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My depressed husband wants to leave, but won’t leave.

Community Member

My marriage is an absolute mess right now as my husband says he doesn’t love me and wants to leave. He said he wants to find peace on his own,

He says everything about me irritates him and that he is so unhappy, this has been going on for the past 6 - 8 month, but he won’t leave and thinks I should, as he doesn’t want to leave the kids.

Everytime we communicate right now, about anything, he turns it around to talk about himself and wanting to leave. He says very mean things to me, is angry and his first reaction is to yell at all of us.

Tonight we had a behaviour issue with our son, I tried to discuss this calmly with him, but he can’t cope and turned it again to our marriage. He even said he was opting out of parenting.

He has a history of bipolar, but has convinced himself he is over that, takes no meds, does not look after himself and is a binge drinker and will not seek any help, even though I believe he is crying out for help.

Our home life now is unbearable, we all walk on egg shells waiting for the next explosion.

i am so stressed and the kids are withdrawing from their Dad.

I am at a loss as to what to do, I try and be strong, but I’m exhausted now and no idea what to do next.

i would appreciate any advice from others who have been in this situation.

8 Replies 8

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Susiec, and a warm welcome to the forums.

I'm sorry that the situation you are in doesn't seem to be a happy one and I don't believe you can get over bipolar, it will not go away on its own and he is likely to live with this condition for the rest of his life, he can help control it with medication and the right treatment plan.

However, this doesn't seem to be happening and his alcohol is not the answer as he seems to be in denial but can't take out how he feels on you or the kids.

Now you have to look after yourself and the kids need to be protected from your husband until he realises that he needs to take his medication and get some counselling.

Can I please suggest you go and see your doctor, your kids maybe able to contact Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

I hope you can get back to us as it's concerning.


Community Member

Thanks Geoff,

How do I look after myself and the kids? On Good Friday I thought it would be good for the kids and I to go out for the day to give him space. He growl at me that I was isolating the kids from him. So we stay home in this awful environment. Should I just do what I think is right and stop trying to make things easier for him.

I soppose I get the blame either way....

Community Member
Hi Susiec,

I'm sorry to hear you are going through this. I know what's it like to live with someone who is in denial about their mental health.

Yes you should absolutely do what is right for you and the kids and stop trying to make things easier for him. There is only so much you can do for someone who isn't willing to help themselves. It's time to put you and the kids first.

As Geoff suggested go and see your doctor and get a referral to a counselor. It will help.

Do you have family and friends close that you can lean on for support?

Please put yourself and the kids first. The longer this goes on the more withdrawn from their father they will get.

I hope things get better for you soon.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Susiec, thanks for getting back.

Anything you do or don't do isn't going to please him at the moment, it doesn't what you try and do, nothing will be right, so you need to look after the kids and yourself, especially when he's been drinking.

You have done everything possible and now you and the kids have to be safe, even if you have somewhere else to stay, that's your priority.

He has to understand that he will only get better by visiting his doctor and get the counselling but this means accepting his denial.

Stop trying to make things easier for him, you and the kids have a life to live and school holidays will be over shortly.

Please get back to us and I'm sorry as I'm about to log off as I start early in the morning.

Take care.


Community Member

Thanks Geoff and KLB,

He is not currently in his drinking mood, he is in the shut the world out and feel sorry for myself mood. He is unable to cope with the smallest task, but to his credit does get himself to work. Even though he is not coping well there either.

over the weekend he has agreed to some relationship counseling before leaving, I have no idea if this will help. Maybe I should just let him leave and stop trying to fix everything.

feeling so exhausted

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Susiec, you ask a good question, do you want to go to relationship counselling or just let him be, as you've said 'Maybe I should just let him leave and stop trying to fix everything', that's not an easy question for you to answer and not quite sure if he will do this.

Look after yourself first and don't expect what he may or may not do.

My best.


Community Member

A lot has happened in the past 2 months, but I am unsure if we are moving forward or backwards.

My husband lost his licence DUI, which he says was a wake up call, however his depression only got worse, to the point of not getting out of bed. After 5 days I made a Dr’s appointment for him to discuss his mental health. He was assesses as severely depressed and referred to a local clinic where he has been for the past 3 weeks.

Even though he is seeing a psychiatrist and has started medication for depression and anxiety, I feel he is still so negative towards our marriage. When asked what his major worries are, he always says marriage problems. This makes me so angry as we both know that is not entirely true.

He returned Home yesterday and to be honest, I don’t feel he is that much better.

How long can it take for medication to really start working, I feel I can’t get anywhere whilst we communicate when he is still unwell.

so cinfused and exhausted.

thanks for reading my long update.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Susiec, thanks for getting back to us and we're told that medication can take up to 6 to 8 weeks before it kicks in, but it may do so for some people much earlier as everyone is different.

I can't say as I'm not qualified, but I've known people who have been in a clinic for either depression and/or addiction and once their time has finished their situation goes back to how it was, and I say this because that's what happened to me.

Can you please keep in touch with how you are feeling and concerned whether or not you have seen a counsellor/psychologist yourself.

You can do this by your doctor issuing a mental health plan for yourself, this entitles you to 10 Medicare paid sessions per year with a psych and maybe very helpful.

Best wishes.