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My illness has adversely affected my partner

Community Member
I am currently feeling terrible guilt over the way my anxiety and depression are affecting my husband. I have been lucky enough to have a very caring and supportive partner for the past 18 years but I know it has taken its toll, particularly this year. We recently made the decision to move house as I hated where we were living and couldn't stand it any longer for various reasons . But my husband is ADF (Australian Defence Force) and we were living in a Defence managed property. Over 4 years we asked for help to move due to the affect on my mental health issues - they couldn't care less, it meant nothing to them. As there is no avenue for complaint my husband had to apply through his chain-of-command, so now all his work colleagues know about his 'crazy wife'. So we decided to move into a private rental at our own expense. We had the Defence house professionally cleaned but at inspection yesterday Defence Housing Australia told my husband it was not up to standards. They want us to pay $1,000 to have it re-cleaned. The reasons? There are streaks on the windows, a fly spot on the ceiling, spot cleaning the walls was not enough - the entire wall space has to be cleaned. Now it is my husband who is on the verge of a breakdown and Defence could not care less. So one of the largest employers in this country really could not care less about mental health of it's employees or their families. My husband had tried his best to look after the well being of his family and now he is suffering for it. I don't know what to do.
4 Replies 4

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello and welcome to the site, but please don't call yourself ' a crazy wife' that's unfair for you, because mental illness can be seen by others as being unstable, but it's an illness you are struggling with, as we all know.
With regards to the cleaniness of the house, then you should only need to send the Defence cleaning services back to the house to complete their duties, you have obviously paid them to do the job so it's their responsibility to fulfill their contract with you.
Firstly for you to have to suffer from anxiety and depression for 18 years is far too long, struggling from day to day, and I'm not sure whether or not you have had any counselling or medical support, which I really hope that you have been, however the toll of this will have an affect on your family, simply because they don't like to see their mum upset.
I'm not sure of the regulations with the Army, but I would think that they should be taking care of your husband if he is about to have a breakdown, either by any psychologists in the Army, or by seeing someone outside of the Army.
I'm just wondering whether he wants to remain in the Army, but I hope that someone who maybe more converse in this topic can add their opinion. Geoff. x

Community Member

Hi TiredDownOut,

Firstly , what is so lovely to read is the obvious commitment that you and your husband have to one another. He agreed to move for you and you are distraught because he is upset.

However, what is clear is that you guys feel that even though you are being good decent people and trying to do the right things, the ADF haven't been very supportive.

I feel that you may very well have to take this all up with them at a later date but for the moment , the most important thing is you and your families mental health.

So , I'm thinking that it might be time to put aside anger about the ADF not being caring and just keep your attention on being the best and healthiest versions of yourselves that you can be.

It looks like you are taking steps to do that. You have moved house to feel better.... Now you may need to institute other aspects of self care - check in with a GP and get a good counsellor , join a support group , start exercising , make sure your diet is on track , sleep well and start a MINDFULNESS programme .

None of these suggestions in them selves might help , but all put together , they may help you and your husband get mentally healthy again ....

Then , maybe you can tackle the ADF issues from a place of clarity, strength and better health.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hey TiredDownOut, well done for posting and you are not a "crazy wife", no way. Do you realise the courage that you have shown so far? I am a firm believer that the strength and courage it takes to take on mental injuries and illnesses and to continue to get up each day and take it on again far outweighs that of hiding away from it. You have taken it on day after day and continue to take it on. Much respect for that.

In relation to the house, i like what Dr Kim is saying about fighting that fight another day. You and your hubbys health is #1, not the house. Much like other organisations who say they are mental health supportive, the ADF has dropped the ball on a few fronts and by the look of it, you and your hubby. Has your hubby thought about contacting Soldier On or Mates4Mates? Two really good organisations separate to the ADF but supporting ADF members, active and retired.

Your hubby is standing by you for a reason, because he loves you. Don't feel bad about it.

I'm not the "crazy wife" because I ain't wedded yet.

But I totally understand what it feels like to be seen as such.

I am a "descendent of madness", with a schizophrenic mother and a father that topped himself.

We were the "mad family".

Stigma follows the offspring for the rest of their lives. It doesn't matter how educated the person is that "assesses" my behaviour in any given situation. They will assume the worst.

And yet I read your post and I look at the calendar. It says, 2016 doesn't it!!

How on earth can major national employers be so ignorant.

How dare they run your partner's health into the ground.

Shame on them.