Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

How much is too much to put up with?

Community Member

My partner and I have been together 16 years and have 3 children (11,7,3) 

About 1.5 years ago he first showed signed of trouble, initially hiding it well. He increased his alcohol intake substantially and his bahaviour changed (less tolerant, more short tempered). 

Its a long story but he was diagnosed with depression and commence some treatment that was as effective as we hoped and a few months later attempted suicide. 

As distressing as this was, he was hospitalised for prolonged treatment and was able to finally get some proper help to sort through some issues. He was able to quit alcohol and re focus on the family. 

This was 6 months ago or more. Since then there has again been a deterioration. I try to understand and support his mental health but I dont know honestly how much we should put up with and how much is deterimental for the kids to be enduring?

60% of the time he is a engaged dad, doing dad things. He isnt a super happy guy but he goes through the motions and seems to enjoy the kids company. He certainly verbalises that they are his most important part of his life. 

20% of the time he rages, he cannot control his anger and simple things trigger him. He hates if they dont listen to him or follow instructions. He gives no warnings just yells and swears, even at our youngest. **he is never ever physical/violent**

20% of the time he finds the family life simple too much and withdraws away to our bedroom. Often much early that he would have ever done previously. He just takes his medications early (they make him drowsy) and he is out for the night, leaving me to do dinner/bedtime routines/tidy/lunches). 

He did give up alcohol for a long time but has increased his intake again which makes me highly anxious. It always triggers the worst behaviour in him. When I question him on it he gets very defensive and often childlike "I will do what I want"

We have been fighting like crazy for 6 weeks. We are both doing counselling (individual and together) and have done couples theray .  I worry about the negative effect that witnessing some of both his behaviour and our fights has on our kids. I also dont know when to give up and risk worsening his mental state? How much do I put up with? I want support him but I feel we are living in misery (maybe I am feeling it more than him?) Is there a 'time frame for improvement of PTSD  and depression? 

Thank you


2 Replies 2

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Dear Anmac,


Welcome to the forums.


I am so sorry that your partner is struggling hard with his mental health and you’re having a time in supporting him..and if I read right that your considering leaving him….


If your husband had an illness, let’s say a broken back, arm, leg or cancer, etc..that you could see I think your compassion, support and acceptance would be much more advanced then an illness that is unseen, a mental illness is so very hard to accept as easily as an illness you can see…both illnesses need medical and professional intervention, as well as the partners love, care compassion and support  for the healing process to take place…without these all in play together, the sick partner might start to feel unloved, unworthy and fall deeper into unhealthy habits….and depression.


You’ve, been together for 16 years, have 3 beautiful children together who no doubt love there dad, and would probably know in their own way that he is unwell…

No, I don’t think there is a time frame for PTSD, depression or any other mental illness…I have PTSD, depression and a couple more so called labels…I am elderly and if my adult children abandoned me because of my mental health I would have be devastated or worse…It took a while for them to understand what I was going through, but they learnt all they could about my illness because they wanted to help me…. they loved, cared and support me through my rough patches and when I’m not in a depressive PTSD cycle we try to enjoy those times so much more…


I suppose it’s how much love you have for your partner and if that love is unconditional or not…

Kind thoughts Dear ANMAC..




Community Champion
Community Champion

I'd like to join Grandy in welcoming you here to the Forum. It is a very worrying (and hurtful) time for you and trying to make decisions wiht little or no idea of what might happen is next to impossible

After 14½ years of (I'm guessing) happily being together and raising three children I'd be surprised if you did not love him, and that leads you to want what is best for him

On the other hand his change of character, drinking, suicide attempt and bouts of anger happened, but seemed to improve, but heart-breakingly now look like being on a downward spiral again. I think you are right to worry about the effect this will have on the kids -and you for that matter. I'd think you may also feel a bit trapped in that if you left he might suffer adversely as a result

You have tried talking with him and counselling, and he has been hospitalized, is on medication but it's not helping as much now

I have PTSD, depression and anxiety and early on was also very angry or resentful at times, tried to take my life and have been hospitalized. A lot came to the front as I was increasingly unable to cope with everyday life

It also was not a constant thing, but came in waves over extended periods of time. I was very difficult to live with and like your partner shut myself away from everybody when things got too much. I did blame myself for my anger and even at times tried to make up for it

Like Grandy I don't know of any timescale, everyone is different, circumstances and their response to treatment and therapy too. I'm at a very good stage of recovery now and remain loving and capable, helping in the house and have an occupation that gives me satisfaction. I'm the partner I was again

That being said I'm still taking meds and seeing my psychiatrist regularly

Can you think of anything 18 months ago that might have made life difficult for him?

I'm afraid I've not given you much to help you decide what ot do, all I hope I've managed to show that in time for myself and many others like me radical stable improvement is possible.

Do you have anyone you can lean on and talk frankly with? A family member or friend perhaps
I’ve run out of space but can talk about being ‘trapped’ and the effect of leaving next time if you like