Will I ever stop feeling guilty?

I’m new to this community and will probably ramble a bit, for that I apologise in advance.

I lost my husband six weeks ago. He had been ill with a combination of conditions for the last four years, getting progressively more incapacitated until he was totally bed bound at the beginning of this year.

We were married for 30 years and the first 20 were wonderful we adored each other. The last 10 years things went downhill - he drank and I kind of withdrew from the relationship as his drinking got heavier. Myself and our two sons begged him to cut down but he just laughed at us and drank more, it was so upsetting.

It got to the point about three years ago when myself and our younger son, who was still at home, actually started to talk about leaving and getting a place to live on our own. Before we could do anything my husband’s health really took a turn for the worse and he couldn’t live on his own so we stayed. It wasn’t easy and I spent the last years of his life taking him out in a wheelchair to hospital appointments and doing dressings, feeding him and fetching and carrying, whilst trying to keep my part time job going.

This all sounds very saintly but I resented every minute of it. He refused to acknowledge he was dying despite being told by doctors. There was never a time that we could talk about anything - our past, the present or the future without him. For the last eight weeks he was in hospital and it was such a relief to me and my son to finally have the house to ourselves and the freedom to come and go as we pleased.

We gave him a good funeral and everyone says how strong I have been both before and after but I just feel so much guilt that the man I loved so much actually became someone I disliked intensely in the last couple of years of his life. I did everything I could for him but feel I should have tried harder to talk to him even though I tried and he wouldn’t respond. I feel as though I did a lot of my grieving in the years prior to his death when I mourned the man I married and our marriage being lost to drink and the changes in his personality but all the tears I shed now feel as though they come from guilt.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this? Does it ever get better?

I know most people on here are mourning people they loved so much to the end, I hope I don’t offend anyone with my story as it’s not quite the same for me.

Thank you for reading this far.

Linda, I have written 2 messages to you and I keep loosing it
Thank you for been honest. It is amazing how you expressed your feelings
You have nothing to be guilty about - I am sure you and others have tried your best you could to help your husband but the decision to stop drinking was his

I imagine it can be very hard to live with an alcoholic and probably is a good idea to see a bereavement counsellor or even the group that see families of alcoholics

You are a brave human !!
Also most of us feel that at times we should have been more patient etc

If you want to keep in touch do so
Take care
Sadie xx

Thank you so much for your lovely response Sadie. It is good of you to take the time when you are obviously going through a difficult time yourself.

I am seeing a counsellor and I think it is helping a little.

Keeping in touch would be nice and thank you again,
Linda xx

Linda, you are going to find out that this forum is very supportive!

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Thank you Sadie
Linda x

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