Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Ready to leave my emotionally abusive partner of 8 years, worried

Community Member
Ive been with my partner for 8 years and we share 2 incredible kids together (6 and 2). He has always had issues with severe anxiety and depression, likely bipolar too, but has always refused further treatment beyond taking meds which just arent working. Our relationship has become increasingly toxic in the last 3 years, he is becoming more and more irrational and harder to life with each day. I work full time, do all housework, do all errands as he doesnt drive, my minimum wage income supports the 4 of us despite the fact he has a small amount of money he will not contribute to bills or general expenses. I have become depressed and unbelievably stressed due to the constant financial strain and demands from him since he wont help, yet he believes he 'does everything' as he watches our 2 year old while I work. We are moving nowhere in life, getting into more debt and I just dont love him anymore. His answer to our problems is that 'if I loved him more and showed him more affection he would feel better, cope better and be able to help more'. He finds a way to put the blame for eeeeverything onto me - if he wakes up in a bad mood its because of something I did 3 weeks ago, if the kids are acting up and misbehaving then its because I'm working too much and not helping with them enough, if our plans for a night out fall through at the last minute then its because I mustve sabotaged it. He believes my family are conspiring against him and want to ruin every holiday/special occasion just to spite him. I cant deal with the constant criticism and negativity thrown at me everyday, I am often blindsided by the accusations he makes, yet to him it seems completely rational and true. I'm finally at breaking point and ready to move on from him, but my hesitation is that he is incredibly unpredictable and bordeline suicidal. He has no friends, our kids are everything to him and Im worried that by splitting with him that it will push him over the edge. If youve been in this situation before, how did you navigate a safe break up? I know if he ever did anything it wouldnt be my fault, but I dont know how I could cope. Any tips on how to do this the most pain-free way as possible??
7 Replies 7

Hi picklesnme,

This is an unfortunate circumstance. It must be so challenging to work so hard towards making your partner and children comfortable by doing most of the necessary things to keep the family, going only to be unappreciated. We can understand how tough it would be to live with your partner when he does not want to engage with appropriate supports. It sounds like you have copped a lot of abuse and it has created some turmoil within you. We recognise that it is taking a lot for you to leave as by the conversation you have tried to stand by your partner for a long time. We're sorry to hear that you are struggling to make a secure future for your family and that you are being blamed for the brunt of most things. There are supports for you to reach out to particularly in terms of creating a safety plan for exiting the relationship.

We would strongly urge that you contact 1800RESPECT. They offer 24/7 confidential information, counselling and support for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse. The lovely supportive counsellors have a lot of experience offering advice and support to anyone who has been through trauma like this. You can contact them on 1800 737 732 or visit  https://www.1800respect.org.au/ 

If you would like some help finding mental health support, we would recommend that you get in contact with the Beyond Blue Support Service. They are available 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 1pm-12am AEST on our website: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport  One of our friendly counsellors will be able to talk through these feelings with you and can offer support, advice and referrals. 

You are not alone and the community is here to support you.

Community Member

HI there buddy.

I can defiantly hear your frustrations about your situation and for you to be looking at a way out from this issue, demonstrates a possible lack on adequate balance from both side. You do sound like you are possibly experiencing a difficult time navigate the dynamic of your relationship, however, leaving a relationship is only really an option of one who is experiencing a domestic violent situation. Instead, if these concerns are affecting you as a person and your happiness, know that it might be time for you to seek some support to help you work with your partner and their ability to help you feel better about yourself.

Sometimes when we experience anger to this degree, it causes us to resent the person we should be loving caring towards and this can cause us to fall into a trap of shame placing, blaming, hate and toxicity. In the end, rather than working with each other to be the best versions of ourselves, we end up doing the total opposite.

It's up to you if you want to leave your family, however, know that this ay not actually resolve the issues, especially if you meet someone else. It may continue into the next relationship. Speak with a support network that can help you make your relationship the best so that you can feel free and live a happy and prosperous life with the man that you love.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi picklesnme,

I am in a very similar situation to you.

It is actually spooky how similar; as I was reading I was nodding and thinking 'yup, same, same' ...

I empathise with you so strongly. Know you are not alone and im sure there are a lot of other women out there like us who are also in a similar situation.

Have you tried giving your partner an ultimatum?

Something along the lines of I know you are struggling, I am struggling also and we can not continue the way we are. Try to keep emotions out of it and state clearly that all relationships require teamwork and balance. You do X,Y,Z (work full time to provide for the family financially, drive the family around etc.) and in return you have some things that you need him to do and a timeframe in which you need them done by because you are not coping and something needs to be done before you both fall apart.

These things might be (just for example):

- he needs to seek professional help to manage his mental health, timeframe: immediately

- he needs to pay attention to how the interactions between the two of you are impacting upon the emotional climate of you and the children, timeframe: visible changes need to occur within 1-2 weeks maybe?

This is where I am currently at with my partner. I am telling him what I need from him in order for our relationship to become balanced instead of one-sided and to get us into that more healthy relationship space. If the requests I have made of him in regards to the things I need have not been met within the timeframes I have stated then I am leaving.

Your partner is an adult and a father. He might not like it, but he needs to start sorting himself out if not for himself, at least give it a try for the benefit of his partner (you) and the children.

You just need to be really clear with him that things need to change and you are willing to help him do this, but not at the expense of ruining your own mental health and that of your children as well. He needs to start working with you and wanting to get help right NOW.

You could also try removing yourself and the children from the situation temporarily, letting him know that as he works on himself and improves the greater the chance that you and he can reconnect again.

If there is no chance of this then you could try and let whoever can be a support network for him (i.e. anyone that is not you!) know what your intentions are and arrange for them to be there for him to keep him safe?

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi picklesnme,

I’m not surprised you are at breaking point, you are carrying your entire family on your back and have another child to look after in the form of your husband. Not only do you not have any of the support or assistance from your husband, but you instead have his constant criticism and volatility and none of the freedom and peace if you were actually doing it on your own. At least then you can make decisions and do things the way you want to do them. You have communicated that you are unhappy and it has fallen on deaf ears.if you do ultimately decide to leave your husband, do you have somewhere you can go? Friends or family you can stay with until you sort out rent etc?

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Piclesnme, and a warm welcome to the site and so very sorry for being in a situation like this.

It doesn't matter how hard you try to make him feel at ease and/or happy, then it may still not work and it's only going to make you unhappy, even though you're trying your best.

You can't be blamed for his actions and he could only be saying this so you stay with him and may be referred to as emotional abuse as he wakens up in a bad mood which is going to affect how you feel, especially when he does not contribute to the household, so as you don't love him then your kids probably don't as well and could be frightened of what he may do.

The interesting part is what does he use his money for, alcohol or smokes, either way, it's not considering all that you do, and can I ask you a question and please only answer when you want to, are you renting or buying and whose name is on the loan or mortgage, then we can get back to you.

Best wishes.


loouuiiee said:

Hi picklesnme,

I am in a very similar situation to you.

It is actually spooky how similar; as I was reading I was nodding and thinking 'yup, same, same' ...

Me too, picklesnme and loouuiiee; me too.

I am perhaps a little further down the line in terms of trying to do something; you can read about it here:

I can't really give any advice; I would just like you to know that loouuiiee and I (and many others) are feeling for you.

Community Member

Hi Picklesnme,

I'm so sorry you're going through this. As mentioned above, there are a few of us going through this and you can definitely find support here.

I too am in a marriage that I am not always sure I want to be in. In fact, I was at the point where I too had made the decision to leave. I was just waiting for the right moment. I too am the victim of DV, emotional abuse and a partner who also suffers depression and anxiety - and also could attempt self harm if pushed on the wrong day.

Anyway, the day came when it came to a head and we had a chat. He was in an open minded mood and I felt he listened to me. I was able to talk about some things that had been wrong and he has tried to change them. The DV has stopped and I only ocassionally see the emotional abuse slip in. But I can see it now when it happens. I am still wary and still have hurt and anger sometimes. I'm not the person I was and don't think I will ever be the person I want to be while I'm here, but I too have a child and that is a consideration - as is his MI.

I do feel a lot of times when things are hard that I'd be better off doing it all on my own. Like you, I do all the house chores, cooking, looking after our child (7yr) and work. My family is in another state and so are my very few friends. I have no friends where we live. So it's hard and maybe also why I'm still here to a degree as I think I would have left during the bad times and my family would have said not to go back. But they have no idea what has been happening, so it's easier to pretend it's all ok. It's mentally and physically draining and I can understand what you are feeling and where you're coming from.

Please feel free to comment back. Happy to chat more.

Whatever decision you make has to be right for you and your kids. I know it's easy to feel the guilt of our partners and responsibility for them - I do which is why I'm still here. But it's hard and I wish it wasn't either. Sending hugs.