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Wife of a very depressed man

Community Member

Hi everyone,

This will be long but I do really need some support and advice.

My husband came home from doing 6 weeks away at work and told me he doesn’t love me. I was due to have our 4th planned baby the next week.
I was completely shocked! I knew he had been unhappy for about 6 months but he had been working months at a time with only a few days break. And I didn’t think it was me personally, just the lifestyle. To me this was so he could have time off when baby arrived with no money stress. I am a busy stay at home mum and didn’t really think about how this was affecting him or me. He told me he has been working so much to stay away from the home cause it’s unhappy. Is he saying that because he’s had to hide this depression and work has been the only place he can do that?

He can’t tell me why he doesn’t love me, nothing significant has happened. He has now seen a psychiatrist and been diagnosed with severe depression. I do not believe he doesn’t love me he just doesn’t know how to feel right now. We are now living as separated but it feels like he wants to be in our home. We are still doing things together and he came to the birth of our baby.

I don’t know how to handle it, I still love and care about him but every time I talk to him I feel like he thinks I’m trying to force our relationship. How do I handle him at this very sensitive time. He has also agreed to see a marriage/ relationship councillor or is this something his physiatrist will bring into his sessions?

I don’t really know what I’m asking, just hoping someone has suggestions on how to speak to him or what I can do to help.

Thanks for reading


12 Replies 12

Hi Mrslaura311, 

The heartbreak is very evident in your story and we are sorry to hear that you are having to deal with this, so soon after having a newborn to look after. It sounds like this really caught you by surprise and it is understandable that you may not know where to turn to right now. When someone is dealing with severe depression it can be very hard for them to have a sense of enjoyment. It is very possible that your husband may be a little confused with everything right now and may not know what he wants. To answer your question about seeking marriage of relationship counsellor, generally the psychiatrist will not deal with couple’s therapy as they are there to support the mental health of the patient and it may possibly be out of their scope. It might be helpful for your husband to have a psychiatrist so that he has his own professional that he can discuss his mental health with outside of your family therapy sessions. Of course you can clarify this with them.

Other supports include MensLine Australia is a free 24/7 telephone and online counselling service for men with emotional health and relationship concerns. You can contact them on 1300 78 99 78 or https://mensline.org.au/. You can contact them and ask for advice as to how you can best support your husband.

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.  

You can also Lifeline (13 11 14) or the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467) to get advice on how to support your husband if he is very overwhelmed and in very dark place.

Welcome to the forums and we invite to continue to visit us. You are not alone and the community is here to support you.  

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Mrslaura

welcome to the forum.

There are few threads that may help you.
Supporting a depressed husband - seeking hope,

ibcant do links just out into the search bar.

I know when I was depressed I pushed people away as I didn’t think I was worthy of love.

In this thread people have told of their experience with a depressed spouse.

It his hard but sometimes there is hope.

take care

Thank you, I had a look at the forums and have a little hope.
It has been discovered he has some sort of pre/post natal depression. I didn’t even know that was a thing! I’m hoping now there is “diagnoses” I can get some more answers.

Thanks mrs Laura for replying.

Hopefully will get suggestions as to how to help.

all the best.

Community Member

Hi Mrslaura311,

I was about to come on here and point you to my thread about supporting a depressed husband, so thanks quirkywords for doing that already.

I'm so sorry that you are in this situation. To have a newborn and then to also be supporting your husband through this phase I can only imagine would very difficult.

I do hope that now he has a diagnosis, that he can get some proper support to help him through.

How are you doing? I hope you also have some support for yourself through this time.

Community Member

Thank you!

I have family and friend support. I am planning to see someone within the next few weeks for myself. We have 4 kids and it’s school holidays so not much time to think of myself.

I would like to ask now he has a “diagnoses” is that better than not knowing what has caused it? I understand depression is not just caused by one thing but at least it’s something to go on?

Sorry if I’m asking the wrong things, I just need a little hope to get through the days

Community Member

Hi Mrslaura311,

There are no wrong things to ask. There is so much that we as 'carers' don't know and probably will never know. But we can do our best to get as many answers as we can.

I think it definitely helps to have a diagnosis, because in a way it is the first step to acknowledging what the problem is. If you don't acknowledge the problem, you can't take steps to recover, or to try to manage the problem. This is my experience anyway.

However, with a diagnosis needs to come some sort of treatment or management plan...And even with that, there is still a long road to sorting through all the issues. Both his, and yours, because I imagine that this would take a toll on you and potentially your children too. It definitely has taken its toll on our family and we are all still working to recover from it all.

Hopefully once the kids are back at school you will have some more time for yourself. It is so important. Because you matter in all of this too, especially coping with a newborn and the older kids.

And I know, those little things that you can hold onto for hope, to get through the days, are super important. There is always hope. Don't ever forget that. There will be better days.

Reach out here whenever you feel the need.

This thread very much hits close to home for me, I hope it’s okay me commenting but I have similar feelings.

My partner and I live in different states at the moment and when he went home in February after visiting something just imploded in him and he completely cut me and everyone off. I finally got his daughter to get him to get back to me and he told me he has gotten a mental health assessment and will be seeking help.

However, he continues to completely cut me off so I now have no contact with him at all and I have become very depressed and unwell as a result

Community Member

Hi Follies,

I'm sorry to hear about the situation you have found yourself in.

Do you have any support in family and friends around you?

I hope you are OK.