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How do we cope when we're both ill?

(21 Posts)
EelWife Tue 11-Feb-14 11:37:35

(Name-changer, using coffee shop wifi)

I've had a lot of health challenges for a very long time. DH has done a lot of caring for the kids whilst I've been too ill for the normal Mummy things, and has generally been very supportive. Now, though, we've both been struck down by the same sicky bug, and DH is ANGRY with me - angry that the one time he is ill, I am as well. He has a lot going on, I know - he's unemployed, also caring for an older daughter with SNs who lives with XW nearby - but I suddenly feel at an absolute loss as to how to talk to him or how to behave around him.

This morning, he snapped at me for being ungrateful and I snapped back because he'd not even given me a chance to say anything to him all morning before he'd snapped at me. He has been violent in the past (though last time was two years ago), and so I thought it was best to walk out without saying anything. He's now sending me texts telling me to "consider" my actions, and I no longer even know what to consider.

Where do I go from here?

CailinDana Tue 11-Feb-14 11:54:06


If he has been violent in the past then there is no way you can deal with this in a productive way, you will always be afraid he will hurt you physically.

Caring for the kids is a normal parental task. It is tough and stressful but it is no excuse for being angry with you.

Lweji Tue 11-Feb-14 12:05:50

When you are both ill, you cope as if each was a single parent. Ask for outside help, or just cope.

But I agree that if he has been violent you should dump him.
He sounds awful too.

EelWife Tue 11-Feb-14 12:19:39

I know I couldn't manage the kids myself as a lone parent, and that I'd never be able to afford the level of outside help I'd need. And that if I asked for professional support, SS would simply give the kids to him.

CailinDana Tue 11-Feb-14 12:29:54

Why do you think SS would give the children to him?

EelWife Tue 11-Feb-14 12:34:49


1. My current health problems would mean I needed help with some aspects of the parenting (being vague for anonymity) and let's be realistic, there are no budgets around to fund that kind of help - cheaper to give them to him FT.

2. I have a "past" that on paper, looks fairly grim - and whilst it's unrelated to my current health problems, paints a fairly bleak overall picture. Whenever I've been in contact with services as a parent, I've always had DH beside me, dazzling them with what a wonderful daddy, husband and carer he is. So he's to them the low risk option.

CailinDana Tue 11-Feb-14 12:39:02

I think you have the wrong idea of what SS does. For one thing, placing a child with a violent parent is completely wrong. For another, they would be absolutely against limiting a mother's contact unless that mother was herself violent or unstable in some way.

It would help if you could talk more about the issues you have but I understand if you'd rather not.

Does your husband remind you of how you would struggle without him? Or say that the children will be taken away from you?

EelWife Tue 11-Feb-14 12:47:33

Not really - I think it's just my fear, based on what I've seen SS do in similar circumstances (I worked as a MH advocate for many years)

The issues I have a predominantly pain and fatigue and mobility, particularly in the evenings. I need help with getting the kids to bed. And I'm not great at getting them around to activities or doing outdoor play, either.

EelWife Tue 11-Feb-14 12:49:57

BTW, if I go offline - it's not because of any danger. My battery here is running down, and I don't have the charger on me. But I massively appreciate you stopping to chat.

CailinDana Tue 11-Feb-14 12:50:35

Would you be entitled to apply for DLA?

EelWife Tue 11-Feb-14 12:53:51

I've claimed in the past, but my health did improve at around the same time the criteria got stricter 5 years or so ago: so it was stopped, and I think legitimately so, according to the actual rules. But you're right, I should have a read through the current criteria again.

EelWife Tue 11-Feb-14 12:55:16

Battery empty. I'll BRB as soon as I can. Many thanks flowers

EelWife Tue 11-Feb-14 18:05:32

I'm back online. Thank you, to all who have responded. Plenty to consider.

CailinDana Tue 11-Feb-14 19:16:35

How has the day been?

EelWife Tue 11-Feb-14 19:45:52

I waited until DH's texts went calmer and then returned, and got through the afternoon on my own with the kids with plenty of cuddles in front of cartoons. DH and I didn't really talk, but he was OK. He managed to keep some porridge down, too, which was a relief.

DH went out with friends a few hours ago, and I know the socialising will help him. I've just managed to get the kids to bed without him, proving to myself that I can do it!

CailinDana Tue 11-Feb-14 19:48:46

Is he still ill? Are you?

EelWife Tue 11-Feb-14 20:06:25

He says he feels dreadful, but has still managed to make it on a night out with friends. It's all relative, I suppose, and I know that socialising always does him good.

I'm feeling about as bad as on an average "really bad day". But at least I can have an early night now!

CailinDana Wed 12-Feb-14 11:49:34

How are you doing today? What are your feelings about your relationship?

EelWife Wed 12-Feb-14 14:00:17

I'm very tired, and just feel numb. But DH has taken our kids and the SC out for lunch, and I've managed to catch up on a bit of housework.

As long as we can both stay calm (can we?) I think things will be OK. I was reading the AIBU about disabled parents last night, and it reminded me of the lengths I'd go to prevent my DCs from ending up as my carers.

CailinDana Wed 12-Feb-14 14:07:49

Are you happy to carry on as you are?

EelWife Wed 12-Feb-14 14:13:37

Good question.

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