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Living a great life.

Community Member
So, after years of coping with variable mental health, im finally posting here.
I feel guilty for only coming here when I need help when I see so many others who need more help than me.
I am a 50yo male, married with 2 teenage girls.
Its curious how you can keep everything together until you cant.
I am currently experiencing a very low period in my life. I had a significant failure at work and feel embarrassed and humiliated by it – my ego is shattered. On topic of that, I feel like my marriage is in tatters – ive all but given up on it. My teenagers are both wonderful and awful at the same time.
I cant remember a time when anyone significant in my life told me how much they appreciated me. I feel like most people in my life just suffer me. If I disappeared theyd go on just fine.
I feel this sense of irrelevance so strongly that I just want o be by myself. I cant imagine anyone could love me or really want me in their lives because I just don’t bring anything of value to their lives.
Im told im lazy, a whinger, an arsehole, useless, a screw up, I disappoint people, selfish.
I don’t care anymore. If that’s how they feel, then get ill get out of your life. I want to live MY life. I wont hurt anybody but if im bringing you such discomfort, ill leave.
I love my job but im being expected to provide more than I think im capable of. If I speak up and voice my concerns, im shining a light on my limitations and I could lose my job. I have been made redundant before and I tell you the fear that it will happen again never leaves me. I want my job but I need my job – I need to support my family.
My wife is constantly angry about everything. I feel like a great source of her frustration. Equally. Her demeanor is pushing me away- I don’t want to deal with her anger anymore. I don’t want to feel that i am such a pain the arse, so I want to leave her. Let her get on with her own life. She’d be better off without me and I without her.
Im actually really clear on what I want – I low stress, peaceful, life with no conflict. I would be happy to close myself off from everybody I have upset so they don’t have to put up with me and I don’t have to worry about upsetting them.
So, there I am -laid bare. I want to love life but I feel trapped in so many ways.

5 Replies 5

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Dear GoodEnough

Welcome to the forum and thank you for telling your story. I am sad to hear how discouraged you feel. Coincidentally I received an email a couple of minutes ago with this quote. I offer it to you and hope you will understand it is offered as is with no other thought or agenda.

Alan Paton author of 'Instrument of Thy Peace' and 'Cry, the Beloved Country' said that when he faced an insurmountable problem, he always thought of German aircraft dropping tons of high-explosive and incendiary bombs on London in 1940. 'While Londoners sheltered in basements, strategic and historic buildings burned above their heads. If this kept going on, nothing would be left of London.'
Paton remembered that Winston Churchill's proclamation: 'To the basements' must be replaced by, 'To the roofs!' The citizens of London rallied to the cause, and Churchill later said, 'Many became adept, and thousands of fires were extinguished before they took hold. The experience of remaining on a roof night after night under fire, with no protection but a tin hat, became habitual.

OK that sounds fairly extreme but I hope you will understand the example.

I think there is no such thing as a life with no stress. While we hear stories of ascetics who live on the top of a pole or in a cave it does not sound very practical. We do need each other in order to love life.

May I ask, have you ever discussed this dissatisfaction with your wife? Perhaps her attitude is a reflection of her insecurity. I'm not trying to take sides or persuade you to do anything you do not want to do. I make this comment because there may be more to your wife's anger etc than you realise and more possibly than she realises.

Coming here when you need help is what BB was set up to offer. No matter what others want or need you also have a right to be heard and your feelings are as important as those of anyone else. Nothing can change that.

Do you have any plans for your life? What would living alone look like to you? Be realistic. You enjoy your job which gives you independence. It means you can also support your family. These are two aspects of life which I imagine give you satisfaction. What else can you do to remain satisfied? I see you have managed some mental illness in the past. How did you do this? Did you meet with a mental health professional and was it useful?

I think your wife and daughters would not agree they would be better off without you. I will write more later if you wish.


Hi Mary and thanks for your prompt reply.

To pick up your analogy, i feel like ive been on the roof for a long time. Comes a time when you might have to let the building burn.

My wife and i will both say the same thing. "Ive tried to talk to her but she wont listen or doesnt want to hear it". He treats me way worse than i treat him!" Then you get into a blame spiral and stop talking. This has been going on for many years. I just cant fix it and so i am giving up. Im sick of the arguments.

My only plans for my life is to work for as long as i can to support my family. We are ok financially but not in a position where id even dare to plan holidays etc. This plan was interrupted back in 2005 when i was made redundant. We had just built a new home and had my second child on the way. It was the scariest time of my life and realised all my worst fears about myself. It is a fear that has never left me. I live in constant fear of losing my job again.

Living alone would probably be hard, although ive done it before. Throughout my life, if ive been faced with a challenge i couldnt overcome, i was comfortable walking away, spending time by myself. It made me feel safe and in control. Now, at home, when voices get raised i just walk away. IMO, my family are demonstrating and stating that i am the cause of all their problems so why would i want to stay in their lives. I can live separately and if i can keep my job, i can support them from afar, without all the angst.

Ive battled depression and anxiety most of my life. Seen many psychologists, intermittently - they have helped a lot. Since 2015 ive been taking an SSRI - it has been life changing.

I absolutely love life. I've hit a low point here which has forced me to think about my current situation. Im 50yo and im tired of being criticised all the time. I get it at work and at home. No-one is in my corner.


Hello GoodEnough

I am so sorry your life is in such turmoil but I am also glad you still have your love of life. That's essential to hang on to.

I'm not very sure what to say. The obvious thing is marriage counselling but I suspect this would not go down well with you or your wife. I tried to get my husband to go but he said he did not have a problem so had no need to go. With the benefit of hindsight I could have said it may help me if he went and he could talk about what I did or did not do. In the end I left after 30 years and now live on my own.

It's not been an easy journey and several times I thought about returning but decided if I did it would be worse because I had admitted I could not manage. So I stuck it out despite falling into a huge black pit of depression, twice weekly sessions with a psychiatrist and several suicide attempts. It was a dreadful time. Much better now and I enjoy living on my own. I have a full life which I enjoy.

Have you considered going to a psychiatrist? I know you have seen psychologists in the past but this can be expensive even on a mental health plan. At least with a psychiatrist you get a Medicare rebate for each visit. Glad the Antidepressant (AD) is helping.

I am sad to know about the constant arguments and raised voices. It very disturbing as I have found out. Talking to your wife is a good idea but both of you need to get past the blame game. No matter what has happened in the past it needs to be put aside and to start from now. No bringing old grudges to the table or threats of any kind. An agreement to listen to each other's point of view about how to move forward. Sounds easy but of course it's not.

Sometimes it is just not going to work which is where a third party is useful. Have you considered both of you going to counselling together? Relationships Australia are good at this sort of thing and it costs much less than the more formal counselling from a psychiatrist or psychologist. Sorry if I am suggesting activities you have already tried. I hate thought of couples separating despite, or perhaps because of, my separation. My children had all left home by then which meant I had less to worry about. We still meet at family gatherings and after all this time get on much better, though not well enough to live together again.


Community Member

Hi Goodenough,

Sorry to hear your dramas,I thought was reading my story .I am in my mid fifties separated and two chidren 18 and 20 years old.I went through some heart wrenching years of total disrespect from my ex and the children.I was excluded from any decision making except to pay bills.I became embittered and angry with them and became more isolated.Like you I felt I was completely taken for granted.We separated not well and the kids became more angry with me .everything was under scrutiny.I tried to engage it was tough because I was angry mostly with myself.Bukowski said 'Sooner or later I manage to rub everybody up the wrong way' Thats how I think about myself.The family home was sold I live by myself.It has been tough I

Community Member

Hi Good Enough,

Sorry to hear your plight ,I actually thought I was reading life story.I am separated after over 20 years of marriage with two children 18 and 20 .I felt totally unappreciated by my ex and the children and was never consulted about anything except bills.It was really sad and I became embittered and isolated myself it was horrible.We separated after years of disputes .It was tough on everybody,the kids became angry and sort of blamed me .I thought like Bukowski said "Sooner or later I manage rub everybody up the wrong way"I still believe and blame myself for the collapse of the family.But I was living a lie there wasno lovrespect in our relationship.It was so sad.I was so dis respected by my family.they treated me like an afterthought.The family home was sold I now live alone .It has not been easy ,I have isolated myself for the time being,the kids still treat me with disdain,it really hurts.But what I found contact at this point is more destructive to my self esteem .I feel I have lost a lot but you gotta stop watering dead plants.I dont have the answers but you must have respect and validation in the family unit Cheers CW