Depressed Partner – Disappearing

I went to a wedding once, and the pastor had a simple message for the young couple before him as well as the rest of us packed into a beautiful church. “Marriage is survival,” he began, and the crowd of two hundred answered back in laughing groans of recognition.

That statement is true of any marriage that lasts, and how much harder it is when one of the partners is dealing with major depression. I woke this morning recalling that advice and saddened at the thought of how destructive depression has been to my marriage, as it must be to any sustained intimate relationship. What happens to my wife when I’m lost in an internal struggle? What does she go through? I’ve had all too many chances to find out.

Her feelings and needs disappear from my awareness as I plunge into a maelstrom of self-contempt, obsessive thinking about everything wrong with me, extreme anxiety about each human encounter, hopelessness – and then my own struggle to fight against all that, to regain a firm enough footing in my sense of self-worth that I can face the day and get active. All that consumes energy, attention – it’s preoccupation with self, to be sure, and it’s the almost daily fight just to stay alive. In that state, I can no longer see or hear my wife.

She becomes a player in that internal drama, invested with my projections and fears, when, that is, I can focus on her at all. She doesn’t have a chance to stand in front of me in her own right, pushing herself, her needs into my awareness. And what does she see?

She knows that I’m missing in action, purely inner action, cut off from any connection with who she is. That by itself would be hurtful enough. But it’s not just that I’m cut off – she sees me silent, sullen, irritable at best – and at worst verbally and emotionally abusive. She tries to disturb the inner fight I’m going through to remind me, hey! I’m here too! But she usually doesn’t get very far. Dealing with me in that state imposes on L an exhausting struggle to make sense of what’s happening, to find ways to keep hoping that this nightmare will end.

Then if I can succeed in getting back into my feelings and become alive and responsive again – my old loving self in this relationship – she can’t simply be relieved at the change and welcome me back. Instead she’s angry and confused at my inconsistency. One day I’m gone in spirit but still hulking around and impossible to deal with, the next I’m open and loving. She never knows how long my good moods will last and cannot relax under the threat of this recurring storm. It wears her down.

One day, as my mood was lifting out of a bad spell that had lasted for weeks, I found her lying in bed, looking as weary and pale as I had ever seen her. She said she had no reserves left for dealing with me. She was exhausted, and looked it. She told me how she had been so devastated when I had closed myself to her right after an especially stressful time during my bout with cancer. By some miracle I had stayed upbeat, positive and open to her and everyone trying to help me, and she had been so loving and powerfully focused on helping me come out of that crisis alive. Yet after recovery from the operation, I fell into a dark mess and turned that angry face on her once again. She couldn’t believe it, and now there was nothing left to respond with.

Later that day, we started a slow recovery by working together in the gardens she had nurtured. Good old physical exhaustion from hours of pulling out weeds, hacking through overgrown lilac bushes, carting it all away – and doing it together – helped begin restoring us to each other. Just being with her in those gardens helped with healing. L had created so much beauty in that intricate ordering of new life – as she always does, wherever we live. The gardens grew from the depth of her feeling, and we could share that fullness in reaching into the ground to work with the rich soil – itself an artifact she had built up slowly over time. The inner poison was draining away.

But that was just a first step – hard talking followed, painful for us both. She told me how she felt constantly judged by me and was on pins and needles all the time. I couldn’t appreciate all the love she had for me, or all the nurturing that she gave me and our kids – the thought and care and love that went into getting food, creating a garden, working as an artist to refashion each room of the house we lived in. My promises to work on changing sounded hollow to me, like those of a drunk or a wife-beater. This time she made me promise only one thing – to get back in therapy immediately, to keep getting help and never stop, as I had in the past, repeatedly. Nothing was going to be easy, but it felt better that we were talking again.

That was 12 years ago, and there have been many ups and downs since then. I wish I could say there was some simple happy answer, but there isn’t. We go through my spells together, each suffering in a different way. What we’ve learned a little more about, though, is hope. Hope is a complicated house to build, and living in the midst of construction can really drive you crazy. But we’ve managed to finish a new room just this week.

If you can write about your own experience with your partner, that would be a great help to us all.

Photo: © Platenik Dalibor –

53 Responses to “Depressed Partner – Disappearing”

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  1. Saddened says:

    My boyfriend was amazing for the first few months. He stopped taking his depression meds. Then he started having conflict with his job ( unclear if it was real conflict or perceived because of anxiety and depression). Shorly after he became distant, faield to communicate, started pointing out my flaws (which was that I once didn’t communicate something small. That was it.
    In 5 months.) while simultaneously pointing out his. I’m not sure if depressiom is what is happening, just scared of the relationship, lookimg for perfection or if has just lost interest and didn’t want to tell me.

    The lack of communication and the consistant distance despite my repeated attempts to support him left me drained. I made a decision to give us space. I tried to call but he didn’t answer so I ended up texting him telling him to reach out if his cicumsrances change and he sees that I’m still single. He has not respomded so I’m moving forwatd. I didn’t wamt it to be over but not knowing was hurting way too much.

    I asked him if he was depressed and he denied it of course many people are unaware that they’re moving to that state of isolation.

    If anybody has any ideas that maybe I missed I’m sure open.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dear Saddened,
      I’m sorry to say that you have to let him go and move on. I had a marriage of 20 years and then one day he decided that he needed to move on to find happiness. He left me and our 4 children. 9 years on and he never came back. I believe its the guilt from what he did as well that makes that road back to hard but I have no real proof of that. I turned to this sight when it happened to me and got this same response from someone. At the time I thought, no I can get him back, but its just something you can’t fix. Its inside him and even if he came back for a little while you would be continually waiting for the next time.

  2. Lane says:

    All of these posts have been so helpful and comforting to me. My boyfriend is my absolute best friend when he isn’t sinking into the dark pit of depression. I’ve never had the type of connection I have with him with anyone else, and I know he feels the same. When he’s himself, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have him. I think he’s smart, amazingly talented, and kind. We make each other laugh until we snort. We’ve been dating for about a year and a half, and I still run to my door like an excited puppy when he comes over. We don’t fight about the little things and treat each other with respect. But every once in awhile, something throws him off, and the switch flips. He becomes withdrawn, cold, and selfish; he was overtly mean only once. I don’t demand perfection of anyone, and I am okay with allowing him space to work through his episodes.

    Sometimes, he’s good at recognizing that he needs some time to himself. I’d much rather have him cancel plans than spend time with me while he’s like that. Other times, he follows through with our plans even though he’s not really up to it. I can tell when he doesn’t want to be there. I can tell when he doesn’t want to talk. It all makes me feel insecure, and the insecurity makes me wants to cling harder, to smother him with love. To push him back to happiness. But I know that’s not anything I can control, and pushing him only makes him resist or ends up hurting me more. I’m pretty emotionally self-aware and not very impulsive, so I usually work through these insecure impulses. Other times, I find myself engaging , trying to get just a little nugget of affection or reassurance, but it never ends well.
    For example, we went to a show he was obligated to be at because his friend was performing, and I knew that he had been struggling for the past couple of days (even cancelling our plans the night before). He was commenting on wanting to leave before it even started, and I tried to pep-talk him by saying, “Well, focus on the good! You get to have a night out with me!” He responded, “I don’t have fun doing anything with anyone.” Trying to make conversation later, I said, “I feel like there’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you all day…” (And I did really feel like I was forgetting something I had been saving to tell him.) “It’s over?” he laughed (meaning our relationship).

    We shouldn’t have gone to the show, but he needed to express where he was at, and he didn’t. I would rather just not see him or talk much for a couple of days instead of feeling like I have to tiptoe around him to avoid getting hurt.

    When he’s himself again, I feel conflicted about whether or not to talk to him about how those comments make me feel. They make me feel like nothing. On the one hand, I feel strongly that hiding my feelings is NOT the answer and is NOT part of a healthy relationship. On the other hand, I feel afraid that I’ll set him off, back into his hole. Sometimes, I feel like I’m held hostage by his depression, and he refuses to see a professional (he has in the past, but now feels that he’s beyond helping). I’m not ready to leave our relationship because the good still so outweighs the bad. But I also wonder, how many rounds of this can I go through before I’m too worn down? How do I take care of myself while supporting him? Your blog and the lovely folks in the comments section have given me lots of things to consider, and more than anything, it makes me feel like I’m not in this alone.

  3. Jay says:

    Great thanks for this website, which has made me understand so many things about my wife’s condition. I started noticing that she disappeared from me/us and from our relation about 8-9 months ago, after a couple of months of changed behavior, leaving everything she was supposed to get done behind all the time, no more being interested in intimacy and being close, very often being short and angrish towards me for ”nothing”, and stopped saying “I love you”, which we always during our 12-13 years together always have said to each other at least every day, I started to suspect she had someone else. Finally a day some months ago after she’s obviously been rejecting me for a while, I confronted her, and she explained that she was always tired, couldn’t get anything done in her life, and that she more or less just wanted to be alone, without me and without us.. She said she had no feelings for me and for us anymore, and that she wanted to be anywhere else, apart from in our home. Now I started to understand, after having been through 3 clinical depression earlier in my life (long before we met), I could now clearly see what was going on. Next thing was to get her to cope with the idea of a depression and get help, this took another couple of months and during this time, I went to hell and I am still trying to find the exit. Luckily I found out about the anhedonia behavior, partly thanks to storiedminds, as she’s totally cut off, and feel strong anxiety and stress from being close or in physical touch with me, and she’s doing all she can to escape and stay away from me. She’s now on meds since 2-3 weeks ago and this last weekend I think they started to actually work, and since 3 weeks she’s back in therapy (there’s a psychological history and 1-2 years ago she was in therapy for more than a year) and the last days things have been quite “normal” here. She is sleeping alone in another room, as she gets stressed with me next to her, from the expectations that “this should feel good for me, but it doesn’t feel at all, and I’m hurting him as he expects me to feel good about it”, and we’ve made up a “schedule” for both of us so she can get a few hours on her own alone in our home every day more or less. The precautions I’ve taken for me is that I’ve started therapy for me (I’m having the first session this week), and I’ve started to go to the gym a couple of evenings a week, and started doing yoga (with her as instructor as she’s a veteran in the field). And since a month ago I’ve taken over the outspoken responsibility for more or less all of the household work to relief her from stress that it’s not getting done and that she should have done it (as she normally is responsible for most of it, and I fill up the fridge and do all cooking etc.). I got a feeling this structured setup is already working quite well, I keep myself quite busy with household work, gym, yoga etc. and she gets a lot of time to only be with herself, which I know by experience is the only thing that works when being in a depression. Still, I miss her, I miss her soooooo much, I cry several times every day, I just want to hold her in my arms and feel us again… Last time she was in therapy she was very responsive, so I’m hoping this round will be just as efficient, I’m trying to push her, with care, to get back doing yoga and meditation again, which she during tough periods in her life have had great success with keeping her going, she hears me, she know’s it’s good, and I hope she’ll take it up again very soon as I know it’ll do her great! It’s tough, but I know from my own experience that on the other side, life is better than it was before this, and that’s what keep me going, even if life for a while becomes a disaster, a crisis is good as it brings shit to the surface to get fixed, and when it’s fixed, the shit is gone!

  4. Susie says:

    I’m wondering/ hoping if anyone has any positive stories?
    My partner and I were only together for 6 months, but we fell fast and hard and he was forever telling me he was so happy to have met me and wanted us to marry etc. It was a whirlwind and we were annoyingly happy. Until the depression hit. I didn’t know at first. I knew he’d suffered in the past but not that he still felt it from time to time. I think he felt it’d gone as we were so happy. One day I came home from work to find a note saying he couldn’t cope with his depression and he needed to be on his own as he was bringing me down. We talked and agreed to stay together, that he didn’t want to split up but just needed some space to get himself ok. We spent the next few months with me arranging for us to meet up, cooking teas, trying everything to get him out of the house and doing stuff. Sometimes we would and other times he would cancel last minute. He wasn’t himself at all. He couldnt even kiss me. Although he spoke of perhaps needing help he hasn’t done it yet. More recently he ended the relationship saying I deserved better and he just needed to be on his own to deal with it and I am devastated as it now feels even more like I’ll never get back the man I loved like no other. The thing is though he’s still in touch. If anything he talks to me more over text now than he has done in a long time. I’ve not seen him for a few weeks though or even spoken on the phone. I don’t know what to do – if I try and wait for this man will it eventually lift so that we can have a proper conversation about it all? Even if it does lift – will he have moved on from me in his mind? I miss him so much it hurts

    • Bswa says:

      Hi susie, i feel your pain. From being in your same situation but for investing 3 years in a relationship with an anxious depressive, i sincerely don’t know’if I would hang on to a depressive person in your case.i like you was full of confidence, i was her world and we were madly in love but she told me about her anxieties very early, like she always thought she would die young or she worries about small things that would seem like a life and death matter ( example of a ticket she got 2 years back, she had so much anxiety about it, what if they didn’t receive the payment, what if it stays in my records, what if….). Back then I couldn’t understand all this, now I know it’s her anxiety. But each time I suggested yoga or sport to try to slow down her anxiety, i would get a negative answer. Worst when I suggested a therapist when she talked about dying young…. I was only worrying for her and that’s what I told her. Result, I stick around because of the good moments while she had less and less control over her depression, saying the honeymoon phase was over (meaning her anxiety was back up to the roof ), comparing, these last months, everything to others, thinking innocently others had fantastic life while she was stuck in her job, with student loans, without a house (only 27 years old!), while her sister just had a baby, while, while, while… suddently forgetting that she was so lucky as she often said (I was her light and she never believed in soulmate before me) to have me in her life, to share a great love and vision. I had to be here for her (she used to say she needed me) but i felt like she wasnt there for me. Everytging was around her world, i had to bring the passion all the time (i took a 16 hours train to show up at a front door by surprise on a valentines day, i would send her sexy texts…) but did she ever think why she was expectijg that of me? Why didnt i deserve for her to make efforts too like she used too? She was having a low sex drive but not me, she was worrying I would leave because of that. I had to say it was ok and there was way more than that in our relationship and frankly, you can’t have a crazy sex drive in a long relationship otherwise you don’t commit and you change partners every 3 months. But when she was not anxious, she could feel what we had was strong and rare and she was showing it to me. We were fiancés and would have been married 2 years ago if i didnt insisted in waiting to do it with our families. We were about to live definitely together and look for a job I the same city. All she ever wanted, all I ever wanted was just in a matter of months but was destroyed by her falling into deeper depression. She had started a new job, very isolated and in a week, she went from “I’m crazy about you and can’t wait to come home to you” to “it’s messy in my head”, i don’t love you… I have absolutely no doubt it’s a mild depression but she has cut communication and us partners are left in the dark, waiting, feeling sad, anxious, depressed, angry (we feel used!) And something idiots for waiting, not knowing if there is hope. Then we realise even if they come back, they will put up to this more than once, do we want a life of that? Feeling that we will have to support them none stop but they won’t be able to support us during hard times? We read around and understand many have never survived this, or they have and few years later, have to go through it again and it might end up for the non depressive pqrtner to still end up alone, tired, living depression fallout, while so much energy has been put into it. It seems so hard and unfair. So I can’t tell what’s the future for you two or for me and my ex, the next months will tell us but we can’t hold on to nothing if they decided to leave while they could have stayed and work it out around us, even by being numb. The author of this blog did make it by staying and I believe’that’s why they are still together with his wonderful wife.
      That disease is so unpredictible, i hate this situation, I just want my gf back and it’s driving me crazy to imagine her running into a strangers arms to try to have her fantasy because reality is just unbearable to her right now. The worse is to know that her reality was very good, loving partner, well payed job, healthy family… while others can’t live in proper houses, have debts for all their life, have to worry daily about the money at the end of the month, don’t have health insurance, have a sick parent, lost a child, can’t find a job, can’t travel… she had nothing of that stress, could afford health insurance and a rent, travelling, buying what she wanted… but because of her anxiety unthreated, she thinks everyone is happier than her. How can you stay, in these Conditions, with someone that is always going to question her choices, her life, with you included in it?
      Problem is, will your ex or mine will have to courage to face the real issue or will they prefer avoiding it? I wish my ex was seeing a therapist to help her but she’s not, so she might transform every piece of reality, past and present. I’m even scared of how she is transforming our beautiful relationship and the beautiful adventures we have lived together. I’m the one left with the love linked to these memories and that is so damn painful… she has fallen for me because I’m a very positive and strong person (she always said i was the strong one…). Well today is our hardest challenge and I fight to stay positive. I hate her for putting me in that position just when I have to look for a job; I have to deal with my feelings and fight everyday to keep looking and working for my future. Some days are ok, some are way harder but as I say, spring always comes after winter 😉
      Wishing you luck, keep us informed. I, as you, was hoping for a section here with the happy stories 🙂 whatever happens we will make it just fine.

      • Susie says:

        Thank you for your reply

        It’s hard not to hope and at the same time it’s hard to hope too isn’t it? It feels like this person has been stolen from us and there is nothing to do but hope they see the need for real and long term help.

        I don’t think I’d find it so odd if he wasn’t still in touch. Most days. He even sends the odd nice message these days which he really hasn’t for a long time. Not that there haven’t been nice moments but he has been really shut down over text one word answers etc. But now I’m not seeing him at all he’s more chatty. I guess the pressures off but what am I supposed to think or do with this?

        He lives so close by too that I worry about me moving on or him moving on and having to see that – but mostly I worry that if I abandon him completely he’ll have no one, then I think does he need that to realise how bad things are, then I worry again but what if he does something stupid. It’s a vicious circle. Same with contact. I try and leave it to him but some days I just feel I would feel guilty if I hadn’t asked how his day was and something bad were to happen. I feel stuck either way.

        I know that for me the best is to probably move on and find someone able to give me what I want – but how hard is that when you can’t help but hope underneath it all that the person you once knew would come back. It feels double sided to me – like people in this situation are both the best and worst to love. When it’s great it’s everything and more – but when it’s bad it’s like an abyss.

        I hope for all of us there is some good news or positive move forward. I wish for this horrible disease there was a cure. One that was less complex to administer. As how do you fix your mind when you need a clear mind to fix it?

        • Tracy says:

          Hi Suzie,
          I’m thinking/hoping there is good stories out there, but I think that by the time we get to this page it has gone past the point of no return.

        • Bswa says:

          When did the break up happened for you? I feel your point living close by must be hard especially’if he decides to find someone new. But, as it is in my case, living far is worse, you can’t plan meetings to see how they are, i feel far, hopeless and it’s hapenning when I have to look for a job. So now, i don’t know in which country to look, asking myself “do you want to live in the us by yourself if it doesn’t work out?”. I feel a little lost, all I want is to have answers but I can’t. And a decision has to be made… Couldn’t have been a worst timing or maybe it is better this way. I’ve read stories around where people have left their country for a depressed partner and ended up alone, far from home, abandonned. I know I can make it anywhere, i like to travel, i like the US, but I’m mentally exhausted of thinking daily about what depression has made to us, it is what I think about when I fall asleep and this is again hitting back as soon as I’m awake. It is really hard… I wish I could feel numb like her somedays, but then I feel like I’m lucky I can feel, go out and enjoy smallest things in the nature and feel lucky to be alive, lucky to feel that moments of happiness. And then some sadness comes as I wish I could send her some of that happiness how I used to. Yes you are right we feel sad both ways, we can’t stop ourselves from hoping to find back that beautiful person we know, is it better to move on? I guess like everything it takes time to heal and process, and when we will have taken a decision, we will know. Right now, we are healing the way we can and that’s ok.

          • Susie says:

            It’s only been 3 weeks. We are supposed to meet up next week but no idea what to expect. He had been quite talkative but last couple of days nothing and then today just kind of replying but not sounding interested.

            One thing that is helping me is making time with my friends and doing stuff for me. I’m focusing on what I want to do ( though it’s hard to work out what that is) and trying to plan in some things to look forward to. One thing I won’t do is allow myself to be completely dragged down by this too. There is also something I feel in displaying role model behaviours. That means getting on and doing. It is hard though. Some days I feel so sad I could cry for hours. But then we only get one shot at life and this is it. We can’t control the depression but we can control our reaction to it and how we deal with it.

            It’s hard because I worry about him. But he can’t worry about me right now or care. And that is the same result as doesn’t want to. Even though the intention is different the result is the same.

            If he was getting help or saying we’d tackle this together it would be different. But he’s not doing either of those things. So the only choice I have is to carry on. Hard as it may be.

            I hope you are doing ok. Try and focus on you and making your life your own. For your own sake

        • Bswa says:

          I understand what you mean, no matter what, we can’t avoid thinking they don’t care about us enough to try to’fight it together, as a real couple. So yes, we have to take care of ourselves on our own because no oneelse will. I used to say to my ex you have to be able to live well with yourself if you want to live well as a couple. Maybe that was the whole problem, I have been supporting her way too much, and so is his dad, calling her everyday like if she’s still a child. We have to learn how to let go for them to take charge of themselves. They have beautiful qualities otherwise we wouldn’t be here wondering, hoping desperately they will let us back in but that disease is often a life time matter so if they don’t take the decision for themselves to get better, there is absolutely no chance a couple can be happy in those condition. I wish I could tell her I’m ready for the long run, ready to learn how to cope, how to react when she’s having anxiosity, how not to feel frustrated (now that I know the reasons), that she’s worth it. But she’s not ready and I’m so sad when I think she might never come back to me. How do you deal with that everyday? That is really painful and I know I might get depressed too…

          • Susie says:

            It’s very hard. Though we’ve only been split up a few weeks, he moved out in January. So in some ways I’ve had more time to get used to it and he’s been pushing me away ever since. It’s not easy though even now. I’m just making sure I spend time doing stuff. Seeing my friends and family and just really trying hard not to let it overwhelm me. Reading these sites helps too. To remind me he’s ill. To remind me to look after me. And sometimes to give me a reality check that this could be a life sentence and I need to think if I can cope. I had some therapy early on too which helped. I’d recommend that if you haven’t already. Stay strong put you first.

    • Bswa says:

      3 years is such a long time, i don’t see myself without her, that’s the problem. But right now, you’re right, I’m looking after myself, each morning is the worse, I wake up early and feel so sick I can’t eat. then I find stuff to do and I feel better during the day. I will have some therapy if i don’t feel better soon, it’s not because my partner is sick and doesn’t want to take care of it that I will let myself drawn into depression. But right now I guess it’s a day by day situation… one day at a time. It helps to plan stuff and know that the world doesn’t stop. Courage, keep in touch.

  5. Tracy says:

    A long 5 and a half years later and I have finally managed to say goodbye to my marriage. I have been divorced for 2 years from my depressed Husband but it has only been recently that I got to have a heart to heart with him and realised that he has made up his mind (and probably did 5 1/2 years ago). It still blows my mind but at least I’m not crying any more. I am currently trying to convince him to come to our oldest daughters wedding but I don’t know how it will go. 🙁

    • Bswa says:

      Glad you had a closure at least. Not sure ill wait years for that. Think of you now and congrats to your daughter 🙂

  6. michael says:

    My wife, whom I love deeply suffers major depression and ptsd. When she goes through a bout of depression, she either sleeps ALL the time, like 20+ hrs a day or disappears for hours on end. She fantasizes about leaving me, about her death about my death.

    I do everything. I am a retired/disabled veteran and I do literally everything. From cleaning house to caring for our child to caring for our farm and the animals therein, I do it all. I cook, clean and everything and I could handle this, I really could without complaint as my “forever love” is sick and cannot.

    Where I get upset is the total lack of appreciation. She quits her job because that is where the suicide thoughts were their worst, but I foolishly assumed that at least mean’t I’d have more help at home. Of course I was wrong about that. But to not even have the human caring enough to say “thank you?”

    • Bswa says:

      Isn’t it the worse? I’m going through the first crisis with my 3 years life partner. We were going in the “happily forever after” phase but her anxiety got worst when she started a new isolated job, and all got out of control. In a week she left me, got rid of all my stuff and started fantasize about a new relationship with someone she was talking to online for few days. Of course, I was in shock, how could the love of your life (she used to call me that, as her soulmate) could turn into someone so crazy (excuse the turn but it is what it is, crazy situation, so unbelievable ) that does the one thing she would never ever do, cheat on us?
      As for the consideration you’re expecting, i totally understand that, I’m thinking they are in a state where they can’t focus on anything else than survival. But I’m sure she will be grateful at the end of the tunnel. How did it go the previous times? Is it her first mild depression?
      How do you communicate ? I’m i’ a position where I had to stand back, hoping she will wake up soon, be her true self again and contact me, even if it’s so hard for me right now. My best friend and lover is gone and there is nothing I can do… worste feeling ever

      • michael says:

        Major depressive episode is finished here, seems to have come around on the meds and counseling. I will keep you in thought and prayers in your situation.

        • Bswa says:

          You’re lucky she is willing to get help with therapy and all. I’m glad for you, thanks for your words and good luck to both of you

  7. Natalie says:


    My Husband of three years left while I was sleep last week. He walked out the house and left the front door open left everything including rings watches(he never goes anywhere without) I scared and worried made myself sick after not hearing from him for 12 hours. I finally heard through his sister that he was “off finding himself”. I realized he was suffering but as the primary bread winner I told him if he didn’t like his job Quit I got us we would be okay. I’m not a homemaker at all, I’m quite messy actually but If I cleaned he yelled at me for touching his stuff, if I didn’t clean I was nasty “B”. One minute I was everything and the next he wished he never met me. He cheated on me because I worked too much and didn’t give him enough attention, or he cheated because I was too clingy. He was either extremely happy or extremely sad there was no in between. I tried to get him help but he was like “I’m not paying no one to talk to me that’s crazy”. Everyday you had no idea who was walking through the front door. I love him but i’m not sure i liked him.

  8. Stéphane says:

    For us, it usually starts with nervous energy. She rummages around the house, rearranging the kitchen cupboards, unable to simply sit by me side and relax. This may last a day or two and at this point, I am still able to make her laugh, to get her to stand still and remember to breath. It quickly starts to spiral downward.

    Then comes the anxiety: she worries about the mortgage, about the insurance policy, about her brother or her mother, about a water main break or a sewer backup. There MUST be mold in the walls! Or bedbugs in the couch! She starts to forget about the US in the equation, about me. It’s now about her. She no longer sees me sitting there by her side. She no longer thinks about what we’ll make for supper, about the snow outside that needs to be shovelled, about the house that needs to be upkept. She forget things: wallets and credit cards left at stores or restaurants, keys in the car or door. She loses things and her mind is scattered. She becomes disorganized. If I mention anything about this, I am accused of exaggerating, of making a big deal out of nothing. She may still smile at me once in a while, but the smile rings false. It’s an act, she’s trying to be reassuring: “Look at me, how well I’m doing, how I manage this episode so well. Don’t look too closely, DON’T see my pain and my fear and my anguish. I’m just going to go downstairs and watch TV.” She disappears from my life at this point. No tears, no anger. She sits in front of the TV, the computer, anything, for hours. Hours and hours in front of the television or computer, needing to escape my presence. Laughter is no longer present in our lives, intimacy is no longer a possibility.

    The anger, criticism and verbal abuse come next. I can do nothing right. She lashes out. My clothes upset her, my way of eating is disturbing, the way I present myself in public baffles her (she does not understand my self confidence). If I breathe too loudly I get rebuffed. Her insomnia becomes my fault. My very presence in the house is barely tolerated. Any good mood I may have becomes an assault to her very being, a violation of her right to be miserable.

    She dreams of another life. “If only I could be someone else. I want to quit my job, go back to school, move to another city, adopt a child, have a child of my own”. If I question any of these thoughts, if I try to be rational about these dreams, I am accused of not being supportive, proof, in her mind, that this relationship is doomed.

    She dreams of another life, for herself, yes, but for me as well. “I can’t bear to see the pain I am causing you. I just was not made to be in a relationship. Seeing you like this hurt makes me feel guilty.” After so many years together, it comes down to this… every time.

    What is most difficult, hardest to withstand, is that there is NOTHING I can do about any of this. I am left to watch, as if seeing a dreadfully agonizing movie for the tenth time. I watch, amazed and bewildered again. Every time, I wonder if I will be able to withstand the ravages of THIS episode. Will WE survive this time around. Every time, I feel weaker, more fragile, damaged in some way.

    The sun will be up in an hour. The day promises to be beautiful. A clear winter morning. I will go for a walk in the woods and breathe the cold, crisp air, watch as the chickadees flutter from branch to branch in the bare trees. I will soak all this in while the woman I love so dearly sits in front of a screen, trying not to think of the chaos in her mind.

    • Me_her_anddepression says:

      Wow you have just described my life completely, i could never have put this across as well as you have.

      I am two and a half years into a relationship, we both live in seperate houses so this was hidden from me in the early days. I often wonder if there is an end to this and i tell my self everyday that this is not permanent and if we find the right treatment then there will be an end.

      Everyday its like i go to watch the sunrise and just as we start to see the rats of sun appear in the horizon then a big black cloud blocks our view.

      • Bswa says:

        Any improvements in your situations? I trully understand your situation I have loved the same one but I always managed to give her happy thoughts and happy moments. But she was fighting for’our’love, for happy thoughts of’future constantly and now I realise that. In some case there is anxiety and that’s a life situation where your partner and yourself need techniques to’cope with depresssion. Unfortunately my partner has fallen into a deep depression and erased me from her life, saying she was rethinkig’ her college years (even if I’m sure nothing was better by then), she wanted to change her job orientation.. she suddently forgot that all her happy moments of 3 years was with me and thanks to me, thanks to us ; but instead depression makes her believe I’m her depression, the same that her job. So she suddently went on chat rooms to fantasize about a new person that would make her feel… depression is a terrible enemy that can rip off a very loving couple; I never believed we could end up like this, our feelings were deep, real (far better than any fantasy) and we had so many things in commun, we just loved to share everything together. Now she rejects me because I’m her judgemental conscience that knows she is self medicating by drinking and she can’t face that in her state. But where do we stand as loving partners? No-one deserves that when we have been loving and caring for so long… good luck to all

  9. Jess says:

    Sadly, everything on this website sounds all too familiar to me. I have been with my husband for 13 years, and our first (planned) baby is due next year.
    In the space of 8 weeks my loving, thoughtful and amazing husband has completely disappeared. The person left behind is cruel, moody, distant and selfish. It began a week after our first scan, and has got to the point in that short time where he has said the spark has gone between us and so he has moved out.
    His behaviour became strange and erratic, with him disappearing for drives in the middle of the night, staying at work as much as possible, ignoring all contact from friends and family and generally being nasty and uncaring towards me.
    I know this is not my husband, and I truly believe this is the result of some form of depression triggered by the pregnancy. The problem is, he is in denial and refusing any kind of help and his family do not believe me and so are not trying to help in any way.
    I am a long way from giving up on him, but on days like today it is hard to imagine being able to deal with this and the pregnancy for much longer. x

    • Carl says:

      Jess, i feel your pain 7 months ago i lost my gf to this monster, she changed into a selfish uncaring person i dont know? Shes in denial also i couldn’t get her to see the doctor. Now shes started a new life with someone else still unknowing deep into a depression. Im missing her greatly today the person i knew, Untreated depression only gets worse over advice to you is read Depression fallout the book, it has tips and may help you over come his denial. Its the hardest to lose someone you love to depression, they think what they see is the truth but the truth lies.

    • gg says:

      Oh dear, apart from the pregnancy, sounds so much like my life with a depressed boyfriend. My “loving, thoughtful and amazing” partner, in just 1 week turned into a “cruel, moody, distant and selfish” person.
      Anyway, I’m glad to hear you’re not giving up, bless you and wish you and the baby all the best.

      Please let us know how things are going. I’m sure testimonials here a great relief and help to a lot of people, me included.

      • EC says:

        Hi Jess and gg

        Your stories are similar to mine (minus the baby – sort of). My beautiful, loving, generous kind hearted partner of 8 years changed literally overnight after a small argument that escalated quickly. 2 weeks following this he was a complete different person. Within that two weeks, I lost a baby, and to begin with my partner was sensitive and sad with me, this didn’t last long. The following day he announced he had been having an affair for 2 months with no remorse, regret or apology. He was so cruel and bitter, a complete different person to the man I have known all these years. The next day he saw a psychiatrist, who confirmed he has severe depression. Following this, we decided to put our relationship on hold whilst he got better. He wants medical help but cannot seek it due to the nature of his job. His family have no idea what’s going on and assume we have broken up due to his cheating as he told them. They do not know we have been meeting, that we are on hold not broken up, or that he is ill. He doesn’t remember any of what he said the night of the argument, and has told his psychiatrist the ‘affair’ was just a coffee and he didn’t see what the big deal was! He told me ‘5 times a week for 2 months’ but actually, this wasn’t the case! He worked everyday over Christmas and spent christmas evening and new year shut away in a hotel on his own. If that isn’t signs of a depressed man I don’t know what is. He’s working 7 days a week, with no rest and has exhausted himself. I have since found out that his depression is likely to be genetic, given that his father, grandmother, Aunty and cousin all sufferer severe depression. He hasn’t said he doesn’t love me, but he has said he isn’t in love with me, that he feels numb, no care or love for anything or anyone. He said he doesn’t care about his family or anyone. He wants to be left alone for a while. We are however still meeting weekly and I take great comfort from that and that he agrees to see me, I also take comfort from the fact he is saying we are on hold as opposed to through.

        Unfortunately I have suffered a huge emotional shock and turmoil, and since all this I have lost my job, an Aunty and been in hospital. The fact he doesn’t care has effected me hugely. But I know this is the depressions effect. My man would never leave me in a hospital bed alone. I have told him the effects on me and he listened, but gave no response and did not like hearing it! However I think on some level it went it. I have not yet had an apology though, which just confirms the illness even more, as I believe even the cruelest of people would have said sorry! So for now I am hanging on to hope by a thread. I know things won’t ever be the same again, but I’m trying to believe they could eventually return.

        Sending big hugs to all those going through this terrible ordeal.

        • gg says:

          Dear EC,
          I’m sorry to hear your story, it seems we’re talking about the same man. But after all the suffering, something inside of me just changed. I’ve had too much, I just don’t want to feel unloved and unwanted anymore – I don’t deserve that. I told my partner I’m ready to move on, to split up. He said he doens’t want to break up, but I see he just CAN’T change. It’s so sad, but I’m really relieved. I’d never imagine I’d say that, but now I’m trully at peace, relieved and ready to move on without him. I feel so sorry for him but, after all, I’ve realised my efforts were, unfortunately, in vain. I’ve offered my best, but it’s time to let go. I can’t spend the rest of my life with this burden (it seems selfish, but heaven knows what is to be pushed away, to be neglected, unappreciated – enough for me). I just felt deep inside I deserve to be happy, feel loved again.

          This is what I wish to all of you – be happy. Their illness are not your fault, and if you don’t have hope anymore, let go, choose a good life. Life’s too short, we all deserve some happiness, peace, feeling loved.

          All the best to all of you. Lots of love.

  10. Pat says:

    Everything I’m reading on here sounds just too familiar. My boyfriend of 2 years is dealing with depressions. Especially this time of the year is really hard for him. His dad passed away 2 years ago in December and he thinks a lot about him.
    He’s been dealing with depressions for the last few weeks and I have no more strength to deal with it. We haven’t done anything fun on the weekends for a few weeks because he works until 7pm and also mostly on Saturdays. I feel like we are drifting apart. I’m trying to get him out of here and maybe go for a walk but whatever I suggest, he doesn’t want to do it. On top of that all we wants to do is watch TV and sleep.
    Today is really bad day for me and I’ve cried lots because I don’t know where this is going. I don’t want to lose him but I need to look after myself first. I know that.
    He told me to not to tell him what to do all the time and left. His eyes looked so sad when he left. I feel like I don’t want to be around him anymore when he’s like that. I’m a very happy go lucky person and not being able to help him is very hard on me.
    Being around him seems unbearable at this point and I don’t know if I want to be with him for the rest of my life as I can only take that much.
    I am hoping to staying at a hotel tonight and come back to him tomorrow.

    • Tracy says:

      Hi Pat,

      This is the same Tracy from two years ago I am afraid. After 3 years I have finally decided to give up trying to get the man I married back. He disappeared with depression and although I have seen glimpses of him occasionally I now know there is no chance. When he comes back he thinks that we can forget what he has done and just slip back into the same old ways. I need him to put in an effort to make amends but he can not see there is anything he could have done different. No one can believe I held on so long but I love him with all my heart. My advice to you, is to cut your loses.
      Sorry, but take it from someone who has spent too much time crying and not enough time living.
      Good Luck.

  11. jonjo says:

    my wife of 7 years and partner of 18 years has recently had 2 affairs after i found out about the second ,i tried to be a superhero and be the nicest person on the planet doing literally everything i could for her paying her compliments etc she responded by telling me we were over and she stopped loving me over a year ago and only saw me as a friend she started suffering from anxiety and depression about 2 months ago before i found out about the affair and kept turning to me when she felt at her lowest she has recently been prescribed tablets which are not helping too much she has good days and bad days she has told us we have no future together and she just needs me to take care of most of the chores looking after the children etc .which i’m willing to do even though she can be hurtful towards me and keeps pushing me away. i dont think i can walk away until shes ready to look after herself and be a good mother.right now my life is on hold praying for a miracle that the person i love is still in there somewhere and if not i can walk away knowing i did my best for her.

    • Bswa says:

      Hi jonjo,
      How is your life now? Would be great to have some follow up after few years for people living that today. .. wishing you the best

  12. Toni says:

    This article has helped me to understand a little more of what my husband is going through. He chose to leave me and is living with another woman. We have been married for 44 years and together for 45 years. He is a very loving, kind person. He left me one day without warning. It has been 4 months now. He gives me mixed feelings. Just has me dangling in that grey area. Says he loves me and will always love me but can’t live with me. At first he blamed me for everything and is very angry with me. He no longer is blaming me but is still angry. Told me he forgives me. He is mixed up but refuses to get help. His mistress must be sick too. Surely she knows something is wrong with him. He is lying all the time although he has been a little better lately.We talk quite often or he text’s me. From what I have read I am not suppose to do this but I can’t seem to stop. Seems like he wants me for emotional support. He has non one to talk to except his mistress. She has been married 5 times and is going thru a divorce now. My husband talks about a divorce but so far has not filed. I asked him not to. Don’t know if that is why he hasn’t or not. I am waiting for him to get better. He has been under a huge amount of stress for 3 years. (Business related.) I am hoping once he gets rid of his business that will relieve the stress and he will get better. At first when he left he told me he was never coming back but now tells me he doesn’t know. I pray every day for his recovery and that he will come back to me. Some of my friends can’t understand this but I believe in my marriage vows and I love him very much. Thanks for listening.

    • Tracy says:

      Hi Toni,
      Your struggle is exactly like mine and 2 years later I am still in that grey area hoping upon hope that my Husband will get better. At least now I know he is alive and looking after himself as best he can. He still claims there is not another woman but he can not come back and live with me where I am at the moment. I do know however there has been two other woman but what happened to those relationships I will never know. My marriage vows also are the most important and I have recommenced councelling to help me put my thoughts in line. If my heart and head could work in unison things would be great. I wish you the best and would be very keen to be your support as I know exactly what you are going through.

  13. Frank says:

    So at least there is hope that he will be found and the situation gets clearer…

    My wife went to cinema today and I had to handle our three kids and the household alone. After she came back late in the evening she immediatly went to the computer to chat with her friends on her online game. Nice. No nice words for me, for them sure, but not for me. She went so egoistically, I suggested we could play something together, but her reply was harsh “What should be play together?!!”. She only sleeps until midday and then plays her online game. I have to handle everything alone. I have to go to sleep now, alone, and she will play for some hours again with her online “friends”. Oh how I hate this.

    • Tracy says:

      It is so sad Frank and so familiar. My Husband left with his Motorbike and Computer (He also had to keep in contact with who ever it was that was far more important than his family). He has left me with all the on going bills including the mortgage and everything else that goes with it. How long have you been married and how long has this behaviour been going on? I hate it so much as well. I am torn between wanting my husband back or rather a man that loves me and letting go of who he has changed into and going it alone. I cant believe he just doesnt love me anymore. Everyone around me listens to my problems and then tells me to just forget about him as he is being a selfish pig, but as everyone knows “no one knows what goes on behind closed doors” and their knowledge and understanding is so superficial. It is only us the partners that have the deep emotional attachment to these people that can see that it is an illness. I have spent alot of time trying to convince people that if it was just a marriage problem he would still be keeping in contact with his kids (that he loves with all his heart). I have come to a point where I just dont want to talk about it with them anymore. They keep asking me what I am going to do or what my plans are. We have been married 21years and most of that time we have lived in each others pockets. There are alot of married couples out there that would find that hard to understand but to us it was natural. Now nothing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I even know what set him off and that was his mate being diagnosed with an agressive brain tumor. Being pushed away at their time of need is the hardest thing to comprehend.

      • Lyndsey says:

        Tracy, I literally am going through the exact same thing you are. It’s as if we married the same person. My husband supposedly left for a funeral in November and never returned. He has been dealing with depression for most of the time we’ve been together, but I just didn’t know that. I put in a missing person’s report as well, and 30 minutes after I put it in with a policeman sitting in my kitchen, we found him with a friend of his. He voluntarily left and apparently sought help. I know this only because he replied to my email earlier this month and said he was staying out in the country about 20 minutes from the nearest town. This isn’t the first time he has done this, as in late August of last year, he did exactly the same thing.

        We’ve been married for 7 years, and of that time, we’ve been inseparable. I don’t understand his depression but I’ve always been willing to stay by him and give him love, sympathy and compassion. It’s never been a question of do I love him enough to help him. It’s been more will he let me help. I’ve gone through the stages of grief and I’m still going through them. I’ve been angry, confused, hurt, angry again, and even depressed myself.

        I stumbled upon John’s blog the other day, and I felt compelled to say something about my own situation when I read other’s and realized that I am not alone. We don’t have children together, which is probably a blessing. I can’t imagine what I would say to my child about where their father is or what is happening to him. If I am having the worst thoughts about how to cope, I can safely say a child will have it worse.

        My friends have had the same reaction that yours have had and said many of the same things i.e. Forget him, he’s selfish, etc. It’s hard to just not love someone who’s been your world and that you fell in love with, especially when you’ve loved this person for so long with no questions asked. I miss the man I fell in love with, that made me laugh, that took care of me when I was sick, who cooked my dinner when I didn’t have time and had to get to work, who was my best friend as well as my partner. This illness has taken ahold of him, and I don’t know where and how to get him back. In an effort to take care of myself, I just called a lawyer today. He knows this, but I doubt he cares. I miss my husband.

        • Tracy says:

          Dear Lyndsey, Oh my goodness it does sound like we are with the same man. Having the kids is a blessing because I have something besides my situation to focus on most of the time. The rest of the time its a constant internal battle of my will. I am hurt with what he is doing and want to punish him, while at the same time knowing that he feels nothing. I could feel the void there for the last year. He was like a shell of a man that was going through the motions and when I said to him, “the only time you cuddle me is when you are asleep”. He said “That proves that I still love you”. He has disappeared a few times in the last year. First for a weekend and couldnt understand why I was upset. Then a couple of weeks and then for 5 weeks before the most recent. What I realised was when he came back each time he just stepped back in as if nothing had happened. He didnt treat me any different or try and make me feel special. Nothing. My feelings and emotions change everyday and sometimes I think I would take him back in an instant and then others I think I would lay down the law and then I think I just couldnt take him back for the sake of my own sanity. What do I do????
          I would really like to know the chances of him coming good and coming home. Am I holding out for the impossible. If he does come good will the guilt of what he has done prevent him from even trying to come home. When he first left we had some rather intense emails and I said to him “I have stood by you this long through all your ailments, I just need to know if you still want me to be beside you?” His reply was short and bitter sweet “Yes I do!”. Does that mean I just sit and wait and accept?? My emotional investment in him is just as strong as ever :{

  14. Tracy says:

    Hi everyone,
    Everything here sounds so familiar it hurts. My husband has suffered from depression for years but it has only been this last bout that has lasted for over a year that I have recognised it for what it is. I too felt most of the time that I was a single parent for our 4 kids. This time my Husband has disappeared. I last spoke to him last August when he went away for a specialist appointment (Chronic Back Pain). Then he supposedly lost his phone and I have not spoken to him since. I was still getting emails until Nov but then they stopped after he informed me that he was getting pychiatric help. Life is so much calmer and easier with out his struggles but I still love him and want to know if he is ok. Can someone tell me if I should hunt him down or leave him to do whatever it is he is doing??? This breaks my heart and of course the children are fighting their own battles with abandonment. If he doesnt want to be here with us, be it an illness or not, is it worth trying to force him back into reality? I just dont know!!!

    • Frank says:

      Hi Tracy,

      I suggest you should try to meet him personally and talk with him to see what the situation is. If this is not possible, write him a letter. Maybe then you will know.

      • Tracy says:

        Thanks Frank, but unfortunately I have no idea where he is. He hasnt had his phone disconnected but will not answer it or respond to any texts. I have been told over and over again to put a missing persons report in but I feel I will be invading his privacy and it will only make him angry.

        • Frank says:

          I understand. I’m really sorry for you. Maybe you could engage a detective agency to find him if you can afford that? To put a mission persons report is justifiable in your case, he is your husband and you really should not care about him getting angry about that as he does not care what he does onto you. To be unclear about the situation is surely the worst thing for you.

          • Tracy says:

            My oldest daughter has now put a missing persons report in on him, so we will have to wait and see how the police go. The hardest thing for me to get my head around is putting together the person he was to the way he is behaving now. I dont like who he is now and have no idea how I will react if I do see him. My second daughter said to me “what if we see him and he ignores us or turns and walks away?”. I dont know the answer to that. Maybe my Husband and their father is gone forever :/

  15. Frank says:

    I’m married since ten years, my wife had a depressive phase some years ago. She played an online game chattet with her “friends” until morning hours for months and I was left alone with our 2 year old child. I was in education at an IT-company then, I had to go to work. One morning, out of nothing, I didn’t understand it then, she cried that she wanted to go to a psychatric clinic now. So I took free and helped her. Suddenly I had to find someone for our daughter, it was a heavy and difficult time for me for many weeks. With support of my family it went well. It took months to come back to an acceptable relationship. The coming years were better. This summer this started again. She played the same game from morning until morning hours, talked mostly to her “friends” and when I asked her what she’s doing she was repellent. She said it was only my jealousy that was wrong, but I felt it, she were going depressed again.
    I was angry, I fought, I was sad, but it didn’t get better. Each evening since months I sit alone on my PC she sits on her and chats with her “friends”. I go to bed alone and stand up alone. I care for our three kids (3,4 and 9) – one of our kid is disabled and needs more care, like in your case. I do 99,9% of the work and nothing comes back. Of course, I also go to work. I realized that this was never much better and how I fought for all the years to have a family. I fully understand what you wrote, it’s so much like my situation.

    “it really opened my eyes that I’ve actually been a single parent all of these years.”
    I often thought this and it seems true especially now.

    I’m 35 now. I want to be happy, I want a partnership. I don’t know what I can do. I want to help her, take care of her if she needs me. But if nothing comes back and you can’t talk, how long should this go on. I was thinking about divorce, but this would mean I had to take the kids and I could lose my job. So this is not an option. Do you have some tipps?

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, Frank –

      I’m sorry that this situation is making daily life so difficult – and lonely. Since your wife was the one who took the initiative to get help during the earlier depressive period, I’m wondering why she isn’t recognizing the same symptoms now. I would probably talk to her family or someone who has influence with her to see if they can get through to her about the need for treatment. It’s often hardest for the partner in your position to make much headway. The lack of response you get from her is typical, I’m sorry to say. When I was deeply depressed and isolating from my wife, I finally listened when she demanded I get treatment or else. In other words, she drew a boundary, being very clear that she had reached her limit and couldn’t keep going when I was so withdrawn and depressed. You could also try to consult with a therapist or doctor who was involved in her treatment from the first period of her depression. If someone with depression refuses treatment and denies there’s a problem, however, there’s not a lot you can do. Then it’s really up to you to look after yourself and do what you think is best for you and the kids.

      I hope you can find a way through this that is helpful to all of you.


      • Frank says:

        Thank you John.

        I took her to a doctor, she now gets antidepressants and visits a doctor. So I look forward that the situation improves. When the days get longer and there is more light, this may also help her I think. Sometimes I see pretty black and I get angry at her. I know this makes it worse for her, but I loose my temper sometimes when it gets stressful. At least it helps me to have so much to do during the day. I’ll fight.

  16. stephany says:

    I think that your wife is fortunate that you felt all of that, and wanted to work to have a relationship. I suppose I could tell a story of a person that treated me the same way,maybe it was depression, maybe not, but how you describe yourself matches up. I raised my kids, did all of the “work” that takes, including a special need child, and her need grew to a higher level recently, as my blog states. I had a different defining moment. Several in fact, but the one that clarified things was when I asked the person if they ever liked let alone love me. I got the answer I was living with while raising my kids, which caused me to feel foolish, the answer was “No.” Among other things, when the silence was finally broken, and words finally were spoken, it appears now he made a complete mistake. I raised my children, and did my best for them. I knew I didn’t have a relationship, I wasn’t expecting a good answer, it was over anyway. But the pain still was there, actually I was shocked that it was all erased. It was as if I was erased. I would rather have had him admit to himself he was emotionally not attached to me,years ago, 20 years ago, hell 25 years ago, or maybe he should have not married me at all, it would have been better that way–but I was too busy working and taking care of my kids to care about myself. When the last 2 years of mental health crises happened with my youngest, it really opened my eyes that I’ve actually been a single parent all of these years.

    Slam dunk, the guy finally talks, and this causes my first comment. Hope is not love.

    I have hope for, but now I realize I never had it, and wouldn’t know what to do if I ever got it. That, is where I wrote before, that it is practically scary, imagining myself happy, because I’ve not had a relationship that brought me happiness,or love. How can that be, explained, except for having a high need child keeps me quite busy, and it’s when she needed support the most, he bailed even more.

    What a depressing story, as usual, my life depicts despair. But, maybe this will help someone else. Who knows.

    It’s worse, knowing you felt alone in a marriage, then the ultimate smack down, the last yelling in my face, that I in fact was bizzare, and well, what else needs to be said.

    I’m glad you connected via the gardening. Your relationship is obviously one you both want, which is what matters I guess.

    Once, at the state hospital, a social worker saw my distraught, weary soul. Advocating for my daughter 2 years ago, she looked at my daughter’s father and told him to take my hand and get me out of there, to go “take care of your wife”. He refused. That was just one humilation that frankly, showed me much.

    Maybe mine is a story of being played a fool, taking care of my kids, is my reward though. One of my kids last night told me, a lot. When I called her crying and said, “I’ve failed all of you.” My psychiatrist had encouraged me to consider how my daughters are adults, and they can be supportive of me. That was the most difficult conversation with my daughter.They are adults, and lived in the same house, with an emotionally detached/and most likely depressed father, so I guess we all get it now.

    This is probably too long of a post, but if it helps someone else by reading it, I hope it does, otherwise I’ve told this and regret it.

    • Christian says:

      Dear Stephany,

      Thanks for sharing this with me. This blog is probably long gone by now but i stumbled across it as I’m a year into a relationship that has caused a great deal of tension between my partner and my family. Reading these posts in making my mind clearer about the shortcomings of my relationship. I lived with her for a year and did “everything”, all the way down to being her alarm clock in the morning to personal shopper. Now look back and think I could have behaved differently. She goes through moments of wanting to change and has these great signs of hope, only to be brought back into despair due to another problem arising in her life. I thank everyone here for sharing their time and writing from their heart honestly and clearly. Its nice to hear other stories to draw knowledge from.


  17. stephany says:

    hope is not love.

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