Caring for husband is ruining our marriage

Hi everyone I’m new. Just a bit of background, my husband has several health conditions as a result of chemotherapy as a child, he currently attends hospital 2 nights a week and is always I’ll with something. He is depressed and has only just started getting help (1session of therapy so far - no meds), he takes quite a few different pain medications which cause different side effects and he spends as much time as possible in his bed. We have 2 kids under 7 and I’m exhausted. All he talks about is how bad he feels all the time and it’s so draining. I try to be sympathetic and supportive but sometimes it takes its toll and I can’t tell when he’s genuinely unwell or just using it as an excuse to be lazy and stay in bed which leads to us fighting alot. I love him but after 13yers I’m struggling to hold it together. His family molly-cuddles him and I don’t think it’s good for him so I’m made out to be the bad one of I suggest he gets up out of bed. His family are very interfering and told him to quit his job to focus on getting healthier without discussing it with me first which he did.

I have no help or anyone to talk to that understands how hard it is. I feel so alone sometimes and I take my frustration out on him. I love the bone’s of him but I don’t know how to keep it together anymore. Any advice on getting through it and helping him get through the depression would be greatly appreciated. I understand how selfish I sound but I just want him to try and help himself as well x

I feel for you but you need to get help for yourself
Relate we’re offering free counselling for carers recently and I’m not sure if that’s still available
You need to be able to talk freely to someone who is not involved
Do seek some help and be kind to yourself

Welcome to the forum.
It sounds like a very difficult situation, and a bit more information would be helpful.

Can you explain why he’s in hospital twice a week?
Is he staying in bed because he is physically unwell, or because he just doesn’t feel like getting up?

The innocent victims in all this are your children, who have a right to a happy home and childhood. What is his attitude towards them?

It’s unusual to be offer therapy until you’ve been on meds for a good few weeks to stabilise your emotions.

Why is he not on meds?

I would guess his family mollycoddle him because of his childhood cancer and they are still fearful for him?

Sadly, depressives are usually utterly self-absorbed in their own misery - being sympathetic is not only useless but counter-productive. ‘Firm love’ - ie, setting expectations, and boundaries, and insisting on SOME contribution from him is essential. Or he will just lapse into total self-pity.

At some point he has to realise his choice is stark - make an effort to sort out his mental health OR be a divorced dad.

The more you put up with him the more he’ll not change. The trick is to be ‘supportive’ (ie, focussed on his improving) but not ‘enabling’ (allowing him to wallow).

Have you mentioned the D word to him yet? Maybe time to do so!

(Also, presumably his childhood experience of cancer has ‘taught’ him to be fearful, which in a way is understandable.)