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Dealing with husband’s mental illness

Community Member

I have been married for 13 years and for the past 8 years my husband had been suffering from mental illness. It’s been very hard as he’s been in and out of work for the past 8 years. The whole situation has increased my anxiety and I am making most of the decisions and holding the relationship together. My husband’s family is all overseas. My husband is a beautiful person and I love him very much, but his mental illness is taking a toll on me. I have been thinking of leaving the relationship, but I am riddled with guilt about doing it and not wanting to be alone. I’ve had counselling sessions and done lots of mental work on myself, but I’m still not sure what to do. I am wondering if there are any other women in the same situation and if they have stayed or left. I’ve been to carers groups but most of the carers were parents or men with wives suffering mental illness.

If there are any women married to Jen with mental illness I’d be interested to hear how you deal with being with a partner with mental illness.

2 Replies 2

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Tancate

Welcome to the forum. So pleased you have taken this step to write here. I am sorry you are having such a tough time with your husband. May I ask what mental illness (MI) he has?

Congratulations on looking after yourself by getting counselling and understanding your husbands needs. It can be difficult living with someone with a MI. I can understand why you are considering leaving and why you feel guilty about this.

I expect you have done the pros and cons of leaving but it has not brought you closer to a decision. What will it mean to your husband if you leave? Will he manage on his own or will his illness become become worse? What will it mean to you if you leave and how much will you worry about your husband? These are tough questions and the answers are not simple and straight forward.

I have not been in your situation. I chose to leave my marriage and then fell into a huge depression that has taken many years to get over. I did this while living on my own and there were times when I came very close to dying. Fortunately for me I had help and support. When you say you have had counselling do you mean from a psychologist or psychiatrist? Does your husband see a psychiatrist?

Sorry for all the questions. I am trying to get a picture of your life. Please continue to post here. I think others will be along to chat later.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Tancate, thanks for posting a brave comment.

If I can reply, it was my wife who left me, knowing that my depression wasn't improving and also that I was self medicating with alcohol and eventually filed for divorce.

We still talk on a regular basis and still love her, but we couldn't live together again, that doesn't stop the love.

What she said was that she'd rather live alone than live in a negative atmosphere and drinking.

She has found new friends and lives a couple of hours away but still in contact because I don't drink any more and overcome my depression.

Best wishes.