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Considering Separating.

Community Member

My wife and I have been married for nine years. My wife has PTSD/depression/anxiety, and I was diagnosed with depression last year. I haven't told her that as she has made it clear in the past that any health problems that I have she cannot deal with. For the past three/four years, we've slept in separate beds. I don't remember the last time she said she loved me.

I do love her, but I find myself lately getting exhausted quicker and struggling to deal with her mental health. Anything I say or do is seen as an attack, or a negative thing about her, even though I try and frame things in the way she says to say them and try and be positive. I've gotten to a point where I need to start putting myself first and looking after my health as I find myself taking extra days off from work just because the stress of day to day life is becoming too much. But, if I do that, then it means that we'll likely separate, and I'm afraid that that would be devastating for her.

She has said in the past that if I want to leave, she won't stop me, but I fear that she's just saying that. I don't know the path to helping her get to a comfortable place anymore. We don't have much of a life together outside of going out every so often. She never attends family events, and always cancels going on social outings at the last minute, so it means we've got no friends. I understand this is all part of her mental health, but it's come to the point where it affects me and that makes it even more difficult to manage.

I'm just not sure whether we're already separated, or how to even bring it up as something that we should possibly do?

4 Replies 4

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
Hello DonPiano, can I give you a warm welcome to the forums.

Love can be displayed in many different ways other than saying 'I love you', however in this situation you love your wife but are desperately wanting her to show that she does love you, but her illness is preventing this from happening.

You have to look after yourself because if you don't then you won't be strong enough to cope with your wife.

You haven't mentioned whether or not she is getting any help from her doctor because this would be a good idea, just as it would be for yourself.

You can't overcome depression by yourself, sometimes people believe that they have, but it's those deep thoughts or unknown secrets that haven't been addressed which are going to always be a problem and these need to be talked about with a counselor, perhaps recommended by your doctor.

You just seem to be two people living under the same roof, sleeping in different beds, so it does seem as though you are separated, this was the same situation in my last few months of our marriage.

I'm not suggesting you separate but can I please ask you see your doctor and then a referral to see a psychologist, and as money maybe an issue ask them about 'the mental health plan', this entitles you to 10 free visits.

I hope you can get back to us because I was in the same situation.

MY best wishes.


Community Member

Hi Geoff,

Thanks for your reply. It means a lot. My wife is seeing a therapist and a psychiatrist, and has been for a few years now. She recently changed to a different therapist and that has apparently been helping. I've asked to go to a session with her, or to marriage counselling so we can help get things moving forward together, but she's turned that down.

I'll make an appointment to go and see my doctor and discuss going to see a psychologist. Thanks for the suggestion about 'the mental health plan' as money is tight.

I fear the next step in our relationship, which given how things have been going, would be separation or divorce. We own a house and also have a huge amount of debt that's accumulated over time due to different reasons. I wouldn't even know where to start with dealing with any of that.

I got upset a few weeks ago because I let her know how lonely I felt and that I just wanted affection - not sex or anything, just an acknowledgement that she was still in the relationship - and her response was that she couldn't do that. But, then expects me to be there for her, and to tell her I love her, which I do, but it's becoming harder to do that when it's a one way street.

Thanks again for your reply Geoff.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
Hi Don, thanks for your reply.

It must be sad for you to know that she has turned you down lately in most situations, she doesn't want you to go with her to a session and marriage counseling has been turned done.

It must be difficult for you to know what you can do and what you can't do, however you own your house, but you have bills to pay, and whether this has a lot to do with this only you know.

I'm sure you have thought about selling the house to clear up these debts, but can I thoroughly suggest you book an appointment with Anglicare, they were who I ended up going to when my wife had left me again and I had bills to pay and creditors annoying me on the phone and by mail.

They stopped all these daily or perhaps hourly phone calls and suggested we sell our house because of the circumstances, yours maybe different, but I couldn't thank them enough.

It's always very difficult if she wants you to be there for her but won't reciprocate.

I hope you can still get back to me because now I am happy living by myself.

Community Member

I'll get in touch with Anglicare for some guidance. They look like a good place to get some assistance with where to go from here.

I guess at the core of it, I fear of being selfish if I do walk away, and in turn, I fear of what will happen to her if she is alone. I feel like she is already alone, even though I feel like I try quite a bit. But I do feel as well that I maybe need some time living by myself as I've never truly done that - I moved out of home straight into a home with my partner and that's it. I do enjoy my own company, and maybe that's exactly what I need to get myself back on track.

I appreciate your help Geoff. You're a great asset to the boards here as I see you help out a lot of people.