My partner says he is depressed

Dear Suzie, to cut a long story short my partner of 26 years with whom i have 3 great kids, twin boys 19 years and 10 year old boy, sleeps all day gets up between 3 and 9 pm sometimes later smokes canabis and then goes bed has a terrible temper if some thing is said wrong or goes wrong he will smash anything in his way ie doors,cups,plates he is always miserable and says its because he is depressed but won’t see a doctor,i want to leave him but im not sure what he will do if he is depressed i couldn’t live with myself if he did anything stupid and the kids would blame me can you help

He’s the one who decides to be violent, to lie about all day and to smoke – not you. Maybe his behaviour is because he’s depressed, but not going for help is his choice. As it is, you may think you’re protecting your children from the pain of seeing your marriage break up but you’re not protecting them from having the most ghastly model of what marriages are all about – violence, selfishness and self abuse.

If I were you I would tell him that you can’t stand by and see your children given the very worst example of personal behaviour and relationship disintegration any more. He has one choice – to go and see his doctor to get help to clean up his act. He may be depressed in which case he needs and should accept treatment. He must stop smoking, keep to a proper routine, find work, stop the violence.

But tell him if he declines to help himself you and the children can no longer live with the consequences of his behaviour. And remind yourself that’s not your fault – it’s his choice.

Please, don’t go on putting up with this. Because if you do, in years to come it’s the fact that you left your children to suffer this as well as suffering it yourself that they won’t be able to forgive. Get help for yourself and for them too – ask your doctor about counselling or contact Talk To Frank.

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