New to forum and carer in full time employment

Just wanting to join a group, as think I could do with a bit of moral support every now and then.
I work full time in quite a stressful job and care for my new husband too. We met almost 3 years ago after he had a massive stroke ( 8 years ago). He was living independently but relied on a lot of favours from friends and family. Without that I think he would have needed some level of practical support. He does not work and is medically retired from the military after 27 yrs.
Working full time and caring is hard. I of course entered into this knowing I would have a bit more to do. But still it gets hard. I get tired and a bit grumpy! I have very little relaxation time, or time when I’m alone.
I also can’t decide whether he can sometimes be lazy and will ask me to do something or whether he genuinely can’t do something. He has said he asks me to do stuff because its easier than doing it himself! I’m not sure if I’m a ratbag or not when I tell him to do things himself. He is a bit resistent to new stuff anyway and a creature of habit but since we met he has begun many things he thought he couldnt do. So there are great positives but still I think he can be a lazy b*gger! Anyway just wanted to vent a little :slight_smile: :grinning:.

Hmm, one way to test whether he really can’t do something or is just CBA to do it himself (‘that’s what I employ my wife for!’…!!!), is simply to not do it for him.

If he REALLY wants it done, and CAN do it himself, he WILL do it himself.

Men often have no compunction about letting themselves be waited on hand and foot! !!! (So I’ve found…though not always, that is)

Are you getting any outside help with him, or is it all ‘just you’???

Hi Elaine
It’s still ok to say No, even if hubby has a few medical issues. Saying No may well encourage independence and ability

One of our married mantras is “doing it together, not for” and that applies to unblocking the drains as much as having a nice day out. My hubby has a tendency to think he does jobs for me, when in fact they are things for us or for the house., drain unblocking being a classic case. He sees it as a favour, whereas my preparing 3 meals a day for us is seen as routine and not a ‘favour’ :unamused:

Is he getting any help from the military?

Thank you for responses. No outside help. Just me. No help from military but has had a lot. Had 22 months rehab- would never have had even 22 weeks as a civilian. He did have carers for a while before I met him but cancelled them. They were to help with dressing. He can dress himself although can only use one arm. I only may have to help with the odd jumper or belt.
I think I’m just trying to find my way. He’s very good at being lazy I think!
Thank you.

I’m sorry, but he doesn’t appear to have wanted a wife, but a full time housekeeper/nurse/general slave!
You are either going to be stuck with him like this for life, or do something about it.

Most importantly, he does sound lazy, not making much of an effort at all to keep himself as fit and active as possible. You CANNOT be forced to care for him. He should have a Needs Assessment from Social Services, and you, a Carers Assessment.

I have a friend who tragically had a stroke in his thirties, it changed his whole life, but he works round his disability. Now about 70, he has bought a mobility scooter and can be seen zooming around the village visiting friends etc.

I think bowlingbun you are being a little harsh! But I agree he is lazy. I have of course broached the subject many times with him but he does get defensive. He has a lot of pride and resistance to accepting his difficulties - I blame the military for that mindset. But he has also, to some extent just got on with his situation too. Probably also a military mindset . My plight is I am just getting a bit tired and I’m lashing out because of it.

Hmm, so he cancelled the carers when he ‘employed’ you in their stead?

‘Pride’ is a two-way street remember. There are always tales on this forum, usually of put-upon middle aged offspring whose elderly frail parents are ‘too proud’ to accept help from anyone…except, of course, their put upon offspring! Somehow having your own son or daughter slave away for you is not ‘accepting help’ etc etc.

The thing is, you have a MARRIAGE - and that means you should be focussing on maximising the GOOD times between you - and that can’t be done if you are bitter exhausted and increasingly resentful.

Get the carers back in for a start! It’s daft for you to be ‘slaving away’ doing things that ‘someone else’ can do, and that would reduce your resentment levels etc etc.

Who was paying for is carers by the way?

Men, as I say, seem to find it extraordinary easy to be waited on hand and foot! They so often lack what I call the ‘compunction gene’. My husband was quite content to see me scurrying around making meals and serving them up and clearing them away…it never bothered him at all. His argument was - when I challenged him - ‘Well, if you don’t want to do it, then don’t. If you do it, it’s because you WANT to do it!’.

Do you think your husband has the same attitude? As well as lacking the ‘compunction gene’ they also lack our inbred ‘obligation gene’ that makes us feel we ‘have’ to do things. (eg, ‘Dinner doesn’t cook itself, sigh’…) ‘Martyrdom’ is very, very often carried on our double XX chromosomes!!! We have to FIGHT the urge to look after other people who sit on their posteriors all day…

Hi Elaine
It’s very easy for us on a forum to see things in black and white when they are in text, but real life has many shades of grey! We also often fall into the trap of racing to the rescue when sometimes someone just needs to vent.

Here’s my twopennyworth for you to mull over, no need for public replies unless you want.

I’d suggest asking yourself whether you want to do less, or whether you want him to do more - there is a difference! Also ask yourself how much actually needs doing, and to what standard? Caring can be a great excuse to drop commitments or refuse jobs (I stopped mowing the grass 25 years ago when pregnant, and haven’t done it since :blush: ) Think too what tasks can be delegated to someone else (children perhaps?) or paid for.
You dont have to be Superwoman. Most times just enough is absolutely fine.

You might well find that some counselling helps you understand your situation and needs and wants better. You can self refer for CBT by googling CBT and your area, or you can pay for face to face sessions -maybe military or safa could help towards costs? Some counselling may help hubby too as it sounds his physical side has been addressed but often emotions and thinking are forgotten.

Hope this helps a little

Elaine, sorry if it sounded harsh, but I’ve seen family members ruling others and only realising too late how lucky they were, when that person died!
Only you can decide what you will and will not put up with. The only power he has over you is the power you let him have. Yes, of course he’s been dealt a lousy card in life, but either he does his best to get on with it ( I have had huge challenges in recent years) or he wallows in it.
However, you have your own life to live, and are entitled to do what you want too.
Life is so much easier if you are both feeling as happy as possible, in the circumstances.
Have you thought about having counselling?
A counsellor taught me how to manage my disabled mum’s incessant demands, without actually saying No.

Oh Elaine, what a lot has happened to your family.

My caree is moaning and needs me, so only enough time to welcome you for now.


Thank you again for posts and comments.
Re: his previous carers, he cancelled those long before I even met him. So he didn’t do that for me to take over.
I’m just going to adopt some strategies of my own to ensure he gets the help he actually needs rather than the help he wants.
And a Happy 2019 to everyone :blush:

Do let us know how it goes, the ups as well as the downs. I’d like to see you getting some time to yourself quite quickly


I’ve been a carer for 40 years. Now I’m just a “part time” carer, I go away to a single traveller only hotel in Crete. I couldn’t manage without a complete break now and then. The hotel is spotless, great food, and you can either do lots of trips or nothing at all apart from soak up the sunshine. I couldn’t have managed the last few years without it.

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