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What more can I do for my ex-partner ?

Community Member
Hi all - after 16 years together, the last 3-4 we were both pretty unhappy, I decided enough was enough and it would be better if we were apart rather than fighting and displaying an unhealthy relationship to our son. Partner has suffered from undiagnosed depression for many years and I have tried and tried to get him to seek help but he 'doesn't believe' in psychologists, doesn't want to reveal things about himself 'to a stranger' etc. After I left I think he finally realised that he had to do something to improve his outlook and did go on some meds (the GP referred him to a psych as well) but he no longer takes the meds and refuses to continue with the psych. Every so often I get these texts from him saying he would rather be dead, life is pointless, his life is filled with nothing but disappointment and regret and he thinks our son shouldn't see him due to him not being a good influence (on our son)... these texts are always followed by a guilt inducing 'oh sorry, i forgot you don't care anymore etc etc' comment. This is patently untrue and I have told him many times that I will always care for him and I've spent years trying to make things better for him. I cannot make things better for him and it was this realisation that set me to leave. I just don't know what to do anymore. I feel like a still have a responsibility to him due to our son but I'm at a total loss as to how to respond. I want to live a happy life and I have spent years trying to get him to understand he has some mental health issues but to no avail. I don't think he realises how much it stresses me out - hearing him say he'd rather be dead! It's horrible. Does anyone have any suggestions? I don't know what to do anymore. Thank you xx
4 Replies 4

Hey JusjRo,

Thanks for reaching out this afternoon on the Beyond Blue forums. 

We understand it takes a lot of strength to share our stories, so thank you for doing this. We hope our community can provide you with some suggestions for managing this tricky situation. We can hear your relationship with your ex-partner is putting a lot of stress and pressure on you. Can we ask if you've spoken with a mental health professional recently?

We would recommend that you get in touch with an organisation called Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277. They provide relationship support services for individuals, families and communities and aim to support all people in Australia to achieve positive and respectful relationships. It might be worth finding out what they can offer you.

If you feel up to it, we'd also encourage you to reach out to our Beyond Blue Support Service, which is available 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 3pm-12am AEST on our website: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport. One of our friendly counsellors will be able to talk through these feelings with you and can offer support, advice and referrals. 

You are not alone here, and we hope that you keep us updated on how you're going whenever you feel ready.

Community Member
Thank you Sophie. I see a psychologist regularly and totally believe in the science. She is exceptionally helpful so I really am grateful for that opportunity. I appreciate your response.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello JusJRo, I can partially relate to what you have told us, and now, understand the difficult position you're facing, as I was in a very similar situation, however, I did visit a psychologist for a long time, something your husband hasn't continued to do but what you yourself believe in.

You can care for him as you've said, unfortunately, he needs to step up and get the help he needs, because it won't happen by itself, and although this may appear to happen, there will be many certain aspects that he won't be able to address himself and are pushed aside, but triggers may bring them back, that's why he needs to see a doctor/psychologist.

When he makes comments that he doesn't want to carry on, then you can ring the police, that's what my wife (now ex) used to do and then those statements were not made anymore.

Things can only get better for him when he wants to confront this situation for himself, you won't be able to keep holding him up, whereas if he was getting the help and improving, then you can assist him, because you have your own life to live and not responsible for his actions.

Please stay strong and do what you desire, the only connection is the chain connecting you with him because of your son.

Take care.


Community Member

Hi JusJRo

Hope you are doing ok.

I was in a similar situation I feel you.
You tried your best to help your ex. Guilt is the biggest mental stress. My husband passed away start of the year in an accident but I still feel lot of guilt always thinking I should have done something else, something more etc etc.

I was in a similar situation for years. I just went on with it. Supporting mentally and financially all the time.I have a Son too and it’s rather better for him to not get involved.
sometimes I feel like gaming, iPad, movies are blessing in disguise for kids especially in these situations.

It’s hard to control how we think but try not to get into the guilt trip. What he’s doing is manipulative.

You need to take care of yourself and your son that’s the priority. I wish you all the luck and hope you come out of this soon.

I recently joined this forum and am glad I did .

take care xx