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Depressed husband-unfaithful

Community Member
Hello all, i’ve got a bit of a messed up situation at the moment. My husband of 3 yrs has been depressed for 8 months but has had a lot of pressure put on him in the last few months that have severely compounded his depression. His parents have been relying on him a lot (too much) and we have also taken in a houseguest who is getting out of a physically abusive relationship and needed a safe place to stay (mutual friend). We have a child, and my husband has been telling me to leave him alone and just focus on caring for the child. our relationship has been strained because of the extra person living with us and the baggage that birngs. A lot of his time has been spent helping them and supporting them with things (like retrieving belongings). It is clear he is burnt out from the extra effort he is exerting to help everyone else. The past two weeks there has been a significant shift in the way he treats me -He cries whenever we talk about anything and cant even look at me. He says he is ashamed and that he doesnt want to hurt me so is staying away from me. I found wvidence that him and the house guest have been sleeping together- i am shattered because i trusted him completely, now i feel like im stuck. they are both severely depressed and very close to suicidal so i have not told either that i know and have carried on as normal. He tells me he wants “space to work himself out” which i have been giving him, but he also doesn’t want either of us to leave/anything to change. Told me he wanted space, i asked what that looks like and he replied with idk just let me work it out.
this is a really shitty situation because i dont want either of them to do anything silly (suicide), i can’t ask the guest to leave because there is no family or anywhere else they can go, but i also (obviously) don’t want the cheating to continue. I feel like my husband is not himself (depressed) and that has lead to being unfaithful- i see how distressed he is and i just want him to feel better. I think he feels ashamed that he has done this, but won’t actually tell me because he doesn’t want to hurt me. I think i will just keep calm and carry on for the moment, give him space- in a 3 day lockdown, haha. I hope that things get better for all involved.

just feeling really overwhelmed with all of this, not specifically asking for advice, just looking for some support/encouragement and being able to share whats going on (albeit online).
15 Replies 15

Community Member

And no, I don’t have family. Have been estranged for many years. Hope to talk to a friend if i can ever build up the courage to tell her.

Community Member

No need to apologies; you are handling a bad situation the best way you can.

Mental health issues, like a partner with depression, are difficult to deal with. You don't have the training or expertise to fix him. That is something only he can do, with the right help.

Yes this type of thing will turn your world upside down. I had a wife with childhood mental health problems that ultimately destroyed my 30 year marriage. I know exactly how you feel. You know that there is a problem, but you didn't think the problem was a major one until the bomb dropped.

On a brighter note, all is not lost; there may be some hope further down the track, if that is what you want.

For your own sanity, I hope the visitor is moving out. That is something you do not have to tolerate.


If you live in, or around Brisbane, you can visit your GP at any time. GP visits are exempt from the lockdown. I'm not sure about other parts of the country.

Keep an eye on your husband, he may be a suicide risk; I've seen it before. That being said, you can do no more; you can't really help him until he seeks professional help.

All the best!

Hi Maree

What an absolutely devastating situation for you, my heart is absolutely breaking for you. I can only imagine your pain. I do have to say you show a kindness that would certainly be beyond me in your shoes; they would both be out on their ear, health and wellness be damned.

I understand you are concerned your husband is a suicide risk, but deeply depressed people still know right from wrong (I speak as a mostly depressed manic-depressive with a very high functioning libido, and whilst I might make very poor choices when it comes to sex I know to never cross the line into married partners - depression does not affect your personal values and ethics).

I guess what I'm trying to say is that whilst I can see you don't want to tip this man into a suicidal state, it is also vital you aren't being exploited for being kind-hearted. Perhaps he has a friend that he can stay with, and the same with the houseguest. They have wronged you, and I think it's really important for your own mental wellbeing that you recognise you are not responsible for them - they have made their own decisions as adults. Your child is your priority, and I would suggest when the lockdown is over, you seek legal advice. Too many people have left a relationship with nothing because they wanted to be kind to someone they loved, only to have it thrown back at them and exploited.

I hope this doesn't sound harsh, it is not my intention, but your happiness and wellbeing is also important, not just theirs.

Community Member

I am sorry this has happened.
I agree with other posters that you are very strong.
If I were in your position I’d be weighing that up... how strong? How much load are you going to carry for this situation?
I get that your husband is important to you and you’ve both been through a lot but the house guest in my opinion isn’t your responsibility.
That person needs to leave the situation and go to emergency housing and sort out their own life and you and your husband can work through this in whatever way you choose for the sake of yourself and child.
The house guest does have options if they try.

Community Member

HI and welcome here and for reaching out in relation to this tough situation that you are facing.

Depression has nothing to do with ones inappropriate and bad behaviour. He is making up excuses to leave the situation and he is hurting you in the process.

This is now the time for you to enforce your boundaries by making it very clear that you will no longer tolerate his poor behaviour.

In healthy relationships, people nurture each other, they are each other's number 1 priority, they care for each other, they accept each other's flaws, they aspire to bring out the best in each other and they love each other.

Your Husband is confused and not healthy. He is controlling you and if he desires other woman, you need to focus on you. If you let him go seek his supply and you show that you are stronger and better than that, it will be a matter of time before he realizes that he has lost you - that will hurt him, big time.

But for him to learn his mistakes, he needs to see you as a strong, caring, and focused person.

Please look after yourself, focus on you, ignore him and be the best version of yourself.

Stick to your boundaries.