Did your mother tell you, “Never leave the house without clean underwear; you could be in a car accident, and then what would the doctors think!”?
As a surgeon who has spent many years evaluating car accident patients in the emergency room, I have never once seen a doctor, nurse or medic comment on the condition of the patient’s underwear.
The concern about what other people think of you can be a prison. One person said, “I conduct myself with integrity. What other people think of me is really none of my business.”
Families involved with caregiving often have to redefine social boundaries. You may want to go to a social event that holds no interest for your partner, or vice versa. You may think there are only two choices: both of you go or neither goes. Either way, one of you feels resentful.
There’s a third choice. You can go and your partner can stay home. If someone asks, “Where’s your partner,” you can answer, “Kim would have loved to see you, but we’re dividing and conquering the to-do list.”
Or if your partner likes staying to the very end of the event and you like calling it an early evening, find a way to leave separately.
Crossing these social boundaries may feel uncomfortable at first. These little tweaks may mean the difference between families that work and those that do not.