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I Want to Leave My Wife so She’ll Have a Better Life

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From the U.S.: I suffer from severe bouts of depression with constant suicidal ideations. I’ve fought this since I was 7 years old. I’ve been blessed with an amazing wife who has supported me without equivocation for over 20 years. But, I’ve seen the strain that this causes her. I want to stop her pain. I’m very seriously considering leaving her so she’ll have a better life. I know she’ll be angry, but she’s amazing and I know she’ll find someone who will maker her much happier.

In addition, I don’t want her to watch me fall apart. Even when I’m not depressed, I’m terrified of when it will return. I feel like a prisoner of war who’s arbitrarily taken for long periods of torture. Now, even when I’m not being tortured, I desperately want to prevent it from happening again.

It’s no longer just the depression that gives me ideations of suicide. Now, it’s the terror of it returning that gives me these ideations. I know that this seems odd, but my depression is painful and grueling, and not fair to my dear wife. I want to let her out of my prison so she doesn’t have to be tortured with me. Can you help me know how to present this to her in the best way possible? Any advice will be greatly appreciated

I Want to Leave My Wife so She’ll Have a Better Life

Answered by on -


Although it’s generous of you want to want to spare your wife more pain, I think it’s a terrible mistake to make this a unilateral decision. She has stayed with you for 20 years for a reason. It may be that your depression is clouding your ability to see your marriage in its entirety. From your wife’s point of view, who you are may more than compensate for the hard times. You owe it to her to let her be part of the conversation.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

I Want to Leave My Wife so She’ll Have a Better Life

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). I Want to Leave My Wife so She’ll Have a Better Life. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 24, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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