Introduction to myself and my Situation

Good afternoon
I would like to start of my introducing myself.
My name is Peter, i am 30 years old. married and have 5 beautiful children (eldest is 8 and my youngest is 1)
Me and my wife have been together for over a decade now. like most relationships we have been through the good and the bad (sometimes it seems more bad) but we have always made it out the other side. never once has any one of us left or even packed a suitcase.
My wife, and her family told me many times she suffers with mental illness but almost 7 years into our relationship i finally realized it must be real. I am a big believer of if i can see it then its real. i was in full time employment from 15 years old, i went from being a Computer numeric controlled engineer to changing careers into the logistics and transportation section as a lorry driver. for years my wife made up excuses, any reason just to keep me at home. so i would phone in sick a lot of the times. but when i was at home she didn’t actually need me or act like she wanted me at all.
After she gave birth to my 3rd child in 2015 she had a mental break down where i was left with no choice but to quit my employment and become a full time farther. i wouldn’t say carer to my wife because at the time in my mind i was there for my kids and that is it. i told her if she needed help, she had to get something sorted to stay with our family (which sound very harsh but i did not understand mental health at all) since then she has spent the last 4 years going from doctors to psychiatrists. over the last 4 years she has been diagnosed with multi mental health issues
Bipolar type 2
Agitated depression
severe anxiety

within the last month after year of applying and appealing she has now been granted PIP, and i have just applied for Carers.
sometimes it feels like now she knows she has long term problems, she is at a stage of giving up like there is no hope left. i have gave up my principles, my morals, my career, i have put 5 children into poverty just to stand by this woman and help her as much as i can. but sometimes i wonder, if i was stronger could i of prevented most of this situation. i have never once blamed my wife or her problems for what life we live, i have always blamed myself. basically i feel it was due to me allowing my wife to get away with the things she does on a day to day bases that lead us down such a low life or very deep hole sort of speak.
i am thankful she has been diagnosed and hopefully now she will be able to get correct help suited for her personal needs. but as a family unit i still see the day to day struggle. and long term effects this is doing to us. Financially we are so bad. having to constantly borrow from family and friends on an ongoing bases. she is unable to go outside without me being with her. which leaves us at home nearly all day every day due to 5 young children is hard work out especially when i also have to keep an eye on my wife’s emotions and look for any signs which i will have to address and deal with urgently. i used to drive which made it a lot easier going out and being able to take her places to help her mental state even if we never left the car she was happy to be out the 4 walls. now unfortunately i am unable to financially support the cost of running vehicles. My daily struggles as a new carer is not my wife, or the situation my children are in. It is the constant battle with myself, trying my hardest to understand why she is the was she is. what have i done wrong over the last 10 years. and what can i do to make it better because nothing i have tried has worked up to press other than surviving day to day. there has always been a difference to me in Surviving through life and Living a life. i do not want our kids to grow up and develop hate or anger towards their mother. but help her instead and be there for her when she needs them. i found it hard to implement these morals into my children because i have not yet come to understand them fully myself.

I would hope no one goes through what i do on a daily bases, but if there is i am glad i am not alone and i hope they realize they are not alone too. i would love to hear other peoples views and comments on not only my wife and her medical issues but also advice towards myself on how i am treating our situation and maybe there is something i am just not doing right or haven’t tried at all.

Thanks a lot for reading. i do apologize for the amount which i have written. (once i started typing i just couldn’t stop. i have not told anyone how i feel before, not even my wife due to i think it would make her worse)

Hi Peter,

I’m a bit short of time, so just skim read your post.

You haven’t done anything wrong, your wife’s mental health problems aren’t because of anything you have done. You can be there supporting her and your family, but only she and those involved in her care can help her improve. If you haven’t visited the Mind website, do so; it has information for carers
as well as the person with mental health difficulties.

What support do you and your family get? Do you get any “me time,” at all?


she was in receipt of medical help with an appointed NHS psychiatrist, but at the moment it has stopped due to him leaving his position for another one at our local psychiatric hospital. She is now waiting to be appointed a new doctor to take over her treatment.
as far as me and the kids then no. we have never received help, more down to me. i feel its all my responsibility so i get through it regardless how hard it seems. mainly when it involves me and/or the children.
and no, unfortunately due to her condition she basically can not be left to deal with the children by herself.
10 years, roughly 3,650+ days we have been together and i can confidently say i have been on my own without her or the kids twice. if i am not with my children, she makes sure im with her. if she goes anywhere with a certain selective group of friends or family which she feels comfortable around, she will not take kids so i am at home with them. I am the first 1 up and the last one asleep.

Oh Peter - sounds like a stressful situation. I’ve been a stay at home mum to 2 and carer to 2 parents and can relate to how exhausting it can all be and I have a supportive partner, so much harder for you.

My best advice is to try and find some time for yourself. Can the kids be left with someone else so you can just get out on your own for a bit? Could you schedule a regular activity in for yourself just to get out. Have you had a carers assessment from your local authority. They might be able to provide some childcare for you? Worth a try? The bottom line is that in order for you to keep functioning is you need to have regular breaks, or it will be you that break. Sometimes just an hour or 2 can make all the difference.

Does all the house work fall to you or is your wife able to help? The kids will soon be old enough to help out a bit. My 8 year old puts washing away, washes up etc. Anything that eases the pressure a bit is a good thing.

Also look into the future and things with small children DO get easier. Before you know it the 1 year old will be at school and you can perhaps start to think about some part time work to make things financially easier? I’ve managed to find a school hours job which fits in with kids and caring.

Please try and look after yourself in all of this. You matter too.