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I need strength to carry on

Community Member

Hi everyone.

I've been commenting on other people's posts and trying to be positive - but my situation is wearing me down.

My marriage of 5 years has broken down. We have a four year old boy. It all started when I told my wife I wanted an intimate marriage and she reacted by saying I had destroyed our marriage by bringing it up. Over the last 4 months it has been horrible - she wanted me to leave the house, counseling failed, she became more abusive emotionally, verbally and physically.

I refused to leave our house. I do a lot for our son and I'm not abandoning him. She thinks I'm only entitled to have our son 2 days a fortnight if we separate. This is our son who I see every day, am with every night, every weekend, cook for him, feed him, bath him, pick him up from kindy. I want him at least 6 nights a fortnight but she won't have that. We've both been to lawyers and the next step is family dispute resolution - I'm just worried it will escalate and she will take it to court which will destroy us all.

I'm pretty lost at the moment. My wife is threatening to take our son to her parents and I won't see him until after court. She's trying to stop me from doing things with him when I am around. I'm using all my strength just to hold up in front of my son and to remain calm and collected.

I hate this unknown, I live in fear of what my wife is going to do next and in particular I'm so worried for our son. I'm dreading the day we/I have to tell him mummy and daddy won't be living together any more, how he will react, how he will cope. What a nightmare. Can anyone tell me if they have been in a similar position? I can truly see why people are forced to leave their own homes and give up time with their children because they feel they have no other choice. Well I'm not going to leave. I have done nothing wrong and I'm going to stand up for myself and my son - who needs his dad in his life just as much as his mum

66 Replies 66

Hi Lynda

sorry - in another post I explained in detail regarding the intimacy issue. Yes, I meant lack of intimacy and I don't just mean sex. There was nothing. I only brought it up twice in a 6 month period, however she twisted it around and said I kept pressuring her about it. All I ever did was say I was concerned about lack thereof and what could we do about it. I mean, if she were to say that to me, I would definitely take it seriously and do what I could do to address it - well, because I loved her.

well I think that was just a distraction. I think she fell out of love with me a long time ago. She changed when we had our son. Yes she had really bad post natal depression, but I think it was an exacerbation of a pre-existing illness. I think she has a degree of BPD, since she was young. There were signs when we met but I chose to ignore. The drama, the way she treated me, the isolation from family.... Anyway, I think having a child took away her lifestyle. It took away her independence. It took away control. She blamed me for a lot of it. She became a victim. She blamed losing her ability to work, then she hated working, so she went back at 2 days a week after 12 months. But she hated work when she went back so she wanted to be a stay at home mum. But she complained about being at home with our son. I just tried harder and harder and harder to make her happy. Little did I know I was putting all my energy into something that wasn't working. I never realised that you can't make someone happy and that you're not responsible for someone's happiness.

But I digress. She texted me late this afternoon saying she was coming home with our son. I had a strange feeling she would, because she wanted to hurt me - to make me suffer for not seeing our son. But I don't care - I was so happy to see him. He gave me a big hug and said that he missed me. It was the best. She said nothing to me and went to bed early. I even offered her dinner as usual.

So I'll stick to the plan. I will ring my lawyer tomorrow for an update. We had booked in for private mediation (she's up first on Wednesday) so let's see if she goes to it....

the saga continues...

Hi AB, sorry to read this thread. You have been one of the active ones offering me help, unfortunately I can't replicate it here. All I can say is, I hope you are in a good place yourself. The early stages of your story sings a similar tune to what I am going through now.

Hi AB. Just checking to see how things are? Were you able to see the mediator? If your wife does have BPD plus slight narcissist qualities, this would explain most of what's going on that you're having trouble processing. She almost seems to be playing a rather sick game with you, do as I say or you suffer. No-one can live like that, it's not a marriage, partnership, nothing. Would she admit to having BPD, probably not. That would go against the grain, having to admit to having a mental health problem. If she would admit to having it and agree to getting some help to control it, it would make life easier for both of you. Perhaps though, your wife doesn't want to make life easy.

Hope the mediation helps.


Hi Lynda and CR

Thanks for checking in. Seems to be a merry go round at the moment. We both did our individual mediation and were due for a joint session this week. Since last weekend she has been reasonable and fairly pleasant - I wondered what was going on. Out of the blue she texted me the day after my mediation last week asking if I would consider counselling. It hit me a bit like a hammer after everything that had happened. It took me a while to respond, however I looked deep and said that I would consider it - IF she committed 110%, did it not just for our child but because we deeply wanted to for our own desire, and that in particular we 110% committed to a RESPECTFUL, NON-ABUSIVE relationship. Well, she agreed to this.

Now naturally I am more than on high alert still - but maybe, just maybe we might be able to do something here. If not at least we tried. Now we just have to find a decent counselor - easier said than done...

Hi Apollo

It sounds somewhat promising despite being 'on alert'. As you said 'just maybe you both may be able to do something here' Put it this way Apollo, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose!

You are pro-active and positive...Well Done! Finding a good counselor can be hard but you just might get lucky Apollo!

Sounds good


Thanks Paul - I totally agree. I think even if this doesn't work, then it might be an opportunity to make it less of a "high conflict" separation.

But so far so good. I need to be really strong however - because I am quite forgiving by nature I don't want to brush over what she's done. There needs to be accountability on her part so we can move on. This is something I plan to address in therapy. ie: I want her to admit to treating me badly, apologise for it sincerely and commit to not doing it again. It'll be a chance for me to set much firmer boundaries - but I'll need help with that from a third party. Thanks again Paul, your a great guy

Thanks Apollo

We do have a lot in common and I have been over-forgiving for many years and it always gets me hurt. Firmer boundaries are another smart move too.

You are really doing well here with your approach Apollo 🙂


Hi Apollo Black, I truly hope that everything works out well for you, and that your relationships can be mended. I've been following your post, and the replies, but didn't respond earlier because your situation was so close to my own heart that it was painful.

All the best buddy.

Thanks Mal - I'll update when I can. Sorry if it brought things close to home. I guess this is a common issue for a lot of guys. If my wife and I can get through this it will be a miracle.

Regardless - I think it raises a big concern about men's mental health when faced with such a crisis, particularly when there is this myth that they should "man up/do the right thing" and move out of the family home and therefore spiral downwards when they lose everything, particularly access to their children...

Without going into specific details I know that pain only too well Apollo.