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Feeling judged for supporting unemployed partner

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
My partner and I have been together for nearly 11 years. My partner has always suffered from severe depression since he was a child. He had a bad breakdown early in our relationship and has not really held down a job since. This has been due to a range of factors, however it primarily relates to his physical and mental illnesses. He has started three courses of study but has been unable to complete them. Each time, it has been a struggle. I get my hopes up seeing him get his confidence up, and then things slowly fall apart. At times it has been easier to accept that he will be unable to work. He has been working really hard recently with a therapist and on his physical health, and has been in a work placement for the qualification he is currently working on. Although he has had to defer the course several times, and has struggled with reliability in his placement hours, he has tried so hard. This morning the host organisation cancelled his placement as he has not completed enough hours to continue. I want to continue to support him in finding a new placement and making sure he can get his qualification, but am feeling so down about it all. I love him and our relationship is so good in so many ways. We share all the same values and talk constantly. However, I feel as if others want me to give up on him, and that I should leave him, purely because he has not been able to work or finish a degree. I don't want to and have no intention of leaving but the pressure feels unbearable at times. I am ashamed to say that it affects my desire to tell others about the struggles we have, and this makes me feel so alone. I don't want to burden him, though he understands his problems affect me too and tries to make space for my feelings. I feel so lost and alone right now.
4 Replies 4

Community Champion
Community Champion


Depression is a very difficult and debilitating illness that sucks the energy and life out of the sufferer while also severely affecting the confidence of the person supporting the person with depression.

I can feel your sympathy and compassion for your partner as well as frustration and exhaustion.

You understand what a huge effort your partner is making while others don't really comprehend what your partner is experiencing every day.

You need to look after yourself and get some support. On this site there are articles about supporting a loved one with depression, as well as threads about people supporting their partners with depression.

You have a great relationship with your partner but it would be helpful for you talk to someone in your position.

Here is a link



Community Member

Hello Cbiscuit.

Welcome to the forums and I imagine this would be a difficult time for you and your partner.
You show strength, courage and determination supporting your partner and his needs.
As hard as it may seem, don't let other's be the judge of your relationship.
There are some options that you could explore for you and your partner.
As quirkywords mentioned, counselling is a great place to go to for help.
I would defiantly recommend Carer Gateway, they are great.

  • carergateway.gov.au
  • 1800 422 737

All the best.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Thank you Mark and Jsua for your kind words and advice.

I have made a point of telling some people in my life where things are at and that has been a load off just knowing I am not hiding this for fear of judgment.

Hoping I can be strong enough to be honest with some others by remembering that stigma is at the root of their judgement, and not any real knowledge about mine or my partner’s situation.

We have sourced an ‘emergency’ counselling appointment for him and I have another booked the following week for myself. We will get through this

Hi Cbiscuit's.

Fantastic - you have some actions in place!
You both have got this.

All the best.