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marrage 22 years + mental health = confusion,devastation and a world of heart ache and pain

Community Member

Hi all,

I am trying to understand mental illness and what my husband is going through.we have had the fairy tale love story and a love. we have been best friends and I love him more then words can say.

he has had a hard childhood and has not addressed a lot of issues this recently has come to a head again, but this time he is saying he doesn't know what he wants. he is acknowledging he has 'demons' he is dealing with and that he loves me but doesn't know what he wants. Another contributor is that he recently had a heart attack and this is playing a big part in his mental health and mortality often saying things like I wont be around for long or you will outlive me. he has been given the all clear and he is very lucky to survive with no damage to his heart and is now being regularly monitored by specialist.

I could face the world and be supporting and do what ever I had to do to support him but I need to know about our future and is he wants to have a future with me. I know this sounds selfish but once again I find my self gutted, absolutely devastated. I have been hysterical, paranoid, low self esteem. He is a very affectionate, caring, loving man that will do anything for anyone. I can see the pain in his eyes he is not trying to hurt me.

But he is so consumed with what's going on with his head I am scared.I keep telling him we can work through this and ill do anything he wants but I need to know if he still wants to be with me if he wants a future with me. I have grieved and been an absolute mess for the past 6 weeks I am now getting Angry really angry because I don't understand how he cant I've me an answer I am questioning our love and starting to think about what I need to do to survive on my own. But I don't want to make things worse for him either.I need help! his the love of my live my soul mate or at least I thought he was:(

had to cut lots out too many words hope it makes sense

5 Replies 5

Community Member

Hi Concerned Wife,

Thanks so much for sharing here. It sounds like you are going through a very intense time with your husband and there is a lot of emotions.

This is the right place to come to understand mental illness. Have you had a look through some of the fact sheets that are posted on the website here? It's great to read people's personal stories too - everyone has a different journey and experience - I'm sure you will find something here that you can relate to here, and perhaps your husband will too.

First things first - with the level of distress that you both seem to be experiencing, are you considering speaking to a GP and getting a referral to a psychologist? This might be right for one or both of you. A safe environment to discuss how you feel and help to stop those thoughts going round and round your head - I know how tough that is! I have Bipolar and Anxiety, it's a tough road to walk some days.

When uncertainty comes into our lives it can be very unsettling. It is very hard to watch the ones we love go through hard times and not always be able to fix them or be sure of our position in life. Remember, your mental health at this time is very important to. Please take care of yourself, by doing this you are taking care of your relationship too.

I'm sure that your husband loves you so much - he may have been very scared about his heart attack and it may have bought other issues up in his world he is working through.

It is really tough, but work on keeping yourself healthy too. Regular sleep, exercise, eating well are the things you can control in life. Be kind to yourself. Watch your favorite movie. Have you heard of Mindfulness? It's life changing. A great app to try is Smiling Mind.

Becoming angry and demanding answers will quite often have the opposite effect you desire, no matter how good your intentions are. Trust your instincts - it sounds like you really love each other.

Wishing you all the best and would love to hear how you go.


Community Member


You have both experienced a life-changing event. I would think that professional help is needed to help you both through this, especially with all the background stuff being stirred up.

I don't think that it is possible to have a speedy resolution. It may take a long time for him to resolve the things whirring in his mind, so asking for answers when he doesn't have them is unrealistic.

It is not fair what has happened, but you are lucky that he has survived and has been left with no physical problems. If he had been left physically disabled, would you be there for him?

He has been left with some mental injuries that will take time to heal. Because you cannot see this 'disability', doesn't mean that it is not real. He cannot change the way he feels. It is natural that this is happening. I doubt anyone would go through such a crisis without having some scars. They will have either a positive or negative effect on the rest of your life, but it will take time, effort and love to work through everything. You can give him your unconditional support and do this together, and I think it would likely bring you closer eventually.

You need to look after yourself at the moment. It is normal that you feel angry. You are grieving and anger is one of the stages. Acceptance is the final stage.

Mental Ill-health changes your thought patterns. It can twist your thinking, so your husband really doesn't have the answers now. It is impossible to make even the easiest decisions when feeling like this, let alone any major life decisions. I would be reluctant to make any changes until he is feeling better in himself.

I hope you look after yourself and decide to give him your support and that your journey does not take too long. It may be wise to be prepared for the long haul, then anything less is a blessing.

Hi monkeynuts,

Thank you so much for replying to me i did write a while novel in reply when you first responded and then i mush have deleted it.

This week has been another roller coaster his not getting help and if i am quiet and just support him by pampering to his every need he seems to improve. The min i have a weak moment he retracts and his depressice states gets worse. He says things like i though it was getting better? I am pushing 14kg loss in 7 weeks i cant even look at food, my tummy is always in knots and if i am not crying or feeling lonely or isolated cause i cant really talk to anyone about this, i am angry and resentful.

I now feel like i am not hold for him. Not sure where to from here to be honest.

Hi jugglin struggling,

I of all people know about invisible illnesses i have a chronic illness,

At first i was a little taken back bybthat comment but you are right i need ro be supportive.

But he wont get professional help and i am at my wits end.

The only way i can help him is to let him go.

Not sure is this is my emotional state right now and it probably is.

But i am really not sure how long i can hold on to someone i love dearly when they keep telling me there heads f##ked up and cant tell be why he has resevations about me and our future together.

I am so close to the edge. And i know it will be down hill feom her.

The damage is being done every day the longer it goes on.


Hi again.

I am sorry that you found that statement confronting at first, but I do hope it helped you to understand yourself and as well as your husband and the situation a bit better. I did not mean to offend you in anyway, so I am truly sorry if it did. I can relate to your situation, which is what prompted me to reply. I can understand where you are both 'at'. (As well as depression, I also live with 2 chronic diseases that are 'invisible')

Reading your replies, it is clearer that you are also suffering more than you revealed in the 1st post. You have said that you have no one to talk to. Can I ask if you have been to the GP about your own health? I am saddened to hear that your husband refuses to seek professional help. But you need to do this for yourself. There are phone lines on this site, as well as lifeline if you need to talk to someone before you can book an appt. But please book to see your GP.

You cannot support your husband without being mentally healthy. Ideally you would seek professional guidance together, but if not, then you must make yourself a priority.

Letting your husband go would be unlikely to help him. You are right, I think this is your current emotional state, and I doubt that you truly feel that this is true. I know it does feel like it at the moment, tho.

Once you are getting help, it will not be downhill. There WILL be days when it seems that way, but there will be better ones too. A common saying I read here is '3 steps forward, 2 steps back', but we do make progress, and it seems to be quicker/easier with professional help.

You are there for him because you do love him dearly. You have been together for years. You will hold onto him in your heart, no matter what happens. There is no need to make quick decisions. Help yourself through this terrible time and the rest will play out. Things WILL change, because nothing ever stays the same.

My heart feels for you. There are many here who understand if you need to talk more.

Lee x