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.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

Separating marriage

Community Member


I have been married 8 years together for 12 with my wife. We have 2 great kids. I'm 34, we both lost our mothers 4 and 5 years ago from cancer. We have had a lot of ups and downs and have been through a lot together. Since my mum has passed, I have not been entirely happy in my life and relationship and we have drifted apart. I feel it more so that we have drifted apart. I have lost the "connection/ spark" and i cannot see it coming back. After every fight or argument I always had a feeling of regret for saying i wanted to be here and stay with her, the truth is i always wished I had made the choice to go. I have not been completely innocent in our relationship, a few years ago I was speaking to another woman, never met, only texting until I was found out after lying about it for so long. Obviously when she found out I stuck my hand up and admitted it all. I have always thought of and wished to be single again as I am not happy or in love. I have thought about the kids and it hasn't been an easy decision but why stay just for the kids and be unhappy, I don't think it is healthy for anyone or a good lesson for anyone.

The other night I was asked if I was being distant with her, at which I came out and told her the truth about how I felt and that I wanted to go.

My father is very condescending and ended his marriage 15 years ago, not in a good way, just walking out on 25 years of marriage with no explanation.

I have been suffering from depression and anxiety, I have been seeing a psychologist and on SSRI.

Not looking to be told what to do, just looking on peoples thoughts on the situation.



8 Replies 8

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello mark8661,

It's nice to meet you here. I'm really sad to hear about your loss. I can understand how that may have affected you quite strongly.

There is a lot you've written about in your post, and I wanted to make sure I respected your request to not be told what to do.

In my own (limited) experience, I've found that when you drift apart and lose the connection/spark, it's quite hard to find it again. But the reason I think is mostly because someone usually doesn't really want to get it - after all, why fight for something you don't fully believe in anyway? Which I suppose is why they often talk about separating first, to see if distance helps create a feeling of missing the other person.

So from the sounds of it, you have a feeling of wanting to go and that you've already kind of 'checked out' of this relationship. I can understand that perhaps you don't want to emulate your father, and I think it's good to mentally consider that, but if you really don't want to be in the relationship, then making the relationship a happy one again is likely going to prove challenging.

You also briefly mentioned you suffer from depression and anxiety, and I don't want to make any presumptions there, but did you mention them because you feel they could be influencing you at the moment? I've spoken to a number of other people who have mentioned that their own mental health strains caused them to pull away from their partners - again, this may not be relevant to your situation, but I am curious to hear what you thought.


Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Mark8661~

I'd like to join James in welcoming you here and agree that we are in no position to tell you what to do. In fact I agree with everything James has said, though I would be a little hesitant to make big decisions whilst suffering depression and anxiety. Mind you after what you said to your wife I'd expect the whole matter may have escalated.

As someone who has those conditions (though now much under control, I find on looking back my decision making was not sensible and not based on a clear perspective, but more upon the sense of isolation and lack of self knowledge depression can bring.

Perhaps this might be something you could talk over wiht your psych?

I'd also like to like to ask if you have family or a freind you can discuss this matter with frankly, not necessarily to get specific advice, but simple to have care and perspective

As for your father, we all learn from our parent's mistakes. Separation can be done in a civilized and responsible manner if warranted.

Please come back and say what you think


Community Member
Hi James, thanks for the reply.
I'll try cover everything from your reply.
So yes, it does feel as though we have drifted apart and taken different paths, become different people, which is why I'm happy to continue on my path without her. I am spending a couple of nights away just to clear my head and get some perspective on the situation.
The reason I mentioned depression and anxiety is I was "told" that they are influencing my decisions and I am not in the right headspace to make any decisions. However, I feel I have had it under control and am feeling happy and at peace with my decisions and thoughts on the situation. I wanted to hear peoples thoughts on the issue to see if could play a part in what is happening. I have increased the dose of the medication I'm on, I know its wrong to do, I did do it without telling the doctor as it didn't seem they cared to much when I called up for a new script. I told my psych I had doubled it. It has definitely made a difference and I feel alot better for it.
Hope I covered everything

Community Member
Hi Croix, thanks for the reply.
As mentioned at the end of the post replying to James. I feel I have the mental health side under control. The only place I feel happy atm is at work for which it is the first time in a long time I have been happy in a job. I have emailed my psych, letting him know of the current situation. I have an appointment for early October. I have a family support person (uncle) who has been through this himself, who my Mum had helped go through it also. I want it to be civil as there are kids involved. It has escalated but not in a negative way. I am spending a couple of nights away, mind, when I was packing some things the comment was made that It looked like I was going for a while, to which I ended up emptying half of my bag out just to keep the peace.

Hello Mark

Thanks for trusting us with your story. Having been told what to do in various situations I can readily understand your desire to manage your life without being 'fixed' by others.

Twenty years ago I left my husband of 30 years. A year later I fell into the biggest, blackest pit I could imagine. One day I was talking to my daughter and wondered if I would have become so very unwell had I not left. Her reply surprised me. She felt It was a depression waiting to happen. I found lots of support from my children who had all grown up and left home. Our situations are very different except that I also needed time to make plans. Telling him was hard but I got a very typical reply that I would have to move out because he would not.

I also agree with James' comments and also Croix. It's always a guessing game to find out which came first, the depression or the realisation you wanted to go. I don't believe you can definitely separate the two, a bit of chicken and egg. However getting your depression and anxiety under control is going to make things easier for you.

Even through my darkest days I never wished I had not left. Living on my own has given me a new perspective on my life. Because of our children I do see him fairly often and at first found it hard. I stopped going to family parties etc for a while until one of my granddaughters wanted to know why I had not come to her birthday party. Oops. So I speak to him but he is still the same person who is scathing of my decisions for all sorts of reasons. I wonder why I left. (smile) He was and still is a very controlling person and after 30 years I found it hard to have the confidence to make decisions.

Anyway, enough of me. I wanted to say that if you feel your marriage is over then it may be better for both of you to separate. I was asked about my children and the effect this had on them. For me I felt I could still be with my children as they are adults so it's not a huge difficulty. It does get more complicated when the children are young. However, I feel you will make a decision which allows you to support them whatever you decide.

The things we do to keep the peace is not satisfactory but sometimes necessary. My GP told me many years ago to pick my battles, advice I have used a great deal. I hope these replies have helped you. We do care about those who come here to talk.


Thanks for the reply Mary

Community Member

Hi Mark,

I can totally relate to what you are going through. I have been married 20 years next month and although I still love my husband, feel we have just lost that connection. I know that love changes over time but I think in the end you both have to be happy with those changes. I don't feel like I am being loved the way I need to be loved. And I definitely don't think I am loving him the way he needs to be loved. So, should we both just continue to co-exist or are we better off going our separate ways in search of our own happiness? Because emotionally, it feels like we are already separated.

It is such a huge dilemma and to be honest, my answers change on a daily basis. Some days I am ready to pack my bags and others I wonder if this is just what marriage is supposed to feel like.

I think it's great that you found the courage to speak to your wife about how you are feeling. I also did the same with my husband a few weeks ago (although it was more of a screaming fight) and felt such a weight lifted from my shoulders. I have also booked us an appointment with a marriage counsellor because I feel if I can express myself honestly in a safe space then he might be more willing to hear and less willing to get angry. Relationships Australia are a really helpful source of support if you think you she might be willing to try that option. Because no matter what you decide you will always be connected as co-parents and it is always in our kids best interests to have two parents who can model healthy behaviour.

It's so hard. Thinking of you and hoping that you find talking about it here a step in the right direction.

Take care.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Mark~

I'd have to agree with SarahB03, which does describe a common situation. If you are confident your medication is leaving you in a place where you can make considered decisions then maybe separation might be for the best, I'd not know and cannot advise.

Even so before going too far I too would recommend Relationships Australia - 1300 364 277 who can sometimes achieve surprising results and who also have a post separation section to give advice should things not work out

Please let us know how you go