Caregiver burnout

I’ve been a carer for my wife who has been bedridden for three or four years now. I am aged 49 myself.

She is a shadow of the woman I married. She has slowly, inexorably, become a non-paying live-in lodger. She has ME/CFS. This condition makes normal life impossible.

I really am getting to the end of my tether now. For a while I’ve been looking for the perfect time to leave her - despite knowing there is no such thing. I have no illusions as to the devastation this will bring. Such drastic measure will affect us both for the rest of our lives. More her than me. It is chiefly the guilt of the prospect of leaving her in the lurch that keeps me around.

She’s American and has no relatives, etc in the UK.

I’m only 49. I cannot face decades more living this life. I’m a total caregiver burnout. I am done.

Hi Anthony

A really tough place to be.

Have you contacted Adult Services for a needs assessment for your wife and a carers assessment for yourself?,

If you had more regular breaks that may help.

I think Adult Services needs to know how you feel so that they can put support in place.

Then if you do leave you do not have to take so much guilt with you.

If you just left suddenly without sorting anything it could just make you feel worse

Hi Anthony
It’s been said many times on this forum…you do not have to be a carer for anyone unless a child.
You really do sound burnt out.
It’s very hard having a one way relationship. Please ask for advice and help. Once you get some and some time for yourself you may feel differently. If you don’t then at least you will know you gave it one last shot.
Does your wife know you are at the end of your tether?

Welcome to the forum. Everyone has a burnout point. I met mine, generally regarded as a “strong” woman, I’ve dealt with all sorts of things, even doing a part time Honours degree when caring for my son with learning difficulties. Then in quick succession I had major cancer surgery, found my husband dead in bed, and nearly died in a car accident, left virtually unable to walk yet my housebound mum still wanted me to do jobs for her, rather than her team of carers.
You are a relatively young man, and I can understand your feelings.
However, you don’t want to end up feeling guilty for the rest of your life because of the way you left.
When did you last have a holiday? Not as stupid a question as you might think!
Maybe your wife could move into a nursing home, a hospice, or have carers come into the home?
After all, if you leave, she will have no other option but to live without you.
Meanwhile you can recharge your batteries, physical and emotional, and have some quiet time to think about your future, where you want to be in five years time, and how to achieve this.
I then suggest you have some counselling. I found it life changing.
Is she making any effort at all, or resigned to her situation?

Thanks all for the kind words. They REALLY DO MEAN A LOT TO ME.

I have taken what you have said on board and going forward will consider it all and see what happens.

I know also, that I am not alone in this predicament and would like to take this opportunity to help other in the same boat.

thank you all again

When I was about to have major cancer surgery, I told my husband to find someone else if I didn’t survive.
He told me the reverse was also true. Sadly, he died less than 2 years later.
Your situation is even worse, in many ways. So is divorce.
However, if you love your wife enough to have cared for you for so long, she should love you enough to do her best to minimise her condition and the effect on you.