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New & in desperate need of advice! :( - Carers UK Forum

New & in desperate need of advice! :(

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hi, my name is Paul. I care for my wife who has M.E., diagnosed in 2010. We have been together for 3 & 1/2 years, married 18 months. We have a 10 month old baby boy.

As my wife's condition slowly gets worse it is putting a huge strain on our relationship. We're both constantly stressed & irritable which leads to numerous arguments. She feels guilty that I've given up everything to look after her, so much so that today she told me we should part ways because it's not fair on me. I've tried explaining that no-one is forcing me & that all that I do is by my own choice but she won't accept it.

I was going to arrange to see our GP to maybe seek some counselling as after reading parts of this website I can begin to see the onset of my own depression & I want to act before things get any worse, however upon speaking to some of her relatives they inform me that they are worried about her also because of some of the things she has been saying. This is mainly about how she feels she is failing as a mother & isn't good enough for him etc etc.

Do I see my GP to see if we can get her help? Do I take her there myself? Do we address 1 thing at a time & seek counselling for our relationship troubles first?

I really could do with some advice as I don't know who to turn to & what to turn to them for.

I would both go and see the gp and see what help you can get
A new baby puts a strain on any relationship, my grandson, born June 5th is currently teething and both parents are very bleary eyed just now! The first year is more a case of survival, sleep and rest is more important than housework. Do you attend any parent/toddler groups? It would be good for you both to meet up with others in the same situation, 36 years later I'm still friends with some of the mums I met when my eldest was born. If you wife is very severely affect there is a chance that she might be entitled to Disability Living Allowance, you would need to have a word with the Carers UK helpline. Personally, I would initially go and see the GP on my own, to explain openly and honestly how I felt. Every mum worries about her ability to cope, that is natural, but if she has never seemed quite the same since the baby was born, perhaps there is an element of post natal depression too? When there are a number of different issues going on at the same time, try and prioritise them, by making your own list and shuffling it around a few times, things will be a lot clearer. Just deal with the top one or two to start with. Perhaps doing your own lists, and sharing them with each other might help? Just a few ideas to consider.
I would also recommend you think about what is most of a problem to you both and think about ways to make your lives easier. Are there any aids that might help? Could you offload any of the chores? Eat readymeals? Would someone be willing to babysit while she has a bath?

I dont know if any of this is helpful as Im guessing about her level of disability.
Thanks for all your advice guys.

Yes she gets full DLA & I get the carers & Inc supp too. She did suffer with PND & is currently having 1 to 1 sessions with a counsellor, although this just seems to be focusing on her anxieties. Whilst its a help for that its not doing much about the big picture, she's tried to cover more details in these sessions but they don't like going off topic. Trouble is, with both of us out of work & living on benefits we can't afford to just 'look up' a counsellor & go from there.

Some family members do help with the baby duties, he normally stays at his granny's once a week to give us a chance to catch up with some sleep. Again, thats part of the problem, because we're both so tired our 1 night to ourselves is spent sleeping & not repairing damage thats being done to our relationship.

Her step-mum has spoken to her this weekend & she has said she wants to see the GP tomorrow so I suppose this is a step forward. I'm going to try & get myself an appointment to see if I or we can get referred somewhere & to see what help we can get. I also need to see the GP because I can feel myself starting to feel really low with all thats going on, which is not good for our son, our relationship or my own health. I have left a message with a local agency that offers advice & support so I'll see what comes of that.

Ultimately I'm a bit worried about her mental state due to some of the things she's been saying recently, & I'm not the only 1. Trouble is, with her depression its hard to have a serious conversation about it without her either getting offended or angry Image I'll see what happens with the GP & go from there.

Thanks again everyone.
Hi Paul. Just wanted to offer you a warm welcome to the forum too. Some good advice already offered it seems. Your wife and yourself sound absolutely exhausted with everything. I hope you are able to access the support in the town that you most obviously need.

Bell x
Hi Fash,
welcome to the forum. Hope you get some support from your GP, if your wife is still up for going. It's a first step but that's the big one x
Hi, Fash, welcome.
She feels guilty that I've given up everything to look after her, so much so that today she told me we should part ways because it's not fair on me. I've tried explaining that no-one is forcing me & that all that I do is by my own choice but she won't accept it.
I am 47 and have recently gone part time to care for my husband, 77 who has copd, arthritis and asbestosis. Because of our age gap, he has also initiated the "it's not fair on you" conversation in the past. I tell him that I am NOT doing it because I feel I have to, but because I WANT to.

Is there someone who can look after your baby for a few hours while you visit the GP together? Maybe when your wife has taken that first step it will get easier.
Good luck.
Phoebe x
Hi all,

She went to the GP Monday, didn't feel any better for it though Image

He basically told her that she needs some me time, we need some us time & that every so often she should treat herself to something. Her CBT counsellor says that we should go out once a week.

This is all great advice, however we have already discussed this between ourselves & it doesnt really work. I study at college 3 days a week, so thats my 'me' time, she occasionally goes to various friends houses in the evening for a drink & catch up, thats her 'me' time. Normally our son spends 1 night a week at his granny's house, thats our 'us' time (however we're both so exhausted we can't do much about it!). I've said Thursdays will be our date night, although not sure what we can do when we have no money, the state doesn't exactly pay much for people in our situation, but thats a whole new arguement! Image

I know its 18 months away, but I'm starting to worry what will happen when I finish my training & go back to work?

Hopefully I will get a response from my enquiry at the local carers centre & maybe get to see someone there soon Image

Thanks again for everyone's advice
Did she play down how she was feeling to the GP?
We all like to persuade ourselves - and others - that we are coping absolutely fine even when we are not, because otherwise we feel failures. Its all so easy to do the same even when we are asking for help.