The wife of Shaker Aamer has spoken for the first time about the "psychotic episodes" she developed after her husband's capture, and explained how his imprisonment has robbed her of a marriage and denied her kids a normal childhood.

Mrs Aamer said "there was no colour in her life" since Shaker left, but said she believes she will see her husband again.

The pair met through a family friend and were married in 1997, she said, and had a happy four years together before Shaker went to Afghanistan.

"We liked each other and then we got married and my favourite memories are him playing with our children," she said, adding the couple's children Johina, 12, Michael 10, Faris, 9, and Saif, 8, had lost out on happiness.

"The thing I miss most about him is his laughing and funny character which entertained us all the time.

"Since he has been away there is no colour in life. My children's eight-year chance of being with their father has passed."

Mrs Aamer’s dad, Saaed Ahmed, said his daughter developed her illness after Shaker - known by his family and friends as Sawad - was jailed.

He said: ”She is psychotic. In the beginning she was under the care of doctors at Springfield Hospital [which treats mental illness]. A nurse visited her every month, every day when she was bad.

"It started two years after his arrest and comes every three or four months. She hears voices in the night calling her. She hears her husband and sometimes religious figures.”

Mrs Aamer said: "I feel very upset and sad in this illness. I cry a lot and the children tell me to be patient and to believe that he is coming back very soon.

"I think of my children and if Shaker was home life would have been a lot better.

"My children do not believe the news stories but we believe we will see him at home, because he was cleared for release two years ago and we don't understand why he is still there."

Mr Ahmed added his daughter and the children write to Shaker, but said they were not sure he received the letters, as communication from him was sporadic.

He said: "In one of the letters he wrote to me he said ‘they are playing with my mind. I cannot trust anyone not even my lawyer’.

"Another time we heard that a Saudi national had died, we thought it was Shaker, but we were relieved when we found it wasn't.

"He has been in Guantanamo for years and we are being punished. We are suffering too much. The one thing I want to see is his smiling face."

Mrs Aamer said her husband had no links to terrorists.

She said: "I know my husband, he is a dynamic person of a really good heart. He never believed in harming anyone though he did feel very sorry for the oppressed.

"He loved America and look what they are doing to him, breaking his love and trust in them. He is suffering from so many illnesses there without a medical help and on top of that being tortured."

What keeps her and the family strong is "faith and trust in God" and the hope one day they will be reunited with their father, husband and son-in-law.

Mrs Aamer added: "We talk about how much we remember about him. I try to be strong for them because their father is in prison. Staying strong and keeping our hopes up for eight years has definitely been extremely hard.

“I am in contact with the British Government but they are not doing much for his release.

"It is very difficult for my children to have a life of continued absence of their father."