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Partner needing care but I’m unable to provide - Carers UK Forum

Partner needing care but I’m unable to provide

Tell us a bit about yourself here.

I’m new to this forum so please bear with me!

I was widowed 8.5 years ago and I cared for my dear husband for many years, but very intensively for the last 2.5 years of his life. I did this lovingly and willingly but it was very stressful at times - particularly when he became bed ridden and needed end of life /palliative care at home. I cared for him single handedly as neither of us wanted external carers.

After he died I was broken - I missed him so much and also I’d lost my whole identity and the purpose to life - both his presence and my role as his carer. Five years later at aged 62 and after a great deal of support and professional help, I began to want to live again.

In 2018 I met a lovely recently widowed man and began to feel alive again! In 2019 He moved in with me temporarily as his house was being refurbished. Then covid came and he stayed. His house now has a tenant.

He is retired and I still work 3 days per week. I’ve done the majority (99%) of day to day chores as his health isn’t good. However this is taking its toll on me and I’m now feeling very tired and resentful. I can also see that his health won’t improve and that by default I’ve become his carer.

After having cared for my dear husband and knowing what it entails, I don’t want to be a carer again. He has 2 children and I’ve asked him to be open with them about his health and caring needs but he hasn’t done that. Also it’s not something I can force him to do either.

So my dilemma is how to approach this as I firmly believe his family need to know the situation and to provide support as I can see that his needs will increase and there’s an assumption that I will pick up the caring and I don’t want to.

Has anyone been in a similar situation? I would really appreciate advice!

Sorry for such a long story!!

Pam xx
Welcome to the forum.

You need to be firm. He MUST go back to the house he owns - the tenants can move out - or he can move in with one of his children, or live somewhere else. Just not your place.

He has taken advantage of you, and if you don't stand firm, inevitably you will be stuck with him until one of you dies, unless YOU do something about it, because he won't!

I was widowed suddenly 15 years ago, I am always lonely but your current situation is what puts me off with getting involved with anyone ever again. I have a son with learning difficulties, who lives 15 miles away but comes home regularly, and I've supported all four of our elderly increasingly disabled parents as they approached the end of their lives. After 50 years of putting the needs of others first, I'm now putting myself first.

If I don't, no one else will.
Hello Bowlingbun

Thank you so much for your thoughtful and honest reply.

My instinct tells me that you are right. Also my daughter and SIL are pretty much saying the same as you have. Their observation is that my life is being taken over by caring again, and they know how that affected me during my late husbands illness and after he died.

I’m going to sleep on my dilemma for a few days as I want to be measured and calm - but firm! I also want to give him time to consider his response and to make plans.

I would really like us to continue being a couple and to enjoy ‘dates’ and breaks. I think I would enjoy that - without having the responsibility of being his carer. I would also be happy to contribute to any support his children provide - but on the periphery rather than having the responsibility. Does that sound harsh or unreasonable? That’s the bit I’m struggling with to be honest!
Hello Pam
I totally agree with Bowlingbun.
I lost my much loved husband in May 2019. Widowhood can be lonely even with a caring family close to me. So I understand that you took some happiness when you could. Now, you are less happy, fearing the role of caring is on your shoulders again. You don't have to do that. I could not risk going through the risk of watching another partner go through life changing illness again.
I believe a tenant is allowed 3 months to move out of rented accommodation. Unless a contract says differently. If your friend won't tell his family then I feel you must tell them. Explain that to him.
Of course he may not consider dates and breaks as you would like. Your needs still must come first regardless.
I agree with the replies. You have to put YOU first. I would tell your partner to give the tenants notice. You could also consider writing to his children asking them to help and if not, saying you will consult a solicitor if necessary to get him out of your home, as you are not able to take care of his long term needs.

Once he is back in his home, you can maybe be 'care manager' with the support of his children and help organise and oversee his care, but not have it as your responsibility. I do feel too that you have to be firm as I would guess he is in denial. Hopefully if you can get some support in place for him, then you can still be couple but please please please do not sleep walk into another relationship where eventually you have NO life of your own.
Hi Pamela,
I agree with the advice the other posters have given.
It’s not going to be an easy conversation but the alternative is far worse.

Oh my. Thank you all so much for such supportive responses. Truly - I’m overwhelmed.

So it’s a resounding agreement that I need to put my needs first. If I’m honest I’ve been feeling this for a while but it’s also taken a while to acknowledge it. At 65 I have a few healthy and good years to enjoy so I need to make sure that happens!

Also - and this is a bit of a vent!! It’s taken me a while to realise that although he doesn’t do anything wrong per say - he is quite selfish and a hyperchondriac (sorry if that’s mis spelt!!). Never offers to bring in bags from shopping or even make a drink. His children are probably the most selfish I’ve ever met - although his son is on the autistic spectrum albeit high functioning. A few things have recently happened which have made me realise that my core values are so different to his and those of his family. They exist in a ‘fantasy realm’ which can’t deal with honesty or difficulties in life. They are also money grabbers - constantly looking for ‘freebies’ but not giving anything back. I struggle around that outlook as life isn’t all sweetness and light - it can be tough and when it is, we need support! For me - I can only thrive with reciprocity and it doesn’t happen. Makes me sound really judgemental but honestly - it’s only what I’ve observed over the past 2 years. I find myself ‘having to go out’ when his daughter visits as I find the self centredness just too much!
Read your last sentence again!
It's YOUR home, YOUR riules. It's been hijacked.
Find a private counsellor, your GP should be able to recommend one.
It's invaluable when you need someone to chew things over with when you are widowed.

Now let's talk money! How much does he contribute towards your household bills?
How much is he renting his house out for???
Hi Bowlingbun

You’ve hit the nail on the head re my house/my rules and that’s given me validation and confidence to deal with this - in the short term until he moves out. That may be at least 3 months given that I would want to be reasonable and get professional advice.

I do agree that I need some counselling too - if only to stay measured and strong and to clarify how to proceed in what could become distressing. That’s my pragmatism speaking.

Money is another matter and the whole house/tenant situation is complex. I think his daughter and SIL are greedy and exploiting him and also the tenant (who is a family friend - But not theirs….again very complex). But he allows it to carry on so he is their enabler. Says he feels sorry for the daughter as her mum died and that makes her lonely.
He doesn’t get anything from the rental so can only afford £300 per month to live here. Bills and food included + all mod cons and chores done for him. Now I’ve written this down I can see that Im
the mug here!
All for under £11 a day?????
It's rubbish to say that's all he can afford. He owns a house!
What was he living on in his own house, fresh air?
In effect you are giving money to his greedy daughters.

Consult a solicitor about your legal rights and reclaim your life. It will be difficult, but you need to be free of him. He doesn't love you, he's using you.