To be devastated at DH's comment?

(194 Posts)
regthetabbycat Thu 24-Jun-21 13:57:41

I'm a stroke survivor and also have severe osteoarthritis which impacts massively on my independence. I'm also diabetic.

My DH is my sole carer which is how he wants it.

I cope with toileting myself by day and use a commode at night which I manage alone but he needs to empty the bucket each morning.

He cooks most of the meals and serves them because I can't carry things. He also does the washing twice a week.

Yesterday I overheard him telling a mutual friend that he's exhausted and 'never gets a minute' to himself. I'm heartbroken by this.

I keep between meal requests to a minimum because after being active and independent this hasn't gone well with me and I'm quite frankly embarrassed at needing to be cared for! I try my best to combine requests so he gets longer breaks. Twice a week he meets a friend for coffee for an hour - which is a luxury I don't get. My outings are limited to hospital appointments because he would have push the wheelchair for other things and I don't like asking.

AIBU to be so upset at this.

OP’s posts: |
FuckingFabulous Thu 24-Jun-21 14:02:41

No, you're not being unreasonable to feel upset by that. Anyone would be. But (and I mean this in the most gentle way) it's incredibly hard to be a carer and you can feel very put upon, very overwhelmed and very much as if you lose yourself. I am a carer for my oldest child. I wasn't always but I am now. I love her more than I could ever possibly explain but I am exhausted by her needs and what they mean for me. I don't blame her for them. I don't resent her for them. I'm sad about the hand she was dealt and the experiences she has to endure, and I'm sad about my life going in a direction I never imagined it going. And yes, there are times that I absolutely need to offload that kind of feeling. If I feel like I am being dragged down with exhaustion or sadness, I have to get it out, otherwise I can't stay of top of it.

Your partner is very likely the same.

PackItUpWillYa Thu 24-Jun-21 14:02:52

I can fully understand why you feel upset, but it’s not an unreasonable thing for him to admit. It must be very hard for both of you.

Can you revisit getting in outside carers, even if it’s just for a few hours each week, just to take the pressure off him? You might need to be a bit more insistent with him. He may well be against it at first, but if you can get something in place he may very well change his mind. Surely it would be at least worth giving it a try?

VladmirsPoutine Thu 24-Jun-21 14:03:41

My DH is my sole carer which is how he wants it.

When you say this - what were the alternative options? Did you qualify to have external carers and could you have afforded this?

Yanbu to feel upset but these two positions don't actually align. If he 'wanted' to be your sole carer then did you both mutually agree to decline external support?

Caring for someone is no mean feat - I know this myself. I think it might be time to redress the situation if he feels he doesn't get a minute for himself and how you can both resolve this.

Ohmygoshandfolly Thu 24-Jun-21 14:04:50

I can understand why you’re upset but also understand why he’d need to vent occasionally too. It’s a difficult situation for you both so I think you both need to cut each other some slack here.

Snowbeau Thu 24-Jun-21 14:05:01

I'm sorry to hear about what you've been going through.

I think yabu. And I say this as someone who is chronically ill and whose dh is caring for her too.

They dynamic of your relationship has changed hugely. It sounds like that's what your OH is struggling with rather than getting a minute to himself. When you start a relationship with someone you don't sign up consciously to be their carer.

Do you get pip? Could you employ someone to support with caring duties to readjust the balance between the two of you?

It sounds like you need to have a chat about it all.

DifficultPifcultLemonDifficult Thu 24-Jun-21 14:05:23

He hasn't been unreasonable in having a vent to a friend.

You aren't unreasonable to feel upset either though.

Neither of you are in the wrong at all, its a difficult situation for you both in different ways.

flowers

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DeadPapaToothwort Thu 24-Jun-21 14:05:51

I can see this from both sides. No one is being unreasonable, IMO

HollowTalk Thu 24-Jun-21 14:06:41

What's the problem with the toilet, OP? Do you sleep downstairs where there's no toilet?

I can absolutely understand both of your positions. It's so tough on both of you.

randomkey123 Thu 24-Jun-21 14:06:49

You both need some respite from each other.

If you had an independent carer, you wouldn't feel as if you're asking too much to get something done and he would feel he had some free time.

Can you afford to pay for a private carer or would you get one allocated? Maybe worth investigating. I used to work in respite care and it's so important to have time away from each other and recharge your batteries flowers

SengaMac Thu 24-Jun-21 14:08:47

Tell him you've noticed he's getting a bit worn down by the caring rôle, it worries you and you are going to organise some extra care to take the load off him.
Discuss with him what sort of care, and how much of it, would best help both of you.
Then do that.

If he argues, tell him that it's to reassure you that he isn't overloaded.

tallduckandhandsome Thu 24-Jun-21 14:09:06

I can see both sides too. Is he often impatient or snappy with you? If he isn’t then I wouldn’t be too upset. If he is then I would consider some outside care too.

Do you want him to be sole carer, are you entitled to some free care?

Maybe if you had a carer then he could help take you out to a coffee or see friends?

Maestoso Thu 24-Jun-21 14:09:59

No, yanbu. It's possible he thinks about you and your care a lot, so in his head he never gets a break. But that's a shit thing to hear when you have no control. Could you afford some help?

Bagelsandbrie Thu 24-Jun-21 14:10:14

I have disabilities and am on the highest rates of PIP indefinitely so I can relate to how you feel- my dh does a lot of things for us as a family and I struggle with my loss of independence. BUT your dh can’t say on the one hand he wants to be your sole carer and on the other that he’s feeling burnt out - if he feels that way he needs to let someone else help out. Do you claim PIP? Can you use some of this to get external help maybe?

Goshitstricky Thu 24-Jun-21 14:13:15

Would your DH be open to counselling? Maybe he has some things to talk through around being your carer and somewhere private may be the place for him to do so and keep his MH in check whilst he's there. It may also make him change his mind about outside carers?

I'm sorry you're going through this, losing independence is a huge strain on MH, I hope you're receiving support.

zingally Thu 24-Jun-21 14:13:42

You are completely right to feel hurt, but by the same token, DH is allowed to off-load some feelings.
However hard to try to mitigate his "load", caring for someone else is fucking HARD. I did it for my dad for a while after he had a mental breakdown, and it can be scary, physically exhausting, and non-stop. You're always on high alert for something going wrong.

This situation is hard and horrible for you BOTH.

I think you really need to talk to him about it. And re-visit the idea of external helpers coming in. Maybe he'll continue to say HE doesn't want them... But you could turn that around and say that YOU want them.

Pigeonpocket Thu 24-Jun-21 14:13:46

I think YANBU for feeling that way, but he's also allowed to feel that way. It must be so difficult for both of you to adjust.

My outings are limited to hospital appointments because he would have push the wheelchair for other things and I don't like asking.

This sounds really sad. Perhaps if you asked, and you got to spend time together doing something fun and not just caring duties in the house, it would make you both feel a little better?

Ladylokidoki Thu 24-Jun-21 14:14:42

Yanbu to be upset.

He isn't BU, to vent. We all have these days where we feel we don't get a minute. But in reality we do.

But I don't think this is what's bothering you, is it?

From your post it appears he has a life outside the house and you don't. You are so worried about putting more on to his plate your own life is very limited

I think, and this is just an opinion, that you feel he does get time. He does get a life. And you don't. And the reason you don't, is incase you upset him?

Are you happy with him as your carer?

regthetabbycat Thu 24-Jun-21 14:16:46

HollowTalk

What's the problem with the toilet, OP? Do you sleep downstairs where there's no toilet?

I can absolutely understand both of your positions. It's so tough on both of you.

The issue is that if I use the toilet, I have turn the light on and wake him. I can slide onto a commode for a wee without disturbing him.

We could possibly get a private carer in a day a week to cover the laundry and meals which would give him some respite.

OP’s posts: |
NutellaEllaElla Thu 24-Jun-21 14:17:07

Ladylokidoki

Yanbu to be upset.

He isn't BU, to vent. We all have these days where we feel we don't get a minute. But in reality we do.

But I don't think this is what's bothering you, is it?

From your post it appears he has a life outside the house and you don't. You are so worried about putting more on to his plate your own life is very limited

I think, and this is just an opinion, that you feel he does get time. He does get a life. And you don't. And the reason you don't, is incase you upset him?

Are you happy with him as your carer?

What she said.

Does it sound right to you that you don't get to leave the house except for appointments? Does that sounds like satisfactory care to you? Maybe you should use your benefits to pay for personal care so you and DH can have a life.

regthetabbycat Thu 24-Jun-21 14:24:13

Does it sound right to you that you don't get to leave the house except for appointments? Does that sounds like satisfactory care to you? Maybe you should use your benefits to pay for personal care so you and DH can have a life.

We don't get any benefits apart from my pension! We can apply for attendance allowance once he's been caring for me for 6 months. Another 5 weeks away!

OP’s posts: |
AmyDudley Thu 24-Jun-21 14:25:57

That must have been upsetting for you to hear, but being a carer is hard work so I imagine your DH needs to let off steam sometimes. He probably feels sad and frustrated on your behalf as well, because of the restrictions you face in life.

When my Mum was caring for my Dad, she used to go to a carers cafe that was run once a week - is there anything like that in your area. She found it very helpful to be able to chat with others in the same situation without having to explain how life can be more complicated from a logistical point of view (as well as emotional) when you are a carer. Talking to people who understand can be very helpful.
She also found out from social services about a sit in service - a volunteer who would come and sit with my Dad and do things with him/ read to him/ do puzzles etc for a couple of hours a week so she could get out of the house and go for a walk or to to shops or whatever. (I don't know what your situation is with regard to you needing someone with you all the time or being able to spend time on your own - but might be worth inquiring about this or similar services in your area.)
Caring is hard and being cared for is very hard as well - so huge sympathies - my mother (and me and my sister) were carers for my brother all his life, and then Mum cared for Dad when he was older, and I've been on the receiving end of care myself, so have some understanding of how difficult and overwhelming it can be for all concerned.
Find out about services in your area, - voluntary or funded - and see what is available that might give both of you a bit of a break. Try not to take your DH's comment too much to heart - sometimes we need to let out frustration on order to 'reset' ourselves, and get back on an even keel again.

Ozanj Thu 24-Jun-21 14:26:12

I don’t think he’s providing adequate care if you are that unhappy and uncomfortable asking him to actually care for you. Do both of yourselves a favour and buy in professional life. You deserve a life too.

Fitforforty Thu 24-Jun-21 14:26:34

Neither of you are being unreasonable. When did DH say he wanted to be your solo carer? Was it recently?

It sounds like you would benefit from having a new assessment of your care needs and your DH could do with having a carers assessment.

Ozanj Thu 24-Jun-21 14:27:17

Honestly it feels like you are punishing yourself for becoming disabled. Don’t do this please. These things can happen to anyone. Just take advantage of all the professional help you can so you don’t need to rely on a carer you are uncomfortable with.

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