My boyfriend is an unofficial carer but it’s ruining us

I felt so bad writing that title because i’m sure his Mum cannot help her illnesses but, my boyfriend needs help.

My boyfriend is 21, works 48 hours a week, lives at home with his Mum and 15 year old brother. As far as I am aware, his mum has a few mobility issues, agoraphobia, depression, PTSD, Bipolar disorder and more. She’s been off work for 9 years now, so in the house it’s their dog, her and her youngest son as he doesn’t go to school(which I don’t agree with).

She is able to clean herself (once a week), she does the washing, cleaning and sometimes cooks but my boyfriend manages her finances, does the shopping, walks her dog, takes her dog to the vets because he’s a senior doggo, is always made to do stuff around the house and more.

Whilst that might not sound like a lot, it is a lot when you work 48 hours a week.

Her youngest son, only hoovers around the house sometimes and that’s it, other than that he keeps her company or plays on his games console. Her oldest son who is 30, became a dad at 16 and is now raising his own family elsewhere so he doesn’t help at all he just takes the mums money.

Therefore all this work load and emotional stress is being put solely on my boyfriend. He told me that a few years ago he attempted suicide twice and he suffers bad from depression(which I can tell), I try to cheer him up and I do but when most of his stress is due to his caring abilities, there’s little i can do.

I’ve told him to stand up for himself a little, for example, after a very long shift he will often be told to get stuff on his way home that her youngest son could EASILY get as they live next to a shop. They just think “oh(my boyfriend) will do it”.

It’s as if they don’t care or bother to relieve my boyfriend from doing everything.

In my opinion, this can’t continue, she also sometimes uses him as her punching bag in the sense of, if she’s feeling low, she’ll take it out on him because he won’t stand up for himself, he was bullied in school so it’s hard for him.

When we’re out on dates (rarely) she’ll complain and ask to come home quickly and not be too long.

I think she needs therapy, she takes medication but she needs psychological therapy. What do we/ I do ?

Yikes this was such a long post.

I am afraid you have to empower your boyfriend. To speak up for himself. I guess he is also financially contributing to the house hold.

He needs to say he will reduce his financial commitment. If his mother needs this level of help/support. That he will call Social Service to complete a needs assessment and but in a care package. While he attends to his own employment.

He should not be running a home while working such hours.

Hey I’m in a similar situation , my boyfriend is depressed as he is looking after his mother who has bipolar. think the main difference is my boyfriend isn’t working at the moment but being at home is exhausting him, because he is constantly walking on egg shells incase he upsets her and I’m concerned about my boyfriend.

what have you tried ? I keep encouraging my boyfriend to talk about his feeling with me , which he has started doing, so that’s an improvement. I’ve tried telling him to just say no occasionally to demands that are unreasonable but he says he cant and that will just cause her to get upset (although his younger brother 18, does just say no and she copes okay with that )
recently I’ve got my boyfriend to go to the doctors about his mental health, it’s still early days with that but its helped

Please, each of you tell your boyfriends to join the forum. If they won’t do this, then really they are beyond hope.
The first step of a journey can often be the most difficult.
Always remember that YOU cannot change anyone else, but they CAN change themselves.

Hello and welcome!

This is eerily like my own family. My little brother is now 3 with dyscalculia and open spina bifida. He now lives with us. Growing up, I was the only one for years until he was born. Me and my husband take it in turns to care for/empower him and we are in our twenties. We both work full time.

I take him to his doctor appointments and my husband does the messy bathroom stuff. He does not go to nursery as we cannot afford it. We use a independent childcare provider instead.

Can she work or not? If she refuses then you need to see about using paid for carers, I’m afraid. They can empower her. One phrase that works for us “You can do that yourself”. Try it.

Thara, have you asked Social Services for a Needs Assessment for him and a Carers Assessment for you? He NEEDS to go to nursery, and so do you with a little one of your own on the way.