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When is enough enough?

Community Member
I have 2 kids and have been married for 24 years. My husband was diagnosed with major depressive disorder, bipolar & traits of borderline personality disorder around 15 years ago. He has stopped all medication (as he says this didn't work for him) a few years ago. His psychiatrist stopped seeing him as he felt he couldn't help anymore. He self medicates with Cannabis (this is the only thing that helps) which doesn't actually help at all. He is always angry, always feels sick and spends the majority of his time in his room. He punched himself in the face a week ago and yells at me with hate in his eyes. My husband left last night to spend some time with his father and my son said to get the papers ready to get rid of him. He says he hates his father & never wants to see him again. He has had enough of everything being about him and feels that he doesn't care about any of us. I don't know what to do.
3 Replies 3

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome,

As much as I'd love to offer you a remedy to save your marriage, its unlikely it can be saved. I say that because time and again we have members here, desperate people that have a partner that refuses to take their medication for what ever reason. The saying goes- you can lead a horse to water but....

What can you salvage from this situation? Well, your future you can secure with harmony and purpose as well as your son's life of normality. That's reward in itself. In regards to your husband his stubbornness and decisions are his own, you are not his minder nor disciplinarian - your are his wife and carer, your responsibility stops at his own decision making.

Of his illnesses BPD is the one that sticks out to me in terms of difficulty to live with. I'm bipolar and mood swings arent pretty at time but less disruptive IMO (my mother has BPD and I've been estranged to her for 11 years).

His self harming is a real concern. I've no doubt he needs help but again, you can recommend, you can plead but your actions should be those that protect you and your son from further disruption.

FYI I've had an abusive marriage, I've had to take tough decisions and in the end, basically took control of my life to carve a happy life. Also for the last 11 years I've had a wonderful spouse and she is supportive and understanding. If she says I'm manic I listen because her happiness is my responsibility and I get a GP visit to readjust meds and chat. You son's comment that his dad is "all about himself" is likely correct. That is often what mental illness does but the wrong thing to do is make your own choices without spouse input and go on your own path, look at the result!

If and when you separate I ask you to remember- after some testing weeks of readjustment you will one day realise that it isnt your fault and you did your best. You'll find new friends and feel relaxed. You can build new boundaries and rules eg he can only contact you by text or email to rid your life from upset. You can allow your son to make his own choices also and create a safe environment.

I think the following post will help too.


Reply anytime, I'm hear daily and other Champions are listening


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
When is enough enough, only you can really answer that. When you risk sacrificing the relationship you have with your son for the unfulfilling one you have with your husband I would say it’s close. Do you get any love and support from your husband or is it just all bad? I suppose I want to gauge whether there is any love left there, which may explain the difficulty you have with the decision. Or is it more a case of the alternative feels scary/foreign so you don’t want to do it? As someone who was in a domestic violence relationship, I understand that part. But I will say that my fear of the unknown was way worse than the actual unknown, and both of those were less than the absolute nightmare that I was living in, which was a known. What I loved most after I left was the peace, the consistency, no longer wondering what mood he was going to be in today, when the next blow up would be. It’s funny how fearful I was of the alternative when the reality I was living in was terrible. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to have a partner who loves and supports you, if that’s what you want. If not, there is a magic of living life on your terms with no one to keep happy but yourself, and I think you’ll find that’s remarkably easy after living the alternative for so long. The reality is that you can only make a marriage work if both of you are committed to making it work, stopping medication alone is a huge red flag that you are not on the same page about that. Punching himself in the face is another. You shouldn’t have to live like this.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Mabeli, I can't say much more than what Tony and Juliet have already said, but here for support and know it's certainly not a situation you and your son want to be in anymore.

The proof is that his psychiatrist doesn't believe he could help him as he stopped taking medication and reverted to using weed, which is mostly illegal in Australia, different to medical cannabis.

The papers your son has obtained are important to keep the two of you safe, whatever type they are and may need to be in contact with the police for your own protection.

We're really sorry you have to go through this, but please keep in contact with us.

Take care.