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My husband has depression, but his lying is what is ruining our relationship! What do I do?

Community Member

Im a mum of two amazing toddlers, and I have been married to my husband for 11 years, we both work full time have a mortgage. We are in our 30's. Last year my hubby had a bad run, he doesn't get along with his family always fighting with his parents, he had a rough child hood and his job and everything all got ontop of him he started to change as a person. Not happy, not out going, not a husband or dad.. just a shell. I knew he had started turning to alcohol to cover his stress, which also started the lies and his personality change. He was 'always working late' = at the pub, driving home drunk and when Id ask him what is going on, why so angry and drinking alot he would say 'oh thats right Im the let down, Im a crap husband.. i work my ass off and get yelled at for having a drink!" he would just walk off and go to bed always making me feel horrible. He finally admitted last September that he has depression, he saw his GP to get help, he doesn't want meds as he wants to get to the bottom of his 'messed up brain' he says, so had his 1st visit with a psychologist in DEC 2017. He said it went well he opened up and the Physc said his bad childhood is only coming out to effect him now after a bad stressful year. My hubby says he hates himself and wants to change, go back to how we were, be happy again. But I dont see him trying. This happy phase lasts 10 days before we are fighting again. Over money he wastes on alcohol, him visiting mates after work for beers instead of coming home to the kids and I, he does nothing around the house, sleeps, eats, ignores the kids and I while watches tv. Or will suck up to me if he wants sex. He says horrible things to me out of no where 'who called you tonight? Your boy friend! Who just messaged you!" And yesterday more lies telling me he was out visiting his parents and would be 20mins. the kids and I waited 2 hours and I ended up going for a drive and found him drinking at his mates! I told him I cant go on like this any more, its not fair on me or kids. I give him so much love and support and all i get back is 'whats for dinner? Lets have sex. I do everything at home, wash, cook clean, mow lawns and be a mum and dad to our kids. We had a huge talk last week on how I feel, the kids are now growing up and notice he does nothing with him, and I keep making excuses so the kids dont know their dad is never here. its heart breaking. I know he needs many more physc appointments but I cant take the lies. Is this depression or him

9 Replies 9

Community Member

You're an amazing woman, positive-vibes. Keeping everything together for an alcoholic husband & family, plus working, and no doubt trying to keep finances from spiralling out of control - all without help - is so hard, and very stressful. It takes super human effort and compassion.

I'm glad you've asked for some help, before too many years have passed. The kind of stress you are under can cause a lot of health problems, that you certainly don't deserve considering how much you invest into your life and everyone around you. You deserve reward, not punishment. If you were continue doing this for years without reward , it can sap your motivation and make you feel kind of worthless.

Tackling alcohol addiction is very tough, I'd say the lies are more to protect his addiction. But the most dangerous part right now is he has collected a group of enablers around him, who are becoming the main influence in his life, more important than family. This gets worse with time, and can transition into spending time with female enablers and so forth.

If you are wondering what goals to aim for at this point, I'd recommend trying to make him see how destructive these enablers are on your marriage. They don't care about his health, his self esteem, or marriage or family. They are selfish and just want him around to make them feel ok about ruining their lives too. They are human beings too, with a good side I'm sure. But as a group they are helping to ruin each other's lives through drinking. And they are ruining yours too.

Its a lot easy to deal with partners addiction and get them the help they need if you are their main influence. When you are not, its so much harder.

Thank you Bindi for your reply.. Your first line made me cry. I am.. was, such a happy bubbly, positive, goal setting human, loving and giving and lately just been beating myself up seeing myself as useless. I have become unwell to, lost 10 kilos, no appetite and not sleeping. I need to start looking after me and te kids for a while now I think.. But mothers always but everyone else 1st. haha

Every time I catch him out on a lie he says "i dont know why i do it. I cant explain it. Sorry, ill try and change and try and go back to the old me. I know you deserve better but.. i cant explain why Im like this.." He will go to bed and wake up the next day and act like nothing happened, play happy family for 2 days and then go back to lazy, cant be bothered, lying husband.
The lies really get to me. I believe that a relationship runs on trust and love. Im 100% committed and it frustrates me that he cant seem to do that. He also told me he was not smoking.. I found 2 full packets in his car and he said "oh yeah sorry I didnt want to tell you as you will think Im a failure again, winge at me.. like everything else i screw up!"

I dont know what to do.. my mind is telling me we need a break "leave him and let him see how much I do for him! That I deserve better, the kids deserve a better dad.. but most of all I need to be happy." But also we have been together for 11 years! Am I stupid to throw it all away?

But i dont want to leave him for a few weeks to give us thinking time when all I think he will do is get more depressed and go on a drinking binge!
We have gone through so much together but each year is getting worse and worse, he just doesn't want to do anything at home, expects me to do it all and to be the parent for our kids. OHH unless friends visit then its a different story he will get the toys out, make everyone lunch but on a big happy face that he is the best dad and partner in the world.. until they go home then its back on the couch watching you tube.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member


I'm a recovering alcholic. 17 years clean and sober now so sorry if I tend to be a bit blunt.

Alchol depletes a chemical called ceratonin in the brain that in turn effects moods. So thus depression becomes more common. I grew up in drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinics with a mum as a phyc who specialised in the disease.

Probably the safest way for you both to have a short break would be to ask him if he is willing to go into a rehab. From there he can most likely be a out patient as most major hospitals have programs.

It's a hard road but can be done if the person is willing. Many people I know have gotten sober working in pubs or even on cruise ships. It really comes down to the person.

What he is putting you and the kids through is wrong...if he wants the drink more than his family well he can go jump.

Positive-vibes, If you do have the resources to separate, its going to better for your health and self worth in the long run. It doesn't have to be `throwing it all away', the best solution is usually to let him know what you need to see change, encourage him, and be positive about it. Then if he convinces you well enough, move back in together. And if he doesn't, you'll know there was nothing else you could have done, and that staying in the situation was never going to work.

If you have that kind of strength left in you, if you can find it, I would most definitely encourage you to separate. This is a tough love kind of approach, but it is very loving, more loving and constructive that picking up the pieces for him year after year and feeling wrecked and worthless.

It might be worth finding a psychologist through this, to help with ideas for boundaries, whether you decide to stay or separate?

Thank you. I know this shouldn't be an issue.. but im scared about separating for these reasons also:

60% of myself is telling me to stay and put up with the unhappy life because I cannot afford to sell the house and start fresh alone down the track with NSW current house prices or for us to move out and pay the - ridiculous rent prices.

Im cant live on just my wage, we have alot of bills, how do single mums do this! I dont have any family that could help financially..

*That i will be lonely forever with the kids as I wont find anyone else.

*The kids will hate me because dad no longer lives with us.

*That I am 'over reacting', that there are worse husbands out there - im am just winging and need to suck it up and let him have 'mates time' too.

*On the days when he is good and we do have a fun family day I block out all the other bad times and hope from today on it will get better.

* I dont want him to have the kids alone. It scares me, his parents are both alcoholics and nut jobs, I dont want my kids alone with them. I will worry what he is saying to the kids or telling them lies or just treating them bad. Im scared things will get ugly between us. My kids are my life I dont want to destroy their happy home (as far as they know). All separation story's seem to end horribly with AVO or kids becoming so depressed I couldn't do it to my kids. Id rather put up with being sad and covering up for them to have a normal looking life.

Positive- vibes,

Thanks for being brave to post your story . You seem like a strong and caring person.

You are so busy worrying about your children and husband that you are thinking of yourself.

Yes mums do tend to think of others but if they don't look after their own health they wont be able look after everyone's health.

I am concerned for your health. Have you spoken to your doctor, or a counsellor or psychologist.

You wrote very clearly about your fears about separating. Have you ever heard of al-anon ? It is for the spouses, and relatives of a person who is an alcoholic, so they are not alone and can get support from people who know what they are going through.

Only you can make the decision of what to do and you know what you can cope with so you can keep your family together.

I was in a relationship for many years with a man who said he was a heavy drinker and not an alcoholic and we had no children. We lived in my house so getting him to leave would and did take a very long time. I never knew what mood he would be in when he came home . I thought I could love him out of his addiction. After ten years I was exhausted run down and defeated. I realise now I should have left years earlier but I was not ready.

Be kind to yourself.

You can ring up BB support line 1300 22 4636. Sometimes it is helpful to have a trained person to talk to.


That's perfectly understandable positive-vibes, I would only suggest separation if you had the proper resources, including support from family or friends, enough money, and the emotional strength. You're right, Australia is so expensive these days, and that's just one small part of the pain of separation. I understand perfectly, don't worry.

Its probably going to be a good idea to see someone to help you, do you think you would be able to find time? Sometimes what I've done is book an extra long appointment with a GP I like, and just talk. From there, they can help you try to find a psychologist, or you could look for a life coach maybe.

There are a lot of options for you, you don't have to just put up with this and be sad. In a best case scenario, you can make him come around to your point of view. You just need a little help I think.

Please don't worry you wount be able to afford another house. I used to think that untill I looked a bit out west of NSW.

There is still residential land for under 30k if you look around Young etc.

Tinnyhouses and pop up homes are affordable.

You'll and the kids will be ok.

Wow.. looks like nothing has changed when its 8 months later and Im back here looking for help.

So what has happened, nothing much, seems like the bad cycles people have spoken about has started to happen. I found out in Feb after becoming suspicious of my husbands moods that he was on something more than alcohol. I spent a week away with the kids with family to get away & came home to a party house! beer bottles every where and COCAINE! I didnt know what to do or say.. i quickly cleaned up the mess so the kids didnt see and worked on a plan. The plan was to confront hubby and work out what to do. I still love him as much as I was hurting. I want him to get better for the kids sake. We spoke, he denied everything until I showed him the bag i found in his wallet. Then it all came out. He blamed his depression and said he didnt think he was hurting me or the kids, blamed me saying i dont show him love or appreciation any more so gave up on trying & turned to beer and drugs to make him feel happy & numb his depression. I told him to leave, so he did. this shocked him as he thought I never would kick him out. He moved into his alcoholic parents house, worse move ever! Stayed there and drank more. I felt bad for him so i let him move back in. He stopped the crack, i started doing drug tests at home monthly. BUT now looks like he has turned to alcohol more. I also found out recently those physc appts i made for him, he went to 2 out of the 8! and says its a waste of time they dont help him at all so hes not going back! I said even to see a marriage counselor with me? He said no. Since FEB he has been depressed, but will have beer after work and get tired and go to bed. In May he came home from work drunk I told him i hate it and deserve better and he said sorry, and stopped drinking at home, things went back to normal for 4 weeks, in June i caught he quickly sculling beers in his car outside my kids school before he picked them up. My heart broke and I told him I was done. He said again, he drinks to numb his depression and blames me for making him feel low and unloved at home as i seem not happy around him and it makes him insecure! I gave him another chance to stop the drinking and think about how hes hurting us! He told me he can do it alone and doesn't need to see a GP. Now on sunday he went to a soccer game with mates & promised to be home at 5.30pm, at 7pm he was not home and not contactable until 8pm when he finally called me back drunk and driving home.