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.

Husband ending marriage - severely depressed

Community Member

I am completely at a loss. My husband who has been my best friend and soul mate for 15 years ended our marriage.

He is staying with his mum, barely has any stuff and has left everything at home.

He started with the I love you but not in love with you line. In my mind that means the spark is gone as we are wrapped up in everyday life, kids etc. Life is hard we both work full time, have a demanding 3 and 6 year old.


After he said this, we had an amazing week together and bonded well. Then all came to blows one night where he kept threatening suicide and left in a rage. Next day he ended it. 

He stopped his medication suddenly a couple months prior. 

He will not try and work on our marriage. Everytime I ask to not make decisions when he is severely depressed he yells and screams and tells me to stop. This has been going on 4 weeks and everyime I try to talk about everything he won't answer, says it's over and there's no trying. It's like he suddenly projected all his hurt in life onto our marriage. We were happy, lockdown took a toll on him and he was diagnosed as severely depressed. He has a lot of childhood trauma. We were always open and spoke about everything. He has changed into someone I don't know. It's like the man I married literally died in front of me. 




I've taken on the load of everything while he's tapped out and he couldn't care less. I snapped tonight and told him I'm completely done as he won't have a rational conversation about everything so I can move on with my life.


This is emotional torture for me, so I'm cutting all contact now. One minute he didn't blame the marriage and said he's numb to everyone and everything and the next it's over its over I've told you a million times. 


If it was a toxic marriage, if there were major issues I would accept and move forward and wouldn't of been fighting.  

He has mentioned he's worse since he left our home. He's on week 4 of his medication again and his dose has been upped as he is worse.

He makes me feel like I'm crazy and he keeps saying I'm pushing. He has no idea the effect of all of this on his family. I snapped tonight as I have the full time pressure of 2 demanding kids and a high pressure job. 

23 Replies 23

Dear Cjm158819
We welcome you to the forums and want to let you know that we are thankful you have the courage to reach out this evening.
We are sorry that you are going through this right now, 15 years later with children demonstrates how much time and love you have clearly invested into the relationship and it’s understandable as to why you are feeling at a loss right now with your husband choosing to step back and seemingly failing to acknowledge that he might be needing a lot more support here that the family can provide.
Whilst your husband does not appear to be in a place to be able to ackowledge what is going on for him right now, you still deserve to be treated with respect and part of this is knowing where you stand.  Particularly as you note that this now falls on you to manage the home, working and raising the children alone.  Unfortunately until your husband is ready to take that responsiblity to get the help he needs, there will be little you can do to control what decisions he is making right now however you do have that control on how you choose to respond to the situation.  You have taken that first step this evening by reaching out, please remember to reach out to family, friends and even your GP if you need to talk.  We have including some links to resources below in the event you might find something helpful to take from them.

Beyond Blue Relationships
Relationships Australia

Of course, if you ever you feel like you need to talk this through, we are also here 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or via our Webchat, just Click Here .  Our team who answer the phones are ready to have a supportive and non-judgmental chat whenever you need it.
It shouldn’t be too long before you hear from one of our lovely community members.  Please remember we are always here if you ever need us.
Sophie M

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Cjm, a difficult situation you are in and I feel very sorry for you and your husband.

As much as you would like to know the answers to your questions, someone suffering from depression doesn't really have the answers you want to hear because they don't seem to be logically sound, but he is unable to give you any sensible reasons and probably doesn't want to be asked too many questions, this can push him away further, so it's not by him answering your questions, but rather with him talking, whatever this may be about.

Can I suggest that all these questions be asked by you to a doctor and/or a psychologist, then they can mention various options, because you need to be strong if this is possible, to know what he has said could not be the truth, but this illness is making him say all of this.

By him staying at his mothers place, then his position being there may not be too savvy and even though he is depressed he will still find it difficult being away from you and the children, so it's a catch-22 situation.

I'm pleased he has started his medication once again, try and wait for this to settle down and perhaps ask him if he wants to return home, even if he lives a separate life, I know this wouldn't be an easy decision to make, butsometimes being close to the kids and you in the background with his increase in dosage may give him the chance to seek help, because he can't solve any of this by himself.

Please keep in touch with us.


Life Member.

Community Member

Hi Geoff. Thank you so much for writing back. 


I understand all of that completely, I have asked him not to male any life changing decisions while he is so unwell. 


I have been at him with the questions as I have been left with the 2 kids 95% of the time and working a high demand job while falling apart myself. I keep being told its just what mums have to do etc..  but it's so hard with all the anger and resentment I have had.


I have been there as a friend, offered him to come back and I will sleep in a separate room. I've made detailed lists on ways we can ease his stress. I've picked apart all my faults and apologized for them. I just got to breaking point today as I was sent home from work from being so miserable. I am trying to arrange councilling but its been a slow process. 


I am trying to be patient but he has been so cold and hurtful which causes me to react being under so much stress. I don't want to be so bitter and angry I am struggling though.


I just hope if I don't talk anymore and show him what life is like without me he may realize what he is loosing 😞

I've started writing down how I'm feeling and am seeing the GP today for a mental health plan.

I haven't made any contact in 24 hours, going to leave it that way for now so I don't push anymore. Not that I ever meant to, everything I did and said was from love.

I just hope his medication starts balancing out and the person I know starts coming back. This guy is a stranger it's so scary!

I know it's not his fault. I don't blame him one bit. 

I just hope looks into his heart when he is clearer and sees his family is waiting for him 😞

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Dear Cjm, I'm so sorry your husband is behaving this way towards you and your beautiful family! 

It's NOT how someone could behave towards their spouse and children. 


Please search the 180 Strategy. 
I agree with your decision to go no contact / low contact. 
I believe this is the ONLY path to take after all this mind effing. 
You need to save yourself from going downhill with him. 


You need to think of some boundaries to set up for YOU. 
Set times when H can come pick up the kids (if you think they're SAFE with him?) or possibly you can drop them over to his house when his mum is home (if you think the kids are safe). 


You have been endlessly helpful from what you've written. Truly his behaviours are HIS responsibility. He's a grown up. Stopping meds, abusing you etc... too kind IMO. 


Boundaries UP and I'm super glad to hear you're on the track to getting some of your OWN MH support. 
That's awesome Cjm and I wish you all the very best. 


Love EM

Thank you so much for your kind words. He has taken the kids here and there and has been here with them. Initially he wanted family dinners etc but it just ended up with me in tears. I just don't know what to do anymore.. it's like the person I married died. I know it's the illness but it doesn't make it hurt any less. I feel very alone and people are so opinionated who don't understand! Telling me to pack his stuff etc. They just don't get it 😞

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hey Cjm, it's a very confusing time for you that's for sure! I'm so sorry, I've been in a very similar position as you and it's really horrible. Hugs. It's sad too. 


The thing is that when we share our situation, people WILL be opinionated. It's just par for the course. 
It's REALLY hard for us to say, "can you just listen?" (If that's what you want) because I really don't want your advice atm.
I've got this boundary with my closest ppl now, mostly. No matter how much they complain, I do ask, "Would you like my feedback?" If they say no, then it's a no. Only if they say YES! Will I double check lol and give it. 


I know everyone's different, so depression could manifest differently. I'm only drawing on my own experiences of depression and the ways of ppl I know well in their depressive states. 
Depression doesn't = abuse IME. 
I'm not quite sure why you keep saying "it's the illness" (that's causing all this palaver)? 


You posted "he wanted family dinners" and all the other things he's done that "he" wanted.
Gosh where are you in this mess? The only parent holding the fort together. Still parenting 100%. Still working. Still going crazy wondering what the... is going on with him. 
Is he coming or going? 
He's gone! 


You don't have to pack his stuff, he's already LEFT. He's in absentia, MIA, all of it. 
OMG Imagine if WE as mothers did all that! We'd be burned at the stake lol. Oh yeah that's right we were... 


The "power imbalance" has to even up a bit. This is where "The 180" comes in. 


Also I totally "get" your statement ... "it's like the person I married died". 

No truer words have been said. 
I found "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" a brilliant read, BUT we could be dealing with different circumstances... I really hope we are! 


Here for you, 

Thank you so much.

Yes I don't factor into anything at all unfortunately. I say the illness as it has completely taken over him, and I agree no excuse to be like this to me however this is the first instance in 15 years this has happened.. this isn't him at his core. If it was, I wouldn't even bother fighting for him. But I've now accepted he needs his space and what will be will be.

I hope he can sort himself out and remember our amazing family.

It's like the lights are on but no one is home, except a very angry person in a very dark place. 

My first councilling session is next Thursday so I hope to feel more stronger after that. 

Luckily I have a supportive workplace and my babies to keep me going.

Everything he is doing is against his morals as a person, it's so painful to see. 

I'm no contact, keeping it that way as it's better for both our mental health currently. I just hope the person I know can come back not this stranger 😞

Appreciate the support so much at this time, feeling so so lost 

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi CJM. 

A comment by my psychiatrist 13 years ago was telling. He said to my wife "your challenge with Tony's behaviour will be- is it his illness or his personality"

How true.

Severe depression can distort your emotions, cause some rash decisions and can cause escapism from people or lifestyle. However, when behaviour and communication is poor as in your case there's few excuses to his abandonment of all responsibilities. 

You have "held the fort", continued full time work and balanced the kids... when do you begin to care for you?

Now, I'm concerned for him also. Threatening self harm or worse is a red flag, male suicide exceeds the road toll, it's a real concern.  So what's the best way forward out of a barrel of bad options?

With him you can continue to care for his welfare as a fellow human being with few words like r u ok? At the same time mentally move on with plans for a new life. Respect his fatherhood as you are doing but keep discussions relevant about your kids. Praise yourself for all your efforts but his actions imo tell me it's his decision not necessarily caused by depression. 

For what it's worth I think you are one very brave lady. The grief and acceptance will take time but eventually you'll be stronger.