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Supporting a husband with depression- or a bad attitude?

Community Member
Hi all,
My husband has always struggled to be happy. He has always been moody, can be quite aggressive (verbally, not physically) and almost slightly delusional at times (constantly insinuates that I’m cheating on him, that I over-exaggerate stories, that I make up things that he has said). He says I have no idea about real problems that people face (given what he has seen in his job as a police officer). He has his toys (2 motorbikes, 5 bicycles, water-skis, PlayStations, a $35000 car that we had to borrow money off his parents for, two bbqs), but I had to force him to agree to buy the kids some play equipment and take a family holiday.
He dislikes doing the mundane chores that come with owning a house and having kids, will rarely pitch in, or when he does he acts like he has hung the moon. He has told me before that he disliked being a parent- not the kids, but the actual tasks associated with being a parent and has very little patience for the kids. He acknowledges that he does not do much, but does nothing to change this. He is on antidepressants for a depression diagnosis, which I forced him to go and get with threats, but is always able to get himself motivated to hang out and drink with his friends, or exercise- just not when it comes to his responsibilities as a parent. When I point this out, he denies it and claims that I’m unsupportive and should be thinking of him more.
He complains about me not being affectionate and not having a sex life, when for three- four years of our marriage he had no sex drive at all- I never made him feel bad about this. I was completely understanding but now it’s my fault it never happens. He makes snide comments about it, even though I’m so busy acting as a working, single parent that I am not sure where I’m meant to find the time or the inclination- also points I have brought up with him. He can turn any argument in his favour even when he is in the wrong and rarely takes fault or blame in any situation.
We have been through marriage counselling, and it got better for a while, but now it has just gone back to how we were. He also does not believe that he requires any psychological intervention.
I am just wondering- when does a depression diagnosis simply act as an excuse for bad behaviour? The thought of not being with him now fills me with a sense of weightlessness, but I’m racked with guilt at the thought of abandoning someone who might have some real problems.
Any advice would be so greatly appreciated!
6 Replies 6

Community Member
I apologise for the double post, but this has all come to breaking point when he blamed me for leaving the kids with him on his day off while I left for work because he was too hungover to look after them properly- and that it was my fault for leaving them in a dangerous situation. He was so out of it that our three year old was running around the house for 3 hours and our one year old was left awake in her cot for 2 hours, both unattended, because he couldn't be woken from his hungover state (the kids were both asleep when I left for work) the morning after a drinking session with a friend.

It's hard to say if it's depression but as a fellow law enforcement person I can atest to the fact that the job takes it toll and changes your personality...

Myself as a father also struggle with the mundane life as a dad and should do more

I find I lack empathy for my partner and others...I believe it's because of the job and how you talk to those in it

I too drink (because I struggle to switch off), I have a motorbike, nice new car etc but am too unhappy...I truly believe the job changes you

I too gym frequently more then I should...it's a release for me of some stress not all.

No excuses we know what we should do (and I assume he's the same)

I can see it from both sides from an outside perspective...but changing is hard

I'm not sure what you can do to help him overcome those things to want to do more for you and the kids...I'd like to know myself

Take care

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Palm Tree

I couldn't figure out if your husband was still working or if he is off work because of depression like my hubby.

My husband does very little around the house, due to his depression and chronic pain. He also used to want me to spend lots of money on him... but has gradually got better and realises expensive toys do not fix his depression.

If your hubby still is working, it sounds like from Theborderline, that some of it is to do with the job... is there family counselling / etc available confidentially through an Employee Assistance Program or something similar? Or some Non Government Organisation that could help?

The only other thing I can recommend is the Mind Carer Helpline - please google them.

Best of luck


Thank you taking the time to reply-i'm sorry that you have had to also endure some hardships too.

My husband is still workong

I hit send accidently!

My husband is still working, and excels and enjoys his job. He has a number of mates and some family in the job, so he has plenty of support systems in place and people to lean on who know exactly what it's like.

It probably sounds petty but I just think my kids deserve better, and I shouldn't need to be overcompensating for his bad moods all the time. We just get the worst of him constantly while everyone else gets his best side. There is some truth to the idea that you can just let your guard down at home and I would be fine with that if it seemed like he wasn't coping. But it seems more like we are an obstacle stopping him from having fun.

Thank you for letting me vent 🙂

I think, by the sounds of it, just having the level of insight into your own troubles is half the battle. You can clearly identify that perhaps you are struggling with the effects the job is having. Have you talked to anyone about your struggles? I know it isn't in the police culture to do so...

have you ever wondered if the job is worth the sacrifices you are making, not just to your family, but also to yourself? Dont you think you deserve more happiness than what the job is letting you have?

Unfortunately, in my situation, I just don't know if the built up resentment will go away this time.

I know everyone needs to have fun outside of family obligations, and I am all for that. But my husband only ever seems happy with his friends and and it seems like we are a secondary thought.