He would have none of that. Rather, he just dedicated his life to himself - exercising, infidelity, detachment from me and the boys - as well as with friends. Marriage, fatherhood and relationship = too much work.

  • Sounds somewhat like my spouse.

  • My husband was diagnosed almost six years ago. We have been through several emotional and psychological challenges, including anxiety and depression. The most recent and difficult one is his pulling away from me. I am madly in love with him and always have been. He says he feels the same. Nonetheless, he has detached himself from me to a degree. This is not the same person I have known for 18 years. I go to his Neurology appointments with him, and I understand Parkinson's and medications can bring about some unexpected behaviors, but some of them really catch me off guard. We have gone to counseling together, and now we are going to different counselors to address some of our difficulties. I remain very much in love and hopeful, but this detachment scares me. I have no intention of leaving; I just hope he continues to feel the same.

  • I am in the process of divorcing my spouse with PD because after he went on meds, he blocked me from talking to his doctor and started hoarding the finances. He went from a loving spouse to cold and secretive. The doctor will not acknowledge the meds could be the problem. His personality has changed in 2 years of treatment! This is devastating for me and my young children. I was prepared to stick with him in sickness and in health.

  • Hi MichaelOM, I have been married to a wonderful man, but he died after 7 y of marriage. If he was still alive, he would have been just the same person, full of love!..........but I married again, after a year, I was diagnosed, and then everything went downhill!!! Believe me, I am just the same person, still working in the garden for at least 4 hours during the week, do my own homework, love baking. Actually, after being diagnosed, now going for 4 y, all I have is actually light tremmors.I think I am very lucky! Maybe I will be lucky again meeting someone with PD and we can love an support each other. Still a lot of time for fun, life and laughter!

  • Does anyone agree that sometimes we pull away and isolate ourselves because we think we're no longer attractive (or worse unattractive) and that this contributes to the relationship decline in quality?

  • I believe I'm very attractive, got divorced after 19 yrs. in 2010 because spouse got PD, since then my adult kids blame the PD-complications on me and now adult son & daughter refuse to communicate/relate to me. (ex. had father & his 3 brother die via PD)

    This situation don't feel attractive at all...

  • How are you all? My husband filed for divorce in June, first court date tomorrow. So, truthfully .....what a SOB! God it hurts and I am afraid. I am tired a lot and he took it as a personality defect..... Nuff about me, anyone in the similar boat want an online friend, me!

  • I am sorry to hear life has been so unkind. As far as your husband is concerned, you may have a more peaceful life once he is gone. He sounds abusive and not just because of your Parkinson's. My husband has PD. From my observations, stress has a significant affect on how tired you feel and how heightened PD symptoms are. You might feel much healthier and active after the stress of your husband is gone. Good luck.

  • As a single man with PD I consider it a blessing. If and when I find someone with enough character and substance to accept me in spite of my condition and my future I will have found an incredible person.

  • Good day, I am envolved with a man who have PD.I am from 5 years I was with him when he had DBS. First time when we met he hide from me his PD. I felt in love, and accepted him. We are from different countries. I have a great profession, I have a good social position, and also I have my own house and car. He is just with his pension. He have also 3 children. I realize after all discussions on forum, I am a noble woman ! I am Romanian and he is from Denmark. I am starting a doctorate also ! Good luck for all in what you are doing!

  • My husband and I are getting divorced and it's Parkinson's that has caused it.  I love him so much but he says I am volatile and doesn't know when i will blow up so he said we are finished  i will just have to get over him just good friends.  I have asked and even had someone follow him to see if he is meeting someone.  He said there is no one else but I don't believe him.  I think Parkinson's is the worst disease and the medication is terrible.  I can't see anybody wanting me with Parkinson's 

  • Thanks for sharing all your stories. My brother had a lady friend who took care of him with his PD. She loved him. She stayed with him until he died. They even bought a house together.

  • Lost, Worried, Confused...

    Hello my husband was diagnosed 6 yrs ago. He just turned 49 yesterday. We are struggling so badly. Married 15 yrs. He became active in a 5 yr affair I found out about last yr. We have been in down hill spiral sense. I have been trying to hold this together. The Parkinson's and the meds have just turned him into a man we do not know. It is driving him crazy I can see it. It hurts so bad to see him go through this. I try to help and now feel as if I can not help him. That is a bad feeling to want to help someone you can't and so you have to watch them go through this while you go though this with them. The after affect you receive is the worst thing ever. You feel hopeless and want to take it all away for them and for yourself. My story is way too much to try to set here and type out. It is just so much. He filed for a divorce last yr. Been back and forth on that. I do not want a divorce and have not. I been trying to stop it. But his way of thinking now has taken him to a state if mind that is not understandable. At first the affair person talked him into wanting to divorce me and be with her. But now I think she is seeing a little more of what this PD is doing.... NOT ALL OF IT. But very little. She is still in the picture just in the back waiting to see him full fill it. I know once she sees what she is about to deal with she is not want this. But until then she has, PD and Meds have changed his way of thinking and living. I trying to hold on to this still. I am the only one I think that can and would care for him. I hate to leave not knowing if he is ok or what is happing to him. I got him to go to consoling some with 3 different people. It did not work. Partly because she is still making her self present. And partly because it just was not the right consoler. Now I am hoping for a PD consoler to except him and help talk to him. It is hard to explain all of this. And most people don't understand. There is so much here to talk about. I guess I am looking for answers to know is this all part of it? Is this something that can be helped if the right people are involved? Is this something that once he does what this is he is wanting to do will he see how wrong of a decisions he made and want me back to care and love him like I always have? Or is this just not going to get anywhere or better and I need to let it all go? I feel like I am fighting a fight I cant fight. This is just killing us both. Now he gets stuff in his mind that is negative and will not think any different. I try to tell him what I am seeing change and he accuses me of putting him down. I am not doing that. I am just asking him to please see what is happing and explain it more to his dr. Sense the affair came out he stopped letting me go with him to the dr. Because I had made them a wear of it last yr. So I no longer can go or call and give any kind of a update on his motor skills or behavior and how he is feeling or anything. He swores she has a boyfriend and moved on, but he will not try to prove that to me. As well as other signs that he still wants to hide things. I think some of what he tells me is true. I just wish he would want to prove to me. As well as want to rebuild us. I have been by his side wanting to keep us together and I know I can do what I need to do on my part to help fix this. I just need to right guidance for this being a PD patient. What to say, what not to say, what to focus on, what not to focus on, what to do what not to do. I told him again last night I don't want this. He is going through some the side effects I read about the psychological part. Your post said you wanted to hear from families that are married, going through a divorce or went through one because of this. This is why I am responding. There is so much out there that each couple is dealing with. They all could probably describe for days. I can even tell you what al I have been through or what we have been through this last yr. It is the worst time of our lives. And I see no help coming.

  • I've been through a lot and am divorced 4 years and then had a 3 year relationship that ended because of my behavior which was at least partially effected by my Parkinson's meds. Not sure I qualify to help you.

    All I say is you need to look after yourself first (you didn't mention children, but they are with you if you have any because he's out of control). You can't help him at all until you are in a good, strong safe place. And you need to focus first on saving yourself.

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