For Better and for Worse When my husband was finally diagnosed with dementia, I vowed to take care of him. Then he filed for divorce.


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Two weeks after my husband, E., was diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease that has no treatment or cure, he left me. At the time, we were preparing to depart on a long-planned family trip to Washington, D.C. Without warning, he declined to join us. He insisted that I take the kids without him, saying he preferred to stay back and clean out the garage. Objecting and pleading accomplished nothing, so I acquiesced. Maybe he just needed time alone to process what the diagnosis meant: His career was essentially over, and in some unknown period of time, life as he knew it would end too.

While we toured museums and national monuments, E. called, texted, and emailed daily to offer love and assurances. As we waited for him outside baggage claim after a long day of flying, I couldn’t wait to fall asleep in his arms. He arrived in my car rather than his van — weird, considering we had so much luggage, but I was too tired to care. He hesitated briefly before stepping out to hug us warmly. My children from a previous marriage, 9 and 11 at the time, adored him and chatted nonstop while I held his hand, which trembled slightly as his thumb stroked my palm.

At home, my spirits lifted with the garage door. The interior was sparkling. He beamed when I kissed and complimented him. Together, we pulled the suitcases toward the porch to greet our German shepherd.

One step inside changed everything. My eyes scanned the living room, taking inventory before I could process what it meant. Missing furniture? He didn’t even allow me to set down the bags before he said, “By the way … I moved out and filed for divorce.”


https://pyxis.nymag.com/v1/imgs/abf/386/a82d2a5efab5a52e02c6ca8bf09e8727c5-dementia.rhorizontal.w1100.jpgPhoto-Illustration: by The Cut; Photo: Getty Images



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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tangie
    Apr 09, 2023 @ 18:10:34




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