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Separated and living as flat mates

Community Member
My husband and I have been married for 14 years. In July of this year he had an emotional attachment to another woman but she turned him down. He told me that he was unhappy and had been so for 10 years and then produced a laundry list of complaints against me. Out of the last 5 years my husband has been unemployed for 3 1/2 of those and I have been the sole financial provider. When my husband was diagnosed in July with his depression and anxiety (at least he is now getting help), everything started to go wrong. I told him that I would be his support person and get him through his treatment not knowing myself what the outcome would be as far as our marriage went. My husband had mentioned moving out previously. Last week I asked him what he wanted and needed from me and he said that he needed me to let him go. I agreed to this and asked him to move into the spare room. He has since moved his clothes but nothing else out of what is essentially now my room. It has been nearly a week but I shouldn't be surprised because back in August I separated our finances (because he said I didn't know what happened with the money) and I asked him to transfer my mobile phone into my name and transfer the electricity into my name. It has been 3 months and still he hasn't done this. He doesn't seem motivated to do any of this and says that the separation is something he has to do for himself. This is soul destroying. How do I get him to show me the same respect I have shown him by agreeing to "let him go" and get him do the things i have asked him to do. Does anyone have any ideas?
8 Replies 8

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello kazzamail, I feel that the ball is in your court. If the bills are in his name for the phone, electicity etc, then he is legally responsible for paying them. If he won't transfer them into your name, then he has to pay them. If he won't move out of your room, then you're left with no choice but to move yourself. I don't know whether you are renting your house or whether you own it, but if he wants you to let him go then I would take that at face value and take all steps necessary to completely separate. I suspect the reason that you are leaving things for him to do is because you're not ready to let go, which is understandable after 14 years of life together.

It sounds to me like you need to have a discussion abotu your separation, and agree on all the details. If he won't do this, then you can only take care of the details that you control yourself.

Community Member

Thank you JessF,

We have had that discussion and, although it breaks my heart to say so, he seems happy about moving on. He is looking for somewhere to live and has now done the things that I have asked of him. He is obviously way ahead of me in the leaving process and I'm still back at devastated. Following our chat I think things will be more amicable and perhaps it won't be the horrible scenario that I imagined. It doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt and the person in me that loves him still hasn't the heart to throw him out on the street. I said he could stay until Christmas because he doesn't have any close friends to speak of and I can't bear the thought of anyone being alone at Christmas. It's hard to let him go but if that is what he needs to get better then that is what I have to do. Thank you.

Community Member

Hi Kazzamail,

Firstly, I feel that you must take care of you now.

I am sorry that this relationship has ended in such a way for you - I have never been through such hurt but going by what you have written, you've been a very patient and kind person (Im sure theres been moments when youve lost your cool too) but for you to still be so concerned that he may be alone at Christmas time, shows that you still care, but he is a grown man - he must learn to stand on his own two feet now.

As a man this whole ordeal would be making him feel weak and out of control - most people hate feeling like that but men especially, really hate feeling weak. Makes us feel like less of a man.

He needs professional help, and he's gonna have to recognise that for himself.

I feel that you really need some support too - have you tried calling the Beyond Blue freecall number?

Stay in touch and take good care of you.


Thank you for your lovely words. I've felt that in the midst of his depression and anxiety that I have somehow lost myself. I've tried to be a good person and, for want of better words, "take the high road". I've not lost my cool at all. I just feel sad about it. He's seeing a psychiatrist and a psychologist and I hope he finally finds what it is that he is looking for. I fear that he won't cope on his own but as you say he needs to stand on his own two feet now. I've always put him first in our relationship so I'm a little at sixes and sevens now I'm on my own. Right now I guess what I feel most is relief because it is finally done and I can begin to grieve and heal. It's an awful thing to watch the man you married become a stranger before your eyes and I would hope that some day my story will be able to let someone know that they are not alone in this.

Again thank you and I hope we can keep in touch.


Hi Kazzamail!

You're very welcome!

And yes...lets stay in touch!

Im glad that you are feeling some relief though, and please do allow the grieving process to occur naturally, because what you are feeling...is normal and natural, based on all that you have been through.


Hi SourceShield,

Well one week down and the rest of my life begins and I'm doing okay. I'm actually surprised at how okay I'm doing.

I'm not sure how to ask him politely to leave me to process what has happened and, as I said before, grieve the loss of the marriage. He keeps texting me about inane things like how many sirens are going past his house compared to how many went past ours. I know he is probably friend zoning me but I'm not quite at that stage yet and it appears that he is there already. It's difficult because I still care deeply about him and his wellbeing but I feel, as you said, that he needs to stand on his own two feet and own his decision and accept the consequences of that decision.

Talking with you is such a help. Thank you 🙂

Hey Kazza!

You're welcome.

Thank you for the compliment.

And please, dont get me wrong, he still needs as much support as he can get but that doesnt have to be from you.

We can love the ones we love, from a distance.

Sometimes the best thing that we can do for someone, is to walk away...as in give them space, give you some space, and give the whole situation some time and space...to get itself sorted, or at least, for you to start taking good care of you now.

If you sense that he is playing 'games' with you i.e. with the texts etc...just drop the ball.

Dont respond.

He'll get it eventually.

You both clearly have different beliefs and values.

You deserve to be happy.

We all do, right?


Community Member

Dear kazzamail. I was in a similar situation as you. I chose to be the one to leave. My ex was frequently txting, emailing, phoning to 'confide' in me about his family. His mother had an horrific accident one day and wound up in hospital. While recovering, she complicated things by taking a tumble. I was, like you, at 6's and 7's, do I return to offer support, do I maintain my distance. My ex had never 'been there' for me during our farcical 25 year old marriage, so I turned to an amazing close personal friend who I knew would listen and guide without being prejudiced. This person was fully aware of the reasons I had left, so his advice and input was invaluable. My ex is a very lonely individual who only 'turned' to me after I left. Before that, he was never there. There were quite a few incidents of him contacting me basically to 'unload' and 'vent'. My friend advised me as follows: Delete and cancel his contact details on my cell-phone and each time he 'emailed' me, I was advised to press the 'return to sender' button. He has 'got the message'. In order to grieve and heal, you need time and space. Sometimes you have to be a bit brutal to achieve this. If you don't wish to hurt him by asking him directly to leave you alone, your only other alternative is to cancel his details. If he decides to visit you, you have the right to request he leave you alone.