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UPDATED: My partner who is suffering from depression has told me 'I feel nothing for you but have feelings for a one time mutual friend'

Community Member
Hi everyone, I'm new to these forums. I have been with my husband for 20 years and I on reflection I can see several instances in that time that my husband has been suffering depression. However, in the past 12 months he has become very depressed. It started on the lead up to him turning 40. The depression has put significant pressure on our marriage and in January he told me that he thought that we should seperate as we don't get along. My reaction surprised him I think (I was very upset and was plainly obvious that I was) - initially once I was over the surprise I recognised that it may be the depression clouding his view on our relationship. When I look back I can see "coldness" setting in and lessening intimacy as time went on. It took several months for me to be able to get through to him but I finally got him to visit the GP with me. The good news is that he is now on medication and visiting a psychologist. I've done lots of reading and recognise that the coldness and talk of splitting may be a result of the depression. However, I feel alone. I'm happy that he is getting treatment for our his and my daughters sake but I'm really missing my best friend & to be honest my lover. I'm finding that I'm feeling more anxious than normal and that I'm paranoid about comments / actions that I would normally not even thing twice about. Does it get easier? I want to provide as much support as needed with the hope we can save our marriage in the end. Thanks for listening.
10 Replies 10

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
Hello sweety and welcome. Watching someone you love live with depression my all means is something nobody wants. That is a huge positive that he is now on meds and seeing a psychologist. Can I suggest maybe if you feel comfortable attend some sessions with your hubby? Would that be something he would be comfortable with or am I way off track xx I would also start journaling write down all your thoughts and insecurities and when you get a minute challenge them in your mind. One very cute way to rekindle the flame bw eachother is start to write little love notes and leave them all of the house xx firstly don't ever feel you are alone we are all here to help you get through this having a mental illness takes alot out of a person and their loved ones caring for them. In saying that you guys can def get past this it's just gonna take work and communication is very important. Tell him exactly everything that you are feeling if you feel you can't open up to him atm write to him and let him absorb it in his own time. Please keep reaching out to us as often as you need bc we will help you guys get past this. We are a great bunch here and all pretty much in the same boat - you will not be judged and always be made to feel safe. Thankyou for reaching out to us xx Venessa

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

HI Sally and welcome to the forums. It is really good that you are supporting your husband. I am assuming you are both still together and working through your relationship and his depression. I think Fairywings has given you some really good (and cute) suggestions on how to rekindle the spark. An important part of this process is to look after yourself as well. You say your are starting to feel more anxious now, have you suffered from any kind of anxiety disorder before? It is common to feel a little paranoid when feeling anxious. Have you considered talking to a doctor or seeing a counsellor about your increase in anxiety? Even if you don't have an anxiety disorder it is still good to discuss with someone so they can check it out and monitor it and make sure it doesn't get work.

It does get better support someone with a mental illness. There are some good days and some bad days. Have you looked at some of the resources on the beyond blue page. THere are some great resources at the top of the page under 'the facts'. Make sure you look you look after yourself. Some things to consider doing is taking some time out for yourself as well.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello Sally, I can only say how sorry I feel for you, for similar circumstances, but I don't think there is ever enough information you could ever read about this illness because everybody is different.
After being married for 20 years you both know what eachother likes and dislikes, what they will comment on and what they will avoid, but once your husband gets depression then all of this is turned upside down, because it suddenly changes, contrary to what he would usually say, so you begin to worry and that's understandable.
No one can say how long this will last, I wish we could because that may make life a bit easier, but it's impossible to say, and remember he may get better and stay that way for awhile but then suddenly may have a relapse, which can quite easily happen once depression has hit him, but at the moment he's taking medication and seeing a psychologist, althogh he might not feel comfortable telling you what has happen in the session with his psych.
Life is going to be strange at the moment, not how your life has been in the past, that's the unfortunate part to depression, but as the others have said, you also should consult your doctor, because remember you need help in being able to cope with this. Geoff.x

Thankyou fairywings. I think just getting it off my chest has helped me at least 😀

Hi MsPurple

ive never suffered from anxiety or depression before. It's funny after reading your post it made me think about something my husband said to me a few weeks ago. The emotion of the situation got the better of me an I cried (uncontrollably). He told me he can't deal with tears and to toughen up because I've always been the strong one. Looking back I've perhaps shielded how I feel from him in a hope of not adding to his depression. I've decided to just tell him how I feel even if it is irrational (jealous behaviour / anxious behaviours). I think that he needs to know that I'll support him but that it is and has had significant impact on me not just him. Thanks again xxx

Community Member
Thanks Geoff - I really appreciate you taking the time to reply to me. Just knowing there are people who are so willing to support strangers has made me feel less anxious.

that is exactly what we are all here for anytime 🙂

Community Member

Hi Again

I'd just like to share what has been happening in the past couple of months. I can honestly say that these have been the hardest and saddest of my life so far. Whilst I think that the treatment for depression has made some impact on my husband (I am encouraging him to revisit his GP and adjust dosage to see if that improves the outcome even more), the impact of him wanting to seperate has been building on me. I'm confused up to the start of this week we were still sleeping in the same bed but our relationship was very cold. I've been quite emotional and have found it difficult to hide this from my husband and at times my daughter has seen me crying uncontrollably. At the end of last week I realised that perhaps its not the depression that has led him to decide we shouldn't be together.

I realised that we can't keep going along like this so I suggested that we try a trial separation - we stay living in the family home but sleep in separate rooms and have more "me" time away from each other. He spoke with his psychologist who thought this is a good idea but advised we set ground rules. We set some very basic ground rules around physical touch, that the time isn't meant to be a "leave pass" and that we shouldn't actively seek companionship during this time and behaviour around our daughter but thats as far as we got. I think that we should set some financial ground rules (after all if we do seperate we will have to do this anyway). The psychologist also suggested setting a review timeframe - I was thinking 2 or 3 months but my husband said 1. I'm not sure its really long enough - that said one week has felt like an eternity. I'd be keen to hear any suggestions on ground rules or if trial separations have worked (in a positive way) for other relationships.

Also I have finally confided in a friend, which was a relief. She knows us both really well and was as confused as I was when I told her what was happening. She has suggested I tell my family (at least my parents) but I'm a little embarrassed to tell my parents who have been married for 50 years that this is happening.

NEW UPDATE 18/6/17

Hi Guys

Some of you may have read my post regarding supporting a partner with depression and how to deal with the emotional walls that they put up. Unfortunately, our relationship has hit rock bottom. My husband told me in January that he didn't love me anymore. At that stage he was suffering depression which was undiagnosed - over the next few weeks I convinced him to go to the GP and I attended with him. He began treatment then. For a few months everything seemed to stabilise (in terms of our relationship - I can't say he was completely warm but was in my mind making a bit of an effort).

Then his winter sport kicked in - he started spending all weekend doing that and spending more and more time with a mutual female friend who I had always suspected had an interest in him. Twelve months ago we had planned to travel from SA to WA for a race in July (as a family -drive the Nullarbor and all that) but in May he told me that he didn't think that I (or our daughter) should go because it would use all my annual leave up.

A few weeks later he told me that he was going with the "mutual" friend. I knew then there was more to the story but he refused to discuss it further. Last weekend he went to another interstate race alone - or thats what he told me. Another mutual friend told me that he travelled over with the friend (not that he told me), then a work colleague saw him in the area of where the friend lives (he has a distinctive car) and innocently mentioned it.

Friday night I confronted him about how cold he was being with me and even with our daughter at times. He finally told me that he had feelings for the friend and has had for months. He told me that he hasn't had sexual relations with her but I don't know . I can't understand it as he has always said that cheating is one of the worst things anyone could do.

Unfortunately I spent most of Saturday crying and my daughter saw me. I also lost my patience with him after he came home from "training" with her and my daughter saw it. I feel terrible not only for losing my temper at him - I still want to make it work but more my daughter. I'm not sure what I want from posting this. Does anyone else have experience with someone reacting out of character while depressed. Is there hope or should I bite the bullet? Thanks Guys

This update above has been moved from another thread - please continue this discussion to provide support for Sally2325.