Relationships and constipation

26 years ago I was divorced out of a 20 year marriage. Durring that 20 years I suffered from chronic constipation, stomach cramps, ulcers you name it. When I got divorced everything quickly resolved itself including my chronic insomnia.

Recently I allowed my ex to move into my spare apt that is attached to my shop. She was lonely and didn't like the senior housing she was staying at. I hang out there in the day time and chat with her a bit over coffee. Turns out she isn't happy here either. She really can't afford anything like a normal apt that isn't subsidized. 

Anyway, she moved in two months ago and my insomnia and chronic constipation came right back, 10 days ago she took off to visit family for a month or two and problem quickly resoved itself.

The only solution I can possibly see is to increase the amount I give her each month which I can't afford to do. I am not required by law to giver her anything. I feel like I backed myself into a corner I can't get out of. My best hope is she finds a boyfriend to move in with. She is usually pretty good at getting boyfriends quickly but she is past 70 now and finding it a bit harder I imagine. Not sure what to do here.

This was not a good idea.

Those sound like her problems, not your problems.

Or you could evict her and cut people that cause you medical problems out of your life.

I know that’s not very nice, but I have never understood this “oh, it’s my ex, I’ll just let her use my car/apartment/checking account”. You broke up with that person for a reason, don’t let them back into your life.

Patient: Doc, it hurts when I do this.
Doc: Stop doing that.

She’s a hazard to your health. She’s got to go.

Or you could evict her and cut people that cause you medical problems out of your life.

I know that’s not very nice, but I have never understood this “oh, it’s my ex, I’ll just let her use my car/apartment/checking account”. You broke up with that person for a reason, don’t let them back into your life.

This is the part I struggle with, most of that 26 years we have been divorced and she has been in relationships so it wasn’t much of an issue. But each time she runs into problems it is somehow been burned into my brain that I have to try and fix it. She has this borderline personality disorder and they have a way of burrowing into your brain.

Sounds like you have some unresolved issues and there is regret or at least “some” about the divorce; you have been divorced longer than you were married, so its not normal to still have such protective feelings for her unless there is an underlying reason.

Especially as I doubt there are young kids involved.

I wouldn’t call it regret as much as some underlying feeling of guilt. Durring the course of our marriage I developed skills that allowed me to make a better living than her. I voluntarily give her 1/2 the retirement I accrued durring our 20 years. I have no desire to be with her again and am perfectly happy when she is off on her own and happy. But yes at some level there is still an attachment of some kind.

I didn’t mention hat she is also going into some kind of early onset dementia. I have to fix all her passwords at least once a week. She was always very good at managing finances but now can’t even handle her own most basic bills. She looses her medicines and basicaly can’t keep tract of anything anymore so this is making it even tougher to put her out.

You need to learn how to set and hold firmly to boundaries, probably you should see a therapist. People with BPD don’t see boundaries like other people do, often the line between them and someone they’re in a relationship with becomes fuzzy, and they’ll attempt to recycle relationships. If you don’t set and enforce strict boundaries you’ll just be stuck in the pattern, and it’s going to be hard work learning to just say ‘It’s sad that your living arrangements aren’t good, but you can’t move in with me’ instead of repeating the pattern.

It also makes it more important to at least lay the groundwork for putting her out. How long before she turns on the stove and forgets it’s on? Or starts filling the tub and then goes out and it floods the bathroom? A person with dementia living alone is a danger to her own well-being.

You might want to start with your local “elderly services” agency, whatever it’s called in your area. They can tell you what her options are and what would need to happen to get her into a state-funded facility if necessary.

Does she have siblings that could/should be involved an any decisions about her future?

This is unfortunate but honestly it is not your problem either. This woman is causing you medical problems. It is time to kick her out and not let her back in. Honestly, that’s probably better for both of you. If she’s getting into dementia, she needs to be in a care facility, not in her ex’s unused apartment.

I don’t use the apartment, it is just a man cave for me next to my shop.

So HoneyBadgerDC, why do you feel responsible for her now? She sounds like an “elder orphan”.

How is this relevant? You have said having her around causes you medical problems. She isn’t doing anything for you (does she even pay rent?). You owe her nothing. Kick her out.

i think part of the reason is I am running interference for the kids. I hate putting that on them at this stage in their life. Other than that no real good reason I can think of.

You’re a good person, that’s why. You feel you shouldn’t kick people when they are down and want to help the unfortunate. However, sometimes you have to put yourself first and say NO. Since this person obviously stresses you into ill health when she’s around, if you want to help her you have to find some way to do it where she isn’t around.

I’m going to say it again, get therapy. Dealing with people who have unchecked Axis II disorders like BPD, NPD, or sociopathy can seriously mess with your head, and you’re clearly stuck in a pattern where you do stuff for her for no good reason at the expense of your own health.

So you two have kids together. How old are your/her kids? I’m curious what you mean by “at this stage in their life”. Being there for your parents is what you do, you shouldn’t necessarily shield them from helping their mother.

You need to get your shit together, man!

I can relate so much :frowning: . There’s no way I can just toss away my ex from…hmm…21 years ago…and tell her to fix her problems herself.

I hope I won’t still be in the same situation past 70, but based on your example… :frowning:

Many people make this assumption in such cases, but it’s not a matter of regrets, rather a matter of feeling responsible for someone else, feeling sad that her life isn’t great, feeling guilty about refusing to help when you can.

Some people become indifferent to their exes after they split. I can’t.

There’s a perfectly apt quote fron Saint-Exupery’s “The little prince”: