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Advice on living separately from BPD partner - Carers UK Forum

Advice on living separately from BPD partner

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.

I'm new to this forum and am hoping someone out there will recognise my situation and be able to advise me.

I have lived with my 'partner' for 12 years and we have an 8yr old son together. My partner has BPD and has not been able to work for the last 2yrs and prior to that he only worked sporadically and in low paid jobs. He does receive some benefits but is not financially independent. In fact, his financial situation is dire - he has large debts (mainly built up in manic episodes).

Through the years he has cut off contact with his family and friends and so the only adult he has a relationship with is me. However, our relationship bears no resemblance to a mutually supportive and loving partnership. We have not shared a room for years, there is no affection and perhaps what I find most difficult is there is no plans for the future, no hope, no light and no joy and whilst I live in this way there seems little hope for me to form any other kind of life for myself.

I have reached a point where I don't think it is healthy for me to continue as we are. I am often feeling desperately low about my circumstances. I do not want to absolve myself of all responsibility for his well-being and would be happy to be involved in his care and be his friend and co-parent our son. However, I would like us to live separately, even if he were to live in a granny flat or very nearby.

I work full time and own the house where we currently all live. We were looking to move in the next year or so regardless and when we do I would like to look at options so I can have my own space but I can't bring myself to simply throw him out and ask him to fend for himself.

The advise I would like is from anyone who has managed to separate from a mentally ill partner who has no income other than state benefits and how they achieved this without having to fully bank roll two properties (as this would not be financially viable for me).

I'll finish by saying, I have driven myself round the bend thinking about how to fix this and I always end up doing nothing as it all seems too difficult but now my health both mental and physical is suffering and I can't ignore it for much longer.

Thanks in advance, Holly.
Hi Holly
I feel your pain! My situation is not exactly the same, as it is my adult depressed son (in his 30s) who lives with me currently (but which is affecting my mental health and upsetting my marriage (to stepfather). My son has no real friends and the relentless negativity is very destructive, as I'm sure you are aware. My son doesn't work or indeed do very much of anything apart from criticise me - a full time occupation for him.
I want him to move out - I will share how far I've got with this, in the hope that it will help.
I told my son's mental health worker that it was affecting my mental health having my son living with us.
My son has agreed to move out (although I know he won't do anything about it himself). This is the kicker - will your partner agree to move out?
The mental health team arranged a Carers assessment for me with a social worker. She came and I reiterated again how we cannot continue with my son at home. She was in agreement, and said that she would arrange for my son to have his own social worker. (Nothing has happened about that yet).
I went to see my GP and explained about the effect this was having on me, reiterating how it is affecting my life. Am starting to sound like a broken record.
Contacted housing office to see what support my son could get. Because he is on ESA it is a 'passport' benefit to max housing benefit in this area that is £83 a week but it varies all over the country I think, depending on housing costs. Son gets approx 125 pw ESA. (he is in the 'support' group. The social worker thinks he may possibly be entitled to PIP on top but who knows? Working on that.
Next challenge is to get landlord who will accept housing benefit/allowance - seems none of the letting agencies are keen. Appointment made with housing dept (next avail appt september :dry: )
GP advised me to 'make him homeless' - said social work would house him quick enough. Don't wish to do that, son's condition requires orderly management of change if poss, plus as a single bloke he would get the worst possible housing. Just like you, I don't want to ask him just to fend for himself (he can't/won't) - on the other hand, if I go down, we all go down...
So that's where I am, keeping on keeping on. Since we started down this road I feel marginally better, at least feeling that there is a possible end in sight. It's not that I don't love my son and want to help him but living with a depressive is very very difficult long term as you know(and i don't have the manic part to cope with!)
Do you think the current situation is causing difficulties for your son? as this may strengthen your case with social work.
Hopefully someone else will come along with more ideas? I'm in Scotland, but don't know if that makes a difference. Seems you have to work hard at being heard everywhere.
It's your house, so he must move out. As you are separating, he will be entitled to Housing Benefit I imagine. There will be a "local rate" which will be on your LA's website. Start there. Work out what he will need, what is his, if anything. If he is depressed, I guess you will have to do some of the planning for him. Is there any risk of him being violent towards you when you tell him? If so, take advice from somewhere before you say anything. Set a definite date by which you want him out, and then book a locksmith. My son and his partner lived with me until earler this year, sadly he ended up asking her to leave, for very good reasons. It was very difficult, but there was no option in the end. From this experience, I would say it's going to be a difficult time, but worth it eventually. Have you any counselling services in your area. If so, make contact with them.