Should This Woman Leave Her Depressed Husband?

depressed husband

By Jackie Pilossoph, Founder, Divorced Girl Smiling, the place to find trusted, vetted divorce professionals, a podcast, website and mobile app.

When people think of people who suffer from depression, they usually picture women more than men. (Think postpartum or menopause.) But depression in men is a very serious subject, and much more common than people think. Furthermore, a depressed husband can cause big problems in a marriage. Read this woman’s devastating story, and then let’s talk about whether or not she should leave.

I’ve been married for a few years. We have a six year-old child. We are both in
our thirties.
Prior to getting married, I knew that my husband had suffered occasional bouts of depression. Through the last seven years, we have weathered many depressive storms in our marriage. My issue is that they continue to get
more severe in both symptoms and duration. 

To put it very simply, I feel that I don’t currently have a husband: instead I have a shell of the man I married. This comes from two places: 1) his negative thinking, sarcasm, impatience and general bad attitude; and 2) his utter lack of interest in
anything (socializing, sex, exercise, talking about his feelings, etc.).

The really hard thing is that I feel like an enabler. I have been the
proverbial “motor for two boats” for years. This is true economically (I am
the sole provider); in terms of child care (toddler is in daycare full time
despite the fact that husband does not work); and, most importantly,

Most days I feel as though I have to push my husband out of
bed. I also feel that if I don’t give him explicit instructions as to what
he should be doing, he does nothing. Things have gotten so bad that I am
finding myself totally unattracted to this shell of a man.


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What I want is the man I married back. He was funny, charming, and had the
world at his feet. While I recognize that this is not the fault of my depressed husband, it is exceedingly difficult knowing that my child and myself are not reason
enough for him to get help. He has refused marriage counseling. He says
that he has taken medication in the past and it doesn’t work. Essentially
he is full of excuses.

He is also so convinced that I would never leave that he just continues to take advantage of the situation, coasting through life with the assumption that I will take care of everything….which is driving me up the wall.

I love the person that I married. I am not in love with the shell of the
man that’s left. In the past he has gotten over these episodes by “snapping
out of it” after some large life event. New jobs, death of a loved one, new
house, etc. I just don’t feel that it’s fair for me to wait around for the
next “big thing.” I almost feel that a separation may let him know how
serious I am. Maybe that’s the next “big thing” he needs? Or am I
rationalizing and being manipulative? If the separation ended in divorce I
would only be devastated if the man I married resurfaced somewhere along
the way. Being divorced from this “shell” is not a huge loss.


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My advice:

I’m sure you are feeling extremely frustrated and tired. Exhausted, I would imagine. Someone who has a problem, who is not willing to talk about it, get help or make any changes is infuriating and can make you feel helpless. It’s not too different than a man or woman who has an alcohol or drug addiction who refuses to make any kind of change, regardless of seeing that his or her spouse is unhappy, and fails to recognize that his or her own life isn’t normal or acceptable.

Should you get divorced? That is your decision, but if you do decide to separate because you are trying to give him the next “big thing,” or to let him know you are serious about wanting him to change, be prepared for all possible, and that what you are hoping for—that he will wake up and say, “I don’t want to lose my wife so I am going to get help” might not happen. It might. But, it might not.

Are you prepared for everything to blow up and him to say, “I’m not happy either. If this is what you want, then I want a divorce,” and 6 months later, have a serious girlfriend? I’m not saying that will happen, I don’t want to scare you, I’m just saying, it’s possible.


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When people say they want a divorce, they are taking a risk. It could turn out to be the best thing you ever did, and it could cause him to get help, but if it turned out another way, are you ok with ending up divorced?

What I’ve learned in my long life is that the hardest part about living with someone exhibiting destructive behavior is that you can’t change him. YOU CAN’T CHANGE HIM. And that is brutal. You sound very successful professionally, so I’m sure you are used to taking steps to be successful and having it work.

Helping your husband is something you will never be successful at. NEVER. He has to want to help himself. He has to want to do it for him, for you and for your child. The good news is, depression is treatable, through medication, talk therapy, supplements, yoga and countless other strategies.

I wish I had more concrete, helpful advice, but you need to dig deep inside your heart and do what is best for you and your child. What kind of example is your husband setting for your child, by the way? That’s something to consider. That said, it sounds like you once loved your husband deeply. How long are you willing to wait?


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Lastly, you mentioned your fear that if you leave, he will “resurface” and be a great husband to another woman. Every man and woman fears this, I think. They think, “He will have learned something from my leaving, and the next woman will benefit from the lessons he learned, as he will be a better person/husband for her. It’s not fair.” But honestly, I think that’s just a fantasy, a dismal picture women paint because they are afraid.

Deep down, we know that people don’t truly change for someone else. The only make really big changes if they decide to do it for themselves. But, if he did get the help he needed down the road, wouldn’t you be happy, regardless of whether or not you are with him? Ask yourself, is that a better scenario than what’s going on in your home right now?

This is a very very difficult situation and you can listen to advice from friends, family, professionals, and even me, but ultimately, you are the only person who must decide what to do. What’s best for you, what’s in your heart, and what kind of life do you want moving forward? Whatever you do, there is no judgment from me or anyone else. Listen to your gut. It’s never wrong.

Like this article? Check out, My Husband Has No Friends of Hobbies

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    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Jackie Pilossoph is the Founder of Divorced Girl Smiling, the media company that connects people facing with divorce to trusted, vetted divorce professionals. Pilossoph is a former NBC affiliate television journalist and Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press features reporter. Her syndicated column, Love Essentially was published in the Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press and Tribune owned publications for 7 1/2 years. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University. Learn more at:

    36 Responses to “Should This Woman Leave Her Depressed Husband?”

    1. Wes


      I would love to add my two cents in being a man who has lived with depression on and off for years.

      I have fought with depression on and off for years. Not usually deep depression like her husband, but certainly enough to have an effect on my life.
      The deepest depression I had ever dealt with was for 6 – 8 months prior to our split. I had sort of given up on anything in my life getting better. This was mainly due to my inaction to make a change to myself. I smoked weed and played video games as a way to cope and avoid things, which led to further depression. Both which I have quit.

      First I can relate with the events that cause him to snap back. It took my wife leaving me to realise who I was in the marriage and it really caused me to snap out of it.
      The author is correct though, you cannot change him, this is his battle and he must choose to change and get help.
      I wish my ex-wife was using the separation as a way to snap me out of it, because in a very short amount of time I have changed. Sadly she met another man prior to leaving me and is now blissfully happy with him.
      I never took medication to help me through depression and that was mostly because I saw what it had done to my mother and my sister and I wa not prepared to go through that. What I have done is removed many negative things from my life, started working out and eating better. I read positive self-help books and instead of wasting my time in front of a TV or playing video games I have chosen to use that time to read and learn.
      I disagree with a leopard never changes it’s spots though. If it’s one thing I have learned it is that I cannot be the man I was, I have to and want to change, for myself, for my children and for my future spouse.

      My advice to her is to tell him in a very compassionate and understanding way that the way things are are not working for her. That she loves him very much and doesn’t want to leave, and she will if he chooses not to seek help and make some changes. Suggest a councillor, suggest yoga or fitness. These will all help guaranteed. But if he chooses not to, then I would suggest doing what you have to do and then accept all the consequences good and bad.

      • Zeev

        If you bring up the prospect of divorce as an ultimatum, the depressed spouse will only have their worst fears and guilt feelings confirmed. No matter what kind of pain you’re going through, the depressed person is the one who is suffering the worst, and bringing up divorce is only adding insult to injury. “It’s bad enough I have to suffer with this condition, do I have to be punished by losing my family” etc.

        Right now it seems to me that your goal is to save your marriage, and the first prerequisite is to convince yourself and your spouse that giving up is not an option. The only way to dispel the darkness is with light, and I bless you that your inner strength and light will help both you and your husband and your children prevail over a darkness that takes no sides in its attempt to destroy.

        • stef

          unfortunately Wes only decided to change his life after the wife decided to divorce him. Many depressed people are not willing to make any effort to get better and try to change their life style. My husband is depressed too and I after many years now I am exhausted! I have my own health problems too, I have muscle dystrophy and I fought 7 years and spend lots of money to have the diagnosis. He supported me emotionally and I am sorry he doesn’t want me to support him too, he really doesn’t want to understand what it is wrong with him. It is not easy spending all they long with a angry, sad and moody person, especially because, for my condition, it is not easy for me going out for a while and forget about the situation I am living. I am also the one that is paying all the bills because he never went to work. I love him, but I am fed up I would just like to disappear. I also wondering if he is depressed because he miss his country and he was not able to adapt in the country we live. We are both immigrant, but we come from different countries.

    2. Wes

      Oh, I forgot to mention that even now I still deal with depression. My cure is the gym. I work out lifting weights 3 – 4 times a week. If I miss a day in between or go to long without working out I notice a huge decrease in my mental well being.
      RIght now the gym is keeping me going. It increases my energy, my mood and helps me sleep better. The gym is what I would suggest to him and I promise he’ll feel better, act better and his self-esteem will immediately increase.
      Also right now I bet he is beating himself up for the things he does not do, for probably feeling like a lousy husband etc. His self-esteem is likely in the gutter which only feeds the depression even more.
      If you aren’t already, he needs to know you are on his side. He needs to know you love him.
      I used to beat myself up all the time for my shortcomings. Lots of negative self talk that supported my depression and the beliefs I had about myself and my situation.

    3. Lenie

      Wow, this literally could have been written by me.. My ex-husband was exactly the same way. Irritable, lethargic and a shell of a man. The only difference is mine went on for 15 years….during this time he made no effort to do anything to help himself. He said that “he didn’t have the problems, I did”. Refused counseling, meds, interventions and pleas from his teenage kids. I gave him an ultimatum…see a therapist or I’m leaving. He refused. Long story short, we divorced a year ago. The day he moved out I felt huge relief– the marriage hash been over for years. Since then, I have met a wonderful man who is my EQUAL and our relationship shines a spotlight on how horrible my marriage was. My advice… You can force him to go to therapy, but if he doesn’t engage and admit he has a problem, it’s useless. What you described is not a relationship and you cannot cure him. Don’t waste years and years like I did. I would leave again in a heartbeat. And believe you should too. Being alone is far better than being in a lonely relationship with a man you need to take care of. Better is out there…. I promise.

    4. Lenie

      Wow, this literally could have been written by me.. My ex-husband was exactly the same way. Irritable, lethargic and a shell of a man. The only difference is mine went on for 15 years….during this time he made no effort to do anything to help himself. He said that “he didn’t have the problems, I did”. Refused counseling, meds, interventions and pleas from his teenage kids. I gave him an ultimatum…see a therapist or I’m leaving. He refused. Long story short, we divorced a year ago. The day he moved out I felt huge relief– the marriage hash been over for years. Since then, I have met a wonderful man who is my EQUAL and our relationship shines a spotlight on how horrible my marriage was. My advice… You can force him to go to therapy, but if he doesn’t engage and admit he has a problem, it’s useless. What you described is not a relationship and you cannot cure him. Don’t waste years and years like I did. I would leave again in a heartbeat. And believe you should too. Being alone is far better than being in a lonely relationship with a man you need to take care of. Better is out there…. I promise.

    5. Gayle63

      I am in this situation now, and we’ve been married 26 years. My husband also has addiction issues. He’s been in and out of counseling and been on many medications over the years. Most psychiatrists are just pill pushers who won’t offer any counseling, just try to dope you up until you’re “stable” (in other words, tranquilized). I stayed because he’s not abusive and we have two kids together. Now the kids are grown (18 and 22), I feel like I have the freedom to make a decision over our marriage. He’s in counseling now, but he’s still a miserable, exhausted, anxious person. I feel bad for him, but is that a reason to put my own happiness on hold until I’m dead?

      • Sandra

        Hi Gayle, I can relate to you in every way. I have hit rock bottom with my husband. We have been married 35 years and I feel so alone. He was diagnosed with depression and severe anxiety 6 months ago and it is as if he has stopped livings he never wants to go out, never wants to socialise. All he does is watch TV. His whole day revolves around TV. We seem to have lost any of our friends as no one can communicate with him. They feel so uncomfortable around him that no one comes to visit and we do not get invited out anywhere. I really find I cannot live like this anymore and I really need to leave. I don’t think I can ever feel the same way about him again. He is a complete stranger and I have lost all respect for him.q

    6. D28d

      It feels better to see I’m not alone in this hard decision. My husband has probably suffered with depression all his life, but he was diagnosed after a big fallout in our marriage 5 years ago in which we decided to take therapy. We’ve been 15 years married, off that he has been with medication about 5 years but it’s been a year since things started to go down again and this time I feel I’m going down with him. He has been literary miserable for a whole year, we’ve tried everything, even him going to a clinic but nothing changes. I hear that little voice that tells me I should leave but I dont know why I keep trying to find excuses not to, I know he loves me a lot and he wants to feel better but the depression keeps him unmotivated, angry, sad, antisocial and disrespectful to me. One of my biggest concern is my 2 little kids, as we live overseas, leaving him would mean a long distance relationship for them.
      I think I might have reached the bottom this past weekend as he yelled at me again in front of strangers for no good reason (which he knows its a big no no), I have come to realize that he probably is who he is and that no amount of medicine will change that, the man I knew was the same I have now, the difference is that back then I had a special spot in his mind, he idolized me and today he must have grown tired of loving me so intensely, all we worry about is saving what is left of our marriage. The question is, is there a happy ending for depressed marriages? Does it include the non-depressed partner keep working non-stop in order to achieve it? Is it worth it to keep working on the marriage and expose yourself to depression?

      • Mary

        Please consider leaving – the longer you stay the more damage you and your children will suffer. There IS life out there post leaving – it won’t be a fairytale initially but it will be safe, calm and you can begin to heal. It will be real.
        I ended my 15 year relationship for the third time 23 months ago. My partner had significant depression issues, anger problems, and he self medicated with alcohol and told me and the world I was the problem. He lied to counsellors, to his family, to the court. He assaulted me, and he treated me and our then 11 year old daughter very very badly – not always of course which is why I stayed for so long…… He had affairs, he yelled and screamed, broke down, blamed, accused, threatened me that if I left I would end up with nothing. he chose alcohol as his friend, yet he was a senior family lawyer who advised clients every day but he couldn’t apply that advice to himself.
        He refused medication despite recommendations by our couples psychologist and denied he was the problem.
        I love him still but I had to choose me, my sanity and our beautiful daughter’s emotional and physical health. Our daughter has made her own decision not to see him until she believes she is old enough to be able to walk away from his behaviours. So tragic for her at 13 to even have to consider such a situation.
        Be brave, choose life and freedom. Yiu won’t get another chance at it. If all you do is not enough whatever you do will not be enough.

    7. AshashA

      I have been married for 7 years now, and I have two young girls with my husband. His bad habbits are not teaching anything good to my kids. He was abused as a child, and now me and my kids are paying the tool for it. Its not fair. He is going thru depression and while I am paying for everything, running the house, taking care of kids, and in return I don’t even have a good life partner. If I am running everything myself, and receiving no love, no support, no one to talk to, why should I stay with him?

      But in my case as soon as I start mentioning to him that I don’t want to stay in this relationship, he starts making statements like “Ohhh you don’t love me anyways, you want someone else to make you happy, I am not a good husband, or a father. I don’t know how to deal with this. He tells our kids who are 2 and 4 yeasr old that he is going to leave them because they don’t listen to him.

    8. dev

      Well i kniw what depression is like, so ask youtself would he leave you if you were depressed? Would he love you enough to stay? No one know what depression is it is really a terrible terrible illness, think the best thing you should do is leave him clearly the words for better or for worse did not mean anything in your vows also would you have left him if he go another disease like cancer? Becaise that is what depression is so seriously when you get married you become a team and if you can just choose to leave your husband like that then really you aint worth it, from what youve said there i didnt really see any genuine effort to help him but say wht our opinions are our own and we are entitled to it.

      • stef

        you can’t imagine how is living with a person that is angry,moody and sad all the time. It drains all the positive energy out of you. Also many time you have to support him/her financially because they can’t work. I have muscle dystrophy by the way and I know how is living with a chronic condition that effect your life every single minute. But I try to deal with my illness and I don’t complain and I would never want to became a burden to anybody. People are willing to help you when you show you want to be helped and you cooperate, if you don’t show this people will think they are wasting their time and nobody want to waste 20 years of marriage…

        • Krooner

          Stef you are right. I was married previously to a man who had an incurable disease. I supported him until the end when he died in my arms. I was 34. I thought the hardest days of my life were behind me. Then I met my current husband. I loved him – he made me laugh and we married and had our son, who is now 12. I have never been so sad and unable to function as I am now because my husband is depressed. He has no idea how his mood and condition have brought me down to a place lower than I’ve ever been. I have tried counseling with him. He refuses meds. I have been with him for 15 years but I am honestly at the end of my rope. I can’t see myself living this way until I’m old. Life is too short. Good luck to you and don’t let the previous poster or anyone make you feel guilty for the choices you have made. They have no clue,

    9. Ann

      I have a similar problem, my husband has major depression, he is a good person, very calm, but also very weak, we have been married almost 8 years, but I am his roommate only, in all this time we have made love maybe 4 times, the last time 4 or 5 years ago. He is very irresponsable, he is happy because I do everything for him, I fix even his car for him, I am the man of the house and his mom. He doesnt tell me hi lives me, hug, kiss, make love, nothing, so I feel I don’t have a man, partner, husband with me. The only thing that motives him is his school (phd), his life is school, just reading at home, eating, taking a shower and sleep. Could he change? Does he love me even if he doesn’t shows it? Or should I continue with the plan of leaving him soon? I am so sad 🙁

    10. Jen

      I too am in this situation but did not know it until reading this. My husband exhibits all these traits and it started the first year of our marriage. For the first time today, after nearly 12 years of marriage, he tells me he is depressed, this is what prompted me to search and find this site. I thought he was an opportunist that didn’t want to take responsibility for anything, including himself. But the description of the depressed personality is fitting.
      I am in the process of selling our home, which I own and have paid the mortgage and maintenance on these last 11 years, my concern is what it will do to him. He says he loves the home, which is a fixer upper that he never bothered to fix, he left that to me. He won’t look after the home, he doesn’t look after anything. He is an alcoholic that started drinking and drugs again recently. When his last wife left him he attempted suicide.
      Everyone tells me to leave him, but I feel so sorry for him, but he has brought this on himself.

    11. Jen

      I wish I had proofed what I wrote.
      What I am trying to say is I didn’t realise my husband was depressed.
      He spends hours and hours in front of the computer and never interacts with me or our young son. He is quick to irrational anger and abusive. We have not been intimate in 9 years. I
      I thought he was happy with this life he created and is really no life at all, he lives completely in the computer oblivious to me and our son. I feel this destroyed our relationship.
      When I met him, I failed to see he was not right because I was blinded by love.
      2 weeks after moving in with me he quit his job, had no money to support himself so relied on me. We had know each other less than 6 months. When he he finally got a job and his first pay check he was delighted to finally buy his own carton of cigarettes, but didn’t get me a carton, and I had been supporting him all this time. Nor did he contribute a dime to any of the household expenses, such as the enormous phone bill he had run up talking to friends and family all day.

      Now I am so depressed and just can’t bounce back, I know I should leave but the task of doing so seems to hard.

    12. Honesty

      Your husband can get all the help he needs and stll end up living in bed with no life. 35 years of it

      • M

        Thank you for saying this. I read all of these and still felt so sad. My husband and I are going to counseling. He takes his medication. And he started working out. But he still wouldn’t get out of bed for work. Even knowing we have $0 in our account. If someone is doing all the “right” things, but still isn’t a genuine partner, then what?

    13. patti

      I am in the same or similar boat. My husband of almost 5 yrs. (together almost 9) (2nd marriage for us both) is clearly depressed. Nothing ever goes his way, he’s a failure, no one likes him. He’s constantly angry, negative and I can’t take much more. We have been trying to buy a house for 3 yrs now and it’s one problem or another that sets us back further and further and brings him down more. We moved to a different state(not by choice) and his 2 girls never want to visit nor call him. we have a 6yr old together and my 2 children from a previous marriage in the house. I finally went to a therapist the other day because I have become very spiritual and guided and am working on self love, acceptance and so forth and i have to say affirmations daily just so his negativity doesn’t drain me!. I told the therapist he needs help. I gave him an ultimatum the other day that he was going to have to leave if he didn’t go talk to someone. He refused said he has no problem and i’m the one with the problem. I will also add my older 2 children are special needs. my 18yr old is autistic, bi polar,adhd, and sever anxiety. My daughter is 14 has high function adhd, bi polar and has a comprehension disorder. both have been labeled as mentally retarded. My husband be littles them mostly my son. He calls them stupid, says you’re not smart enough or you’re too stupid to know the difference between this or that. As their mother, mama bear comes out full force and that’s why we fight. more often the last few yrs. I don’t know how else to tell him he is the one that has problems . I finally came to the conclusion last yr i can longer help him or change him and i can’t be with him anymore if he’s going to hurt my children like that. Do you have advice for me??

    14. Stacey

      Oh man, all these stories are so similar, mine included! I’ll spare you the details, but I am looking at apartments/townhome to rent, I’ve retained an attorney, and am preparing to leave my boyfriend “husband” of 18 years – we have a six year old daughter. I am terrified to leave (how can I do this?), but also terrified to stay (I’ll wither away, how will this affect our beautiful daughter?)! Having other people out there helps so much. Aside from therapy (I found an amazing spiritual counselor!) I have found the most support reading about codependency. You’ll have lightbulbs going off like crazy – seeing yourself and him. It takes two. Melody Beattie’s books: Codependent No More and the Language of Letting Go have been lifesavers for me. I wish you all the best!

    15. Zeev

      If you bring up the prospect of divorce as an ultimatum, the depressed spouse will only have their worst fears and guilt feelings confirmed. No matter what kind of pain you’re going through, the depressed person is the one who is suffering the worst, and bringing up divorce is only adding insult to injury. “It’s bad enough I have to suffer with this condition, do I have to be punished by losing my family” etc.

      Right now it seems to me that your goal is to save your marriage, and the first prerequisite is to convince yourself and your spouse that giving up is not an option. The only way to dispel the darkness is with light, and I bless you that your inner strength and light will help both you and your husband and your children prevail over a darkness that takes no sides in its attempt to destroy.

    16. VivaldiGirl

      I recently separated from my husband-his choice-after 19 years of his ünhappiness”, depression and refusal to get any help. I can certainly identify with being the “motor for two boats.” While I am sad that my husband left to again look for some external source of happiness, I feel a huge relief that I no longer need to try and “make”him happy. The negativity that filled his life was weighing me down and I was quickly becoming somebody I did not like. Save yourself. Save your child. Save your soul.

    17. Confusedwife

      All of this sadly rings true. My husband has been treated for depression and anxiety for 5 yrs.. we have only been married 6!! Personally I feel like I’ve been to hell and back 🙁 I have to carry everything on my own, financially, emotionally.. I have to be the man and the mum of the relationship. He is not the man I married and I’m not sure I can keep going anymore. He says all the right things and goes for help but I feel like he is waiting on a magic pill or wand… he doesn’t realise he has to maintain things himself.
      I love him but I’m not sure I’m in love with what he has become.
      Is there any hope or do I accept defeat and move on?? I have a good career which has suffered because of what I have to deal with at home.

    18. Maureen Lucier

      Wow! I am going through this right now – 30 years this August. Something that caught my eye in this was “you cannot not give him happiness” After he lost his million dollar company -10 years ago- he just gave up! Has stayed in a job that made no money and nothing and I mean nothing would make him change his situation. Bankruptcy, some days no food in the cabinets, etc… We are now facing foreclosure and I am working 7 days a week. He did get a job 2 days a week at the post office but during the week he still does this business that makes money by the hour. However tells me he works 7 days a week. We too lost all our friends – could not afford to go out, we could not even afford a pizza at times. When he is not working, I wake up to him watching TV and I go to bed with him watching TV. He wants nothing to do with me and has blamed me for so many things and shared some of those things with my daughter. I am now in a great paying job and was still hopeful we could start over. What i realized was everytime I brought it up he would hit me with another bombshell of what he blames me for and tell me he does not think about us only his relationship with our daughter (who by the way just moved out into her own apartment. ) I could go on and on I will spare you all. 🙂 I am moving out as we are losing our home. He was surprised when I told him that and kept saying when we find where we are going to live we need this and that. I finally said “I don’t know about you but I work too hard to come home every night and be ignored” So I am moving out on my own, I am shocked you want to move somewhere else with me and continue being in this horrible situation. It is scary but so much more lonely being in a home where your partner wants nothing to do with you. Thanks for listening and most importantly making me feel I am not alone.

    19. Anda

      Wow. This is my story right the past 5 yrs husband lost two jobs, quit smoking , gained weight , periods on and off of drinking, had a lawsuit with one employer, nothing seemed it fell in place. Eventually we have decided to,downside as i lost my job as well. We ended up in a cheap house with no mortgage and 2 cars paid. I am on employment insurance , he bought a distribution line as a job because he cannot have a boss. He is depressed and started to drink again. He became aggresive physical and numerous times verbal.
      He askd for a divorce. I feel betraied, abandoned and helpless. Deep down God or … my inner self … did not want me to suffer anymore. It will hurt kids but maybe it was meant to be this way. If this would not happen I would have lived based on his values and would not discovered myself . My values were not expensive cars or parties that cannot be missed, but a simple walk with the kids in the forest. I value family more than anything, he values his friends. I simply evolved , shifted in a different stage or I changed. I am mentally a bit burned down and maybe will be even worse , but in the long run… I will be ME.

    20. Asia

      I went threw the exact same thing. Exactly and I thought separating would help he got worse. He never even tried to to get me back. I went back to thinking I just want to make sure that I do all I can because if I leave I’ll leave with no regrets… well he got worse and I had to divorce him…and a year later I ran into him and he still is the same. Trust me I feel so free. Even if he got a new gf. I would just feel bad for her because he will never change his while family is the same way and see nothing wrong with it. If u don’t want your child to turn out the same way I’m not going to tell u to leave but what I am going to tell u is I would leave

    21. Tiffany

      I’m going through something similar. My husband has been through a lot. He has lost many family members and hasn’t had emotional support from his family for years. His depression began a few months ago and to me its getting worse because all the bottled up feelings are coming out and Ive become his personal punching bag (no physical abuse!). He now goes out all the time and ignores me. I feel more like a roommate then his wife. He makes me feel horrible about myself and like im the reason he’s the way he is.Part of me wants to get a separation but I’m torn because i feel like i wont be helping his mental state. I love my husband very much but i don’t think he will ever get better.

      • Jackie Pilossoph

        It sounds like your husband needs to get some therapy. Would he consider it? I’m sure he loves you a lot, he is just very unhappy and maybe even resentful that you are happy. You are in a tough position, but remember that this is about him, not you. I wish you all the best. xo

        • Tiffany

          He is in therapy but he says to me that it’s not helping him.I never said it was about me. But if it’s effecting my mental health to the point where i don’t want to leave the bed. how is it healthy for me? Seems like his depression is rubbing off on me.

          • Jackie Pilossoph

            Since you are saying this is affecting your mental health, you undoubtedly need to go to therapy. Please get help for yourself. Even if the problems are coming from him, you now need help and support. There is no shame in it. It will help you.

    22. Hope

      My husband is not the man I married to. I miss my buddy, my best friend, my rock. The man I sleep next to now is a mountain of despair, whining, moaning, breathing heavily, insecurity, rear and pain. Should I divorce this being who has nothing to do with my real husband? Or should I wait and see if some miracle befalls over me and he is back to life? It’s a difficult call. I have decided to give him 20 months. That is all he has to come back. If not, I will divorce the shell that is not my man anymore. I am sad and exhausted after 7 months of hell. And I know this is only the beginning.

    23. Husband & Father

      I might be a little late on the comments, but I think maybe this will help anyone (husband or wife) who is reading this, years later.

      I am a 32 year old man, married to a woman, with our first son (18 months old).

      We have been together since we were 19 and have been married for just over 2 years.

      I lost my job at the end of 2015. I was the sole provider and was extremely happy. The ecomony downturn in Northern Alberta took a toll. My site supervisor job of ~ $240k/year was gone and I was left feeling happy for a break, yet confused about the future.

      Throughout these past two years, many things have happened. Schooling upgrades (to transition to a job in my city), Marriage, Son was born (became a new father).

      The only thing that didn’t happen….was securing a job. I paid for a career counselling program, went through many, many resumes and cover letters, networking opportunities…all while being a stay-at-home father, with my wife (who also doesn’t work)

      Depression hit when he was born. I believe it was a combination of male post-partum as well as the feeling of “oh crap, I am now a father, have TWO people to provide for and besides draining my savings, I simply cannot find employment to provide. I reached out and joined local community volunteer opportunities, was a Vice President for a Citizens on Patrol program and focused on my hobby of photography in my rare spare time to keep my happy and lively.

      I am still interested in everything socially, sexually and mentally. The only thing that I feel has changed, is my outlook into the future. I love my son with all my heart and compared to many friends, I feel that I am a good father. These past two years I have been able to be there for almost every wake-up, nap, diaper change, story, song, meal, immunization, and milestone (crawl, first steps, first words, first tooth, etc)

      I am closing in on 3-years of job loss, have seen 5-6 different psychologists, a marriage counselor (wife has told me a month ago that she wants to separate), anti-depression/anti-anxiety medications and routine exercise.

      Throughout all of this, I have found that reaching out is the best way to help yourself. Unfortunately for me, my wife doesn’t understand how to help, and makes me feel worse.

      Depression sucks. I honestly don’t think I’ll be here if I don’t find employment by my 3rd anniversary at the end of this year.

      Divorce isn’t the answer. If roles were reversed and my wife was suffering through this, you’d be damn sure that my wedding vows would stay intact and I would be with her until death do us part (via depression or old age).

      I don’t think that I could put her through a major stressful life event like divorce, in a depressing time….it can be too much to handle.

    24. 2LiveIsChrist

      This is a very tough and painful experience. I know not everyone can understand what you are going through. We often first tend to identify with the depressed person. But it is important to remember that no matter how virtuous and selfless we are or hope to be, at the end of the day we all expect our spouse to love us. I have both been depressed and suffered being married to a man who is depressed. I can tell you that even in the depths of my deepest postpartum depression, while that was awful, what has hurt my soul the most is the recurrent times my husband has been unable to show me love in all the ways I needed because of his own depression. For those commenters who may not have understood. It is obvious that she loves her husband and has tried to help him. It sounds like he is right now not able to give her anything she needs. He’s not talking to her, he’s not telling her she’s beautiful, he’s not wanting to be physically intimate. Let me tell you as a woman, when your husband rejects you sexually you feel rejected on all levels. Because although it’s not true, society leads you to believe that men always want sex more than women, so as a woman you can’t help but feel like the most unattractive thing in the world when this happens repeatedly. And studies show that in couples where the man is less interested, the couple is simply not having sex, which is not as true when it is the woman who is less interested.
      As a woman who has often felt the same thing you are feeling my best advice to you and all those going through similar things is to reach out to the Lord. Im not sure if you believe or not but let me tell you He has been my constant in a life that has at times been quite difficult. When things are hard in my marriage, I try to focus my thoughts on Jesus and first let Him bind my hurts and heel my wounds. I remember that no matter what I lack in this life, I have the best thing because I have Him. And that although I can never change my husband, he can. And what’s more, He can also change me. He can help me love when I’m not loved and feel joy when everything around me would tell me to give up and die. And even if at the end of the day my husband never recognizes what I’ve done or what I’ve suffered, I am still blessed because I have had an opportunity to be like Jesus and walk in His shoes. For He daily reaches out his hands in love to people who don’t see or recognize or receive it. He has been rejected and knows the pain of it. He also knows how to lift us out of it. So I encourage you to reach to Him and see what may happen and I am praying for you and all the many others going through similar situations and also those suffering depression.

    25. SadbutShowingCourage

      Very helpful to read all the comments, as I am going through a very similar situation. It’s good to know that I am not alone. It’s sad that I am getting a divorce because my husband is depressed and he doesn’t think he’s depressed and it’s affecting everyone in our household. It’s sad to see him suffering when there’s help out there. It’s sad to see he him thinking that it’s OK to always have a dark cloud over your head. My heart hurts deeply because I never saw myself getting a divorce and my heart hurts deeply because he’s suffering. I am so confused because I am not a doctor so I can’t technically diagnose him but the signs are clearly there and have always been there. I just didn’t realize it was depression. I know I sound like I’m contradicting myself but it’s because this is all new to me. I was googling to learn more and this is where I am. I know that I will be better off after the divorce and so will my children. Nevertheless, it doesn’t make the process any easier. I will continue to pray for courage to do the right thing- which I know is the divorce. My husband’s depression manifests itself as profound anger, irritability, and criticism of everyone in the household, especially me. Nothing I do is right in his eyes even though I do the vast majority of responsibilities. I have tried so many methods to help him see that I love him and it doesn’t work.
      It is not good for my children to be witness to the disrespect and lashing out towards me and getting it themselves. Thank you so much to everyone who posted- you have really helped me not feel alone. I don’t want to tell anyone out of respect for my husband’s personal journey- it is not my place to tell his story, only he can. Anyway, I digress. Thank you again to all who posted.


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