Serious intentions or crying wolf

My husband is in a continuous pattern every 5 to 6 weeks of intimating he intends to take his own life. He posts on fb freely staying his reasons for no longer wishing to live. He’s had countless attempts and professional intervention, including being sectioned last July.
We seem to go on a complete loop of behaviour. He won’t engage with professional support, agrees to various support groups only to go once or twice and finds reasons it’s not suitable. He’s always been difficult and its been ‘his way or the highway’ attitude towards anyone who suggests different or dare i say disagrees.
Ive just retired, compleyely finishing on 31st August, as it feels he’s not safe to be left at home, as does v odd things, frequently stops what he’s determined to be speeding traffic outside of our home arguing with motorists aggressively and has come close to physical contact.
Today posts on fb about being a coward otherwise would take his own life as is in pain, mental and physical. Friends have all commented. I’ve now taken the post down as is massively upsetting to not only our children but me also, along with numerous concerned friends.

Was diagnosed 15years ago SPMS but history indicates prob had since around the age of 20, buf completely bullued himself. Was immediately retired from his workplace on 75%salary until age 65 - last year. Had a year without income but savings and my income allowed all the bills and life to continue.
Is there any hope?
I’ve told him it’s a sentence for me too. I’ve always supported him, 42years of marriage. I’ve continued to work full-time until last couple of years then 4days since then. I care and do everything in the home and manage his numerous medical appointments, as he wont take care of himself and drinks too much alcohol resulting in UTI’s. He basically plays in his workshop or sirss looking at social media for hours on end. Can’t take responsibility for anything
Has probably got a UTI now, but if i dare suggest he does a sample will say im ridiculous and it’s just MS!
I feel helpless and trapped.
Our adult children have on numerous occasions encouraged me to separate from him as he appears to have no regard for my wellbeing, emotional or physical health.
I feel I have an entitlement to enjoy my retirement, I’m 63 and have worked all my adult life and raised 3 sons almost as if a single parent as he worked overseas for long periods.
I know he misses this part of his life. But it’s about acceptance and after 15 years id seriously hoped he would have come to terms with the change.
We have a comfortable home, mortgage free. An amazing family all living within 10miles, who we frequently see. 7 beautiful grandsons.
At 66 years old i thought that would be enough.
Psychiatrist says he has frontal lobe damage, causing cognitive difficulties, memory and lack of insight.
But i feel overwhelming responsible for his wellbeing at the detriment of my own. Just feels unfair and there really is no help, despite what all the services tell you, as he won’t take it even when i arrange and organise. Having spent numerous hours researching local activities and making contact, visiting to see if appropriate before even trying to gry him to it. I kniw done will say im doing too much and taking his independence away, but he has no capacity to initiate anything and needs encouragement to do pretty much everything.
So sorry about the ramble, but it all feels so shit and basically so unnecessary when i know millions of people would give their eye teeth for his situation.


There is more than one way to care for a person. Life partnership is one, but supportive friendship is another. If life partnership has become a life sentence, maybe you should allow yourself to listen to the advice of those closest to you and who love you.

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Can’t offer a definitive solution but it must involve him not taking you down with him.

Familiarity breeds contempt. If you take yourself out of the equation (stay with one of your children for a bit), he will have to do more for himself and/or be nice to paid carers who can call on him throughout the day. Maybe work back from there?

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Ive taken myself away a few times, its been a complete diaster. Last time for only 24hrs and he ‘apparently’ had no idea i wasn’t in the house. Which i find extraordinary difficult to believe??
He had a fall in the bathroom and injured his shoulder, which some year on is stoll complaining about, as if its to remind me of my action!
He breaks and spills drinks on carpets and ruins the place. I then have to spend time anf energy clearing ip and sorting out.
Not really an option - he goes on self destruct.

Saw MS Consultant yoday and shared that he wants to go to Switzerland. Obviously Consultant said is illegal in this country and he cannot discuss.
What was discussed is mri to see if still having relapses, then possible prescribe anti-inflammatory drug. Also respite care as was recognise im at the end of my tether!

May I suggest that his self-destruct is another aspect of his petulant/ controlling behaviour? He clearly has no self-respect and little respect for you either. By being in a worse state when you return, he’s showing you that it’s all your fault. You just need to bluff him out - and mean it. Arrange proper carers while you go on respite and then it can’t be “your fault”. As said before, don’t let him take you down with him.

Yes im aware its controlling behavior. It v hard to know if this is a direct result of the frontal lobe damage hes been diagnosed with. But i think main reason is personality disorder as i don’t fall into line and call him out in the hope he will realise it doesn’t work.
I call him out in front of orhers and he either shuts down or is unpleasant.
It all seems futile atm.
Just ridiculous behavior for a 66 yr old man. Just can’t get over hmself.
I don’t want to lose my home I’ve worked all my life to have a comfortable place to live in. But unfortunately I’m faced with living in an unhealthy environment.
Professional mental health services don’t seem to pick out that the majority of his problems are, imo, personality disorder that gets worse when i dont let him have his way.
Hoping some respite care can be arranged soon, as i need a break, but i want to stay in my own home for it.

Hi @Busy_all_the_time
That sounds like a really stressful environment you are living in. Made all the more difficult because you are not sure whether how your husband is behaving and talking, is down to the frontal lobe damage or not. Perhaps you get clarification on this from his Neurologist, or ask if there is a Neuropsychologist your husband could be referred to for more information. However, you do mention that “he has always been difficult” and he’s always had a “his way or the highway attitude”, so would I be right in thinking that he was like this before he was diagnosed with MS?

It is incredibily difficult when the person you are carer for refuses to accept outside help. If they still have mental capacity, they are within their right to do so, but that doesn’t help you.

I do get the desire to want to remain in your own home, the one you have worked hard all your life for, put a lot of time, money, energy into, and also why you feel so responsible for your husband’s wellbeing, 42 years is a long time to be with someone and you can’t just switch that off.

I suppose though, you need to balance all that against how desperate and miserable you feel staying in this situation. Do you still love him and want to be with him? If the answer is yes, then you need to find ways of getting more support for the both of you, so that he can go into respite and you can have a break. If the answer is No, then you have a tough decision to make.

The fact that he goes into self destruct mode when you leave him for short periods of time, suggests that he is being deliberately manipulative and controlling, even if it is exacerbated by the damage to his brain.

Have you had a needs assessment from your local authority? You can request one at any time, just google your local authority and Single Point of Access, that should give you a contact number. Make it quite clear that you need support. If you weren’t there to look after him 24/7 he would either need carers to come in or have to go into a care home. Perhaps you could point that out to him the next time he tries emotional blackmail on you. Turn things around and tell him how it is going to be. If he wants your continuing care and support, then he needs to agree to external support.

Just my thoughts for what they’re worth.

I hope you can find a solution, because you can’t carry on like this.


Thank you Willowtree for taking time to comment.
Yes all v difficult. Ive asked his ms consultant to arrange some respite. But I’d imagine this will take times to sort.
He has no respect for me, and the continual onslaught of behaviour has diminished mine for him. We are near the end of the road. He will always blame me for not being able to empathise with his condition. Has never been able to accept responsibility for his behavior or reactions, with me or anyone tbh.
He’s gone off in a stroppy state on his scooter, now for over 2hrs. He does this to demonstrate how unfair everything is and i feel to punishment me. Im grateful for the peace and dont react upon his return.
Is hard to know how his mind thinks and as he won’t engage with professional help, mental health or physical theres nonthing to change any of it!

I must admit, I have had to think about how to reply.

How you do help someone who doesn’t want helping, honestly you can’t. So if that is the case the, focus needs to be on you. You need some professional advice and support. Have you spoken to anyone about your own well-being?

42 years of marriage and 3 boys, sounds like you have done a good job there. I know you want respite from your husband in your own home but if that isn’t on the cards you need to find it elsewhere.

I feel pained to say it but the only happy ending, is the one that you write. If you leave it to your husband you will both go under.

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Still feels like abandoning him when he’s unwell. Hoping the respite will be available soon and can be on a regular basis. Id be interested to know if anyone knows how respite care works?

Looking after yourself, will help you cope better with your situation. You don’t need to abandon him to do that. Your marriage your life, your choice. All I am saying is give yourself a chance of surviving it.

All the best.


Best to talk with the ASC (Adult Social Care) Team in your local authority. Respite care can either take the carer or caree out of the normal situation and it may be means tested. Are you receiving a carer’s allowance already? Also, it would be worth asking for a statutory assessment - circumstances do change and if you’ve had an assessment before, it may be that the parameters have changed sufficiently for the outcome to be different. Or if you’ve been JAM (just about managing) all this time, then you definitely need a review.

You might live in a nice house and have money in the bank, but first & foremost, the social workers and occupational therapists are interested in the well being of an individual and the home situation and its suitability. The home situation, notably, covers the amount of help you should be getting as an informal/ unpaid carer. Most spouses or other family members are incredibly dedicated to their caree and embarrassed to ask for help. The professionals are extremely supportive towards those carers who have gone way beyond the point of coping and are as much there for you as for your husband.

You don’t have to think about separation or divorce. Think instead of safe distancing for both your sakes, whether it’s on or off site and for varying regularity.