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.

Smacking and hating life

Community Member

I don't know what to do anymore.


My partner suffers from mental health issues (his father took his life plus 2 other relatives so it's big in his family). He's suffered from anxiety and depression for as long as I've known him.
He's on medication but doesn't think therapy is of any help.
He goes into slumps every so often, days in bed and I just have to deal with it as much as it drives me crazy.

But we have 2 young kids and he's really not coping with the demands of that and life in general.

Our 5 yr old son sends us insane at times and the smaking from my partner is now becoming a daily occurrence, as much as he tries to be a good dad he just can't handle our son.

I'm constantly on alert defending my son for his behaviour and coming to his defence to avoid a smack and it's exhausting.

He has no family or friends in Australia and knows he has nothing without us but he still won't make any effort to do something.


If he won't go to therapy and lets his meds run out, what do I do?
And how do I stop the smaking??


The constant negativity from him and lack of joy is draining me. 


I can't parent him and shouldn't have to but want to help him for all our sakes...

4 Replies 4

Hi AdeleO, 
Thank you so much for your openness and strength in sharing this here. It sounds like there is a lot going on, and we’re really glad you could reach out to the forums. Firstly, we would really like to emphasise that your partners behaviour is not acceptable and you should not be made to feel unsafe and on edge this way. 
We’d recommend reaching out to 1800RESPECT to get support with this. You can contact them on 1800 737 732 and they also have webchat here. They are experts in supporting people who are experiencing abuse and will listen in a kind, understanding and non-judgmental way.   In relation to your kids, Kids Helpline are a great resource and will provide with support on this issue and ensuring the safety of your children. You can contact them on 1800 55 1800 or visit their website here.  It sounds like it's really having an impact on how you're feeling day to day, so please know that there’s always someone here for you to talk it through with. The Beyond Blue counsellors are available 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or online, here.  We’d also recommend contacting Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277, who could be really good to talk to about how it’s all going, and how you can get things to a better place.  We’re sure we’ll hear from our lovely, supportive community soon. We are here to support you and you are not alone. Thank you so much for sharing here.   Kind regards,   Sophie M 

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi AdeleO,

I can hear the exhaustion in your voice, it must be hard to be put in the middle between your son and partner and constantly feel as though you need to be the voice of reason. I think you need to sit down with your partner when you are both calm and no incident has happened and talk to him. Tell him that you see he isn’t coping, that he is taking his frustrations out on your son and while ever he doesn’t get help for his issues, you are going to take over disciplining your son and he’s not to smack him anymore. The reality is that he may or may not get help, in my

experience the people who go to therapy are usually not the ones who need to, but they go to learn how to deal with the ones who refuse to go. But this way you can at least ensure that your son isn’t bearing the brunt of his inability to cope with things at the moment. The research is clear, smacking doesn’t actually work as it’s intended, instead it teaches you that if you can’t deal with your emotions you can lash out in anger, which is not a great lesson to learn. It also severely damaged the trust between parent and child. But I’m sure you know all this which is why you’re here. I feel for you, I know how hard it can be when all of life’s responsibilities are put on your shoulders and you feel as though the person who is supposed to help and support you is just another thing weighing you down. Perhaps he would go to couples counseling? 

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello AdeleO, whgen a spouse/partner becomes depressed it does put huge pressure on everybody who are so close to them, plus other members and times where friends just disappear, so it affects all of you.

I can understand why he doesn't feel as though therapy is useful for him, as his father and two other family members have taken their life, so perhaps he feels as though nothing helped them, so it's not going to help him, however much has changed over the years and different approaches have been instilled.

This is where a sympathic psychologist can talk him through this, certainly appreciate what he's been through and then help him.

With regards to him smacking your 5 year old son can be a reaction from his depression, making him feel as though this could reduce how he is feeling, unfortunately the reverse may happen, but may not be enough for him to stop.

Please remember that you can ring 000 if he does threaten himself, then he will be taken to hospital and be given counselling as well as meds, and you are entitled to do this for his safety as well as for you and your kids.

This will hopefully give him another perspective in life with new medication and different people being able to talk with him.


Life Member.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi AdeleO,


Firstly in regards to your partner smacking your son this really isn’t acceptable at all.


Your son is five and in no way deserves to be smacked at all …… at any age.


You need to stand your ground and tell your husband that you won’t tolerate him smacking your son.