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How bad can things get?

Community Member
Hi guys, I'm new here so this is my first time doing this. I don't know what to do. I had a nervous breakdown 2 years ago and accused my wife of having an affair. I knew I had depression and extremely bad anxiety so I saw a dr and got counciling and meds etc... Over the course of the next 6 months I would accuse my wife of her affair after finding things that would point in that direction and she told me I was crazy and had something wrong with me, and made me go to a psychologist. Deep down I knew she was having an affair but I was too scared of losing my family to do anything about it. So 12 months after my initial breakdown I came off my anti depressants, and felt like things were on track. Then in September last year my wife admitted to me about her affair. Things got very tough again but I believed her apologies and thought we could get past it. It's been up and down since then but I thought we were making progress until a few months ago when she started acting different - angry at me all the time, showing no interest in me. I kept doing everything I could to make her happy and be a good husband but she gradually got worse. Now last Friday I had a few beers and finally asked her why she was acting like that to which she replied that she was miserable and wasn't sure what she wanted anymore. I've been told by another person that she's been talking about it for months. I work away from home so my anxiety levels are ridiculous and I have nobody to talk to. I miss my kids and I don't want to lose them or the life Ive built. She won't talk to me about it so I'm left here by myself with my thoughts about the probability of being without everything I love and live for. I think she has depression but she won't accept that and just says she's exhausted. I want to be there to help her but she doesn't want me. What do I do????
26 Replies 26

Community Member

Hi LonelyDad.

Welcome. After reading your intro you certainly do have a
lot of things going on at the moment and I can understand how that would be
stressful. I’m glad you sought help for your depression and anxiety and that it
worked for you. It must’ve been very hard to take to find out that your wife
really was having an affair.

Where to from here? Sometimes just getting things off your
chest like you have here on the forum can help but have you thought about
contacting your psychologist again to see if they can help you work through
this problem? That may be able to work a way that you and your wife can have an
appointment as having a third person mediate this type of discussion can be

Best wishes


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hi LonelyDad, thank you for deciding to come to the forum, that takes courage, but it also is because of your desperation, well well done.
Whether your breakdown was because you believed your wife was having an affair is very possible, as for myself this is what kept me in depression so the feeling is mutual.
It is such a diificult decision whether or not you could forgive her for having this affair, because you could never be sure if it was going to happen again, whereas with me my wife (ex) never told me but the evidence was obvious, but you were able to forgive your wife.
The worse part is that you had hope everything could go on in your marriage after forgiving her, but then the tables turn and all she does is feel miserable, which leaves the door open as you work away, and what you would be thinking about 'I wonder whether she is again', and of course this will make your anxiety go through the roof.
Your kids will always be there for you, because they too wouldn't be too happy about her having another relationship, so even though you are away from them, I wouldn't worry about that.
I'm not too sure whether her being angry with you is because she is depressed, but I'm not saying she is, but with my ex the only thought I had was that she wasn't happy being in our marriage until finally she left, however both our two sons were adults, which could be different to your situation.
Perhaps you could do what Dean has mentioned, but if however she refuses, doesn't mean that you can't go by yourself, but what I would also do is talk to your kids and see how exactly they feel about this, that is if they know.
Hope to hear back from you. Geoff.

Community Member

Hi Lonely Dad

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I hope you come back to read these comments. Do you mind telling us how old you are? How many kids you have and how old they are?? When you say you work away from home does that mean you're away for a week and back on weekends? Or are you away for longer? How far away do you work? Does your wife work? I'm asking you these questions because the more information you give the better we can help you.

You sound like a pretty intelligent guy - and you also knew something was wrong when you suspected an affair. What worries me apart from your wife actually having an affair is that she initially lied, called you crazy AND made you seek treatment. That alone would be grounds for terminating the relationship having found out about it last September - however I admire your courage for sticking with it to make your marriage work. So how did she treat you in the months after she admitted the affair? You said in the past few months she has changed...

So, I'd be highly suspicious that she is either still seeing the same person (ie: never broke it off), or has rekindled the relationship with him or a new affair partner. When you suspected an affair years ago - did she treat you in this way? And who is this "other person" she's been talking to saying she's been unhappy for months?? When she said she was miserable did she tell you why she was miserable?

Your away work is making you more anxious and unstable - is there any way you can take some time off, or work from home? Have you thought about getting a job that doesn't require time away?

If you could provide a bit more info that would be great - but for now don't do anything rash. Don't move out of the house if she asks you to, even if she "needs some space" - if she wants that she can go away for a while. Spend time with your kids. Ultimately you are not responsible for your wife's happiness. I think trying to "help" her will probably make it worse (like you said). Back off hovering around her. If she doesn't want to seek professional help, you can't make her. But you can talk to someone, and we are here to


Let's assume you go down the road of splitting up. You'll need projects to keep you busy, to take your mind off things. In my case a vacant country block to clean up then build my own home.

Hobbies, taking the kids to the footcping, all sorts of activities can flood your life.

Your kids whether in your custody or not need you.

I recognised that in my darkest hour in 1996.

I'll walk my eldest daughter down the aisle next year.

That's the worst case scenario for you. It seems a horror story to you until you see a different future.

It will be hard but once settled you'll be OK.

Tony WK

Community Member

Hello, I have read your post and also the replies and I must say there is some compassionate advice and empathy which helps me also. At the moment you may feel sick at heart and also the tummy if you are like me in these situations. I found a daily meditation helps with the stress. I know that's not for everyone but there are some great podcasts and apps out there.

I found some texts a couple of weeks ago between my husband and his office girl, and I am still reeling from that. I was already depressed, largely due to the situation of our marriage, and it does feel like a vicious cycle. Disclosing my depression and that I was seeking treatment made my husband angry and he said he was "fed upwith my moping around" and that he "couldn't make me happy". Apart from any marital problems we may have, I guess he does not know what depression is. I found talking it over with good friends (or even this forum) is a courageous and helpful step. Can I suggest you limit alcohol while feeling like this? I love to drink wine but I have realised in the last weeks that I can't feel much or think clearly (which is way too much temptation!).

It is possible that your wife's anger is a reaction to her own inability to be open and honest about what she feels and needs. Please do not blame yourself for her behaviour. You deserve at the least honesty and respectful communication. The fact that you have depression does not give anyone the green light to mistreat you. And I agree with WK above, you will be ok.

Hi Dean, thanks for your reply. Everything has been ridiculously hard understandably. I have thought about counciling for us both or even just myself. I've arranged for her Aunty to be a mediator this week for us which should help somewhat. She isn't taking sides because she is disgusted with what's happened already but wants to see us through it. I do feel slightly better after reading these wonderful replies so thanks so much.

Community Member

Hi Geoff, thanks for your reply. Its really difficult to gauge what is going through her mind because 1 - she won't tell me because she doesn't want to continue discussing things we were trying to get past and 2 - she has put up a wall to protect herself it seems. Either way I believe her anger might be because she is in a vulnerable position from doing the wrong thing and perhaps uses her anger to try and assert herself over me. I've tried to shield my kids from all this as they're 7, 6 and 4 and won't understand. I guess I'll just have to wait it out and see what happens.

Community Member

Hi LonelyDad. I've been reading the above posts re: your situation. Your wife may or may not wish to give up this relationship she formed with other person. If she agrees to, but still sees him secretly, what happens then. Not saying she will, but I've found when a partner strays, then gets 'caught', apologises, swears it'll never happen again, waits for a while, then the whole process starts again. From what I read on the earlier posts, she's only happy when she's seeing someone else. Perhaps she wants marriage, but affairs as well. Not saying definitely, but you say she's unhappy, she's admitted to another person she's miserable. I think she wants to continue as she has in the past. See how you go with the mediator, incredible her aunt wants to sit in, plus the aunt has told you she has no comments either way.


Hi Apollo, thanks for your reply. To answer your questions, I am about to turn 31. I have 3 kids aged 7, 6 and 4. I generally leave to go to work on a Monday afternoon and return the following Wednesday morning - away for 9 nights. I work all over the state, and she works in an aged care facility.

I did need the treatment for my depression and anxiety - but probably not the psychologist which I was forced with. I wanted to fix things because I know what kind of an amazing person she can be but also because I want my kids to have the best upbringing possible. After she admitted her affair she was very sad and remorseful, and I believe that she meant everything she said to me. She made a lot of effort to comfort me, and at times I probably threw it back at her, but all in all I thought we were making slow but steady progress. I have asked her if there's someone else which she replied with a definite no, although I only asked because she did treat me similar when she had her affair before. I contacted her Aunty and she told me that there had been discussions for a few months about her not being happy and whatnot, her Aunty is not taking sides and is not happy at what my wife has done to me.

I could try and get a transfer to local work and I would in a heartbeat, but as it stands my financial commitments are virtually what I earn now, and working from home means a big pay cut.

I think you've made a good point, I'm not responsible for her happiness. I'm still a bit lost with how I can move forward when everything is such a mess, but I plan to go see my gp to get some meds which should ease my nerves and let me focus on other things.