DEAR DEIDRE: TELLING my ex-partner I can’t care for her any longer is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
She’s 48 and has multiple sclerosis.
I’m a man of 51 and we were a couple for 12 years. She was diagnosed ten years ago and it’s been devastating.
I gave up my job as a plumber to look after her but she’s always seemed resentful and we’ve argued more as the disease advanced.
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I’ve gone from being her lover, to her carer and now we’ve drifted apart.
I moved into the spare bedroom and then we both decided we’d be better off splitting up – but I still provide her care.
Now if I talk about leaving and suggest alternative care arrangements, she threatens to self-harm or worse.
I’d like to work again and start afresh.
DEIDRE SAYS: Your relationship is no longer what it was and she would attest to that.
She can’t emotionally blackmail you into staying. Her care isn’t your responsibility.
Explain to her that staying is making you unhappy and you don’t want to become resentful of her.
Encourage her to find some support and she’ll be able to find a professional carer to help her which could open more doors for her socially.
You can both talk it through with the people from Scope (scope.org.uk, 0808 800 3333) which helps people with disabilities.
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