How to break up with someone you care for?

I already feel like literally the worst person in the world so please be kind - any insult you throw at me I can guarantee I am already thinking it

Okay so I’ve been with my partner (we’re actually engaged) for nearly 3 years. He’s got chronic fatigue (working diagnosis) and crippling anxiety. He is fully physically, financially and emotionally dependent on me. He can’t spent a single night away from me without having constant panic attacks and he will never leave the house without me. He uses a wheelchair most of the time but at the moment can’t even sit up in the chair so is pretty much bed-bound.

I’ve also got my own health issues and being a carer plus working 46 hours a week is killing my mental health. I’ve got eupd and I literally feel like I’m at breaking point. He also can’t work so we’re both living off my wage which gives me about £200 for 2 people for a month after rent and bills (we’ve tried the welfare route but they’re absolutely useless).

It doesn’t feel like a relationship anymore - I can’t remember the last time we had sex and the inevitable lack of balance is making me grow to resent him. I care about him so deeply but I really don’t know if I’m in love anymore.

I keep thinking about what my life would be like without him. I go to work and come home and care with nothing in-between. My bus ride home from work is my favourite time of day right now because it’s the only real break I get. I want my life back and I know how selfish that sounds but I also feel like it’s not fair on him to carry on like this when the love isn’t quite there anymore.

How on earth would I even begin to approach breaking things off? We live together too so I don’t even know how it would work practically. I honestly don’t know how his needs will be met if I’m not there. He has his mum who we see occasionally but he won’t even stay the night at hers if I’m not there. I don’t want to hurt him but I know it will - I’m also seriously worried about his mental health after because he’s made attempts on his life before. He’s said he doesn’t know how he’d cope without me and that he feels like a burden and I don’t want to confirm that for him but I’m literally feeling suicidal myself just to get out of the situation without all the stuff that comes after.

What on earth do I do?

I’d be very surprised if anyone on this forum were to judge you badly for how you feel, almost any carer will feel pretty much the same at times, or even all the time.

No-one here can make your mind up for you, and I can see from reading your post that you have conflicting feelings about leaving.

You have to decide what you want from the rest of your life. I’m guessing you’re fairly young. Do you want children? Can he provide them and help you bring them up in a stable home and relationship?

I think you need to try and access somewhere. You can get an unbiased overview of your situation. Have you thought of having counselling sessions. Individually or together.

Your are not only bereaved for you old life. But for you future. Which I’m am afraid is when being a carer is very uncertain. It sounds as if your partners health issues. Are not going to improve in the near future.

You have become as so many an unpaid carer. It’s also seems all one sided. You can’t maintain the level you are currently working at.

Do you like your job? Do you moving forward want to really to give it up.

Are you staying out of sympathy and things may improve.

Working the amount of hours you do. I doubt you can see the wood from the trees.

Hi Becky. What a difficult situation you are in. You cannot continue caring for your partner like this. It is far too much for one person to cope with. Has his anxiety and chronic fatigue got worse during these last 3 years? When did he last see a doctor?
I think it is unreasonable that he won’t stay at his mum’s without you.

It’s got a lot worse over time - he used to be able to work and everything. And he has constant panic attacks when I’m not there. The thought of spending a night without me at his mum’s was enough to start them off. He was saying to me the other day that he doesn’t know what he’d do without me and that he’d be dead without me.

It’s been a while since he’s seen a doctor but they’re being ridiculous - we’ve recently moved and registered with a different gp and they refuse to do a home visit until he goes into the surgery to be assessed on whether or not he qualifies for home visits (which is absolutely ridiculous).

From the web site

Home visits
You cannot insist that a GP visits you at home. A GP will only visit you at home if they think that your medical condition requires it. A GP can also decide how urgently a visit is needed.

If you were to become seriously ill after a GP had refused a home visit, the GP could be found to be in breach of their contract with the NHS, or could be found to have been negligent. You may therefore wish to make a complaint.

For information on making a complaint about a GP, see Complaints about GPs.

You can be visited at home by a community nurse if you are referred by your GP or by a hospital consultant. If you are not an urgent patient, you can make an appointment and should be visited on the day arranged.

You should also be visited at home by a health visitor if you have recently had a baby or if you are newly registered with a GP and have a child under five years.

You could try contacting Mental Health Services, there should be a community Mental Health team who can visit help and advice.
Chronic fatigue, there is help for Chronic fatigue, NHS Chronic Fatigue clinics to help cope with and manage your symptoms.
Often you can refer yourself to both above so don’t need to see a doctor.

Hi Becky, because chronic fatigue is an umbrella term, has there been a proper diagnosis.

I ask because it may be something that can be improved -POTS syndrome for example.

I hope you get through your dilemma. I can see your keaving will be very difficult, but you have a right to a life.

This sounds a desperate situation but look on the bright side,you have an income,no children to complicate a separation,no mortgage together and your young with a world of opportunity ahead of you.
Your primary concern seems to be his care needs so seek advice from local or national care organizations.
Chin up.

I’m not a fan of the “chin up” approach. In my own experience it tells you everything about the person that says it! Not of help to someone who is desperate. My son is 40, mental age of 3 in some areas. When he is home with me, he wants to be with me ALL the time. I level him dearly, but having to account for my every move is incredibly exhausting. I love the sound of silence when he’s gone back to his flat and I can think straight again.

I feel so bad for you. I don’t think people will judge you for this. You’ve been in a very complicated relationship for so long, it doesn’t look like he’s going to be okay in the future. Don’t know how long it will take him to recover from this disease. So, I advise you to kindly get over this situation and tell him the truth what you are thinking.

This is an old thread, now locked.