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Husband leaving me because of depression/alcohol

Community Member
I really don't know where to start so I will just ramble on!  I think I have had low level depression/anxiety for a long time, it started when I was about 15 (I am now much older!).  I had terrible body/image issues in my teenage years.  My grades suffered in high school so I took an office job and left home early.  This was because I have an overbearing and controlling mother.  She has put me down all her life, never wanted children (tells me constantly), criticises everything I do and say and is never in my corner about anything.  I have suffered a lot of loss in my life, failed relationships, dead end jobs.  I make bad choices.  I have been married for 13 years with two gorgeous children who are the light(s) of my life but the bottle has become my enemy.  My husband told me six months ago he wanted to leave the marriage.  He didn't actually blame the alcohol, he just said I haven't been there for him (he lost his father two years ago) and that we have nothing in common.  I have also been made redundant at the same time as all of this.  The thought of bringing up two children under 12, one of whom is only just started school, alone is terrifying to me.   I am not on anti-depressants.  I should be, I don't take them because my mother has been a pill addict for 40 years but this is probably better than drink.  Anyhow, the bottom line is I am middle aged, two small children, no job and husband wants out.  Yes he will have to support me financially but that is not the issue.  His rejection has done nothing to help my depression and booze issues, it makes me want to drink more.  The drinking is causing mood swings, aggressive behaviour and irrational actions.  I have seen a counsellor.  She asked me to ask my husband if he would support me while I got counselling.  His response was 'no, it's your problem and I don't want to enable you'.  Is this his own grief or did I make a serious mistake marrying him?  We are both in a state of angst and depression and making each other worse.  This is very bad for the children.  We have tried counselling so I guess we are done.  Anyway, thanks for listening to my waffle, it does help to write it down. 
3 Replies 3

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Dear Downgirl

Hello and welcome to Beyond Blue. I am so sorry you have had such a bad time and I hope we can help and support you. There will be other people along to talk with you.

Addictions of any kind are hard to deal with and I know several people on this forum have dealt with alcohol so can offer you support from that perspective.

I am sad that your husband will not support you while you get some counseling. Is this alcohol related or general counseling? It may be that you need both. This is where a good GP comes in. Do you see your doctor about your difficulties? I am presuming yes as you are having counseling but this may be your own initiative. I suggest you to make a wellness plan with your GP. What do you need to get well again and how are you going to manage this.

You can tell I was a public servant before I retired. Making plans to manage rather than making it up as I go along. Having a plan is useful as you can see when you are having successes in your life. Having something to focus on, to work on, can be a great motivator.

Antidepressants can be a mixed blessing. They work well for some people and do little or nothing for others. Some people experience quite uncomfortable side effects (me) while others have no problems. So there is no one size fits all. My suggestion is that you see your GP ASAP and have a long chat. You have come to BB asking for help and we will help you as much as possible but we are not health professionals.

You are faced with the prospect of being a single mother so this is the time to gather all the support you can. If you are concerned about legal matters you can go to the Women's Legal Service in your state.  This is a free service. There are other free services which vary from state to state.

Your husband may still be grieving for his father. Grief is so individual that knowing when and how to help someone is not always possible. Do you feel your husband supported you when your mother puts you down?

I stayed with my husband for 30 years because of my fear. In hindsight I believe it would have been better to leave, but who knows. We can never know what might have happened. We can only make the best decision we can at the time. So in many ways the past is irrelevant . It's the present that you are managing and it is a difficult time for you.

You are starting on a hard journey and you need all your strength. Work on getting well again if only for your children. We are here to support and encourage you. Write in often.



Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

dear Downgirl, perhaps I can approach this by saying that once and awhile ago I was an alcoholic when I was in depression, and had a little help for a short time by my wife (ex), but then she gave up on me and finally divorced me.

I only say this because of what you have said, as everything that has been mentioned was an invitation just waiting to happen, such as terrible body image, loss of confidence, overbearing mother who never wanted to have any children, so depression has been there for a long time, maybe after any of the children were born with perhaps also suffering from PND, so the door was open to start drinking alcohol.

Years ago people were  addicted to a pill, which I won't mention in case this reply is stopped, but it was to treat anxiety back in those days, and taken quite regularly, but it would faze people's thoughts and how they behaved, but a great deal has changed in what people are allowed to take and in how much quantity, so what this means is that you should go to your doctor where he/she will probably prescribe antidepressants (AD), but what they will warn you of is that the combination of drinking and AD aren't a good mix, however I was given AD while drinking, but please this shouldn't mean that it is OK for you, just saying.

It seems as though your husband has made up his mind, whether it's because of your drinking, depression or his thoughts of lack of support when his dad passed away, and from my experience my wife couldn't be sure that when I abstained that I wouldn't go back to the bottle, so that doubt played an enormous part here.

She still tells me that I was in love with alcohol more than I loved her, but by saying that means she didn't really understand what I was dealing with, and didn't want to have to cope with any of this.

Personally I only started to become better when I lived on my own, and I can't blame her for doing what she did, even now we still see each other.

I now only drink socially, but what you must do now is to see your doctor, where they will ask 'how much ' are you drinking, where the truth is kept to ourselves, because the question should 'what has made you to start drinking', anyway it's start, but I hope that you will get back to us, because there's so much more that needs to be discussed. Geoff. x


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
Hello Downgirl - well done for reaching out. I know how hard it is to realise and accept that you have a problem with alcohol. I'm an alcoholic, sober for over four years. I still say alcoholic because for me it must be never again and I want the constant reminder that I don't drink for a reason.
I have battled depression since I was a teenager (I'm 52) and now realise I used alcohol for many years, especially in my 40s, to self-medicate - until it became the problem itself.
I got sober with much help on a forum like this but for problem drinkers. In the four years I was a member and some time moderator of that forum, I learned a lot about the how hard it is, how much of a hold it has on people, how central to our social culture drinking is, but also how possible it is to enjoy life without it.
But you have to really want to do it for you. No-one else. I saw many people quit for a while for their family's sake etc, then slide back if it didn't immediately solve their problems, over and over again. You can only do it for you, because you care enough about yourself.
A very treasured person on that forum, who had lost nearly everything - family, job, home - to booze, often said he didn't know how his life might be without it, but he knew it would not get better with it. He stopped, as he said, to create the conditions in which better things could happen. He's been sober five years (and married to me for 18 months, but that's another story 😉 )
If you really want to quit, there is help available, here on this site, through AA whose work I admire greatly even though I couldn't face joining them, and through other organisations like SMART recovery. Do a bit of googling. And please come back here and talk. I'd love to get to know you.
Very best wishes