No announcement yet.

Considering divorce from husband with anxiety, depression, ADHD

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Considering divorce from husband with anxiety, depression, ADHD

    I need some help please. My husband suffers from ADHD, depression and anxiety. He has for years and I have tried to help him but I am burnt out and to the point that I feel like my only option for my mental health and my children is to leave him - although that is obviously not what i want as I know that will be difficult as well. The problem is that he isn't/won't help himself. He is taking medications but seems to think that is all he needs to do. He is angry, short tempered, doesn't work, doesn't involve himself in any family activities, and basically spends his time alone in the basement. He is self medicating with alcohol and cannibis. I feel like I am single parenting, and supporting the family financially, and he isn't doing anything to help himself. I don't know what to do. I would like him to get help because I know his behaviours are caused by his mental health issues, but if he won't go despite my telling him I will help him and support him, what can I do? The current situation can't continue- we just had another huge fight Wednesday night as I had left home in the morning at 7:30 am from Monday to Wednesday and each night didnt get home until 9 pm after driving kids to activities. And the kitchen was a mess and on Wednesday at 9 pm there were still monday night dishes to be done. I took yesterday afternoon and today off work to clean our house and will need to spend all weekend doing it to hopefully get laundry caught up, dishes done etc. I am to the point that I would rather be alone - if I have to single parent I would rather single parent. I know I probably sound very uncompassionate and uncaring towards his mental health issues - and I really am not - but he isn't helping himself and the kids and I are suffering for it - and it has been years. Ideally I would like him to go back to his dr, get referral for counselling, change meds, stop alcohol and cannibis and make lifestyle changes so he can get out of the hold he has dug for himself. Any idea how to get him to do that? And if he won't, I am probably going to tell him I am leaving, unless he makes real changes to attempt to better his mental health. ADvise please!!!! Thank you.....

    Hi Tsba3! and welcome to the forum. You're in a very difficult situation. Knowing that many of his issues are from mental illness unfortunately does not change the fact that your experience is that of a single parent. I would be very frustrated working all day and then running around with the kids, and then coming home to a mess.

    He did not choose to have a mental illness, but he does have a choice about doing everything he can to get better, and manage his illness. Ultimately you need to do what's best for you and the kids.

    Be honest and tell him where you are with all this. Let him know how you're feeling, (using I rather than you language). I would present it as, the kids and I will need to leave if nothing changes. Put a time frame on your expectations, and tell him what your expectations are. Let him know what you are prepared to do if nothing changes. If you approach it in the '"you need to change or else", threatening kind of way, you won't get very far. That would probably just result in dealing with a lot of misplaced anger.

    If you and or your kids safety might be at risk, have someone you trust present, or better yet see a couples therapist, if he's open to going.

    Humans punish themselves endlessly
    for not being what they believe they should be.
    -Don Miguel Ruiz-


      Hello Tsba3!, and welcome. My heart goes out to you with all you're dealing with. If only I could tell you there was a clear "right" or "wrong" thing to do, I think you've already done something helpful by putting your situation down in words.

      I think AJ has put forward some wise suggestions. I don't know whether you've tried to get counselling yourself for your own well-being, but I do know that can be a catalyst for change in a family situation. Some people also find that joining a support group like Al-Anon, particularly if their loved one is self medicating with alcohol or drugs, really helps to get some perspective and make decisions.

      I know how lonely and isolating and overwhelming life can get.. Continuing to post on the forum and/or read through some of the threads has been a major help to me over the years. I hope you can find something here to relate to.

      ~ it's always worth it ~


        I wish I could help, and I wish there was a «good» & «wrong» answer, but I can only try to relate with my own personal experience.

        I was once married. I was the one with mental health problems. At the time, I wasn't getting any help. I kept telling my husband that something wasn't right, that I was suffering and that I thought that I should seek help. He kept brushing me off and I started self medicating with alcohol (looking back I can see that it wasn't a very good relationship). Our marriage finally ended (he broke it off - for other reasons), but it was the best thing to happen to me even though, at the time, I thought it was the worst thing that could ever happen and I was absolutely devastated. Having been raised Catholic, divorce was inconceivable.

        I fell into a deep depression while going through the stages of grief. I admit that I often dreamed of committing suicide, I still do, but it wasn't the divorce that triggered these dreams. They started in my early teens. When I reached the final stage of acceptance, I experienced a manic episode. Nonetheless, during this time, I finally reached out and I sought the help I so desperately needed. It definitely wasn't easy, but I got through it.

        I guess what I'm trying to say is that you have to look out for yourself and your children (I have none so that made my situation easier). Just because he has been diagnosed with mental illness, doesn't mean that your mental health is any less important. A burnout is not good for anyone, regardless of prior mental health status. Living with mental illness may make it tremendously difficult to make the right choices, to work up the strength and motivation to do anything, and I can often get too wrapped up in my emotions and in my head that I forget to see the effects it has on the people around me, but it doesn't absolve me of my responsibilities nor of the consequences of my actions.

        I agree with AJ and uni. You've taken a first step by coming here to talk things through. It's also an option to seek help for yourself (counseling of some kind). If anything else they can help you manage your stress with some coping strategies or, perhaps even more importantly, they can help you find a way to speak with your husband (using «I» statements) and figure out how to get to where you need to go, whether it be with or without him.

        I know divorce is a huge step, it's difficult for everyone, particularly when children are involved. But, in some instances, it's necessary and it can be the best option (it was for me even though I wouldn't have said that at the time) especially since high stress, hostile, and volatile environments aren't ideal for children either.

        It can't be easy being in your position. I often question how/why my current boyfriend puts up with me and my moods, but it's something that I/we are working on. I wish you find a resolution of some sort that you can live with, but most importantly, I wish you can also remember that whatever happens, it's not your fault. We do the best we can with the situations we are in, but you cannot control the actions of others and you cannot shoulder all of their responsibilities either.



          It is very bad that this divorce influenced badly your mental and physical health. I also passed through terrible moments when my boyfriend left me but I managed to let it go when I read some advice from They have a lot of good tips of how to keep going and never look back. You have to understand that your life doesn’t depend on your relationship with someone. Another thing is when he cheated and you have children.


            Most People survive well with many disabilities. Physical and mental. Some physically disabled people compete at the olympics. Some people with mental illness are medical doctors.
            irrelevant of a persons ability, some people are not nice human beings. A fully able bodied person may be lazy, a mentally well person may still be unemployable.
            look at your situation without focusing on the disability.
            ask yourself, would you agree to enter the marriage knowing the person does not help around the house, help with the family, try to work, be a supportive spouse. If not, then you know where you stand. Do not bring a persons disability into the equation, if you would not live with them if they were fully functional, yet still an insensitive lazy person. Then you have your answer.
            Yes, some people may not be able to work outside the home, for whatever reason. but in return they care for the home, make meals, and make it still a more attractive living environment. I will stop here, as this post could go in forever. But try to remove the disability from your decision. As without any disability, a person can still be not good to partner with. Some people have multiple disabilities and are very loving, caring people.