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Husband left and I feel hopelss

Community Member

My husband of over 16 years decided to break the news to me that he is no longer in love with me and needs time and space to find himself. He works a hugely demanding job and has been unhappy in his employment for a long time although he claims this has nothing to do with his unhappiness. He has now moved out of our home. I am madly and deeply in love with my husband. I know he has expressed he has had suicidal thoughts and has also tried to take his life recently. I have asked him to get help and I believe he has seen a GP but I have no idea if he is booked to speak to any one further and every second of the day I think about him. I really want to be there to support him. Our children are missing him dearly.They see my pain daily as I feel utter despair.I know people would tell me I have to look after myself and children and the children are my first priority although I am not able to function for myself.I just want to sleep as at least when I am sleeping the pain stops. I have always been a happy bubbly person and involved in many things and now I am finding I am withdrawing. I don't eat at all maybe a mouthful of food at each meal as I feel sick. I don't sleep more than 2 or 3 hours per night and I need sleeping tablets to get that. I begged for him to come to counselling with me to work on the marriage and he went to 2 sessions and didn't say alot except that he didn't love me. he was done and felt I didn't listen. I begged to keep going and to let me be his support through this. I am gutted and I feel I am losing it. My body is numb. I cry all the time. I am constantly thinking of him and how he is. I have booked to see a GP although not certain I will go as worried he will think I am weak. Do I continue to hold hope my gorgeous husband just needs time away and help? Am i just living in a fantasy. Can depression turn around and people see that there spouse was not the problem and they can make things work. Has anyone experienced this and had there spouse return or am I a fool and he really doesn't love me. One of my children told me today.. mum I believe dad does love you and I hope he soon will see it. Our friends are shocked and taken back at his lack of ability to try and this is why I am concerned for his mental health. My husband is the most amazing man and I see the hurt in his eyes now. I look at him and he looks broken ... I am a broken unit but should I be looking fine so he doesn't feel pity on me. I don't want him to come home from pity

121 Replies 121

Summer Rose
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Jayne

Welcome to bb and thank you for sharing your story.

I am so sorry that your husband is experiencing mental health issues and that he has left the family home. I can understand how hurt, confused and helpless you must feel.

Please know that you are not alone. I have been a member of this community for years and have sadly seen many similiar posts. When someone in the family experiences a mental health issue there is a ripple affect and this can be significant.

I believe the single most important thing you must do right now is look after yourself.

Try to imagine a window frame and within that window frame is room for a range of emotions. And every day our emotions go up and down within the frame in response to life and we can cope. But when something happens to push us "out of our window" we need help. Because when we're out of our window we can't cope.

Going to see your GP is not a sign of weakness, it is brave and smart because I believe you are going to need some help to get back in your "window".

Just imagine the consequences for your children and you should your health continue to decline. And you will be a better position to deal with the marriage situation when you are feeling better. Please make yourself a priority.

It sounds like your husband is quite unwell and his illness will most definitely be affecting his outlook on life. Like you, I truly hope that he is receiving appropriate professional help. He will need time to heal and it's impossible to guess how long.

If I were in your shoes, I would give him time and space whilst always keeping the lines of communication open. I wouldn't push him but I would make sure he knows that you will be there when he's ready.

Does any of this make sense to you?

Kind thoughts to you

Thankyou Summer Rose

I am so lost and my heart hurts so badly. I am not fully aware if he is getting further help although I really hope so his sake and also our children and myself as I don't want anything to happen to him.

I am willing to wait for him as long as it takes as the man I am currently looking at is not my husband.

10 months ago I had weight loss surgery and habe lost over 50kg but since i am not eating my weight is rapidly still declining and i am scared i am starting to get to thin. I am not sure if he looks at me as someone different and this has made him worse. I am so unhappy I had this surgery as i have lost the weight and now my husband. It feels so terrible.

Our sex life had not been great although things were improving. He told counsellor and close friends a main reason was a lack of intimacy and feeling rejected and then turned that around to say I said he must of felt this way!! I spoke with counsellor on a single session he approved of and she told me he takes no responsibility for the break up and he had said it was due to lack of intimacy.

It feels like everything I say is turned around and he is starting to make up stories of things i have said.

He looks so broken and I just want to lay with him... hear his heart beat and cuddle til the sunrises. I would love for him to be here with our children who do not understand why dad is doing this.

He doesn't want them to know he is seeing a Dr and he was honest and told them it was his decision to leave the marriage. The children are well aware how much I love there father and the eldest has been a huge support and bee there to pick me up when crying.

I lay on his pillow trying to smell his aftershave but the scent has gone and I am so lost.

I understand he is suffering but this has changed how i see life. All i see is darkness and a hole I cant get out of.

He has leased a placed with a 12 month lease and i am devstated as I thought he would take this slowly and think about things more although the more i read the more i learn that people suffering the way he is obviously do irrational things and unfortunately hurt alot of people.

Will time... help and medication maybe ever help him realise what he has given up. I really hope so and I am not religious but I pray everynight for him to be safe and for him to come back so i can love him.

I cant think much about myself it seems as I am so focused on him and don't know how to cope

Hi Jayne

I'm so sorry for what you're going through. I can feel your pain through your words and it's heartbreaking.

You have said that you can't think about yourself, as you are so worried about him and that you don't know how to cope. I get that.

My daughter fell seriously ill with a mental health condition 8 years ago. To say I was worried, feeling helpless and scared is an understatement. I too could not cope.

But I had too because my daughter, son and husband needed me. If I went down the whole ship went down.

I started with my GP and the a mental health practitioner to help me. This support literally kept me going through my darkest days. It's ok to ask for help.

You need to be able to function. You need good sleep and you need to eat. Please pop in to see your GP. You matter and the kids really need you now. Think of it as putting yourself in the best possible position to support your husband if that helps.

One of the key things I learned whilst caring for my daughter was that this was not a problem I could fix. She had to do the work. It was her choice how much health information would be shared with me. It was her call to decide on her treatment.

What I am saying is that you can only help as much as your husband permits. But you can help yourself to find a way back into the light.

Life can get better. You just hang in there.

Kind thoughts to you

Thankyou once, again for your kind words. you are inspiring!

I have been seeing my counsellor and I have made an appt for Friday to see my GP. The counsellor is also going to run a session for my children and I as well this week and the boys have accepted to go. I think it will be good for us all.

It is amazing the stories they tell you when you think they dont really think much of the situation. I am stunned with things they have said and it has made me realise I am going to have to hold it together for them as they are looking at me to be strong. I dont have a choice to have a melt down right now and even though I want to just scream and yell I haven't and I am trying to remain positive and I make sure I speak to my husband with respect and love as this hasnt changed. as much as I know he tells me he is done and doesn't love me I feel that I need to hold a little bit of hope that he will get better and see that we are great together and worth another chance.

He left without any willingness to try at our marriage and this is what has made me so upset. This isnt him... he has always been a great husband and father but I know the stress of his work and the feeling he has now with his emptiness .. has made him feel like he needs to flee and run out on us.

The kids don't understand how he wouldn't try even for them and I suppose even i myself don't understand this not sure we ever will.

I could never walk out on the kids and I would try til the end of the earth to be with them everyday.

The kids are not really interested in spending time with him and I am unsure if I should be forcing them.. they are not babies and I feel they have a right not to go of they don't want too.

It is so hard to hear my husband sorting out his new house and life without us being a part of it but i am really hoping he has this time to reflect and decide that he does want to work at this and start things slowly and take our time to learn about each other again... a movie night... a dinner... a cup of tea... a walk on the beach... one day I will pray he calls me to invite me for one of these. Hopefully this day will come in the future.

I really feel like he has died and the grief I feel is like I just buried my husband. I hope this never happens and we get to grow old making more memories one day.

I saw a photo of him recently and it doesnt look like the man he was... he looks broken and lost.

My kids are so important to me and I will protect them always.

step by step

Community Member

Hello Jayne106,

I have been reading this thread for a couple of days now just waiting for some words of value to come to me so that I might have something to say. Unfortunately, none have come and I am at a loss as to what words might help. But, silence doesn't help much either! So, I thought I'd at least chime in to say that my heart has broken for you, and with each post I am even further impacted by what you're going through.

I cannot imagine the feelings this would stir up, and I have no experience even close to this. What I can offer you though is the assurance you have been heard here in these discussion boards, and for what it is worth you are not alone. I can offer you an ear or two, and I can offer you a shoulder. I do however wish I had the magic words that could fix this terrible situation. Unfortunately, they are beyond me.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Hi Jayne

I think you are doing an amazing job to have organised help for you and your children. Great work! Good luck with your GP.

How old are your boys? I have a 23 year old son and he has always been quite protective of me, as I imagine your boys are of you. Having said that, I know my son also adores his father.

Are your boys normally close with their dad? My instinct would be not to force your boys to do anything. They may think that it will further hurt you if they spend time with their dad and this may be holding them back. If it was me, as hard as it might be, I would let them know that it's okay for them to see their dad. Release their guilt for their sake and see what happens. I'm sure the counsellor can probably advise you more on this.

I know it's hard to understand your husband's unwillingness to try but please remember that he is unwell. He may need to focus on getting well before he can deal with the marriage issues. Recovering from depression and a suicide attempt is tough and even harder without professional help.

Does he ever open up to you about the state of his mental health?

Kind thoughts to you

The kids are 18 and 16. The eldest has gone out with him and I have encouraged them both the see their dad and spend time with him.

I think tue relationship was strained which I never realised before he left them as they have come out with things about how they have felt he has been as a father. I feel guilty for not seeing that they felt this way.

I am going the counsellor will help them open up and know that we are going to be ok as a team together for the time being.

my husband came to collect his stuff and my eldest told me he was so proud of me that i didn't cry and helped and was nice and calm and for this is was super proud of me even though he said he could feel me shaking.

when inside away from kids my husband asked to give me a kiss and cuddle without it being weird and I said of course as I love him and would cuddle and kiss him all day off I could. He told me how good I looked and didn't seem to want to leave.

The boys are hurting and trying to get their owns heads around it all. they are protective of me and I have promised them that they have safe ears with me if they need to talk.

I am really hoping my husband gets some help for his sake as he looks unhappy and very lost.

depression and mental illness is a word i have heard many many times but I never thought it would affect someone I love.

hoping the gp might be able to assist and I am really hoping I can start to eat a little as I am not feeling great.

my brain hurts and my heart aches. if he didn't love me and was so happy with leaving why would you ask for a kiss? I think if I did leave my family it would be the last thing I would ask for but because I love him I never refused.

He told me today he is going back to see doctor and I asked if he considered counselling and he said he might think about it. He said he has taken extra time off to "get his head right".... this surely means he is aware something isn't right. said he has only slept 5 hours in 4 days. this can't be healthy for him and it makes me feel horrible.

Hi Jayne

You sound like an amazing mum and the boys are so lucky to have you. I feel that you three are going to get through this and come out the other side with a unique and stronger bond. It will get easier.

I fully understand your shock that mental illness has entered your world.

Mothers of teenagers have a lot to worry about but mental health wasn't even on my radar when my daughter fell ill. Mental health conditions don't discriminate, they affect people at every age and stage of life. Depression is unfortunately common but the good news is that with the right treatment most people do recover.

Sounds like your husband is doing it tough. Perhaps reality is setting in--there is no doubt in my mind that he is lonely, sad and missing "home".

The wierd thing about us humans is that we all need to learn from individual experience and our own mistakes. For whatever reason he has to make this change, but it's going to be a learning experience to live it. Good that he's getting help along the way.

Did you manage to eat today? Hope so. Will you see him again soon?

Kind thoughts to you

Hi Summerrose

Thanks for the reassurance.

My boys and I are very close and I think this situation is bringing us even closer.

Currently I see him a couple of times a week for activities the kids are involved in and soon that will stop and might be a good thing for him not to see me for a while.

He has expressed he is upset with the youngest as he is ignoring him and i am unsure what to tell him. the youngest at this stage wants nothing much to do with him and feel abondoned. He has expressed that he only wants to spend an hour with him xmas day and doesn't want to be with him without his brother there who is hos voice I believe. His brother has been very supportive and has even expressed to me he thinks better his brother doesn't go at the moment.

The eldest is also now making excuses and doesn't really want to go see him and I know I should encourage but I also know they have opinions and are young adults and are hurting.

We are all booked to see counsellor this week and I think it will be good for them and I am hoping it helps all of us.

The children don't know anything about the mental health side of things and he doesn't want them to know. I believe it is hos choice to tell them and until he has help and can work out what os wrong I think this is a good idea.

I am not sure how it all works and what is right from wrong anymore but I do feel he needs to experience the full force of his decision to leave the family and that the children have a right to be upset at the fact he turned his back and walked out on them and I. They feel betrayed and so do I.

Only ever had eyes for him and we all love him so much but the 3 of us have a feeling of no worth to be just tossed aside and left.

my children are my world and even more so now so I will do anything to protect them.

not sleeping much at all and no I am barely eating. i have a GP appointment tomorrow so going to hopefully get some support.

I know i need to just be strong for my boys and hopefully I can do this moving forward and hopefully my husband gets some help before he loses his children as I feel they are going to turn away from him with the way he has acted and kids acting currently towards them.

They have commented all of a sudden dad is trying to be nice and its just all an act! It is very hard for me to comment so I don't say much to them except he is your dad and needs to find himself!

let's hope he does before anymore of our lives are further destroyed