Outside,first let me commend you on your initiative and taking matters into your own hands by coming here and obviously you did some searching and found this place because you arent ready to throw the towel in on him yet. Over the years I have seen many a caregivers,S.O's,spouses,kids,etc.come looking for ways to help and simply survive living with a CPer. You have made the right first step by trying to get an understanding of what it is like for us on a day to day basis if it is possible.
I was in the medical field for many years prior to becoming a CPer and even I had NO idea what this road would be like so your name outsidelookin in was a idea choice I might add.
Our first instinct is anger then blame and self pity, I came around to calling it the "why me" syndrome and it is by far one of the hardest steps to master in this life of ours and sadly alot of us never get it down well and most of us will revert back to it time and again in the life.
The best advice I can give you is patience sweety,lots of room for him to come to terms with this maybe never sending chapter in his life. In the meantime dont lose yourself in his coming to terms,stay active,take care of yourself and take time for yourself always letting him know your there if he needs to talk or rant and many times it may be just that.
We try not to whine and not to show how much pain we are really in and in that process of learning to hide those feelings we also hide all others.
He needs to stay as active as he can without hurting himself so make small tasks for him to take care of so he doesnt lose his meaning in life so often we withdraw into ourselves that we feel worthless and of no use to anyone simply because we cant carry on as we were so we tend not to do anything. Dont let him go thru those doors if you can prevent it. Make sure he realizes the tasks he is being given are important and that you "need" for him to take care of those things for you so you have time to take care of other things.
He can do lots of things like the banking,bill pay,ordering things needed,telephone calls,etc, all things that will help you and make him feel he is still a vital part of the two of you.
Most important keep coming here or somehwere and asking the questions in your mind,vent if the need is there and someone here will always be here to lend a hand if we can do nothing more then listen.
Good luck to you both.
You are to be commended for your efforts in trying to understand and help with the situation you are living in. But, I will say this, you can lead a horse to the water, but you can't make him drink. I am not going to repeat what the other CP'ers have written, but I will tell you he could also be silently grieving for his old self. I can only assume that prior to all of this he was active outgoing person. My physochologist explained to me some the feelings I was experiencing once I got past the denial stage. We grieve because our worlds are turned upside down, we are unable to do so many things that we no longer can, we feel worthless, we go thru the why me stage, we end up with so much anger. Between seeing her and being put on an antidepressant, my life became much better in terms of how I saw things and how I felt about myself.
He is so wrapped up in himself that he cannot see what he is doing to you and the children. Without some type of physchological intervention I don't see your situation improving for you because he is so hell bent for the path he is on. I mean if the 2 of you had a good relationship prior to this, I am not understanding him turning on you. I think this is something being overlooked here on the forum.
Personally, I would have to set him down and tell him exactly how I felt, how its affecting the family, how he has shut everyone out and its the very people that want to him him in any way. I would make it clear that yes he does a problem and everyone is willing to help in some way but he cannot just turn on his family any longer the way he has without repercussions he may not like. Somehow, he needs to be shocked out of where he is now. Three years is a long time to have to sit by and watch what you have. Truthfully, I think the longer he sits and stews in his pot the worse he is going to get without some form of dire intervention. Its all his way and has been far too long.
You are right in how this has not only affected him, but you, your children, its not healthy. Your children are already sick of it and you don't need them acting out because of him, sorry, I am being honest, but he is not the only person involved here. You must think of yourself and your children.
Until this man decides he needs to get help and be a willing participant, I do not see your situation getting better, not after this amt of time. I doubt very seriously he will find his cure on the internet either. How can he sit with a bad back for hours is beyond me. Sitting is one of the worst things we can do because it puts so much pressure on the spine.
Please do come here and let us know how things are. We will be here for you any time....Susie