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Unhappily married feeling lost and confused

Community Member
Thanks for reading. I have been with my partner for almost 12 years and we have 2 children. He is a really nice man however he has never really listened to me. This includes my needs and wants even if I am really clear. So there have been times where I really needed his support and he wasn't there for me even though I drop everything to support him and make his life easier. Now in January 2021 I was in a bad place psychologically, having anxiety attacks and suicidal ideation. I am no longer in this space and have gotten a lot of support around this. Anyway I stood there and told him how I was feeling and that I needed his support. I explained what I needed from him at this time to help me through. I was very vulnerable. I was honestly scared for my own safety. Things did change and he was there for me....for two weeks, and then things went back to how they were. So I got support from my psychologist and a male friend. Forward on a few months I felt like I was having an emotional affair which I didn't think was fair so I told my husband. I told him what was happening and the reasons behind it. Again nothing changed. Since then he has been through my phone behind my back (on several occasions) and he became incredibly jealous. He has made me choose between my friend (who has been one of my best mates for years) and him, which I do get but is hard because I miss the person who was there for me in my time of need. We are now going to counselling and things have changed but as soon as we are put under pressure things go back to how they were. I don't know why I am rambling here I just feel like 12 years is a really long time to be in a relationship with someone who never really cared about your needs. But on the flipside of the coin it is a really long time to just throw away. I am feeling so lost and confused in regards to my relationship and I don't have anyone that I can talk to about it. Especially as we continue to have to go into Lockdown together with our 2 children. I can't get away from him to get the space I need to work through this.
18 Replies 18


Hi Amme3000, 

Welcome to the forums, we're really glad you could share here. We're so sorry to hear how things have been going for you and in your relationship. It sounds like you've been going through a lot, and feeling really unsupported. You’ve been so brave in sharing here, we know that can be really, really hard to do, and we’re so glad you took this step. 

We’re glad to hear that you were able to work through such a difficult time for your mental health. That is an enormous thing to go through, and we’re really glad you could share it here with our community, many of whom will be able to relate. Are you still connected with a psychologist or counsellor? As you’re going through this difficult time in your relationship, please know that your mental health is of paramount importance, and if you ever feel safe again you must call 000. For support, at any moment, you can call Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, or you can use the webchat or email. If you ever feel unsafe in your relationship, you should call 1800Respect on 1800 737 732.

Please know that you've come to safe, non-judgmental space to talk things through and our community is here to offer as much support, advice and conversation as you need. We hope you can recognise the strength and resilience you have shown in sharing this here, and in reaching out to protect your mental health in the past. It sounds like an exhausting few years, and we hope you can see what you've shared today as a step towards feeling better.  

We hope you're able to be kind to yourself through this, as you are deserving of kindness and support. This community is here for you, whenever you want to share. 

Kind regards, 

Sophie M 

Community Member

Hi Amme3000,

It's great you have come here to share your story and talk through your troubles. As Sophie said, this is a safe place. So many people understand what you're going through.

Firstly, you don't need to feel guilty for talking to your male friend or seeking support from him. If he was there to provide the support, then you went to the right place. Sometimes we can't speak to our partners about our troubles, especially when it directly involves them.

I know my troubles are with my husband as well. I do try and talk to him about issues or things that are bothering me, but I too feel like I'm being dismissed or not really heard. I know, for a partner, it's hard to hear that you're the cause of your partners unhappiness and they probably do become defensive or dismissive. If they don't admit it as a problem then it's not true.

I know how you feel when you have a "nice" partner but it's still just not enough. You want to feel heard and respected and not just taken for granted. When you confront them it might change for a little while. But as soon as the heat is turned up or stress hits, then it's straight back to where it was. It's an emotional rollercoaster and you doubt your own thoughts.

It's wonderful you were able to work through your own mental health issues - that takes a lot of strength. I know lockdowns are just so tough and give no space to think or assess where you're really at. It's like life is in a bit of a holding pattern. If you're not in danger, then try not to make any rash decisions just yet. Just try and keep a diary of when times are good and you're happy and when they aren't and then see if there's a pattern there. I've taken to writing notes and it's helped a lot. It also helps me to remember incidents I would have normally fogotten about.

Good luck and feel free to keep in touch on the thread.

Thank you so much.

Writing is a great idea. So many thoughts and emotions at the moment it's so difficult for anyone to make a decision. I hope things are working out okay for you. X

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Amme3000

The path of personal evolution is definitely ongoing, right through the our last breath. I've found this can make life feel like a seriously tough gig at times, kinda like 'This is not what I signed up for!'. I'm so glad to hear that you've evolved beyond that deeply deeply challenging time, which challenged you to stay with life and work hard on staying here. The hard work can definitely become incredibly depressing at times, yet the revelations that come through personal growth help make up for it.

Can't help but wonder whether what you're going through feels like 'cycling'. Could be wrong but does it sound something like the following (btw, this is my experience, which actually took me years to identify): The relationship can be going fine for a while in the lead up to you feeling yourself in a significant challenge. When you feel yourself in challenge, that's when the relationship appears to go a little pear shaped. Good indicator you're smack bang in the middle of a challenge is based on it sometimes feeling depressing, until you've worked it out. When you're in a challenge you can't work out, you look to the next best person to help you work it out/work through it. Of course, when it's your challenge you have to work it out but your partner may feel he has a choice. After feeling bad for you but then finding it too hard, he gives up on the hard work but you're left twisting in the wind. As you continue through the cycle, you find your way out the other side of the challenge a little more conscious and feeling good for it. You decide 'I'm going to make a positive difference to him'. So you do and he's happy because everything's going really well for him. Then, all of a sudden you can feel a downshift coming (a new challenge) and you look to him for support again and the cycle repeats. I could be way off here but, as I say, this is my own experience over the past 20 something years.

With your friend, I can't help but wonder whether he questions along with you, while you're in some challenge; he doesn't leave you to question all by yourself. Does he wonder with you, when it comes to what your triggers are or perhaps what you need to let go of? If he's a very open minded person, perhaps it's easy for him to have natural solutions/inspiration come to mind. If he is this open minded, does he come out with some sage like wisdom, sometimes proclaiming 'I have no idea where that came from'?

So easy to love a friend who leads you to evolve 🙂

Community Member

Hi Amme3000.

I too was, until very recently, in an emotionally, physically and spiritually unfulfilling relationship. We separated in June of this year, but had been together for 16 years and have two children. I tried for years to connect with my husband; begged, pleaded and then eventually just switched off and started going down a separate path of independence when it was made very clear that he did not want to hear my 'problems'. I suffered severe anxiety, panic attacks and started to be affected physically, losing a lot of weight. I would never advocate to anybody to break up their family. I stayed for so long because of my belief in the strength of the family unit, but if you do decide to be on your own, you will be amazed at how much strength you can find when you trust in yourself and the universe. It is now three months since the relationship ended and I at last feel some peace and hope for the future of myself and my children.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi there Amme3000 and thanks heaps for reaching out to this forum.

Your amazing post is so descriptive it made me feel quite emotional, and brought back strong memories of my first marriage.

We were together for 17 years and had two girls. The last 3-4 years were not happy with constant bickering over petty things. My wife seemed perpetually unhappy. I think fault was on both sides and it was never that easy to discuss things without the conversation becoming an argument. What really stopped me from leaving was the girls. When they were 13 and 11yrs we finally separated - the girls opted to stay with me which was surprising. The older one tried a stint with her mum but that didn't last.

After a year or two, and lots of time with my daughters, it was very obvious that splitting up was the best thing we did. Apart from one unpleasant court appearance (about maintenance), the tension was gone, the girls had free access to their mother with no rules. The best thing we did was to minimise lawyers who seem to stretch things out and create pain.

Six years later I met another wonderful person who is now my wife of 18 years and has a great relationship with my daughters (now adults of course) and four grandkids!

In your case, it appears you have tried a lot of solutions and are still working on it with counselling. So congratulations for that!

Am I right in thinking that the spark has gone from your relationship?

You have been very open with your husband which is great. However two things concern me a lot and it seems he has lost respect for you and your rights. The first is going through your phone, the second is demanding you end your valuable relationship with your friend.

He really has no right to do either of those things which are demeaning and thoughtless.

If you feel deep in your heart that you no longer like spending time with your husband, maybe it is time to consider setting yourself free. Women are wonderful characters who will normally display much more loyalty to a partner than us mere males do. But a situation where you are perpetually unhappy is just not on.

Congratulations once again for all the work you have put into your relationship. Think carefully about your options, seek as much advice as you can, but love yourself first and foremost!

Very happy to continue this forum should you want to do that.

All the very best - The Bro

This is super helpful to my own situation- thanks. I am in a marriage of 17 years and have been told I am unloved and unwanted. I am prepared to stick it out until our child leaves home, but yes, I am perpetually unhappy. I am not thriving, each day I feel I shrivel. I am giving my best to something that he has unequivocally told me he doesn't want. Yet, for various reasons, I cannot be free of it. I feel like I am going to be holding my breath for the next 5 or so years until I have raised my child in a family unit. It's just refreshing to hear such support.

Wow Puzzle girl that sounds horrible. Please don't stick it out for the sake of the children. I promise that they want you to thrive. They want to see you happy. This is what I keep telling myself. 5 years is a long time to continue to be in this space. Please look after yourself and I am here if you need to chat.

Community Member

Thank you for posting your story. It meant a lot to me to read that separation can be a good thing.

I feel that the spark is definitely gone. My Husband however doesn't. He wants to give it his all but I just feel so hurt by a long line of things that I am just not sure that I can keep going. My psychologist keeps telling me that I need to move past the hurt and live in the moment where he is now trying. The problem is I just feel so numb now. I can feel myself falling but into a submissive hole.

I just keep telling myself - marriage is hard, divorce is hard. Choose your hard.

I just can't make a choice.