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Forums / Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers) / Husband depressed Says he wants to leave Advice please!

Topic: Husband depressed Says he wants to leave Advice please!

  1. Imagine
    Imagine avatar
    39 posts
    12 December 2013
    Hi My husband of over 20 years suffers depression and is going through a relapse right now.

    I have a chronic autoimmune disease which restricts my life considerably, (constant pain, fatigue, can't drive because of frequent falls/blackouts, although I lead as active and independent a life as possible, working part time, maintaining the house etc).

    He has just told me he thinks he wants to leave me, he still loves me, but cannot cope with my illness and it's restrictions on our life anymore. I am devastated as this came as a complete shock.

    We celebrated our 21st anniversary only 5 weeks ago and he gave me a card signed always and forever and told me he wanted to go shopping for an eternity ring. We still love each other (he said this - not my assumption).

    There are other factors affecting his mental state at present, facing his own mortality after discovering he needs cholesterol meds for the rest of his life, work pressure and losing our beloved dog after 15 years.

    I have tried hard not to put any pressure on him, just asked him not to decide until his depression is back under control. He has voluntarily made an appointment to see a counsellor and is already on antidepressant meds which have helped previously.

    What I'd like to know, from anyone who has experienced his pain, is what I can do to help?

    I am not pushing him in any way, suggesting treatments or anything. I am trying to give him space but I told him the door is always open and that I will take my cues from him.

    I told him I will always be his friend no matter what, that I am not angry with him at all. I did say that I think at least some of the pressure of my illness is because he chooses to take on the burden to "fix" things and try and "take care" of me without my wanting/asking/needing/demanding anything. 

    I've asked him to try not to do that, to stand back and wait until I ask for help if I need it, and maybe see that the burden is not as bad as he thinks and is not all coming from me.

    But I am absolutely heartbroken and I cannot hide my tears and I fear that I might be adding guilt to the awful pain he is already facing. I haven't said anything to anyone, I am hoping that this is the depression talking and that we may still have a future together but I feel like I am holding a tiny candle alight in a huge, dark room.

    Thank you to anyone who may be able to offer their thoughts.
  2. Kaylina
    Kaylina avatar
    3 posts
    12 December 2013 in reply to Imagine

    Hi imagine,

    it is beautiful that you have come here to try and understand, and it's a testament to your commitment to him. 


    I can can only speak from my own personal experience - but I have a wonderful, amazing, supportive partner - who offered to even stay home from work today to be with me because things are quite black right now. This warmth, love and support makes me feel worse. Makes it all feel so very unequal. Makes me feel like a terrible burden on him. He wants to see me smile, to hear me sing, to see me laugh - and every minute that I can't do those things, it compounds my feeling of failure. 


    Every time one he cooks dinner for us - something that I have always done, it makes me angry at myself that I didn't, that I hadn't. I made him go to work today because him being here, all the time, asking if I am okay - if he can do anything - just makes me feel totally useless. 


    Again, this is just my personal experience. He may be thinking about leaving because the dynamic has been him as the caregiver, not the receiver, and he isn't sure how to ask for it. Separating after 21 years is a big call, and as hurtful as it may seem, it's actually a positive sign that he is talking about options that don't involve harming himself. 

    Give him the space to explore this reality. Maybe take a trip away and stay with friends or family for a week or two ? Let him have the house - his own physical space - and then get some counselling together to see what you can work out. 


    It's a lot of history, and a lot of love to walk away from. I think that maybe he is just needing a break to figure everything out. With no pressure (not that you're putting any on him, just that the guilt exists anyway) to get 'better'. 


    I hope ole things work out for you imagine. All the best. 

  3. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    16460 posts
    13 December 2013 in reply to Imagine

    dear Imagine, I think that you are a lovely lady but suffering illness's on two fronts, and this must be heart wrenching for you.

    You want to try and achieve what ever you physically can, so that it's not a burden on him, and you should be commended on this.

    There's always the fight that people with an illness like yours want to fight and do things themselves, it's because there is the determination and strong will to do so.

    You say that this is a relapse, and can I ask how many of these has he had.

    The loss of losing your dog is definitely a very difficult event to have happened, and I only know too well as I lost my own puppie of 18 years a few months ago, and I too had a temporary relapse and was struggling for awhile, and even now I miss her so much, and no other dog can ever replace her, but I now have another puppie, and she has her funny little idiosyncrasies.

    He has to try and realise that a lot of people have to take cholesterol medication, as I have to for probably the rest of my life, but maybe he doesn't have to take many pills so this may upset him.

    You are doing everything possible, such as getting your distance and giving him the space he needs.

    I don't want to alarm you in any way, but please keep an eye on him and what he's up to, as I do worry that because of his depression he may go a step further, and you can still do this by keeping your distance from him.

    You are as I have said a lovely wife, and I'm sure that your husband is as well, but depression changes our personality and we tend to think of negative thoughts, those that we would never ever think of, and please let us know how he gets on with the counsellor. All the best. L Geoff. x

  4. Imagine
    Imagine avatar
    39 posts
    13 December 2013 in reply to Kaylina

    Hi Kaylina,

    Thank you so very much for taking the time and making the effort to give me such an insightful and supportive response, especially when you are enduring such a difficult time yourself. I hope that this passes for you soon and that there are better days ahead. You said you feel a sense of failure but I can see your strength and compassion in your words.

    Your advice and perspective is very valuable. I can see that he is struggling with the exact feelings you described so well. I moved into the spare bedroom at the opposite end of our big house (I offered to go and stay with family but this was what he wanted me to do, he's not ready to tell anyone else). I am not fussing over him, still expecting him to do what he can in the sense that I am leaving him to get on with his own chores (unless of course he was to ask for help), and just trying to treat him as I would a flatmate, pleasant and kind but not doing everything and overwhelming him with one-sided giving. I don't like or tolerate fussing when I am sick either. I have encouraged him to go out for a drink with his workmates tonight (something he likes to do, not pushing him to socialise when he wants peace, I simply said it's fine with me), that kind of thing. Your perspective has helped me to feel more certain that I am taking the right tack.

    I do understand the guilt you feel, I feel the same way when my physical illness stops me from participating in our life together. There are many similarities between chronic physical and chronic mental illnesses, especially as my illness is mostly invisible so it's hard for others to understand.

    Again, thank you for the help you have given me. I wish you all the best.

    Imagine x





  5. Imagine
    Imagine avatar
    39 posts
    13 December 2013 in reply to geoff

    Hi Geoff,

    Thank you so much for your thoughts, for taking the time to answer my post and for your encouraging words.

    My husband has had a couple of serious depressive episodes previously in the time I have known him, but he also suffered undiagnosed and untreated depression as a teenager (he's 44 now). He had a difficult childhood with a cruel and mentally abusive father and he's an amazing man to have coped as well as he has.

    I am sorry for the loss of your dog. They are such special friends and the bond of that unconditional and uncomplicated love is one of the greatest gifts we have in this life. Losing our girl has been very hard. We have two cats who are helping to soothe a broken heart, but no one animal can replace another, even though you love them equally as much.

    I agree with you about the cholesterol medicine but I am perhaps a little blasé about medicines because I've had to take so many of them for so long myself. His physical health has always been good so this is his first brush with his own mortality and that has definitely rocked him.

    It is a great comfort to be told I am doing the right thing. If the worst happens, and he does find he needs to leave, I will at least know I did the best thing I could.

    I discussed the possibility of suicide with him and he promised me he would not do that - that he would tell me if the feelings got that bad. I have taken the precaution of hiding my strong pain meds just in case, because I think it would be easy to lose even a heartfelt sincere promise in the vastness of the pain he is feeling

    I will update you on his progress when he sees the councillor. I think it's a positive sign that he is still choosing to talk openly to me. He hugged me when he left for work today and I think I can see a little less weight on his shoulders. I'm not watching and assessing his every move or expecting any progress, it's more a sense that my approach is right - that he isn't carrying my reactions and fears as  additional pressure on his already heavily burdened shoulders.

    Once again, a heartfelt thank you for your advice and support. All the best.

    Imagine x





  6. giggles
    giggles avatar
    126 posts
    13 December 2013 in reply to Imagine

    Hey Imagine

    Something I use loads by the way. 

    Its an oldie but goodie.

    If you love something set it free if it comes back it is yours if it doesn't it never was.

    I have experienced this a few times with different people.

    All the best


  7. Imagine
    Imagine avatar
    39 posts
    13 December 2013 in reply to giggles

    Hi Giggles,

    Thank you.

    Those oldies but goodies last so long because of the truth they contain.

    I think that is very good advice and that is exactly what I am hoping for and trying to do. I am not a Buddhist, but the Abbott Ajahn Brahm, tells a story about true love vs romantic love. True love is when you can imagine your partner, leaving you a letter saying he/she has found someone else, that they are truly happy, and you find yourself able to accept this.

    That is how I feel. I don't believe my illness is the whole problem, it would have torn us apart long ago if it was, but if it turns out I am wrong and my illness is the problem, I know I can let him go freely with the wish that he finds peace and happiness. He will always be my friend.

    That is not intended to make me sound like a martyr, My heart will break and I am terrified of what looks like a bleak, lonely future ahead for me since I cannot drive and will probably end up on disability because I am too sick to work enough hours to support myself. But the simple fact is, you can't build a happy future together when one partner is not following their heart.

    Thanks again for your kind thoughts

    Imagine x


  8. Imagine
    Imagine avatar
    39 posts
    25 December 2013 in reply to Imagine

    Well it is Christmas morning and I am feeling very mixed but mostly OK.

    The good news is that my husband is still here on Christmas day (he's applied for a short term furnished apartment but hasn't got one yet), he hugged me and gave me some lovely hand creams as a Christmas gift. I cautiously woke him so he could see the little ducklings that visited our garden this morning, he smiled in genuine delight at their antics and has now gone back to his room to sleep. His smile and that moment was so precious to me.

    I bought him a teapot, cup and some really nice teas to take to his apartment. I am hoping that the gift will be seen as supportive of his need for space but also act as a little reminder that I care and will not abandon him. He didn't say a lot but seemed to honestly like the gift and accept it in the spirit it was intended.

    I know I have much to be grateful for and there is still a lot of hope, it is early days (just 2 appointments with the counsellor so far) and he has not made any permanent, irreversible choices. My heart aches deeply and I miss our long standing Christmas morning traditions (huge extended family Champagne breakfast etc) but I will hold my hope tenderly and enjoy every positive moment I can find today.

    I wish you all peace today wherever you are.




  9. BennyBoy
    BennyBoy avatar
    4 posts
    25 December 2013 in reply to Imagine

    The best you can do is show love, compassion and support his decisions.

    Merry Christmas to you also.

  10. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    16460 posts
    26 December 2013 in reply to Imagine

    dear Imagine, I can feel your pain, it's so strong, it radiates through the computer and the way you have replied back to us, your sincere love for him, and the sadness of him leaving.

    Unfortunately I can't stop him from going, it's a decision that he has made, but in due time he will be sorry that all of this has happened, but at the moment he is not well, and he will visit you quite often, because he will miss your company, and only he can determine when he wants to return, but with a little encouragement it could be sooner rather than later.

    As much as you love him I'm sorry but it's best not to push it too hard, and with the love that you have for him, this will show.

    Can I just suggest that he only signs on a month to month basis, which you can ask him to do, and you could give him the reason being 'that he might not like where he stays', so if and when he wants to return home then it's not too long to wait.

    I honestly hope that he can overcome his depression so he can rejoin you, because the hurt you are feeling is enormous. L Geoff. x

  11. Imagine
    Imagine avatar
    39 posts
    26 December 2013 in reply to geoff

    Thank you so much BennyBoy and Geoff. Your honest, thoughtful and insightful words help a lot.

    I am being very careful to be quiet, peaceful, patient and supportive and not apply pressure (while leaving the door open if/when he wants to discuss the subject). I can see the pressure of the depression itself is crushing. I can't imagine what it feels like but I can actually physically see the weight on his shoulders. It's very reassuring to hear you say that this is the right thing to do, because it's a very hard thing to do. In a way, it helps me as well, because it's a huge effort for me to do this, to quietly cope with my own (physical and mental) pain and most of the household responsibilities, but if making that effort is something that helps, it feels worthwhile and gives me something to focus on, a goal amid the confusion, darkness and pain. 

    I know the first apartment he applied for was a weekly rental, not sure about the one he is waiting to hear back on but I do know it's another short term one which is good. He doesn't seem to be making any long term plans. The places he is looking at are fully furnished so it's not like he is setting up a new home base, more just a hideout I think.

    Thanks again for taking the time to help and support me. I appreciate it so very much.



  12. mr confused
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    mr confused avatar
    37 posts
    29 December 2013 in reply to Imagine
    Hi Imagine,i know all too well what ur going thru,been married for 17 yrs our anniversary was in december,she didnt even acknowledge it,she took our boys on holidays,basically to get away from me and to think i hope,i love her dearly and supported her thru her rough times ova the last is so had when someone you love and cared for suddenly decides its over,it does break ur heart and the depression sets in and wonder where did it all go wrong.i now have mild depression and anxiety,stress from all thats happened in the last few months,i'ts been hell.i am wishing when she returns she has a different mind set,but i have to wait and see.i know she cant live without me,but she has to see that for self.but then it mite be a little too late,she has attempted suicide 3x but that is more attention seeking than going thru with it and she says that we are ova but she is the one that rings from hospital to come pick her up,she has friends,but calls me,so yes i'm confused about the whole situation.if yours works out thats great news and i hope for the best.the waiting game is the hardest part.
  13. Imagine
    Imagine avatar
    39 posts
    30 December 2013 in reply to mr confused

    Hi Mr Confused,

    My heart just goes out to you, There are no words that truly express this pain. .

    Thank you for responding and sharing with me. I wish that no one had to go through this but having people who understand is a huge comfort to me. I can understand why you have depression/anxiety/stress - I feel like I am heading that way too and the physical toll on my body is brutal as well.

    I am in the same place in the sense that he is shutting me out, blaming me for all sorts of things that aren't my fault, claiming that I am weak because walking uphill is painful with my inflamed joints and because I can no longer lift 25kg bags of garden supplies (I only weigh 45kgs!) but then also occasionally doing the complete opposite in other ways. He showed me pictures of his apartment this morning (apropos of nothing, I didn't ask to see it or raise the subject), went out for coffee with me yesterday, talks about extending the vegie garden next year (obviously assuming we will still be here as neither of us can afford this place on our own), talks about still going on the holiday we have booked in April "as friends" but then completely shuts me out. Feels so cruel but I know it isn't his fault. He has no cruelty in him -  I've known him for 24 years so I am sure I'd have seen that before now. I haven't had to face the suicide attempts though - that must be a whole new level of hell that I cannot even imagine. I am seeing a big increase in drinking but he's a genial drunk so I am just watching out for his safety and quietly asked him to mention this to his counsellor. I keep anything like that to a minimum and as light as I can, I had him laughing when I pointed out that, like the overachiever he is, he even excels at depression. I am trying very hard not to put any pressure on him but it is incredibly hard on me. But there is no point in searching for any hope or reassurance from a depressive, they don't have any to give while they are depressed.

    The waiting game is so hard. I feel sick with stress and fear but I can only take a moment at a time, be grateful for any positives and try and keep hoping that it's the depression, not that it's all over.

    I wish you the best of luck too. Please let us know what happens when she returns. I will keep my fingers crossed for you, her and your boys. 


  14. guest75
    guest75 avatar
    299 posts
    30 December 2013 in reply to Imagine

    I feel for you Imagine, it must be a terrible situation.

    I am in the opposite situation to you at the min, in that my partner has left me because of my mood swings due to my depression.  But most of it is my fault, i didnt listen to her when she told me to seek help

    If your husband is anything like me, just offer him all the support he wants, but dont be offended if he refuses or pushes you away, keep offering, and be there for him

    It sounds like he is still in love with you just wants space at the minute

  15. Anthony10
    Anthony10 avatar
    7 posts
    30 December 2013 in reply to guest75
    Hi I know what its like..I have bipolar and feel there is no one that can support me, that's why I just joined. Hope to chat to others in similar situations
  16. Imagine
    Imagine avatar
    39 posts
    1 January 2014 in reply to guest75

    Hi mattyj and Anthony10,

    Thanks for your perspective. I am trying so very hard to understand. But even my best efforts to give him space are still apparently pushing him away. It's hard for me to completely hide my pain and to not speak to him at all, 24 hours a day, when I am broken-hearted. I am not asking for answers to the big questions - I know he needs to get well before he can answer them. Just wanting him to behave with simple courtesy to me and to acknowledge that he is not the only one suffering. I understand he is sick, but is his selfish behaviour uncontrollable? I want to believe it is the disease talking but I am confused because he is reasonable with others, it's just me that cops the brunt of it.

    He is still here (by his choice - he could go to a friends or his Mums until the apartment becomes available) but he seems to expect me to be invisible or appear only when he feels like seeing me.

    Did you feel like that about your partner? Is it part of the disease? Is there any advice you can offer me please? It seems everything I do is wrong. I don't know what to do, where to set the limits? I don't think it's acceptable for him to bellow at me for sleeping later than I expected when, exhausted from sleepless nights of worrying, I overslept on a nap. Nor should I have to hide in the back bedroom until he leaves.

    I love him so much, but I am afraid of damaging that love and becoming resentful if I let him force me into tortured silence and take away what's left of my shattered self esteem.

    Thank you again for your support and input. Best of luck to you both




  17. emuman
    emuman avatar
    1 posts
    1 January 2014 in reply to Imagine
    Hi Imagine, Sounds like you are going through what i may be about to go through. My wife of 17 years has been suffering depression for a number of years. She has had help but often does not take the advice. It seems her depression comes from being bullied in school in the past plus other events. She has lost many friends and even some family i believe due to the depression and the mood swings. She now has very few friends and does not work so has a lot of time to think alone. I too have trouble knowing how to approach the situation and advice is not taken. The online counceller today suggested i go see a pyhcologist to get advice wife the aim of getting us both to some sessions. This is what I aim to do next week.  My wife says that the only thing keeping her here is our kids. I too worry all the time and feel your pain. I consider myself to be a very patient and gentle man which has helped keep it together for so long but my strength is weakening. It is such a difficult disease to beat. I'm sorry this is much advice but I know what you are going through. It is hard for us to understand what they are going through. I know if my wife leaves things will be worse off for her as well and i'm afraid of what this will lead to. Hope it all works out for you and stay strong.
  18. mr confused
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    mr confused avatar
    37 posts
    2 January 2014 in reply to Imagine

    Hi Imagine,Well she has returned,picked her up from the airport,didnt say much,just straight on her phone texting.Was being ever so nice and polite,it didnt matter.She went to bed for a few hours got up and left,didnt see her till next midday morning.looked after our 2yr old son,ever since she got back.(which i loved).

    She told me yesterday all her troubles about the endless list of boys and boyfriends running after her,as if i wanted to know and how she keeps losing them.

    Our marriage is ova,i finally have closure after what i thought was 17 years of a normal marriage.We neva had anything in common(apparently) i guess having 3 beautiful boys don't count,

    She did admit she pushed me away and hurt me,but that is still no compensation for what has happened.its a new year,for both of us,have to try to forget but it wont be easy,still care about her(which really hurts)like she feel asleep on the couch yesterday after being out she looked cold,so i put a blanket over her(i hate i still have feelings for her but time will heal,some it takes longer for her she has already moved on).

    like you i lost weight didnt really eat for 12 days,just fluids,no alcohol,but i have come to realise i must look after me and me first,go and get pampered, a wax,massage,dye ur hair,whatever makes u feel better about yourself,start going to the gym,a lot of female gyms around,plenty of support.

    yes one day she ask's how are you this morning,you ok!,What am i suppose to reply Yes couldnt be happier our marriage has fallen apart and you moved on,but i'm fine! She has no real feelings only fake ones that leave you wondering does she mean it or not.

    just keep strong,try to forget (which is so hard) look after yourself. xx


  19. guest75
    guest75 avatar
    299 posts
    2 January 2014 in reply to Imagine

    Hi Imagine,

    I dont know if it effects everyone the same way or not - but your husband seems to be the opposite of me.  I want people around me, i want to be close to people and i dont want to be alone.  I would give anything in the world right now for a hug from my partner, thats all i want.  We had a lot of fights before she took out the IVO, but apart from the times we were fighting I wanted to be close to her.

     Sorry i cant be anymore help

  20. Imagine
    Imagine avatar
    39 posts
    3 January 2014 in reply to emuman

    Hi emuman,

    Thanks for your response and I truly feel for you. It is just so hard to imagine any positive outcome when they do not seem able to help themselves and rebut every effort, however gentle and kind, that we make to help. It's a bleak outlook for us and for them and much as we desperately want the terrible strain to ease, there is no easy answer.

    I don't know if this will offer you any hope, but I did FINALLY (after much effort, patience and tact) persuade my husband to see the Dr this week. The Dr thinks he needs to continue the counselling (for the limited number of sessions on offer) then see a psych. He is also to continue his antidepressants (I thought they weren't working but Dr seems to think he needs more than meds). The exercise he is doing is good and he was told he needs to manage his drinking better. I guess I was hoping for more than this, but at least, he went to the appointment, the Dr doesn't think he's a suicide risk right now, he volunteered all this information to me and the Dr thinks he is on the right track even if it is an incredibly long road ahead. He has been asked to go back in a month.

    He has now gone away for the weekend to see his brother and is moving out next weekend so I am alone with far too much time to think, and too exhausted to go anywhere and escape my own thoughts. I know these are positive steps for him, and I have been encouraging and supportive and swallowed my own fear and pain, but I don't know where they will lead for us, if there is an us, and that is terrifying.

    Like you, I am trying to Stay Strong and keep that little hope alive. Good luck with the psych. I will keep you in my thoughts and hope that there are better days ahead for us all.




  21. Imagine
    Imagine avatar
    39 posts
    3 January 2014 in reply to mr confused

    Hi mr confused,

    Thanks for telling us how things are going. I have been thinking of you, but I am so sorry to hear that this is what has happened. Words are so inadequate for the pain you must be going through. You have been so kind, so patient, so supportive and yet still you have been repaid like this.

    I know it is the disease, not the person. No happy person would ever choose to make others suffer but that is cold comfort for a broken heart. And like you said, how do you respond to those questions?

    I think you are right about needing to take care of ourselves. With your obvious love, pride and compassion, you must be a great Dad to those 3 beautiful boys and they will need you now more than ever. I read somewhere that we should do whatever we can to make ourselves feel better, the suggestions seem so meaningless in the scope of the suffering, but we have to start somewhere and perhaps the choice to do something for ourselves will help slowly rebuild some of our beaten and battered self esteem.

    I guess we can only take things moment by moment and be grateful that each moment takes us closer to a time when the pain will ease.

    Take care of yourself, you are worth the effort and will come through this difficult time  xxx


  22. Imagine
    Imagine avatar
    39 posts
    3 January 2014 in reply to guest75

    Hi mattyj,

    Thank you, your response did help, and in a very practical sense, because it prompted me to have a talk to him about what HE feels HE needs.

    His blank and cold demeanour and Jekyll and Hyde behaviour were confusing me so much that I had no idea what he wanted. You gave me the understanding and the way to approach the question. I went with the angle that the depression experience seems so different for different people, likened my role to being blindfolded and asked him to let me know if I am stumbling towards the land mines I can't see. I will listen, I trust him, and will believe him but I need his guidance. I can't see when he needs silence, or when he needs to hear I will not abandon him. As he has now gone away for the weekend, I don't know if this will help, but I feel like I said the right thing.

    Thanks again for your insight. You are in my thoughts and I truly hope that your hard work brings your family back together.






  23. giggles
    giggles avatar
    126 posts
    15 January 2014 in reply to Imagine

    Hi Imagine

    And anyone else choosing to read this.

    I am a survivor of depression and attempted suicide.

    While reading I remembered feelings and emotions that would be trying to find a place for expression from when I was going through episodes (I call them) I am now grateful to those episodes because through me sticking it out and not killing myself I now have the ability to see what I was doing at certain times of my life.

    This has given me an acute ability to understand most of what is written on this site.However while I would absolutely love to take everyone's pain away it, in my experience does not work that way.

    I have learnt so much from the suffering but has not been so much about anyone else it has been for me to learn about myself.Gosh I would not recommend it to anyone though but there it is my truth.

    I would like to share how I was trying to control people and situations through the emotion of anger and off course many other feelings that come into the destructive arena.I kept these emotions to myself and never expressed them until I was angry or if I did not have the confidence to express it went side ways on me.What ever was going on I would usually keep it to myself so now I don't but certainly chose what I can help with and what I can not.

    I learnt that everything that is placed in front of me was there to show me that I actually need to work on myself and not necessarily the other person.Once I twicked to that one the other person I was trying to control did not need controlling at all and I could work with them.So I could then also see how others control their worlds and if they are doing it through yucky means I now know I have the freedom to move away from the yucky person and do something else. We do need control of course.

    I am not referring to children off course they need direction from us. Adults on the other hand to me are children being naughty because they are frustrated with something.I now laugh at their methods because anger has lost it steam.

     I have strategies everyday to keep on top of those awful depressive emotions because I know from my experience that they are not real at all and I have not had an episode for years so I reckon its progress for sure. Off course I would like everyone to feel this but I could not be told anything because I need to make up my own mind about things and situations and that has been my fight I just thought I had to fight everyone else off course I do not at all.

    I have been forced to face the truth about myself from my personal experiences and found that it is not so bad because I discovered loads of good from the bad.

    I really enjoy arts and crafts so I liken life to that sometimes I can knit or crochet and if it does not turn out I can always undo it. Or in painting i can always cover it up but I will no longer cover me up while I am creating I am actually working with myself.

    So it really is up to you what or how you deal with anything that comes into your life you have been doing it since you arrived so only you know what is going to be ok for you. Unfortunately the pain may need to be there until you can find acceptance. I do not believe I could have put a time frame on that for me while going through some things but it is real and really nice when it arrives.

    During my recovery for depression not one person really listened in a helpful way to me so I still felt alone during the process but because I stayed I can speak from how it is today and it is better. Some of the things I was worried about back then iare still there but they are meant to be just as I did not respond to the treatment offered because I did not know at the time but I needed to work my life out my way. I am still here with loads of things I want to try..

    I wish only luck with a box of tissues because there will definitely be tears from someone along the way.After the tears it can be quite cool.It is not new but tears are simply a release from both sexes

    I do not believe anyone can actually tell us individually exactly what is going to happen to another person or our lives but we are all watching and waiting I suppose for people to heal so they can be ok again no one can do it for you or your partner.

    All the best Giggles

    Hope you do something special for yourself today.

  24. Imagine
    Imagine avatar
    39 posts
    18 January 2014 in reply to giggles

    Hi Giggles,

    Thank you so very much for thinking of me, for following up, for taking the time to give me your advice and perspective, the luck and the tissues - I need them! You are amazingly accurate in your perception. You are obviously someone who has learnt much from the difficulties you have faced and that is inspiring to others. It is generous of you to share what you have learnt.

    I have been doing a lot of thinking and I suspect he has been keeping emotions to himself, and perhaps even from himself. I have always seen the impact of his abusive father, but just this week it also occurred to me that he may have more of his submissive mother in him than I have ever noticed before. And of course, I can't work on a marital issue I know nothing about, so perhaps I am just ignorant of things that have upset him that he hasn't told me about, all the while believing that I am doing all I can to build and sustain the happy marriage I thought we had.

    Things are not going well right now. He moved out a week ago and I was feeling slightly more positive, (not rashly so, just a little) after he called me on Wednesday sounding quite upbeat, just to ask how I was going, then said he was coming over today (Saturday) even though I said he did not need to do so. But, I could see as soon as he walked in today, that he was wearing his depression mask. He wasn't angry so much as cold and remote and told me, when I asked how he was going, that if he had to decide today, our marriage would be over. He's been enjoying his solitude as I expected he would, but has also been thinking about all the wonderful possibilities his future might hold without me. But then, he wanted to go out to lunch with me at the local pub. I bottled up all my pain, stayed calm and open, put on a brave face and went with him, hoping to keep the communication lines open. He was OK at lunch, but not particularly talkative, then left as soon as we got back to the house. We talked about some random bits and pieces that would need to be addressed If we were to split among other ordinary topics, but nothing was decided and we did not argue or even disagree on anything.

    So once again, my heart takes a beating. I feel so confused because he says one thing quite assertively based on how he feels today, but he isn't taking any action beyond running away to the sanctuary of an apartment, and then he still calls me and comes over when he doesn't need to, and that makes me see-saw painfully back and forth without really knowing my own mind. I have resolved to try to build myself an emotional wall and not take anything he says positive or negative to heart  until he comes out of the depression, but right now I hurt like hell.

    Your suggestion that I need to work on myself is absolutely spot on and I have been trying to do so. I have read more self help books in the last couple of weeks than I have in a lifetime! I am questioning and refining my philosophies and values in life and rebuilding myself as a person from the ground up. I figure that will stand me in good stead whatever happens.

    You were right on the arts and crafts too. I knit too and started painting again this week after 20 years. Yes you can easily undo mistakes in these things and I will keep that analogy in mind.

    I can see that as much as I want to be there for him, to listen unconditionally and without judgement, I am too close to him to be that support. As you said, he needs to work his own life out, his way.

    I know that, whatever happens, both he and I will come through this pain as wiser, better people, no matter the outcome of our marriage. There is no emotional and spiritual growth without adversity. He is a wonderful man and I hope that he finds a way through the suffering soon.

    I have to find my own way and I am working on that. Today I feel like hiding under the doona and crying but I got myself dressed and ready to go to the local outdoor cinema with my parents. I will keep doing those special things for myself and maybe learn to enjoy them.

    Thank you again Giggles. You have helped me more than I can express.

    Best wishes





  25. Imagine
    Imagine avatar
    39 posts
    23 January 2014 in reply to Imagine


    Just an update for those who have taken an interest in my story and kindly offered their advice and support.

    Our relationship ended today. He sent me a text asking to come over tonight after he plays his weekly squash game, I knew then. I called him and asked why he wanted to come around, he said to talk, I said you have decided then, he said yes, I said it's over? He said Yes and that ended a 24 year relationship and a 21 year marriage.

    I am devastated. I have seen my Dr today and got a referral to a psych but the road ahead is terrifying for me. I am too sick to work more than 2 days a week and earn just a little too much for the disability pension so I will be living on the breadline. Our house is still unfinished and needs a lot of work before we can sell it. He expects me to stay here and look after it for months, while he lives in his expensive rental apartment and comes out on weekends to work on the house. I don't get to have a say in the decision.

    I don't know where this selfish person came from and I am devastated at his complete lack of compassion and empathy. He tells me he's been almost certain about leaving all this time but when I questioned him along the way he let me believe there was hope instead of telling me the truth. So I have been trying so hard to be supportive, taking care of all the responsibilities and giving him space, while he lied to me.

    I am heartbroken and cannot imagine ever feeling like life is worth living again, at least the life of poverty, alone in a tiny unit, unable to drive (due to seizures) and unable to get out and meet people, travel and do all the things that make life worthwhile.

    All out of hope and dreams.......... heart in a million pieces



  26. Gingerninja
    Gingerninja avatar
    18 posts
    23 January 2014 in reply to Imagine

    Hi imagine, 

    I only joined today, but I have just read your whole story, along with the comments from the people here. 

    I am so sorry to hear of the final outcome, you sound like such a warm, generous and kind person, who only deserves the best.

    I am glad you have seen your dr and are going to see a psych, to help you with the grief and other emotions. 

    I hope you will keep posting on here, and let people on here know how you are getting on.

    ginger ninja x

  27. guest75
    guest75 avatar
    299 posts
    24 January 2014 in reply to Imagine

    Hi Imagine,

    Im devastated for you to hear the final outcome of your story.  I truly feel for you and know exactly what you are currently feeling.

    Please dont let your husbands decision make you feel less good about yourself.  This was his choice, nothing to do with you.  He obviously has something going on in his mind that you have no control over

    Im glad to hear you are going to see a psych, it helped me a lot just to be able to talk things out

    And to quote one of my favourite bands Pennywise "down with yours, im living my life for me" just remember that, dont let others actions drag you down, im trying to remember that everyday

    I hope you choose to stick around here, and let the great folks here help you through this tough time



  28. Jo3
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Jo3 avatar
    2269 posts
    24 January 2014 in reply to Imagine

    Hi Imagine

    My heart goes out to you, I am sorry things worked out this way.

    I agree with Matty - don't let your husbands decision make you feel bad about yourself.

    Good to see you are going to see a psych.  Please take care, thinking of you and hope you can come back on here.  


  29. Imagine
    Imagine avatar
    39 posts
    24 January 2014 in reply to Jo3

    Thank you so much Gingerninja, Matty and Jo. Your kindness really means a lot to me. It also helps a lot to hear this is not my fault. Both my specialist and my GP stressed the same thing to me this week, and it does help with the "what ifs..." and "I wish I had...." thoughts. I can honestly say I miss terribly and grieve deeply for the man I loved, but he is no longer that man, and I think he has changed forever. He's not depressed anymore, but he is a very different person. I don't love that person so at least I am not waiting, pining and hoping for a reconciliation.

    I have already spoken to a counsellor today and made a psych appointment next week. I am trying hard to face this challenge head on and move onwards and upwards. Guess it can only go upwards from here. Matty, you are setting a wonderful example for me with your courage to face things and embrace all the changes and the new life you are rebuilding. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

    Thanks again for caring. Take care of yourselves too xxx



  30. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    16460 posts
    25 January 2014 in reply to Imagine

    dear Imagine, while all of this was happening I was asleep, but that's no excuse for me being so, because this news is devastating.

    We try our hardest to keep a relationship going, and by the way this isn't easy at all, sometimes we make sacrifices, and we do it for them, it goes unappreciated, these people just believe that it's only half hearted, if only they knew what strength it took us to even gather our ability to go this far, and then we are flushed down the toilet.

    We are treated as mental, and this is only an expression used by many people, or the damn finger circles around the side of their face, and this is no way to treat somebody with depression.

    Compassion and empathy can easily change from one day to the next, but how do we know that this can happen, well none of us know, and that's the problem.

    I can only agree with the others, it's not your fault and you shouldn't be to blame, what it does mean is that he has NO willingness to comfort the hardships in a relationship, and I'm very sorry for this to have happened. L Geoff. x

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