Thursday, March 23, 2023
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Depressed and suicidal wife (29F) is pushing me (32M) towards a divorce because she refuses to get help!

Hello everyone this will be a long one! I (32M) have been with my wife (29F) almost 7 years together and we have been married for 5 years. Two years ago my wife told me that she has suicidal thoughts and that upset me to my core.

A little background, we have dated almost 2 years before getting married. After finishing my masters degree I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stay in the US and went back to my country and I was open about the whole thing and told my wife about my plans from the beginning and she told me that she wanted to keep dating even if it’s long distance. But I have changed my mind after 5 months and came back to US and she was so happy. Once I came back I saw that she gained 70 lbs (she’s 5’6) in 5 months and told me that it was because she was depressed that I was gone. I didn’t let it bother me and told her we will work on this and get on track and have a great future. (I’m pretty athletic myself I played rugby for 7 years and always worked out.) I meal prepped for both of us and signed up for gym and all but this weight never went away and it always came back. She lost 30 and then gained 20 and lost more and gained again. Now she keeps telling me that it’s my fault because I left her which was freaking 5+ years ago. Also she said she will always be fat and never lose this weight. She told me that if I wanted be with this skinny wife I shouldn’t have married her. (You will see that this will be a pattern)

Another issue is that she gave up on work as well. She’s been working at this miserable job for almost 5 years now and she loves what she does but gets paid almost nothing and doesn’t do anything about it. I tried to talk to her many times and she thinks that she can’t find a job like this anywhere else (She’s a photographer). I saw how much this job makes her miserable but again she told me she would never ever quit this job and always will make shit money. Also told me that if I wanted to be someone that’s successful and makes good money I shouldn’t have married her.(Again) I’m an Engineer and make more than enough to support her. I also told her many times to quit all of her jobs (she used to work part time some retail job but quit because it was making her more depressed) and focus on her self. I wanted her to lose weight and go to therapy because most of her issues are coming from hating herself. Again she also refused and told me that she would never quit her job.

My family lives in another country and I’m the only one here in the US. I have great relationship with my wife’s family I get along with everyone of the family members. She has zero relations with my family because she refused to learn my language (my mom and dad doesn’t speak english). She told me that she’s too stupid to learn a new language and she will never learn. Which becomes an issue as well because I would love her to have some connection with my family, they always ask about her and how’s she doing. But my wife tries to get away from all of them.

She has told me to leave her many times because she says my standards are too high and she would never achieve that. She also told me that she will always be depressed and suicidal.

I tried to support her as best as possible emotionally, financially and any other way that I know. I started going to therapy myself, I read so many books on depression and suicidal thoughts just to see how can I talk to her and help her. I also joined groups where people talked about their suicidal/depressed partners and how to approach and talk to them. Nothing worked and she told me that she would never/ever go to therapy. She’s going to a doctor and her doctor is giving her some medicine about her depression but that doesn’t look like it’s helping. She says she’s doing something about her depression which is only taking meds. The meds killed her sex drive as well. Last 2 years we are just roommates. We probably only have sex once in 3-4 months.

Couple weeks ago she told me that she’s done with everything and wrote suicide letters. I couldn’t take it anymore and told her parents. She lost her mind when she heard that told me that I ruined this relationship and she said she can’t go and talk to her parents anymore because she feels embarrassed. I told her I didn’t have anymore options but to talk to her parents because no one wants to lose her. She didn’t agree and kept blaming me for stuff. I just couldn’t take it anymore and told her that if she doesn’t want to get better I’m done and I will divorce her. She locked herself in the bathroom and told me that she will kill herself because there’s nothing else to live anymore. I calmed her down through the door and then she got out and start packing and told me that she will leave and I asked where she said why do you care you gave up on me and blamed me again for telling ‘everyone’ (I only talked to her dad and mom). I’m so done with this and extremely upset. Everyday going home from work feels like torture. I want to get out but don’t know how. I don’t want her to do anything bad to herself and I don’t know how to plan this out. BTW her parents did nothing else but just to give her a call and this week they went to vacation for 11 days. I feel so alone and hopeless.

Sorry for the long post. Also English is my 3rd language so sorry for the mistakes.

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  1. I don’t think that there’s any more you could have done. You’ve gone above and beyond OP.

    Reading this was exhausting. And I sympathise with people experiencing mental ill health. But she is not taking any responsibility to make even one thing better for herself.

    You can’t do it. You cannot save her. And she will try to manipulate you into staying. Like she did already. That is emotional abuse, sorry.

    So make your preparations, get legal advice, then let her parents know what’s up and advise them to call emergency services of she threatens suicide. Because you’ll need to be no contact with her else she’ll just keep doing this.

    It sounds cruel.

    And OP, consider therapy for yourself if you can afford it. This has been a lot.

    Lastly, three languages? Maaaaaan you’re the dude. I couldn’t tell.

  2. I’m sorry but you cant help someone who doesn’t want to get help. She needs professional help by a therapist. If she says she’ll never go to therapy, it’s honestly a lost cause at this point. You cant help her yourself- its much too serious for that.

  3. Not to sound heartless but at some point behavior like that becomes a manipulation tactic. Everything is your fault, you’re always to blame and whatever you do, she’s going to threaten self harm. She either gets help or you should walk.

  4. Your English is very good. Stop apologizing when you are fluent in 3 languages. Most people can barely manage one.

    As for your wife, the only person who can fix this is her and she doesn’t seem willing to do all of the work needed to improve.

    I’d also tell you that while I take suicide very seriously and have lost family and friends that way, most people who actually talk about it are not at risk of following through. It’s attention seeking behavior and in some cases, manipulative behavior. People who are seriously considering taking their own life don’t tell anyone as they don’t want someone to stop them.

    So…divorce her. And if she threatens suicide, call 911. Every time.

    Her mental health is not your responsibility. Even when you love someone very much, you cannot be responsible for their mental health.

  5. Your wife needs more help than you will ever be able to provide her. It doesn’t sound like either of you are happy in this relationship. I think you do need to at least separate, if not get divorced. Talk to your therapist about some ways to get the process started. Is your wife in therapy? If not, she needs to be. And she needs an intervention plan written out for her suicidal ideation.

    But as other commenters have said, you can’t help her if she doesn’t want help. You need to do what’s best for you. Good luck.

  6. Hormones can cause a lot of issues too. Has she had a full bloodwork check? Has she participated in any type of therapy? There are some good apps that are free. Clementine uses hypnotherapy. Finch is very basic, but has very easy goals that might be a starting point for her. Does she have pets or children? Sometimes that can help someone who is suicidal if they focus on remembering they are important in the lives of children and pets. Sorry, just giving ideas because I have been where she is

  7. You can’t fix the situation. A lot of this stuff is above your pay grade as her husband.

    With regards to your spouse’s suicidal Ideation get her to commit to a plan to keep herself safe when the feelings are overwhelming – eg calling doctor or suicide helpline.

    You have a good relationship with her family. You should tell one of them in confidence how serious the situation is.

    I (M) had a school friend (M) who at the age of 28 was in a similar situation. I knew his parents and told his mum. In the end his sister and her husband travelled to his place in England and brought him back to NI.

    They can be allies in this hard time for their sister/daughter plus should the worst happen they’ll know that you did all you could for her.

    Also it’s worth going with her to a doctor and explaining her situation to the GP. My wife had a mental health episode about 10 years ago – I got her to agree to see the doctor with me. I said my wife is overwhelmed and believes that there is no help for her. I said that she just can’t talk about it at the moment and that she has asked me to speak on her behalf.

    I explained what happened and my wife’s fears. I said that I would leave the consulting room for reasons of my wife’s privacy and let the doctor work with her. The GP said it was OK for me to stay and she discussed a treatment plan and some of my wife’s incorrect ideas (about her medications) and my wife began to recover.

  8. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to get help. You told her parents and that’s good, tell them that you are planning to divorce her so she has a support system in place, if you get really really concerned she’s about to do something you can call the police, they’ll take her away to ensure she won’t harm herself.

    Write her a letter of everything you feel if you want, explain calmly and with as much compassion as you can that you cannot do this anymore and that if she won’t help herself then you can’t help her either, is not fair to take her sadness, frustration and anger on you. And unfortunately you need to look out for yourself first

  9. Dude, eventually you have to live for yourself. Not to sound callous or heartless, but depressed people can be a serious drain to deal with, especially if they choose to not get help and drag everyone down with them. No one wants to look like the bad guy, everyone wants to fall on the sword because they don’t want to be responsible for what happens, but you have to one day decide whether you want this to be your life or you want to live free and happy

  10. I know it seems extreme but if she won’t get herself help I think a good call might be to call 911 next time she says something about hurting herself.

    It’s not fair on you to have to deal with his at all and you’ve tried so hard in the last 5 years so don’t feel guilty about this.

    I have seen a very similar situation turn out just okay in the end, with both parties okay right now.

  11. Damn, this is a really messy situation. She’s clearly not well, but I feel like she also sometimes manipulates you. Also refusing to get better…., well. Dude. Idk. Save yourself, you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves.

  12. I was in the pretty much the same situation for 2 years. I got divorced and I couldn’t be happier. At some point it just becomes too much, you can’t control the situation you can only do what you can. Best advice is to get out, and start doing you. Best of luck to ya!

  13. She could have a more serious mental illness like Bipolar Disorder. Type 2 is primarily depression. The meds are different than what is used to treat depression. Would she get evaluated by a psychiatrist? You are very supportive and obviously love her and want to make it work.

  14. What was she like before you went for 5 months to your home country?

    Ask her if she was sexually assaulted over a long term before she met you.

    What has her relationship with her parents been like?

    At the risk of being a fool … there seems to be something deep here. And there’s a common pattern in her avoiding letting parents know about her – both yours and hers. Her avoiding people seems to be another extension of the preference for isolation.

  15. Everyone has given good advice. “You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.”


    You need to take care of yourself. You need to do what is best for you. You’ve tried to make her get help. You’ve done your part. Anything that she does after that is on her, not you. You’ve asked her to get help, you’ve told her parents, now remove yourself from that unhealthy situation.


    It honestly sounds like it’s being used to emotionally manipulate you. Her parents apparently don’t care, is that because she has done this in the past, or they don’t think it’s ‘real’? If you want to reach “across the aisle”, maybe find a therapist that is taking new patients, print out their intake form and help her get it scheduled. If she refuses though, that’s on her.

  16. i think she is obviously not happy but is it because of you? has she always felt this way about you? have you done anything in the time you have known her to warrant this kind of response? if you know that you are the problem leave if you know you are not the problem leave the line crossed here is threatening you if you decide to leave, you are 100% allowed to bail on any situation that leaves you feeling like you are 100% responsible for someone else’s pain, there will always be the option to remain close but not involve your self in something you feel is toxic, it’s quite easy “we are not together because you make me feel xyz but i’m here for you, not as your reason to feel xyz but to support you because i care “

  17. It’s not your fault if she does do something. It’s important to understand that even if god forbid she does kill herself, it is not your fault. Her issues are not your problem. You did everything you could have t support her. You can’t help someone that doesn’t want help. She sounds like someone who has so much self hatred they can’t even fathom why anyone would love them. You did everything you could have to help her and love her. This is all on her at this point and not on you. Don’t stay in a relationship that can destroy your mental health as well.

  18. Just leave. Life is too short. You are not responsible for her mental or physical health, she is but she refusing to take that responsibility because it’s easier to blame you for it. She won’t work on herself if you continue to stay with her.

  19. This will eventually destroy your mental health as well. I believe in sticking by someone and seeing them through hard times, but they have to be willing to help themselves first. If she refuses therapy or to make any alternate effort, there is unlikely an end in sight. You cannot help someone who refuses help and won’t help themselves.

  20. Apologizes for mistakes because it’s his third language

    WHAT mistakes! You absolute chad.

    On the serious, and this is going to sound harsh, but it’s true. She doesn’t want to get better and now she is dragging you down. If you’ve done everything that you say you’ve done, then there is literally nothing more that you can do to help her. Sometimes people need to experience rock bottom before they can improve and I get the sense that you’re the last stop before it.

    But ultimately, you deserve to be happy and to have a healthy relationship with a healthy person. At this point you seem like you fill the roll of crisis counselor in her life, not her husband. I get the sense that you could also be unintentionally enabling her.

    You deserve better for yourself. I would consider at least separating, and perhaps being open to reconciliation if she works on herself.

    Failing that, *life is too short to be married to the wrong person.*

  21. Please please please leave. You do not have kids yet. You can leave and have a good life still will little to no impact to your life or your future partner. Take it from someone who has been in a similar situation. Mine evolved into a sexless loveless marriage where I am more of a prisoner than a spouse. Things will only get worse and if she is refusing help she doesn’t want to change and won’t. You cannot change her.

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