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Help supporting my partner - I don't want to give up

Community Member
I have been with my partner for nine years, before that we were best friends, we have been in each other’s lives for 15 years. We are 31.
We had such a great relationship because we had the fundamentals of a great friendship. We never had fights, lots of laughs, the same hobbies, just a great couple. We were saving to buy our first home and planning our family.
Since he turned 30, he has been depressed, binge drinking, some drug use (never experimented before this), and just general comments regarding ‘I thought I would have achieved more by 30’ etc. He has history of childhood trauma, which has been bubbling at the surface for years, but he would only talk about it when drunk. About 4 years ago he went to a GP and was diagnosed with depression, commenced antidepressants. He took them for a short while then stopped as he didn't like 'feeling out of it'. He went to one councillor session, however it wasn't a good fit so he didn't return.

14 weeks ago, he confessed to an affair. He had been seeing her for a few weeks and had slept with her once. He was incredibly emotional, with lots of tears and devastation. I was heartbroken and immediately left. He has since told me that he never wanted a relationship with the other woman, but he couldn't live with the secret and he knew it would be over when he told me. He later revealed he had planned to kill himself at that time
We are still seperated, and he is spiralling out of control. I've told him he can come home so we can start to rebuild, he says he wants to be home but still isn't here! I believe it is so he can continue his reckless behaviour, and have no one to answer to.

I am so worried about his alcohol intake, he is drinking daily to excess.
He has told me he drinks in the morning, before,during and after work. He has also started experimenting with drugs. Nothing too sinister, but high amounts of antihistamines, medications etc. He said he is looking to get high, not harm himself as I asked that.

We had a great relationship before this, and I feel as though it’s like a Midlife, he is very depressed, often talks about 'im already dead', no goals or ambition at all, describes himself as 'beige' and has told me he has considered hurting himself!
I've asked him to see a GP, I've gently supported him, I've cried, I've said 'suit yourself'
I am lost and I want my best friend back.
4 Replies 4


Hi Helplesspartner,

Welcome to the forums, we are so grateful that you have reached out here today as we know it can be tough to do this for the first time. We're really sorry to hear what you and your partner are going through at the moment. We can understand that you would be feeling concerned and upset, but please know that you do not have to do this alone. Many in our community have had similar experiences, hopefully a few of them will pop by and offer you some words of wisdom.

If you feel up to it, we'd also recommend getting in touch with our Support Service which is available 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or you can visit on our website www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport for online chat. One of our friendly counsellors will be able to give you some information and advice to help you and your partner.

You might also be interested in the following Beyond Blue online resources:

"Talking to someone you are worried about" - https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/have-the-conversation/talking-to-someone-you-are-worried-a...

"Supporting someone" - https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/supporting-someone

In the case your partner is more willing to seek help over the phone, MensLine Australia is a free 24/7 telephone and online counselling service for men with emotional health and relationship concerns. You can contact them on 1300 78 99 78 or https://mensline.org.au/

Please also feel free to keep us updated here on your thread with what you are feeling and experiencing whenever you feel up to it - we hope that you find this to be a safe and non-judgemental space.

Thanks so much Sophie, I really appreciate your kind words. Every day is so hard for me, and my mental health is struggling too. I have always been very anxious, but able to control with good diet and exercise.. now I am anxious and suffering panic attacks. I am sad and on the verge of tears)or actually crying several times a day.
I have never stuffered depression but I feel like it's here and knocking loudly at my door. I know the thing that will make me feeling better again, is if he comes home. But the uncertainty and fear of 'what if he doesn't come home' is so unbearable at times.
All of his belongings are at home and our finances are still joined, it's just like he has popped out for the weekend. So I am hopeful he will come home.. it's all I've got to hang on to.
Has anyone else ever been in this situation? As the parter of or as the person who needs time?
Please someone??

Dear Helplesspartner~

I too would like to welcome you here, and can understand the mental turmoil you are undergoing. For a partner who you have known 1/2 your life, and been together for 9 years to turn around and act in such a different way leaves you worried over his return, what sort of effects his actions will have on him in terms of alcoholism, substance abuse and employment, and even the possibility of his taking his own life.

The amount of stress you are undergoing is incredible, and in such times it is very much the best thing to seek support. Even in order to make sensible decisions you need to be coping.

Help comes in two ways, medical support to keep an eye on your mental health condition, possibly with counseling - and perhaps get some advice on what to do about your partner. And of course personal support. Do you have anyone, family or freind you can talk frankly with, share your worries and feel cared for? Facing all this alone is very hard.

OK, with your partner it looks almost as if he is panicking, and reaching out in all directions to try to ease the feelings he has inside. Drugs and alcohol are often used, trying an affair is another way, as is getting away from those you care for. It's not as if he wants to cut you out, quite the reverse, with such self-destructive remorse when telling you of the affair.

I now you said he had seen a GP, tried ADs and went to one counseling session. All a 'bad fit' . This makes me wonder what he has actually said to them. I would imagine any form of childhood trauma can have a very big effect on later life. He may not talk about it -except when drunk - so perhaps he has not mentioned it to his medical team. This will radically change the method of treatment. Childhood trauma takes specialist skills to treat.

Feeling a "midlife" at 31 I guess is possible, I'd also think it possible he might have expected the effects of that trauma to have gone away by 30, and if in fact they have not then unpredictable behavior and unhappiness at a future endlessly the same may be the result.

Perhaps is there was any way of getting him to see someone abut the trauma? If so the other problems may diminish. I realise you are not together with him at the moment, but sound as if you are still talking. Do you think you might want to try this?

I'd also talk with an organisation like Relationships Australia 1300 364 277 about getting back together, or alternatively what to do otherwise

Please come back and talk more


Community Member

I have had (am still in) a similar situation.

My partner, cheated just over a year ago. He told me it was nothing more than a kiss a first. still swears he never slept with her but there was touching involved. It was an emotional affair and it also carried on way after he told me it finished. he is a very heavy drinker and also suffers depression so i would also get the same sort of speeches, more so when he is drunk.

I dont really have any advice other than, you are not alone.