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Ex husband driving me into deep depression

Community Member

Hello - I am completely at the end of my tether. I am supposed to be in a coparenting arrangement with my ex husband, but it turns out that I do everything and he is just obnoxious, rude, and obstructive and has caused me enormous difficulty for the past five years. He dumps the kids with no notice when its meant to be his time, consistently does stupid things that are disruptive and frustrating (like refusing to return kids school uniform), doesn't buy kids clothes and needs for his house , doesnt pay his share of costs under the parenting agreement, etc. He used to barge into my place all the time to take things like clothes and bikes, now I have put in electric gates and security so he will sit in the driveway and blare his car horn deliberately

my quality of life is very poor (I cant commit to things, i always let people down last moment because of the kids), last year I got fired from my job (15 years at the company; direct result of him) and now my partner moved out because he couldn't deal with the situation. I dont feel like talking to anyone about it because I have been nothing but sad/boring/angry/complicated/trouble as a friend for the past 5+ years, and so I have to pretend to be happy

He has refused to take his son for the past two months (complications to do with the new 25-year-younger online import wife) and foreseeable future, this is causing the whole family upset and i am going out of my mind trying to help my son who is ADHD and feeling rejected by his father,

I need to get out and find a job and do something for myself but I cant. I used to be a senior international business executive, very successful and very together but now i am just an absolute wreck with no confidence and absolutely lost.

we all three have psychologists. Since my partner left a month ago things have gotten very bad - I don't sleep, i cant go out anywhere, i dont get anything done, I am yelling at the kids all the time, i feel physically ill and have a tightness/heaviness/pain in my chest. Some days I just cant see the point and it feels like the kids would be better off without me, but I know that I am all they have so I have to keep going. I am completely lost, i just dont know what to do every day.

I was taking all responsiblity to try to help keep the kids steady but now I am worried that I cant helpthem anymore, and I might even be hurting them because I am so unstable. Please does anyone know how I can stop this spiral??

6 Replies 6

Hi Rainbows32,

We are so sorry to hear about what you're going through; it sounds like it has been really tough.Thank you for being part of our forums, it takes a lot of strength to reach out for support. The community will be here to listen and chat with you. You can reach out to Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline 13 11 14 for some further support. 

In the event that you are feeling like hurting yourself, it is important that you take immediately steps to keep yourself safe. You can do this by:

• Speaking to your doctor or psychologist (if you have one) if he or she is available right now

• If, however, you feel unable to keep yourself safe this is an emergency and you need to call 000 (triple zero).

We have sent you a private email so that we can support you further.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Rainbows32

I was just about to run out the door when I saw your post. Just grabbing onto it now so I don't lose it. Under the circumstances of pure exhaustion, you're amazing, truly amazing. Hard to believe perhaps, right now, but this remains undeniably true.


Learn to Fly
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Rainbows32

Thank you so much for your post and sharing. I am so sorry, I can’t give you any answers but I wanted to let you know that I read your post, I hear you and I’m thinking of you.

Sophie has given you some most helpful advice. I hope you will give it a go on top of your usual psychologist.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Rainbows32

I can recall when a close friend went through something similar. It was a truly horrible experience for her and something highly triggering to witness as her friend. Not only did she lose a significant amount of weight through stress but she also developed chronic fatigue from the anxiety and financial burden of her ex paying whenever he had spare cash. Mind you, he was looking after himself quite well.

It took her some time to make her way through a constructive type of disappointment. An example of constructive disappointment would be the gate you had installed. While your ex had appointed himself 'The man who's entitled to enter the property anytime he likes', you disappointed him from that role. You just took it from him, bamm, and so you should. While he appoints himself 'The man who's entitled to sit out the front with his hand on the horn just to peeve you off', perhaps you could disappoint him from this role by giving him a new one to fill. May sound a bit rude but what the heck: Let's appoint him the role of 'He who proves his immaturity and foolishness by sounding the horn in his car'. One honk, and you can acknowledge he's basically letting you know he's arrived to pick up the kids. Two and he's being immature. Three, he's being foolish. Four and he's now entered into the territory of being a downright a-hole. You can rely on him to define which one he is. Four honks and, well, you know what he is and I'm sure the neighbours would agree with you. If he gets to 5, it's up to you how you wish to define this role he appoints himself through his actions 🙂

Every time my friend anticipated her ex filling the role of 'He who will help pay the unexpected expenses that come up for the kids', there were times where he simply disappointed himself from that role. Every time she appointed him 'The man who would take his kids out for their birthday or buy them presents', sometimes he would simply disappoint himself from these things. She and the kids would suffer through this disappointment, which he was dictating. So, she began to appoint him roles she knew he'd fill easily, such as unreliable, ignorant, arrogant, self serving etc. There was rarely ever any disappointment from then on. Family and friends helped financially and emotionally, often filling roles he refused to.

Something else that happened as a consequence, it brought the intolerant bi*ch in her to life. After living through years of abuse, finally this part of her was born.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Rainbows32,

Sorry to hear you're juggling so much right now. By the sounds of things, it's completely understandable how you're feeling. Raising children is already very challenging and takes lots of energy, with an uncooperative parent this would be even harder.

First and foremost, please know that you are doing your best and your best is enough. From what I can read from your message, you are a deeply caring parent, an accomplished professional and someone who cares about you and your family's wellbeing (as you're seeking professional help and reaching out for support). These are big strengths. May I ask, what advice has your psych offered for how you're feeling? I'm glad to hear you have someone in your corner to help you work through things.

I also am wondering if you and your ex would be open to arranging a few sessions with a psych together? To set get things off your chest in a fair and safe setting, and work on strategies to improve your relationship and how you parent. I think this could be helpful. Try to approach him about it when you're feeling safe and calm, perhaps even write it down?

Let us know how you're going.

Community Member

Hi Rainbow32,

I'm sorry to hear you are going through this and are having to put up with intolerable behaviour from your ex husband. The way he is behaving just says volumes about him as a person and applying therisings' constructive disappointment might take the pressure off you when he behaves in this way. I know for myself it would probably make me smile rather than become agitated because it's 'Ah, there he goes again appointing himself to a ridiculous role that makes him look foolish'.

What I have learned is that you cant control what other people do but you can control how you react to it. I hope the advice and comments you have received here from the wonderful BB community has helped. We are here for you and happy to chat.

You are seeing a psychologist which is great and I hope they are helping you navigate these issues. I would say maybe set yourself a small goal each day that is achievable so that you can rebuild your sense of self and also acknowledge that when the ex does these things that's on him.

Your kids do need you and it sounds from your post that you are there for them and doing all you can to support them.