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Dear Friends

wedding rings

Your new perspective
on 'in sickness and in health'

Week of March 1, 2021
Prayer Requests

Dear Friends:

It can come as a surprise that the "in sickness" phrase in a traditional wedding vow can also mean helping your spouse when they're taking care of a member of their family of origin. When they're taking care of one of your in-laws.

If you’re the husband or wife of an adult child who is taking care of an aging parent, it can seem that no matter what you say or do, it’s the wrong thing. Suddenly you may find yourself an outsider as the immediate family circle closes ranks. You may feel tremendously frustrated about your powerlessness: You cannot make everything all right; you cannot stop the pain your spouse is feeling.

That's the opening paragraph of our topic/flier "When You're Married to the Caregiver."  Here's a little more.

● Remember that the relationship you have with your in-laws is not the same as the one your husband or wife has. This is simply human nature. No matter how close you may have become to your mother- or father-in-law, your experience is not the same as your spouse’s. So while you may feel the two of you are doing more than enough to help, your spouse may not feel that way at all.

● Understand that every immediate family has its own little quirks—good or bad. Maybe Dad has always had a short fuse. Maybe Mom has never been able to relax if there was one speck of dust on one stick of furniture. Maybe family members never talk to one another, they yell. Maybe they never yell . . . or talk. Whatever those characteristics, they may be intensified under the present, stressful circumstances.

 ● Don’t take it personally if you are suddenly outside the loop. When no one really wants to hear your opinion because this is a “family” matter. At the same time, you may very well be affected by the decisions being made by your spouse and the other siblings. It’s not uncommon that several sons will decide what’s best for Mom or Dad but it is the daughters-in-law who end up providing almost all the care. Then, too, the opposite may occur. Your spouse’s siblings are no help and so it is up to your spouse and you to do everything.

● Know that sometimes you will become the target for your spouse’s emotions. The anger, the fear, the sadness, the frustration, the guilt. Again, try not to take it personally. Most likely it’s not really meant for you but for something else. For the disease or medical problem that is taking the life of your spouse’s parent. For the pain. For death.

You can read more here.

And, as it's been for the past twelve months, all those challenges can be compounded because of COVID-19.

You remain in my prayers,


- - -

Again this week we cordially invite you to join the Friends of St. John the Caregiver! (FSJC's programs include and You can find out more about becoming a member here.

No meetings, no dues. All we ask is that you pray for caregivers and those receiving care. Our members include caregivers, care-receivers, and those who support both (including quite a few former caregivers).

You can:

sign up online here

or call us toll-free at 1-800-392-JOHN (5646)

or print and mail an application form.

Past "Dear Friends" Letters

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