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Seperation Anxiety

Mark h
Community Member

Good morning everyone

I need some help with my current situation. I am looking for guidance an support surrounding a separation that is taking place between my wife and I. I have posted before on Beyond Blue but now, I am in a really bad place and would like to hear from you with any advice or help.

I suffer with Anxiety and Depression and see a psychologist and psychiatrist ongoing for the condition, they are great. Back in January, my wife separated from me after 23 years of marriage. I was shocked, numb, devastated and all of the other emotions that come with it. We had a great marriage, not perfect but great. My mental health hasn't been great and so I understand that this is hard to live with sometimes.

In March this year, my wife moved out of the family home leaving me here with my 18 year old son and his partner along with 50% share of my 15 year old. He comes and goes from his mums pace to mine when he wants to. We are leaving that up to him to decide. Whilst taking my son to school one day, I received a text message from a lady who told me to keep my ex wife away from her husband. Shocked, I subsequently found out that she had been seeing an ex boyfriend of hers from high school the same time we separated and following this, I found out that she had an affair ten years ago which she claimed was only the once but I am obviously not sure. She admitted to sleeping with this man in his bedroom whilst his two children were sleeping in the room next door.

Despite this, I have for the last four months tried to make things work but my ex wife has always maintained that she needed her space and time to work out if our relationship was something that she wanted to pursue. This is hard obviously as I live in the family home and the memories that surround me are quite overwhelming sometimes. My ex wife has maintained that this could take months or even years and so I have sat back allowing that the to take place.

I have asked ongoing whether this ex boyfriend she reached out to was still on the scene and she claimed he wasn't. Last week however, she has admitted that she is interested in another man and that our marriage is officially over. For me, the anxiety is now overwhelming, I feel sick all of the time.

Whilst my 18 year old still lives here, I feel we need to now sell the family home to move on. I would like to hear from any of you that have experienced a similar period. I need to get past this and I just don't think I can stay here in the home.

7 Replies 7

Hi Mark h, 

We are really sorry to hear that you are feeling this way and that you are having such a difficult time with your family life. We can only imagine how you are feeling after so much change in a short period of time. It sounds like you and your family are trying to work out what the best path forward is and doing what you can to make it as easy for you children as possible. It must have taken a load of courage to post here and seek help and we want to thank you for sharing your story. You never know who might read your post and feel less alone in their own experience because of it. 

It is wonderful that you are linked in with proffesional support, this is always the best thing to work towards great mental health. However we know that sometimes when we need immediate support it can be a bit tricky to find, that is where we come in. You can call us anytime on 1300 22 4636. We are here for you and you are not alone. 

Thank you again for showing courage in posting here today, please feel free to join in with other conversations on the site and to check but in and update us on how you are going if you feel comfortable. 

Kind regards, 
Sophie M

Community Member

Good morning Mark

Yes, I have suffered through a situation similar to you many years ago. I do understand the overwhelming pain and confusion you are experiencing. The problem with us men is we rarely see these events coming, and this adds to the shock and bewilderment that sends us searching for solutions.

I’m not a professional counsellor of course, but all I can do is pass onto you the lessons I learnt.

1. Your wife has almost certainly being planning her exit for quite some time. Her grieving over the loss of her marriage is in the past, she has dealt with it. When a woman checks out of a marriage emotionally, they won’t return. I’m sorry.

2. Please stay with your professional psychological supports. It’s more important now than ever.

3. Don’t waste time and energy waiting for your wife to return. As she has admitting to deceiving you previously and is now chasing another married man, this should send you a clear message.

3. Focus on your children and yourself.

4. See an experienced family law expert and take their advice on the assumption that your marriage will formally end at some point.

5. I do empathise with your feelings about selling the family home. Please do NOT take any steps of this nature until you have cleared it with your family law solicitor.

6. I realise you probably still love your wife and if she asked to come back, you would say “yes” in a heartbeat.

However, everything you wrote tells me while this may lift your spirits in the short term, over the long term you may be in for more pain and disappointment, if you reunite.

Stay fit, exercise yourself to the point of exhaustion. Avoid booze and drugs. Try meditation and mingle with positive people. I wish you well. Get back to me if you need.

Community Member

Hi there Mark h.

I want to start off by pointing out how much courage, passion and strength that you have for yourself and others including your Wife. You are more brilliant, loving and caring than you realise. So it brings me to where you are with yourself in live. I believe that this is the time for you to be looking at areas of opportunity, start to invest in yourself more, learning new things about yourself and what you enjoy. Pretty much using this time to learn how to be the happiest person that you can be.

About your Wife/ex, what ever you may call her, focus on giving yourself that love and attention that you deserve. I know, it sounds harder than it is, however, your Wife is dealing with issues that only she can change - you have to stop walking on her egg shells. This is her time for realisation and that people have flaws, that relationships are about work, about growing and flourishing with the person you love and to support them when things get tough. She needs to learn to love herself to be able to love others and right now, she is living a fantasy.

So I say, let her bath in her fiction and you be the happiest person in the world. You are beautiful and loving person with great qualities.

Be strong, be brave.


Mark h
Community Member

Thanks to all of you for your kind words and comments. It really means a lot to hear from you and to be honest I am struggling.

Since I posted this yesterday, my ex wife has let me know that she is seeing our local butcher in town and what hurts more than anything is that I know him extremely well. It's just crushing...I cannot eat or sleep, I don't want to show my face around town at all as I feel ashamed, hurt, angry, sad, confused...everything.

We have been married now for 20+ years and how someone can move on in just a few months is really hard to understand. We have been happy through the marriage, we've built a business together, have an amazing home, two wonderful kids. She has now informed the kids that she is seeing this man. I haven't spoken to my eldest son about it yet but my youngest who is only 15 just keeps looking at me and saying 'I am so sorry dad'. He was upset and didn't know what to say.

I get that people move on in different ways and in their own time frame but it's just so quick. She has said it's only been the last few weeks but I really don't believe that at all. I don't know how I am meant to get over this.

The first thing is to sell the family home and then work out where I am going to go from here. I am so lost. I thought she was my rock, my soul mate, my everything and now everything has changed in the flick of a switch. I can't stay here in this property with all of the memories. Not sure how the hell I am also meant to work in this business together. She works remotely but I can't see how two people can work together that are in this situation.

Please people, let me know your thoughts. I need help and support right now.


Hi Mark h, 

We are really sorry to hear that you are feeling this way, it can be incredibly difficult when a relationship ends after so long. We want you to know that we are here for you if you need us and want someone to talk to. 

We think that it could be time to give us a call on 1300 22 4636 so that you can talk through how you are feeling. It can be very helpful to speak to en expert in mental health and to have the oppurtunity to get iour thoughts off your chest. 

We also reccommend having a look at Relationships Australia who have great resrouces for people going through similiar situations to you. They have a specefic number depending on where you live and some great information for having difficult conversations with your kids. Please have a think about giving them a call too. 

If you think your kids need support, they can call Kids Helplin on 1800 55 1800 or check out the website here. Or, they are more than welcome to call us too on 1300 22 4636. 

Thank you again for being brave and sharing your experience, we want you to know that we are here for you and you don't have to go through this alone. 

Kind regards ,
Sophie M

Good to hear from you again Mark.

I will assist you with support where possible and my apologies if I am too direct. Your ex W is most likely living a fantasy and healthy minded people do not jump ship to be with others. No matter what anyone says, it is not healthy in any way. People who may experience a mental health concern, may (not all) lose control of reality due to something they are suffering from and instead of working on themselves (with their partner's love and support), they believe that someone else will fill in their gap or fix their issue. Also, do you think the butcher would be keen to be in a long lasting relationship with someone who has left behind their family, not necessarily. That's not healthy in any form, not stable, not commitment. May be a bit of fun until they get bored.

For you Mark, this is the time for you to grieve and learn to be the happiest you can be and to grow and develop into the best version of yourself. Your ex may see that you have become a better person for yourself and for your family, she may even see that you were the man she married in the first place. Sometimes people experience difficulties in life that are out of our control and the need to have that realisation.

Please put yourself first, focus on improving your mental and physical wellness, get out and do hobbies, try something new, meet new people, listen to music, by yourself a new tv and do things that make you happy.

Community Member

Good to hear from you again Mark. As I wrote earlier, the pain, confusion, shame, sadness, anger etc are very normal reactions to a traumatic event. You're probably cycling through them countess times every say. I know I did. The reason why your wife can get along with her new life so quickly is because she has emotionally divorced you quite some time ago. I'm sorry to have to write those words but I'm sure you know it too, deep inside.

As Sophie has said, make use of the experts. Put that call into BB. Many have survived your situation and you will to Mark.