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Question 143

Q: My husband has Alzheimer’s disease and has begun to yell at me all the time. As a Christian, I’m having a difficult time knowing how to handle this. What should I do?

Asked by: Anonymous

A: Well, thank you, my dear sister, for your question, and it is a dilemma that I’m sure is close to your heart every single day.

Just a couple of thoughts for you, probably things that you’ve already thought about on your own. First of all, you have to understand that your husband, as you knew him, is not the husband that you know today. This disease has a habit of playing with our minds and our brains. So, when he lashes out at you, remember that he’s not doing this as the person you married. Something has gone radically wrong in his brain, so don’t take it personally. And, of course, as a corollary of that, whatever you do, don’t respond in kind.

You need to pity him because he is the victim of a disease that is creating this kind of havoc in his life. And he is more than likely, very uncomfortable—he doesn’t like his circumstances and therefore, he’s becoming increasingly more difficult for you to handle.

But second, my sister, it’s very important for you to get help. I can’t imagine dealing with this 24/7. Get help from other believers, and investigate other possibilities for your husband, for example perhaps there’s a home that he can go into. There are places that have been designated like this, so that those who struggle with these kinds of illnesses can be cared for professionally, because it might simply become too much for you.

Bottom line, I conclude with a prayer in my heart for you that God will give you real wisdom in working this out and remember, my sister, eternity is coming.

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