I am a carer for my abusive abusive disabled husband

I have been with my husband for over 20 years he has always been violent and abusive until health issues 10 years ago meant he had to rely on me for full time care which I do out of love for the good times and a sense of duty, we have children together and I am ashamed they they remember him this way they are older teens now. Recently his has has gotten much worse and he requires a lot more help. He has refused carers and only wants me to do everything He is angry and aggressive all the time and violent towards myself and my eldest child who doesn’t take it anymore and argues back with him. Yesterday it resulted in my husband trying to hurt my son with anything he had near him. I can’t accept his behaviour anymore and know I should of left him years ago and now with all the care he needs he is making our lives a misery. I don’t mind looking after him as long as he is nice to our kids but he can’t seem to mwanage it he is horrible to them. My children want him gone from the house. He has a hospital bed downstairs and a lot of medical needs. I need help. I feel guilty for putting my children through it and guilty if I feel I have abandoned my husband for some stupid reason but I know he needs to go I just don’t know who I need to contact, none of his family want him as they all know what he is like. I feel I am stuck bit know my children will always come first

Hi Claire & welcome

Sorry to hear of your situation. You have done all you can. And now is the time to step back and take some action. There is always a first step. As you know your children come first. They are looking to you to do something. There is plenty of help just need to be pointed in the right direction.

What ever your husbands disabilities no one is allowed to inflict they will on another.


You have made a first step by posting here now make that phone call. You will be supported.

What are your children’s ages? If your children are at school. Schools have amazing support systems speak to their school.

We are here for you keep posting.

Thank you do much for your reply, my children are 15,16 and 17 one has just left school and the eldest is at college. They have suffered so much recently his health was so bad at one point that we were called in to hospital to say our goodbyes but he managed to pull through. I know I can’t let his nastiness to them carry on but feel guilty because I know he will give up and refuse the regular treatment which he needs to live if I make him go and then I will feel like it’s my fault as I know he wouldn’t last long without it. I’ve told him he’s making me choose between him and our children and I choose my children every time I feel guilty every day that I didn’t leave him years ago, I’ve told him all he has to do be nice to them and we will all be happier but he is so horrible still and I actually think he hates me. I don’t know where he would even go, I was thinking about phoning social services but I really don’t know where to start

Hello Claire. You have nothing to feel guilty about. I know you are concerned for your children, but his behaviour has put you in this predicament. It is not your fault.

You feel you should have left him years ago. Abandoning a spouse is not a straightforward business, and can bring on a host of new problems. You would have been effectively been making yourself homeless and risked surrenduring your rights to any investment you had made in the family home.

It is good that your eldest son is standing up to his father’s unreasonable behaviour. I imagine he could defend himself against a disabled man threatening violence. However it is bad that he has to put up with this.

SunnyDisposition has given you a useful link and I am sure others will be along with their ideas. I should like to ask some questions about your family home.

  • Is it rented or privately owned?
  • If private, how much mortgage is outstanding on it, in proportion to market value?
  • How have mortgage payments been shared between you and your husband?
  • If rented, how is the rent shared between you?
  • Can you say a little more about the nature of your husband’s disability?

And do keep in touch.

Claire it all depends what your are thinking in the longer term. Do you want your husband to stay in the home. And extra help brought in by the way of carers. Do you want your husband to leave the home. And you and your children can have a better life.
Social services if you mean for you husband can do a needs assessment for your husband. And a carers assessment for you.
Your children would also be included because they are also young carers by association. There are carers/children’s support groups in many areas of the country. Also Social Services could provide a respite placement for your husband. He would need to consent to going. Perhaps in the short term this would be an easier option. So you could all had space to destress and reassess your situation. Ideally, you and your children should remain in the family home.

Social Services if you mean for your children. A social worker would access the situation and could speak with your husband. On the damage his behaviour is having on the family. Also it might be a wake up call that you mean business. And the current situation is not going to start as it is.

Contrary to some misconceptions Social Services are there to support families.

Even if your husband refuses an assessment. You and the children can still have one.


Maybe taking just the above action is enough for your husband to understand. You intend to change things.

This is domestic abuse, and he has forfeited his right to live there as a result.
Ask your kids to record what he says or does on their phones, secretly.
Then there is clear, undisputable evidence you can use.

What is actually wrong with him?

You’ve had some great replies which I cannot better but I did want you to know that there are a lot of people in your position so you are not alone.

I know a lovely lady and her husband is dreadful. He has dementia and she is not allowed to have any visitors to the house, he shouts and swears at her, throws food etc. His only interest is non stop walking. he goes out for really long walks and she has offered to go with him but he just swears at her and slams the door on his way out. Various neighbours tell her they have seen him miles away and dashing across roads. Things are now so bad that she admits the best outcome would be if he got knocked down but she would feel terrible for the car driver. She says he has been nasty for several years but she never felt she could leave him but he is 10 times worse now.

Sending you lots of love. X

Thank you for your replies everyone and I really feel for the lady who’s husband has dementia and is he not nice to her, she must feel stuck in the situation like I do. My husband suffered a stroke 10 years ago although he has had bad health for many years before that and I have always had to do everything for him, I was very young and stupid when I met him and he is a few years older. Recently he was in hospital for 3 months he had kidney failure and heart failure and whilst in there suffered another stroke he was in a very bad way and as horrible as he can be we were all heartbroken. Since he has been home the house has gone back to being miserable my children either go out with friends or stay in there rooms away from him when he was in hospital we had a happy home not now. My daughter keeps asking if she can move in with her nan and I feel selfish if I say no but feel a failure as a mom if I let her go I feel as though I have chosen her dad over her which I would never do but I don’t know what other choices I have, I wish he could just be nice to us all instead of us walking on egg shells around him. I was thinking if he didn’t change his ways soon then my only option would be to contact adult social services and I don’t really know what they could do but he would need to be taken to some sort of nursing home as he needs 24 hr care now. I really didn’t want it to come to this but I feel that after all these years of my children suffering I can’t let it happen anymore. Thank you for all your replies I feel a little less alone now

When he had a stroke in hospital did he have a brain scan?

He did have a brain scan but unfortunately this behaviour has gone on long before he had his first stroke, when he did he was put in antidepressants and for a few years we although he had health problems I would say we were the happiest we had ever been but after these new problems he suffers from (he now has kidney dialysis 3 times a week also and food and liquid restrictions) he is back to being horrible to is all. He is still on antidepressants.

Hello Claire and welcome to the forum

I’m sorry to hear about the situation with your husband. I’ve sent you a private message from our Carer Support team which you can see by clicking on ‘Private messages’ near the top right of your screen.

with best wishes



Perhaps a home is the best thing for him. He can have nurses and support there 24/7.

Reading your post brought back awful memories for me. Your husband sounds quite like my Dad. Back in those days, I thought it was normal for Dad’s to be like that but I was only young. When he got diagnosed with cancer, he went from bad to worse. They were bloody awful times.

Why don’t you let your daughter go and stop with her Nan at weekends? You are not failing her as a Mother at all. It will give your daughter something to look forward to instead of dreading the shenanigan’s at home.

Denis asked a few questions about your housing situation. If you answer those, we can advise you better.

Good luck.

I am so sorry you find yourself in this terrible dilemma.
I would contact Social Services for a Carers Assessment, but also you could tell them about his threatening behaviour to you and the children. This is a Safeguarding issue and if you mention that word they will have to take some action.
He has no right to behave towards you in this way, but there must be some brain damage after the strokes.
There are resources specifically for domestic abuse victims, and I suggest you google that and see what might be available in your area or online.
This forum is an ideal place for you to be able to share your caring role and all its very tough times
Hope this helps a bit