Day 12 — How does caregiving affect your relationship with your spouse?

Caregiver Companion Author Carolyn A Brent Talks About Caregiving and Offers Tips

Today I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 12 of the Virtual Blog Tour of author Carolyn A. Brent whose book The Caregiver’s Companion: Caring for Your Loved One Medically, Financially and Emotionally While Caring for Yourself is celebrating its big Amazon launch NOW!!!

Carolyn A. Brent is a nationally acclaimed author, speaker and caregiver advocate. She has dedicated her life to preparing caregivers and their loved ones to face end-of-life issues. Carolyn is the founder of Caregiver Story, a non-profit organization that provides free medical, legal and wellness resources to the public.

Yesterday, Carolyn visited Andrew Mondia at, where she interviewed Carolyn on the subject of the joys and overcoming fears of caregiving.

Today, I’d like to share with you a recent interview I had with Carolyn when I got to ask her on the subject of caregivers and their relationships with a significant other. I hope you enjoy it.


J H: What is the most important part of keeping a solid relationship with a spouse during and post-caring?

Carolyn A. Brent: That is a question that’s asked quit often by many spouses of caregivers. What is very important to know is that the paradigm of your relationship has now taken on a new role. Therefore, it is essential to remember that during this time, you, too, have a new—special and significant role as well as the spouse of a caregiver.

A spouse can make all the difference in the world to a caregiver or post—caregiver by doing some of the little’s things. The following are a few examples:Carolyn_Headshot_Feb_10_2013

  • Taking care of the caregiver.
  • Supporting the caregiver.
  • Encouraging the caregiver.
  • Loving the caregiver.
  • Make special times to just say; I love youthank you.
  • Having a date night.
  • Tell your spouse he is handsome or she is pretty, and mean it!
  • Being that listening ear, when the caregiver shares his or her day.
  • Cooking dinner every now and then.
  • Bring home flowers just because.
  • Running hot bubble baths.
  • Have romantic walks at the beach, parks, or wherever the two of you can relax.
  • Go to the movies.
  • Take a well-needed vacation.
  • Write a romantic letter—remembering what brought the two of you together in the first place.
  • Learn how to love each other again.

Know that caregiving isn’t forever and your love and support will help the caregiver during this difficult times in their loved ones life.

JH: In a relationship post-caregiving, what are some of the stressors that may arise in a relationship during and post-caregiving?

Carolyn A. Brent: When caregiving for a loved one there are many stressors that WILL come into play such as a sudden unexpected life-threatening emergency. And as a spouse of a caregiver have you ever stopped to think of what the caregiver could be going through? The following are examples:

It could be due to the fact that your spouse may be dealing with a personal loss, physical loss, depression, grieving, and/or the fear of losing his or her loved one? It could be that your spouse may feel that having a “crucial conversation” about with you about “money matters” might signal that the health of their loved one is driving the two of you into the broke house? Or it could be that you do not have a solid relationship with your spouses loved one and/or family members? Or maybe it’s connected in some way to the fact that you are never around to help with the caregiving duties of their loved one?

Being a caregiver is the most stressful and heartbreaking job one could ever possibly do. I highly recommend that a spouse of a caregiver do their part and learn as much as possible about the duties and responsibilities of a caregiver, and “Make Caregiving A Family Affair.”

Instead of focusing on the negative probabilities, sit down with your spouse and discuss possible solutions. If you work together as a team in a creative way you may be able to turn the caregiving challenge into greater family love—and growth opportunity. Don’t let the stressors of caregiving, and post-caregiving get the upper hand; this is the time to let your love and commitment—SHINE!

JH: What are some of the signs a marriage will able to survive during or post caregiving?

Carolyn A. Brent: When couples work together, and STOP the blame games—is an ideal time to invite a third party to share your relationship concerns. Examples are: A marriage mentor, marriage family counselor, caregiving family spousal support groups, or any expert with the knowledge and experience with caregiving family concerns. I will forever say; “Make Caregiving A Family Affair.”

Please see question (1) — above points and both parties should follow the list—by doing the same for each other.

More details are in The Caregiver’s Companion: Chapters 2: Caring for Your Loved One at Home—Chapter 6: Crucial Emotional Conversations


I hope you enjoyed this interview with Carolyn A. Brent and that you’ll check out her book on Amazon today:

The Caregiver’s Companion:
Caring for Your Loved One Medically,
Financially and Emotionally While Caring for Yourself


Thanks for reading! Please share your comments and thoughts below. I love reading your feedback.

Thank-you for following Carolyn along on her virtual blog tour. Today is the last day and if you joined part way through… Our first stop was Callie Carling at, where she interviewed Carolyn on the topic of self-care and overcoming self-guilt-traps.

The Caregiver’s Companion

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About Carolyn Brent

Dr. Carolyn A. Brent, is an award-winning bestselling author and a National Physique Committee (NPC) Masters Women's Figure Champion at age 60. She is an expert on both self-care and caregiving; she is the founder of Across All Ages and two nonprofit organizations, CareGiverStory Inc. and Grandpa's Dream. Carolyn's research and extensive collection of published works have made her a notable figure in her field. For seventeen years, she worked for some of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies and has worked as a volunteer at various assisted-living facilities. Her award-winning books include The Caregiver's Companion: Caring for Your Loved One Medically, Financially and Emotionally While Caring for Yourself and The Caregiver's Legal Survival Guide: Navigating through the Legal System.

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