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Husband has depression and left home to get himself right

Community Member

I don't know where to start with this all but 2 weeks ago my husband told me he needed a break from our marriage and originally moved into the spare room. It was so hard on me as we have a 2 year old and it was confusing for him why Dadda was sleeping in the spare room. He eventually told me that he as been suffering in a black fog for the past 3 months and that he doesn't know anything anymore, including us. He even told me he had dark thoughts while I was away but thankfully it scared him and he has since gone to the GP. He is on Anti depressants and booked into see a Pysch. In the meantime he is talking to a counsellor online I think. A little bit of background, my hubby was adopted and always held a hatred for his birth mother, he has had low self esteem and never feels good enough. We have been together 9 years and married for 6 years. His adoptive mother is interesting as well and never really handled things right with the adoption. Anyway, recently (October) she told my husband that she knows his birth name and has some documents from his adoption. This has sent him into a tale spin, I noticed him changing from there. He says he no longer knows who he is or what his life is.

We recently sold a house and purchased Land to build. This has added to his stress....I told him that I would support him through this but he has decided that he needs to go and left, ironically to his mothers. I am heartbroken, I don't know what to do and how to support him. He sends me messages that he wants to build the house and that we are just taking a break while he sorts himself out. Then will say that he wants to build the house so I and my son have a roof over our head. I told him that I can't afford to live in it on my own. He came over on Saturday for 3 hours and when he left I was a mess. He was dark and moody but walked around the house like he still lived here, it was very weird. He says he doesn't know how he feels. I am confused as well, we ended up fighting and I feel he wants me to say its over. I have no idea if he will come back or not. I wanted to do this together but he has left.

How do I deal with this? Do I disconnect and let him work it out, or try and support him?

42 Replies 42

Mishn- My husbands issues also stem from his childhood and especially his mother. He never developed an attachement and after I reasrched this and my physiologist also helping me understand it has helped me immensely to understand. Thankfully for me he does not have a relationship with his mother and she has never wanted anything to do with me. She did not even come to our wedding years ago.

As I understand with my husbands family dysfunctionality they tend to sweep everything under the carpet. It frustrated me for years however now in retrospect I understand they will never change as I think this is the way they cope? Maybe your mother in law is the same.

Its awful hey? My husbands mum I remember when my eldest daughter was a baby wanted me to leave her (3 months old) with her and for me not to be around? I found that awfully disturbing and never agreeded to it and my husband stood by me. His sisters would encourage me to leave the baby with her as she feels uncomfortable for me to be around. So she never would come and see them and I can count on one hand the times she has come to see my girls. They are now 14 and 9 so go figure

Just wanted to let you now your not alone .

Who would have thought that childhood could cause so much drama now!!! Adoption and names etc.

My Mother in Law is very much like this Redhuta, my hubby always says that she believes what she wants to believe. The way his father treated him and also his mother, I don't know why they wanted to adopt a child if they couldn't love that little human. She said to me the other day, that my hubbys dad never hit him but he was sharp with his words and tongue, I wonder when people are going to realise that emotional abuse is very much an abuse and is the same if not worse than physical.

I ended up having a cry late last night in bed, as I am sick and so is my son and I was feeling miserable. I ended up sending him a msg and said that I am losing my hope and that after 10 weeks of him being gone, it is not getting easier at all. I still miss him and us, there is part of me that feels like walking away and part of me that wants to stay. I know he will always be in our life as we have a son but for now I feel like saying Go Away. He said on Sunday, he knows he has to start letting me back in and we could go on a Coffee Date or spend time together but he hasn't said when yet. I wish this anxiety would go away and I know that I need to work on it a little more. I have taken the last 2 days off work as my son is sick but I feel that I need it too.

He is on a new medication now and I am hoping this will help a little more and I don't believe the last ones were doing anything and contributed to his mood swings. He gets so overwhelmed with the thought of coming home or helping out. Its just so sad for everyone. I am starting to buckle under the pressure of keeping everything afloat. The bank approved the final build loan and I should be so happy and I am not. I can't even be bothered with it, he needs to sign it and I haven't even told him yet. Why is that?

Tomorrow I have an appointment with a Reike/healer to see if she can help me. I need something to feel better. I need something to hold onto even just for a little bit longer.

Hello MishnLinc

You are sounding so very down. It's good you are looking for something to help you, taking time to take care of yourself and your needs. I hope you are recovering from your illness and also your son. Being unwell when you have toddlers around can be difficult.

People do tend to believe what they want to believe. It can be so frustrating. Your MIL will probably not listen to you and it seems doubtful if she is listening to her son. Some things are so painful that they are pushed away or pushed down to stop the hurt.

Ten weeks is a long time I know but in terms of your husband feeling better it is a short period. It would be great if he met you more often, went on a date, whatever, but his depression is not allowing him to think of anything or anyone. I know this is hard for you to understand. I found it hard for myself and I was the one with depression. I understand he talks to you and your son and probably sounds OK. The fact that he cannot stay for long suggests to me he is not ready to be part of the family.

Do you know what he does at his mom's home? Pretty much behaves as he does with you. A night out with the boys is different because he has no responsibilities and can talk or be quiet as he chooses. His friends will let him be whatever he does. You and your son want much more, and rightly so. You are after all his family.

I think I have suggested you talk to a psychologist, partly to have somewhere to talk frankly and get it all off your chest, but also to have help to understand why your husband behaves as he does. There really is nothing personal in his actions. By that I mean he is not doing anything to deliberately upset or confuse you.

It's good he has had a medication review and you think these new meds are helping him. It takes up to six weeks for meds to fully kick in although the improvement started weeks earlier with small changes. Possibly the previous meds had no effect at all. I have taken some of these. The period of time until the revised meds start taking effect is wasted in a sense.

Please be patient. I know you want your husband back and if he would return to his home, even as unwell as he is now, I am certain you would feel better. Keep the door open and when you see he is improving ask him to come home. Staying away too long may mean there will be no reconciliation.

I hope this is not all doom and gloom for you. I want you to know there is rarely any shortcut.


Thank you Mary, I think in a way I had to hit rock bottom to get myself back up. I have been very careful to not push my husband too much but I have been standing my ground and telling him that it just isn't good enough in the long term and that he needs to start investing time into us or not to bother. I think I needed the tough love and I needed to stand by my conviction of what I said. He seems to have come around a little which is totally different to his normal behaviour lately. He came over last night and did the night time routine with our son. It was small steps but he stayed for about 2 hours, it was nice and he acknowledged that he needed to do it more often. I said I wanted him home sooner than later. And that he needs to stop pushing me away as I am at the end of not coming back. I think he has realised that he is pushing me away, even if it is not deliberate.

He told me he loved me today, and that he will try and spend more time at home with us but we need to work together. I nearly died as I have said from the start we need to work together. He said we need to work through this and depression is not easy, which I acknowledged. I am hoping these are small steps to him coming back to our home. I told him that I was angry with his mother who tells me she is telling him to come back but when I ask him, he says she says nothing. Grrrr.

Our son was being a little character and my husband ended up laughing his head off and I ended up saying to him, see he is good for the soul. Don't shut us out. He said I know. So I am hoping this is making him realise he is better at home to recover. He is coming on Saturday to spend time as a family. Fingers Crossed.

thank you for your insight Mary, I know it might still not work out but I have to have faith that I gave it my best shot.

Community Member
Well to update: I have had steps forward and steps backwards in the past week with my husband. I know that people say small steps but I have been so disillusioned by the whole thing that I am wanting to step away. So my hubby was coming around a little more and did the night time routine with our son and then picked him up from Childcare the next day. He told me he had fun and wanted to work to a plan to coming home. He said he would come over on Saturday with his son from a previous relationship for the boys to spend time together, they are half brothers. He came over but I could see he wasn't quite right, he stayed for about 3 hours and then I suggested getting some dinner and it was like he had a meltdown, said to his son, lets go and practically ran out the door. Our son together was heartbroken and ran after him and threw himself at the door, screaming for daddy. I was so shattered, I think I have taken so much from him over the past 3 months I just snapped, he tried to come back in but I told him to just get out. He sent me a txt saying sorry for destroying our family and I fired back saying how dissappointed and cruel he was to do that to our son. I told him to leave us alone and get himself right, he said he was about to have a panic attack and I told him he handled it poorly when I said to him, if it happens to leave, get yourself right and come back later but he ran again. I think when I seen it effect our son like that my heart broke for good and I will not let him stand there and continue to hurt us. A piece of us died at that very moment. He has since been contacting me and wanting now to make a plan for him to come back and telling me how much we mean to him but I am not sure if it is too late to be honest. I told him that he deeply effected me on Saturday and I am not sure if I can come back from it. I no longer trust him or what he says to me. My (Our) son deserves more than that. He is a great kid and doesn't deserve to be treated like that. My husband is very remorseful but I just don't care anymore. I am going away for Easter and I told him we will have 8 days to think about our relationship and if it is worth moving forward. My heart and my head are very conflicted.

Hello MishnLinc

A quick note to you. I replied this morning but when I posted the forum went down. I had a nasty feeling my post would be lost. Just returned home and now able to log in and sure enough my post has gone. Give me some time to remember what I wrote and I will be with you.

It is time he started to re-engage with you even if he feels moving back home is not possible just yet. I am so sorry you were hurt and even more so for your son who is too young to understand why dad is not there and why he keeps disappearing. I can imagine how traumatic it must have been for him.

Going away for a few days sounds great.The best thing about this is that you will have a neutral territory for a short time and I believe it is easier to make good decisions in those circumstances.

Head/heart conflicts are hard to resolve whatever you choose. There is so often a lingering doubt no matter which way you go. may I suggest you do nothing until you are certain your decision is the right one. Having said that I suppose there is never 100% certainty but the decision seems to unfold and resolve itself if you give it time. So concentrate on enjoying yourself as much as possible and relax. Ah, if only we could do that to order.

Loss of trust is very serious. How do we get back from there? I have no words as I have also been in that situation. Take it gently and slowly. I know there is always a tendency to suspect ulterior motives when he tells you something or acts in certain ways, and often this is not the case. It is trust that makes the difference.

Please take great care of yourself and do activities you and your son enjoy. Time out.


Thank you Mary, it has been an interesting couple of days, after coming over and agreeing to spend more time at home and reconnecting with the family he has been trying. He seems to get his backup and then goes away and thinks about things and then comes back and says he knows he needs to start coming back. I have said for him to try over while we are away, come back in spend time at home, reconnecting with the house. I guess we will see. Which I suggested a plan, I think he thought I was forcing it on him, but when I said it was for us to both work on and was fluid but he needed to show me he is trying over the next couple of week, he agreed.

I am looking forward to going away now, I am run down and I realise I need it. I need to reconnect with me. Figure out what it is I am fighting for again. Lets see what it brings.

Wow! I think that is a good start if he spends time in the home. I guess your idea is that he feels comfortable there and is more likely to return more often.

Well done.

When do you go away? Will you have access to the internet or is it better to have a complete break.

Enjoy your holiday.


Misch- I hope you are getting the “me” time you deserve. Its exausting and I think the time away will be good for all of you.

Community Member

Hi mishnlinc,

I feel for you right now, but sorry to say I do feel more for your husband. Your husband is me. I am in a right mess, and you describe me well. Your husband is coming out of the adoption fog. It is ghastly.

my best advice to you is to learn. Read as many books as possible. Validate him. He thinks he is misunderstood, he doesn’t know who he can trust or connect to. Start with the Primal Wound. You can watch Paul Sunderland’s video on YouTube. There are many resources out there. But essentially your husband has Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - developmental trauma.

i wish your husband, and anyone touched by the adoption storey, peace and healing.