Carer for husband for last 5 years

I am 61 carer for my husband who has neuropathy, cant cook anymore. I feel like head cook and bottle washer. No sex as has had operation for cancer. He is not well, Did not think I would be caring now at my age. Not sure if I love him anymore. Even though he is a good man and we have been through alot together even losing a child Anyone any ideas how I can get through this hard time.

I was suddenly widowed when I was 54, my husband had a massive heart attack in his sleep. I have built a new life now, but I miss him every day.
Three months later I was nearly killed in a car accident, saved only by the fact I was driving his Range Rover, not my Escort. Unfortunately I was disabled and unable to walk properly for years until I had two knee replacements.
New Years Day we should be celebrating our Golden Wedding Anniversary.
None of us know what life will throw at us, all we can do is make the most of what we have. Try to concentrate on what you can do together and enjoy, but at the same time allow yourself to grieve for what has lost, especially the plans for a happy retirement etc.
How much physical caring are you doing? Do you ever get a day off?
I had a very difficult few years, widowed, disabled, 30 tons of lorry spares to manage, a disabled housebound mum, ended up in long term care, and then my brother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Two entire houses to sort out in two years. i’m regarded as a very “strong” woman, but even the strongest has a breaking point.
I had counselling, which changed my life, helped me sort out my own priorities, and stop me feeling a permanent failure as everyone wanted all of me, and I had no time to myself.
Ask your GP to arrange counselling, if you can possibly afford it, have private counselling, so it can continue as long as you need it, not limited to a number of sessions.
It was life changing for me, I just wish I’d had it much earlier in life!

Hi Claire,

Wishing you a warm welcome to the forum.

I am sorry to hear that you are going through such a difficult time with caring for your husband. Please know that Carers UK are here to support you and the forum can be a great sounding board to talk to other carers going through similar situations.

Its really important that you look after your overall health too including your husbands. Do you think it would be possible to contact your GP regarding how you are feeling in order to get some sort of support?

Our Telephone Helpline is available on 0808 808 7777 from Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm or you can contact us by email

They also provide information and guidance to unpaid carers. This covers a range of subjects including:

Benefits and financial support
Your rights as a carer in the workplace
Carers’ assessments and how to get support in your caring role
Services available to carers and the people you care for
How to complain effectively and challenge decisions

Best wishes


It is tough, Claire. I am a full time carer for my almost 60 year old husband who has congenital muscular dystrophy. His has been a slow decline and we always knew something of this nature would happen though the reality is always different from how you imagine it.
It is really hard being responsible for everything - I do sympathise. I am chief everything in our house and it is hard.
The things that have helped us are -

  • my husband is a naturally very relaxed guy and his world isn’t phased by things not happening when planned. I am learning to be more like this.
  • My husband & I work really hard at our relationship. We do make all those little gestures every day such as holding hands, kissing, telling each other we love each other. My husband tells me I am beautiful & special every day. They mean a lot. We have date nights with a takeaway & a film. There are lots of ways of being intimate - not just basic missionary sex.
  • Much as we love each other we couldn’t cope without separate rooms to be in during the day. I have a craft room/study and my husband encourages me in my hobbies. He has different hobbies.
  • I have external hobbies as well including playing competitive sport. I have coffee with friends, go to a bookgroup & generally get out & about. Albeit in short bursts as I have to be back for meals etc. Also I do have to cancel at short notice sometimes if Hubby isn’t so great. I usually manage to be out doing something for me about twice a week.
  • Some people find carers groups helpful. I don’t and prefer non-carer group activities. However it is always worth popping along to your local one to give it a try.
  • It is very hard being in my 50s and caring full time for my husband. If I didn’t love him so much I couldn’t do it. There is no let up & no way to switch off as even when I am out & about the phone is always on full volume. He helps look after my mental & emotional health by encouraging me to have hobbies & go out. I am also quite introverted which helps. I have had some CBT in the past which has also helped - you may find some form of counselling helpful.
  • Can I advise you asses your house & look at ways to make it easier for yourself. A dishwasher & tumble dryer may give you more time. If gardening isn’t your thing then minimalise it. If you have enough cash then employ someone to do jobs you don’t like including the gardening or some cleaning. If you don’t like that hedge then get it ripped out & put in a fence. You hate dusting those ornaments then pack them away or invest in a glass cupboard.

Just some thoughts. I hope they help.

Hello Claire, I do know exactly how you feel.

I’m 49 and have been caring for my wife for 4+ years

Most people on here are carers for elderly parents, who seem to make up 99%+ of the people on here. I make this point as I firmly believe that caring 24/7 for a spouse is a completely different dynamic. That’s not to create a hierarchy etc. It just IS different. Not better or worse and leaves you feeling the same.

Please feel free to vent off on here or message me etc.

take care of yourself


It would be almost impossible to gather full information about who cares for who here. I probably have the dubious distinction of having had the most carers, 10, all family! From new born baby and her older brother when their mum had post natal mental health issues, to 87 year old father in law. Now widowed, I care for my son, now 42, brain damaged at birth.