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Topic: Looking after partner as breadwinner

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. Milkteax
    Milkteax avatar
    1 posts
    19 February 2019

    Hi there, I’m looking for some support and advice on how to help my partner with depression.

    Ive been supporting him financially for a couple of years now, and I’m beginning to get concerned that if nothing changes now it will be very difficult for him to find work.

    A few years ago we moved to a remote area for my work, with the agreement that I would be the major bread winner and give him time to finish his studies while working part time - something I was very happy for given what he was sacrificing in the move for my job. He never ended up applying for any work though despite me sending him job ads and the study never seemed to end. I know that not working put pressure on him but he would never want to do anything during our free time that would take him away from his study. I suffer from anxiety myself and the financial stress combined with never going out to do anything together really did a number on me. We lived month to month and I ended up burning through a great deal of savings I had from before we lived together.

    We are back in the city now, and the increased living costs are putting even more strain on our finances. I have been trying to help him look for work but he has been having panic attacks or getting angry anytime I try and broach the subject or suggest jobs for him. He has also refused any professional help for both his depression/anxiety or even from a career advisor. He has lost confidence in his abilities from being out of the workforce and being bullied in a previous job.

    He’s in a very vulnerable spot at the moment and misses our old life, and I’m concerned he is suicidal. I don’t know how I can help him to regain his confidence and find work he finds fulfilling without stressing him out.

    I feel that continuing to support him staying at home won’t help him return to work or deal with his anxieties in the long run, and I’m worried about burning through the remainder of our nest egg. I also don’t like the weird power dynamic it has created. I don’t think I can support him alone. If you have any advice please let me know.

  2. PamelaR
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    PamelaR avatar
    2681 posts
    20 February 2019 in reply to Milkteax

    Hi Milkteax and welcome

    It's good you've found your way here. Things do get difficult don't they when you're supporting a partner with a mental illness?

    There are many here in the community who experience a similar situation as yourself. Have you browsed or searched our forums for posts and threads to find out how they've managed? Everyone is different. What works for one may not work for another.

    You can do either a keyword search or look at the Supporting family and friends with mental health condition (carers) forum.

    I think one of the key things is to make sure you are okay. As you say - who looks after you. Have you been to see your doctor and a health professional? It does help to talk through these things.

    Maybe the other question is - what is he doing to help himself? Does he see a doctor and or a health professional? If it were me, I'd try to persuade him to. I'd probably be a little harsher too and give him an ultimatum - do something or I'd review whether I wanted to continue in the relationship. It's called tough love. Sometimes it's needed.

    Hope some of this helps Milkteax. You're not alone. Keep reaching out if and when you want to.

    Kind regards


  3. Happygoluckymiss
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Happygoluckymiss avatar
    166 posts
    20 February 2019 in reply to Milkteax

    Hi Milkteax

    thank you for sharing your story & thoughts. I know sometimes how hard it is to get it out! Thank you!

    I’m not a professional at all & this is my experience only & I hope I can help. I have been in exactly the same position as you.

    I was with a gentleman for ten years, of that ten married for nearly three. In that ten years, he was unemployed for 5 of these years. He had depression, anxiety and I’m not 100% certain but I believe he also had a drug addiction which fuelled the MH issues. I supported him financially, emotionally and all other support. We lost everything- home, cars etc had to move in with my parents etc (thankfully they took us in).

    I tried everything to help him and motivate him, but he did not want to be helped. It was sad and frustrating to see the man I married not be bothered. It got too much and we separated. That was 2 years ago this March. i was trying to encourage him to be the best version of himself for him and in turn for us. I tried everything and nothing worked.

    it was after seeing doctors and specialists that I realised he did not want to improve, or be the best version of himself. He was not ready nor capable at the time to work on himself and no amount of help, support, love and finally begging was going to change this.

    My thoughts and hopes for you are that you ensure you take care of you first (I did not do this hence I was admitted as an outpatient to a clinic) and it was rock bottom. But, I can safely say I got through it and it was tough but I survived.

    I did love my husband, I don’t love him anymore but hope that he has gotten help.

    Please take care and happy to listen

    - happygoluckymiss

    2 people found this helpful
  4. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    8254 posts
    20 February 2019 in reply to PamelaR

    Hi, welcome

    I agree with Pamela, who looks after you?


    Beyondblue Topic who cares for the carer?

    I also get annoyed with attitudes. We are not in this world to carry others, we are here to work as a team to get through life.

    Beyondblue Topic your attitude is not a mental illness

    Essentially he isnt living up to his side of the relationship and that leaves you in no mans land. I dont see him changing.

    Finally to reject counseling is to reject advancement. I would attend counseling myself in your situation. Tell him you are going there to learn how to to cope with his attitude and you are weighing up your options. Inform him he is welcome to tag along.

    If he doesnt attend he doesnt care enough about YOU. If he sees you distressed or worried and nothing changes- you know your future. Sorry, I sypathise with you.

    Reply anytime


    1 person found this helpful

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