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OH throwing hissy fit over gas v electric


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I'm at screaming point - again - sorry everyone, but honestly.
This is my life - again.

OH has refused, for last 4 years, to fire up the wood burning stove.   We have plenty of wood - he just hates the fuss, the hard work, the 'bother' of a wood stove.   Physically, I find it difficult to carry a whole load of wood to the house, store it - and I'm no good with fires - don't have the 'flare' to get it going and keep it going.   And I must admit I don't like the puffs of smoke we get when we open the door to put more wood on.   That's the background.
So four years ago we went for a mobile gas fire.

All OK - but somehow or another he 'damaged' the first one we bought.   I bought a second one - he managed to over-ride the safety system, and to get the fire working he stuck part of a peg into the on/off/heat setting gizmo..... talk about Heath Robinson.   Anyway, that one gave up the ghost - so we had to buy a third one - in three years !!!
He managed to 'kill off' the third one - the ignition spark wouldn't light up the fire, the matches didn't always light the fire. so that one's sitting, abandoned, in the shed.
I thought - 'Right, we'll get a nice new one'.

In the meantime, with no wood stove, no gas fire, we've been running the central heating radiators in one or two rooms, plus fan heater in the kitchen, plus large fake electric fire in the living room.   And the electricity consumer unit in the garage is flashing away like no-body's business, burning up our euros.

A new gas fire was delivered this morning.   I told him 'We have a nice, new gas fire.  I'm worried about our electricity bill, which is very high; this gas fire will help keep costs down....'

Total melt-down from him.  Armageddon plus WW 3.    Gas is dangerous - doesn't like gas.  Prefers easy to use electricity. blah, blah.
I then get told that if I want the gas fire - then I have to find the valve thingy, and the hose, -
and that I HAVE TO DO IT MYSELF - he's not going to touch it......'
'Why have I wasted money on a new gas fire, don't need it, don't want it - you sort it out - you want it, you deal with it........'

He's refused to touch the new gas fire, won't even attempt to find the valves (and there are two around) - nor the hose connector - nothing.  

I could scream; I could cry;  he's so difficult to deal with.
But it's the bad temper, the aggression, the swearing, the reluctance to do anything that is really wearing me down.

So now I'm the one to have to dig around in all his DIY gear, and find the spanners, and the hose, and the valve, - and then try, physically, to put it all together.   Then move a very heavy, full, gas cylinder, into the gas fire...........

I'm so fed up of him; his total switch-off of anything to help me.

Dear God, if the airlines were operating I'd be ought of here.   And I've had to deal with more threatening behaviour from him as well.  I've discovered I can report domestic violence on line to the Police - and oh boy, have I been tempted.

So sorry, so sorry everyone; but I just can't tell my family how awful life has become for me - they'd only worry.   And with this pandemic no-one can go anywhere, or do anything ......
I'm just stuck; having to hang on like grim death and hope for light at the end of the tunnel.
But dear god, it's a long, dark tunnel.    And I've no-one to talk to our here about this.....

So for those who've managed to read this far - thank you - just needed to 'vent' again about how difficult I'm finding life at the moment.   Good job I've no sleeping tablets around !!

Cheer me up peoples - please


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Vent away.

My thought is that you will end up having to report him to the police/gendarmes whichever you have locally.

Contact his Dr and his consultant. Both should be kept up to date about his behaviour.

About your fire. If you have lots of wood, well, firstly get your chimney swept.

If I wasn't managing to carry the wood in say a basket, I would stick a few logs in a shopping trolley or something I had with wheels and if I hadn't would buy something. Then take them to the fireside a few at a time. As it sounds like the wood would be dry then you shouldn't need that many logs each day.

You mention smoke coming into the room, don't you have something on

your fire to regulate air intake? Before opening the door, I always

open the air intake and it stops smoke coming into the room, then once I

have put more wood on, close it down again as soon as the new log is


As was suggested on here, I light an upside down fire.

A couple of big logs parallel, then two smaller in the other direction. Then I put some sticks on that and I also use a fire lighter block, and put a couple of little sticks on that.  I light the fire lighting the fire lighter. I have the air intake fully open and ours has a slightly open catch on the door and I leave that open for a few minutes until there is a blaze.

I know this sounds counter intuitive, but look it up and it does work, whether in a home or forest.

And go to the SNCF site, you can catch a train from Agen to St Pancras via Paris. You would need somewhere to go and 14 days isolation.  Seven hours and you are away.

I suppose that we can all look at wedding vows in different ways, but nothing is said that any of us have to live worrying about verbal and perhaps eventually physical abuse. And for all he is ill, well, you also have a right to life chessie. And that is how I feel about it.

AND there are flights, I have just looked at LHR and there  are plenty of arrivals. There are flights from France to the UK.

You would need this (live link) if you are going to have a break, and perhaps need.

Whatever you do, do for you, if you have somewhere to go to. And good luck and FEEL FREE TO RANT AND RAVE IF YOU WANT!

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I don't know that I'm going to cheer you up but I am going to be giving you A Very Hard Stare (Paddington-style) relating to you comment about not telling your family... you have to make them aware of the difficulties of the situation even if you don't overload them with daily details.

For a start, if they don't know how his dementia is developing, finding out all in a rush if something bad happens is going to be far worse than you managing their knowledge as time progresses.

If you can, I would probably wait until new year (very early in new year!) and write to them a letter detailing how things are deteriorating. If you carry on trying to absorb all of this you may end up having some form of breakdown and they'd have an enormous amount to understand, grasp and accept without much (any?) warning.

Dementia tends to exacerbate the less welcome characteristics of someone's character so if they were very controlling or stubborn in normal life, these traits are 'enhanced' in some forms of dementia at some stages. And, of course, dementia doesn't develop and stop there. It carries on developing and can place an increasing burden on whoever is living alongside the demented especially if, for eg, dementia starts to evolve into paranoia, hallucinations, loss of inhibitions, etc. Not all dementias are the same, nor is the progression. It might even be that as time goes on and he begins to be less aggressive and difficult. You can but hope!

What it comes down to is: you matter too. It's not all about the sufferer. And there are drug regimes that can be explored, in the UK there are memory clinics that can help the person find coping mechanisms that help them feel in control for longer - and a sense of loss of control over their lives, their minds, their actions can be sensed by the person though they are no longer able to figure out what to do about it.

In the short term, to make life as easy for you as possible, you're going to have to become manipulative and calculating in what you do and how you present things. Find ways to distract if he is focussing on something that concerns you. It may not come naturally to you but scheming to find ways to keep the peace isn't unkind or unreasonable.

Your OH not wanting a gas fire isn't - to me - a bad thing. An open flame like that when someone is losing the ability to identify safe or dangerous behaviour isn't adviseable. Imo.

As Idun says, vent away. But as your OH is losing control over his life you need to assume control for both of you (even if he doesn't know it) and being honest and clear with your family about the changes you're seeing and having to cope with - and the effect they are having on you - has to be a good way forward.

Good luck, Chessie. My father developed 'ordinary' dementia in his late 80s and my mother developed Parkinson's dementia (a horrible form of dementia) in her early 90s - she was in residential care by then. She - and I - was enormously relieved that Dad died before his dementia became too difficult for her to manage at home.

Good luck.

edited to add: sorry about the novella... I type very fast and dementia for all involved isn't the sort of topic that can be condensed into a couple of paragraphs. [kiss]

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I can't offer any advice on this matter apart from 'courage' and maybe go and see your medecine generale for their advice on such matters.

Though Catalpa does make a fine point......

"Your OH not wanting a gas fire isn't - to me - a bad thing. An open flame like that when someone is losing the ability to identify safe or dangerous behaviour isn't adviseable. Imo"
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Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

I am out of my depth with this, it was distressing to watch it progress in my mum but it was never that bad. I hope you have some kind of support network?

You probably don't want to know about this but just yesterday I read a news report on the BBC where a dementia suffer stabbed his wife, just like that.


(sorry can't do links).

Seriously Chessie, look out for yourself.
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Oh Chessie, I feel badly for you.  You have been given such great advice in the posts above.  I hope you will consider it all.  And as has been said, rant away here anytime you need to.  It can be helpful to know that you do have a place where you can do that.

One thing I might suggest is that you find a reliable 'handyman.'  What did they call him in the other thread?  It sounds like you could really use someone who can help you with basic home projects.  I know there are plenty of those where I live.  I can't imagine it is not available where you live.  I've also found that the costs are not bad at all.  This could help you immensely with the tasks your OH is not willing to help with.  If you need help finding someone, let us know, we can guide you.

I think you should update your family to the circumstances of your situation too.  This is very important.  I also think you need and deserve a break.  Consider visiting loved ones.  It could do you good.

Best of luck to you Chessie.  Keep posting, let us know how you are.

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Chessie ..........

insofar as I’m any kind of expert (which I’m not) all the above advice seems to me to be spot on.

Involve the family - they need to know and will actually be pissed off if you haven’t told them. They can’t help if they don’t know. It won’t be the best news for them to receive, but most would feel that they have responsibilities in this regard.

Talk to your GP. I’ve no idea how receptive / helpful your’s may be, but he / she should take your situation seriously. Obviously he / she can’t deal with the situation personally, but can and should get other professionals involved who can. This is not something to ignore by other parties and the concern of people on here is (I have no doubt) that you feel rather alone in all of this.

Your OH needs professional help. You’ll do that and help yourself, by doing the things recommended in the other posts.

Putting it bluntly - we on here can only offer our instinctive advice.

But you really need to involve family and professional expertise. Both of them are there.

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Chessie, I have some indirect experience of psychotic illness as my late ex-wife went through many years of it which put huge strain on my kids and me as listener and adviser.

Let rip if you want to.If ypu dont, you will go nuts. There are loads of good folk on here who can offer ‘ listening ‘and good pointers as to ways forward.

For what it is worth, I think it is essential that you involve others now, both professionals and family as your husband is getting beyond your ability to care for him, is putting you and himself in danger and will eventually break you down physically and mentally.

I think you will find that doing this will provide you with immediate soulagement, a sense that a burden shared is a burden halved, so to speak. And should provide you with ways forward in terms of care and treatment.

And do involve the family.

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I hadn't realised that the family was not aware.

But are you sure, don't they talk to him? You can hear a lot in a conversation apart from just the words they are using.

They need to know, xmas/mid winter festival whatever, it doesn't matter.

will pm you later, have to go out now.

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Dear Chessie,

Been without internet since yesterday, now restored, so I am finally able to reply.  As we have all said RANT AWAY!  I may be joining you soon, I see some of what you are describing in OH too, and getting worse, though I have friends here who allow me to let off steam, and my sister and BIL know what he is like .. not other relatives so close, we are the "top" generation now, though they have not seen him for soem time now .. I can see a slow progression to more aggression, not wanting to understand etc (I am being treated for melanoma, this not to gain sympathy, but he refuses to accept that the outcome long term may not be as planned). 

So I do feel very much for you .. it is so hard to feel so alone. 

OK as far as the wood goes, yes, I am null too at doing the fire .. but maybe as far as carrying wood is concerned, do you have any neighbours to help .. and also to find shelter with if you do ever get to need it??

Other have had more useful suggestions ... but you know you are not alone .. it has helped me .. though I am often now found in my study having a rant too!

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First question to ask: has your OH had a formal diagnosis from an appropriately qualified doctor?  If not, that might be the first thing to pursue.

Sorry, I know nothing about Altzheimers or provisions of care for that.  I have been thinking over your problem and I concluded that if, it is like for cancer patients, the sufferers of this illness will have a "packet" of care available to sufferers and their carers.

Does anyone else think or know that that might be the case?  What do you think, Chessie and Judith?

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I know there is a lot of help available in France and the GP / MT is the first port of call - diagnosis is the foundation for getting help. But. Unlike things like heart disease or cancer where the sufferer has a clear route to improving their health (even if they choose to carry on drinking or smoking or whatever) with dementia the person has to accept the diagnosis so that treatment and coping methods can be adopted successfully. And there, this condition conspires against them.

Too often, out of decreasing ability to reason things through or plain fear and embarrassment, the person refuses to accept there is a problem (there's nothing actually visible or even physically painful) and is therefore reluctant to make changes they need to adapt and help themselves. For eg, daily medication (needs person's cooperation) or to learning and using coping mechanisms such as leaving notes for themselves, using timers to remind them of something, establishing a suitable routine and sticking to it, using lists, etc. All reliant on the person's willingness to accept their situation.

edited2add: you could start keeping a diary, Chessie - that would help you chart the problems, the frequency and note any deterioration. That could be helpful for your own sanity but also to inform over time what treatment your MT or specialist might propose.

And sorry to hear of your difficulties too, Judith. I hope things improve for you. This getting old(er) is (mostly!) better than the alternative but it certainly isn't always a gentle ride to a maison de retraite, aged 95+ and sound of mind...

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Mint and Catalpa, thanks for the additional comments since I was last on here .. I don't know of the help available in Chessie's region, it's too long since I was there, but we do have an association here which helps, a friend's husband had Alzheimers, she found it very helpful .. and my own doctor is aware of the difficulties, and would organise something to find out, but it would need his acceptance, and as with Chessie, that is the first stumbling block.  I'm nowhere near the same difficulty as Chessie ... for me I need to find a way to not trigger these outbursts, at least for the mo, but I am not a submissive person, and would find that too difficult .. for now, it's Chessie who needs our help ..

And I can always spend a few nights in a hotel if it gets too difficult, he's quit happy when I do that on my travels, which I have much missed this year, of course, as it helps to get away ..from time to time.

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A little bit late coming to this but have to agree with those who say you should let the family know.  It would, if nothing else, give you someone to talk to who know you both.

On a practical level re the gas fire I also think that it might require some reflection on its viability.  Also, if you decide to install it you should really look at it being connected by a professional.  Apart from any regulations, it can be a pretty dangerous item.

I don't know if it is of any help to you but perhaps contact with this organisation might be a way to go:

Whatever happens, try to keep your chin up.

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