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Topic: Reaching out to my depressed ex

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. Vali
    Vali avatar
    2 posts
    21 April 2019

    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to the site, so thank you for your help in advance. I'm in a very painful situation with my ex, who moved to Australia from the UK late last year. He very quickly spiraled into depression and was feeling suicidal within five weeks of arriving. We have been together for two years, have known each other for four, and are married. He hadn't experienced depression in the time I've known him although, looking back, there were some warning signs that he was developing signs of a nervous breakdown before he arrived. Unfortunately, my partner began blaming me for the depression very quickly, saying that issues he had with my communication style were resulting in him not being able to make plans to stay in Australia, and hence look for work, make friends, etc., and that all of this meant that he was depressed. I felt that my communication style was how it had always been but nonetheless tried to address his concerns and improve what he was asking me to. The problem was that once I fixed one issue, another one would emerge. He became extremely nasty over the six months that he was here and was verbally abusive at times; he felt that I ruined his life by asking him to move to Australia. I financially supported him the whole time he was here, tried to get him to seek professional help, tried to support him, etc. but it didn't help - in fact, it made the situation worse. One night I told him that I needed a break from talking about suicide, and he has never let me forget this.

    My ex has returned to the UK to recover and has asked that I not contact him so that he can begin a new phase of his life. I haven't contacted him for nearly a month. I'm torn, as when he was here, he would insist that I not contact him/never speak to him again, etc. and then be quite surprised that I wouldn't reach out and try to make amends 'if I actually wanted to relationship'. I want to respect where he's at and his healing, but it's painful to not be able to be there for him. I'm not sure if it would be helpful or harmful to reach out and tell him that I still care and that I'm here if he needs or wants me. I suspect I need to leave him be. I'm grieving myself, as I feel like this disease has robbed me of my husband. At the same time, some of his behaviour was abusive, and I know that depression is no excuse for that. It's a phenomenally sad time. I'd appreciate any advice on how to support someone in this situation.

  2. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
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    geoff avatar
    15310 posts
    21 April 2019 in reply to Vali

    Hello Vali, thanks for posting your comment and sorry you have not been replied to.

    Firstly this will put you back on page 1 and your position is not one that is satisfactory and not pleasant, that he has blamed you for his depression.

    If someone blames someone else for their depression only means that they are susceptible to getting it, because if they are strong enough then they can handle the situation.

    It's also difficult to keep talking about suicide with your partner/spouse unless they are getting counselling and taking any medication prescribed by their doctor.

    Can I suggest you contact your own doctor because not only does your husband need help, you also need some counselling.

    Your doctor can put you on a mental health plan, which allows you 10 Medibank paid sessions with a psychologist, and if you can click on 'the Facts' and scroll down until you see K-10 test, it's a test where you can take the result to your doctor.

    Please take care.


  3. Vali
    Vali avatar
    2 posts
    22 April 2019 in reply to geoff

    Hi Geoff,

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. It is truly awful to be blamed for someone's mental illness and suicidal feelings - it isn't fair. I still love this person a lot though and want to support them, and I'm not sure how to go about this. We're no longer together.

    I'm receiving counselling and have good support around me. I'm not sure if my ex-partner is receiving any help as we haven't communicated.

    I do wish that I'd done things differently when he was here - held the space better, not reacted so much, etc. - but I have to also accept that it was exceptionally difficult. I do feel guilt that I wasn't able to support him in the way he wanted me to.

    Thanks again for the support.

  4. 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
    15310 posts
    22 April 2019 in reply to Vali

    Hi Vali, thanks for getting back to me.

    It's not easy to support someone in 'the spur of the moment' because so much can happen so quickly and we react to what has been said or been done in a different way than what we would if we had time to think about it, you can't blame yourself for this, we all do the same, so please don't punish yourself.

    It's good you are receiving counselling and hope that he is doing the same, please just remember that we do react from each situation in a different way.

    Take care.


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