Caring for husband with learning disabilities - need support — Scope | Disability forum
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Caring for husband with learning disabilities - need support

yvm Member Posts: 1 Listener
 hi everyone I am looking for help and support about adults with learning disabilities, I have been a carer to my husband since the day we married 17 yrs ago. when we met he seemed fine but had said he had dyslexia this was not a problem to me and I understood. he was so different to the day after the wedding the change was rapid and I didn't know the man I was with, he suddenly couldn't function on so many levels he had dropped the guard and finally I saw the reality of who he was. I know this sounds strange but lying is 1 of his talents he has so many issues too many too name after years i couldn't cope and had him tested and dr said he had  learning difficulties and saw no hope of improving, so I carried on trying to look after him and have us much as a life as I could looking after him and 3 kids. life rolls on and he appears to get less able to cope and causes a lot of heartache along the way, I know he doesn't mean it but suddenly at 50 i have got so stressed and cry all the time and feel i cant do it on my own anymore. I have been ill for months with a separate issue and knew I had to do it all even then, and thats when it hit me I cant do it and need help. at the  moment I do not want to go back to work as i feel deflated and alone on this issue, when I speak to family they say you cant leave he would do something silly just for the attention and he wouldn't cope (faked several heart attacks and endless illnesses resulting going to hospital regular for attention) I feel bad but I am getting older and feel imprisoned and guilty for thinking and feeling this way. any help would be great thanks  


  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,388 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @yvm and welcome to the community.

    First things first; my first bit of advice would be not to give up your job, would they consider letting you take reduced hours or move to job share if you really cannot cope with your current hours? I would be very concerned that once you stop work you will be sucked into his little world full time and become socially isolated and less independent.

    My second bit of advice is the way you feel is not uncommon and nothing to feel guilty about. Left unchecked though it will drag you down, have you considered asking for counselling, a professional who can help you deal with these feelings?

    One of the traps when we care about someone we love is that we end up enabling their destructive behaviour. In short the more we do for them the more they expect us to do. I am not talking about where there is genuine need to do more. 

    You need to start reversing his dependence on you, or a little tough love. I'm not sure what to suggest as I don't know how much you do  for him, but would guess when you come home from work you have to make dinner, wash up afterwards etc. Then get him to do any prep work for the dinner, and help by drying up the dishes. You will need to be firm, but not nasty, and be prepared to start with small things at first and build up.

    I wish I could offer you more advice, but perhaps someone else can offer more concrete advice. @Sam_Scope any ideas?

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,673 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @yvm welcome to the community, it sounds like you are having a really tough time.

    I think there is a lot of pressure when you are a carer and it is really important that you look after yourself too.  I think it would be good for you to see your GP and explain how you feel when you are stressed and crying, they could offer you some talking therapy that may be helpful.

    When you mention family, it sounds like they arent being very supportive of you, but perhaps they just don't know what to say? 

    Do you have anyone close who you can speak to? A friend or a family member who you can be really honest with?

    I think you need to really think about what you want, but first it's important to get yourself in a good place.  I think sometimes it is really hard to make decisions when you are feeling down.  

    Does your husband get any other support apart from you? Perhaps he needs to see someone else too? You say he fakes illness and lies, that could be seen as quite abusive behaviour towards you.

    I think you could both do with some extra support and I hope we can help you find what you need. A carer's assessment is a chance to discuss your needs with your local council. The assessment is free and your local council will use it to decide what support to give you.  To get a carers assessment you need to  find your local council on and get in touch with them to find out more.

     If you would like to speak to someone, you can call the Scope helpline on 08088003333 (office hours) or Carers UK on 0808 808 7777 (10-4)
    Senior online community officer


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