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Separation and depression

Community Member

Good evening, my first post please bear with me.

I have been married to a wonderful lady for 20 years. She unfortunately suffers with depression. For the last 5 years our marriage has also survived alcohol abuse/health issues. Our marriage has survived and I felt the last 12 months (being sober) has been the most wonderful year of our marriage. We have 3 beautiful children and enjoy a very lucky life. There you have the context.

there have been rocky times as my wife has suffered including one brief separation 10 years ago. We often go through stages where she will be suffering for weeks/months and close down to me but eventually ask me to hold her and we move on.I also suffer from childhood abuse, we have always supported each other, she has ‘healed’ me ‘ and I would support her through anything. I know she has been suffering badly recently including increased meds.

she recently went overseas with my daughter and prior to going confided that she didn’t want to go as I wasn’t there and she would miss me. The first message from OS included the usual love iou and miss you but gradually the tone subdued. When she got home her mood has been distant for the last month and I assumed it was the usual pattern and eventually I would be able to pick her up again.

monday morning was different as she advised me that she has not loved me for 10 years and I was to leave, within hours I had a settlement request from her lawyer.

She has always has episodes of you don’t make me happy any more but after 24/48 hours floods of tears and apologies for her state of mind. This is a relationship that has continued to show affection and caring for each enough. I was bought an expensive anniversary present 6 weeks ago with a card outlining never ending love. We were also due to travel together next week which she was looking forward to us getting away.

I am confused and devastated as are our children. I would do anything for my wife who is the kindest most beautiful human I have met. The past week however she has been so cold and hurtful I just don’t know who she is ( including calling my best friend to tell him how happy she is now)

After all these years I thought I had been through every one of her emotions but this seems final. If this actually gave her peace and happiness I would gladly let her, thaat’s What you do to partners you love.

Simple question , is this an unusual case and if I I assume my marriage is over what can I do that is best for her.

5 Replies 5

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Ironman,

Good on you for opening up here. I hope you’re finding your way around the forums okay and I just want to give you a kind welcome here 🙂 I hope that’s okay with you.

You must be feeling so hurt, devasted and shaken by it all. The settlement request must have been a huge shock and also very hurtful...I can’t even begin to understand how painful this must be to you and your children.

You clearly love her very deeply and she means the world to you. I bet you’re still trying to make sense of it all. It’s all so raw...

I’m admittedly terrible at intimate/romantic relationships so I honestly have no advice or wisdom to give (if anything, I’m the one who needs advice and guidance). But I still wanted to reach it to say you’re heard and to welcome you.

Fortunately, there are many other caring forum members who might be able to offer their insight and wisdom.

There’s no pressure or rush but if you feel comfortable here, feel free to post any time.

kind and caring thoughts,


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Ironman, and please let me welcome you to the site.

You have both loved each other for 20 years, had your ups and downs but what marriage doesn't, mine certainly did and we were married for 25 years but finished due to my depression and self-medicating with alcohol, my fault, probably, but lost the support of my wife.

Her behaviour would be a shock not only for you but also your family and to pretend for 10 years is a long time, but something may have happened when she was OS as her mood changed over there and when she got come.

Is your daughter able to take her to the doctor's as she changed with being told to increase her meds, and whether or not she was taking them while OS?

Is there any visible sign that her personality has changed, sorry better explain myself, whether her moods are high and then all of a sudden low, different to how she was before.

I wouldn't give up just yet, sit down and talk to her and even if you want your daughter to be present may allow her to open up.

I'd be interested to know how you get on.


Pepper, thank you for your response it is really comforting to know people are listening..

Community Member
Thanks Geoff, her moods don’t tend to swing more stay the same for long periods of time and my daughters confirms she was taking her meds. I guess couples who both suffer forms of depression will have a rocky path but after 20 years you think your love will find a way. Just don’t know what to do.. thank you for listening

Community Member

Hi Ironman

sorry your here first off, your story sounds quite like my own,married 28 yrs happily I thought then out of the blue came the sorry I love you but am not in love with you,came home from work to find she had moved out that was 8 months ago,last time I saw her was Xmas day & had not contact now for about 6 was,looking back can now see she was distancing herself from me as she was out every weekend with her friends, last I spoke to her she told me she was never happy whilst she was with me & now she’s gone it’s the happiest she’s been, I done a load of research on how this came to be & found out she’s showing the classic signs of mid life crisis, I blamed myself for her leaving when in truth I had absolutely nothing to do with it, All I can say is be kind to yourself I know how hard it is as I’m still going through this nightmare & not a second of my waking day isn’t filled with missing my wife; try looking at the six stages of mid life crisis by hearts blessings, I know when you read it you will see what is happening in your wife’s world, it’s realy helped me realising I’m not to blame; anyway take care of yourself, breath and for now give your wife the space she thinks she needs.

cheers Sean