My depressed husband from my high and low marriage just told me he doesn't know if he loves me

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My husband has always been a high and low person.

We have been together 5 years and married for 18 months. We also have 2 very young children and I have two children from a previous marriage who he also cares for.

Our relationship has always been very volatile. When he's nice he's amazing, when he's not it's horrible.

We always seem to have these massive blows outs which at times he admits he does it for excitement.

We do even after 5 years have a red hot sex life. 

He's endured a lot of trauma of late and he's in crisis and admitted to depression. His mother died last year and he's been seeing a counsellor and brought up a lot of unpleasant childhood memories which seems to have clearly affected him as an adult. He also in the summer quit his job and since then has not worked and also come out as being gender dysphoric. This has also caused a massive rift between us as we both struggle with this dynamic. He's currently just started anti depressant and looking to change his counsellor to try CBT.

A year on he keeps talking about suicide.

I do feel for him  I do give him the tough love approach at times telling him he's selfish and childish and really I do feel that at times and while he's feeling like this I am really feeling the pressure of being the only adult, which I am trying hard to do but he lashes out a lot at our two young kids, which affects me deeply. 

I understand I am meant to be supportive but I am struggling with all this given I have so many responsibilities.

The other day he told me he doesn't know if he loves me anymore and when I really got upset about it all he then just said he doesn't know as he doesn't value his own life and questions his existence and feels numb and isn't well so can't feel love. Thing is he does this whole hot and cold thing a lot and it really messes with my head. I even overheard him talking to his friend the other day saying he wished he didn't get married.

I really don't know what to do anymore. 

As I am one person, I am one brain, one pair of hands and one heart. 

I want to be there for my husband but I am finding things very hard. 

I thought love is strong enough to deal with everything but now he's expressed how he feels about the relationship I do question what it is I am fighting for.

I do feel at time this relationship is toxic and destructive and I don't have the strength anymore.

Anyone experience anything similar and can give me some advice? 

I just feel I want some stability. 

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16 Replies

  • Posted


    It can be very difficult when there are two separate families in the one house as well and if He is having Mental Health problems your and household will be running on empty. I am looking at one problem, the children He brought into your relationship and His new children by you

    However we need to consider your situation and that is not good. Talking about a Suicide can be used as a situation to blackmail a partner and that can become a way of getting back at you and possibly children if young and a little disorderly. The fact that He is talking about divorce is very much caused by His Anxiety and depression.

    I took a bad turn earlier on this year and they brought in a Crisis Team then CPN. They eventually kept my wife in the same room contributing to the conversation we were having. Then they had words with my Wife alone then me, I now have a Primary Care Worker who I visit once a month. Sometimes this sort of CBT does work and you and your husband can bounce of each other to find that way forward for both the family and yourself.

    Mental illness is very toxic and sad to say you are stuck with the negativity associated with it. You need some rational thinking and with your husband that sounds a problem at this time. Tough Love does work although sometime it is counterproductive. You need to try and find out what is going on then you can approach the problem in a more inclusive way

    Have a word with His CPN or if that is not possible your family GP.



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  • Posted

    Hello Samantha,  may I suggest that you seek counseling support for yourself.  A professional counselor will know the dynamics of your husbands diagnosis and will be able to offer you ways of coping with his behaviors and ways you can help yourself.  It sounds like your family has a lot going for it and that's a positive but do take care of yourself.  Sometimes we really need to do this to keep our perspective.  Anne

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your response Anne. I am actually seeing a counsellor once a week. I feel it helps. I totally understand that depression can be a very dark place and I am trying hard to support him. He has very high and low days. 

      Have a lovely xmas x

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  • Posted

    Hello Samantha. I read every word and I heard all your pain and I feel the terrible load that you are carrying. 

    Your husband because he is depressed and with other issues cannot use those reasons to belittle you and take his feelings out on you and the children! He's acting like a spoiled child and you do not owe him that. Period! You deserve respect. The children deserve a safe and secure environment in which to live. All you strength is being taken up dealing with his tantrums and it's not fair to you. I wonder if he could change residences until he figures out if he loves you any more? How painful to hear. How mean to say. 

    Depression is not a license to say whatever comes to your mind no matter how hurtful. 

    Have you considered getting counseling for yourself to deal with all that you are carrying? You sound like an amazing lady and deserve all life has to offer. 

    Please keep us posted. 


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    • Posted

      Thank you Diane for your kind words and insight.

      I have actually been seeing a counsellor for once a week for the past year. 

      Yes I totally agree he does behave like a spoilt child and believe it or not he actually admits this too. 

      I do believe his depression is caused by the fact he is lacking the mindset and life skills of an adult hence why he finds to cope with adult situations.

      But saying that, his depression got worse since his mother passed away and I'm sure that's contributed to his way of being. He partly blames himself for not trying harder with his mother and the last contact they had wasn't exactly a pleasant one. I do notice whoever he encounters loss he does tend to go into self destructive mode.

      It is quite childish behaviour but he told me he's not sure if he knows how to grow up, maybe CBT could help him have another perspective of life and adapt his thinking of dark thoughts.

      He's very up and down. Even with his gender issues. He's very up and down with. He's in the process of getting his beard removed and after the session of laser he starts to regret it and tries to find a way to tell himself that it was the right decision... 

      It's really tough to get him to see things at times... and with 4 kids it's a hard juggle.... x

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  • Posted

    Samantha. It sounds like you have a good grip on what's going on. I am really glad that you are getting support in counseling it has helped me immensely. Children do make things harder for a woman on her own and without daily help from a father. 

    You are a brave and strong lady and will figure this out soon. Until then Merry Christmas. Diane 

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    • Posted

      I totally agree Diane, children do make it that bit harder as they are attached to him too. 

      Time will tell and it's all about being strong I guess and not losing yourself in the process.

      Have a lovely xmas Diane x

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  • Posted

    Hello Samantha. I think it is about holding onto us at all cost. I try mentally drawing a ring around myself to keep perspective on that and to help me remember what's my business and what is not. And since I am a very visual person it seems to help mesmile! You are strong and are making good decisions. God bless. Diane. 

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  • Posted

    My Mum had me treading on eggshells until the day she died in 1988. She was up and down and I still go to great lengths to avoid rows and sulks. I wish that once I was old enough I had tried to tell her how worthless I felt as a result of her behaviour. I wish I had drawn up some boundaries and really stuck to them. I grew up depressed myself and suffering from PTSD. This began when I was very young and you have your children to think about. Irreparable damage was done and I now can never feel truly happy because I still have that fear of upsetting anyone and causing an argument.

    If your husband will not listen to you and understand the damage he is causing I would be looking at my options without him.

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    • Posted

      Hi Lynne 

      Yes I totally get the affecting the kids part. With counselling I have learned a lot of adult behaviours are affected by upbringing. I want to avoid this for my kids and break a cycle.

      Something does have to change.

      He started seeing a charter psychologist and he suspects my husband could possibly have adult ADHD and honestly once I read up on case studies and symptoms etc 

      I can relate to over 80% of everything.

      This doesn't excuse his behaviour at times but gives a framework to work on and move forward. Hope you had a good new year x

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  • Posted

    Hi Samantha - how about some time away from him? A space for both of you to sort yourselves out? Reassess the situation when time out is up. If his attitude is still the same about your marriage and/or he hasn't made any real moves to address the situation, you have a free pass to lay out the rules or end the relationship. You don't need someone who uses you as entertainment when his cruelties are needing display.

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    • Posted

      I totally agree Wayne. Sorry taken a while to reply, things got bad around here and I was really reaching my boiling point.

      The chartered psychologist my husband had been seeing the past few weeks suspect he may have adult ADHD and reading up on it, I can't relate to so much. 

      Acknowledging this gives him a framework to work from. 

      This i know won't be easy though as I know I still won't let him use things as an excuse for things and he will have to work on it.... 

      Hope you had a good new year x

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  • Posted

    While I have never experienced this I have had depression for many years.  I know when I have a major depressive episode it's not good for those who care about me.  I'm not married and I live alone so no one has to put up with my down moods and horrible thoughts etc.  My parents and friends know when I'm depressed though and I know it hurts and worries them.  I try to hide it but they see the really bad days and as I said I know it's not easy.  I know if I lived with someone it would be really hard.  Maybe your husband does need a new counselor.  Encourage him to get one as soon as possible.  It may be that he just needs someone to talk things out with besides a loved one.  It may not be that he doesn't love you.  He may just be so depressed or full of anxiety that he really isn't thinking clearly.  He may be really stressed out and needing a counselor to help him get back on track.  Just before Christmas I was so stressed I wanted to die but I'm feeling much better now, I got some rest finally and talked it through with my doctor.  I'm not at my best but I'm better and will continue to improve with help.  I hope things get better for you, hang in there.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your encouragement.  

      yes it's definitely tough for those around you.

      I feel like anything I do is not enough and every day is a struggle.

      The past week had gotten better.

      He's changed his counsellor and is now seeing a character psychologist rather than a generalist counsellor and they suspect he may have adult ADHD as his behaviour ticks a lot of the list. 

      He decided against his medication as he had side affects that he didn't like.

      But he has taken action on everyday day things and is much better around the house and the kids.

      I know it's early days but it's the calmest it's been for the past 8 months. 

      I hope things get better for you and you get the right help from the right people 

      Everyone's needs are different.

      Take care x

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  • Posted

    Hi Samantha, I don't have depression but ptsd with a husband who has bouts of depression and so do I, through the ptsd. It's really tough in a relationship if one person is really struggling. I've lost my dad to cancer so coping with that level of loss I can understand, you can't really explain it except to those who have lost a parent as losing someone else is very different. Your mum is always your mum. He must feel exceptionally lost, maybe his counsellor dug too deep. His world will feel really black. He's getting help, you need some too, some space and time for you. Just a little bit of time apart will help, I'm sure you can get the help you need if you have to tell your doctor how he feels and what he's saying. Suicide is not correct. You look after you a touch too, burn out will make you feel worse. Good luck with it all, it's a tough road. For both of you.

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