Mental Help Needed

Sorry for the title as I honestly didn’t know what to call this thread. I need your help guys and what follows may sound for some that it doesn’t belong here but anyway its a community isn’t it.

My wife of 6 months decided that while she loves me, she doesn’t love me the way she always thought she does. Long story short, she is about to leave me and thats hitting me fucking hard.
We came to Australia 7 years ago and for reasons I am trying to understand I hardly made any friends and I therefore have a bit of a lack of support down here. Additionally no one really knows yet whats going on and I don’t really have many people to talk too right now. Which is way I am talking to you guys.

I don’t really know what to do and I wondered if you have opinions I haven’t really thought about yet. I am pretty sure that I want to leave Sydney, I never really felt at home and I also can’t afford it living on my own. I am sick of the traffic, my commute every day and the hustle and bustle of the CBD I am working in. I love the Northern Beaches where I live but once again the living costs are out of this world and I dont think I want to go on living like that. I work in tourism, I don’t make much money and I still want to be able to live a decent life.

Which brings me to the decision I am facing on where I should move to. I have been to Adelaide and really liked it. I am very much into road riding these days and don’t think that will change ever again. Adelaide wouldn’t be too bad for that right? I am also into trail running but I don’t have a clue if Adelaide can deliver on that front. On the other hand there is Hobart which I have never been to but that somehow resonates with me. I am just not sure if I will feel to isolated over there and if the road riding is as nice as I would hope for. And its not solely about sport, its also about just living there as I do have a great interest in nice eateries, art, fashion sometimes, design and so on. Its not really about work I have to say as I will just work whatever I find and like and otherwise finally start doing what I wanted to do my whole life which is writing. I am a small town kind of guy, love the outdoors but also need people, nice breweries, forward thinking, wine, books, art, open minded communities, surrounding me.

And maybe there is something I haven’t really thought about yet. I am creature of habit but I don’t think that I want to continue living in Sydney without my wife. But maybe I am wrong, let me know if you have a different opinion all together. I feel currently very, very lost and I don’t want to make any decision just based on that fact. I am afraid to leave Sydney as it means to leave everything behind and start from scratch again. Just as I did when coming to Australia 7 years ago. I am afraid of what the future will bring and I am shitting my pants on the thought of living alone for the first time in my life. I am 38 and actually never thought that this will happen.

Thanks for every comment you will make.


I’m busy and have to go out right now. Good on you for posting. I’ll revisit this when I can.

This sounds rough. My only input is that a close friend of mine separated from his wife of 4 years at the start of the year and moved to Hobart. He’s having a great time, living by the waters edge, and spends his free time sailing, fishing, eating well and hiking. It looks pretty good

that sounds like a pretty shit situation, and your feelings of being lost are very understandable.

i can appreciate you not liking sydney or feeling at home there, it’s not my choice of cities either, so i think the possibility of trying somewhere new is a good one. but be aware that you will have moments of loneliness in a new city. you might find that happens regardless of where you decide to move to (or don’t move to). that’s likely just the nature of your situation.

can’t comment on adelaide, i’ve never been. but the adelaide hills are very close to the city & that would mean trails for running, no? i’d imagine there’d be a solid road riding crew there too.

thought about melbourne or somewhere in regional victoria? it definitely has all the things you like & a healthy cycling scene.

tassie is great, i just booked my second trip in 6 months.

i guess, rather than listing the pros & cons of each place, my advice would be this…

take a punt on somewhere that feels like it’ll fit the bill. don’t put too much pressure on yourself to love it & be open to the fact that you can 100% move again if you don’t like it. as much as moving sucks, it’s an option for you now, especially if tourism work is available anywhere.

so take a punt on somewhere, be active in putting yourself out there socially, perhaps even be willing to admit to new friends that you’re vulnerable & need plenty of distractions, and see how you go. you will have shitty, shitty days. own them & be kind to yourself when they happen. but also remember that moving & finding somewhere where you do feel more ‘at home’ could be the best thing you ever did.

there are heaps of online supports available to you too if you need advice on where to from here. Beyond Blue & Relationships Australia are the first two that come to mind.

i hope that helped & didn’t ramble/feel too disjointed (writing on my phone), good luck with it & feel free to use this thread whenever you need if it helps.

one more thing…

seeing your GP about a mental health plan is a really beneficial option if you’re finding things really difficult. if you’re anxious or feeling depressed, go & have a chat about your situation. GP’s (good ones at least) are well equipped to deal with life crises these days. if you meet the very easy criteria, a referral from your GP will entitle you to 6 sessions with a psychologist or counsellor at a heavily subsidised rate (pretty sure it’s 66% back from medicare) with the option of extending the number of visits to 10.

making the appointment with the GP can often be the hardest part, but taking charge of the situation may help that lost feeling you’re experiencing & give you back some control.

more info here (and i can’t believe they refer to patients as having a “disorder”!! wtf?!)

Good time to clean up material clutter, which will help if you decide your new city isn’t working. I don’t think I understood myself until about your age. If it was me in your shoes, I’d grieve for the relationship and welcome the opportunity to find out what I really want to do with what’s left of this one and only life that I have.
“Tangentially Speaking” podcast is pretty neat. If you have time, or you find yourself wallowing, chuck it on. All the best with the new chapter.

Also, props for posting.

Good on you for posting, Marc. It’s a hard thing to talk about.

Without knowing much about your personal situation, I’m struck by how quickly you moved the focus of your post from the breakdown of your marriage to starting a new life somewhere. Have you guys been too/considered marriage counselling? Or at least explored with each other why she has changed her feelings? I would have thought, six months into a marriage, she would be open to trying to make things work…

Hey Marc,

Thanks for posting - this is a place where you (or anyone else) shouldn’t feel uncomfortable to get things out in the open.

Like Manatra mentioned, I’m not sure if you have tried marriage/group counselling at all - but I would highly recommend at least giving it a go, it might take a couple of tries with different counsellors before you find one you are comfortable with, but when you do it can be very worth while. A good reason to go is to see if there is another side to the story that could pop up to clear up any questions you both have about your relationship - but also it could be the basis of getting some support and tactics/tools for yourself which you will need through this process.

The next bit I really can’t give too much advice on as I have been born and raised in the same city. But what we both have in common is that you and I are both creatures of habit and i know how difficult it can be to even think of something new like changing desk locations at work, let alone choosing a new city to live in. The only thing I can do is try an put myself in your shoes and how I would approach it.

In the past, with breakups, the only way I could deal with them is to keep myself busy and keep my brain active so it doesn’t turn to other negative thoughts - the way I combatted that was to find a new hobby. Find a few classes or some sort of groups that will meet on a weekly basis and go from there. It could be something like indoor rock climbing, yoga, ice hockey??, dare I say… cross fit, wood work? Anything that you think will attract like minded people that will get you an instant bunch of new contacts and a potential circle of friends. I like the exercise approach as it is doing you good, making you feel great and keeping you healthy. Again, like the counsellor - it may take a few goes to find a right community but once you do you will know it.

I know you have been to Canberra a few times - the town seems to have a lot of similarities with some of the things you have mentioned. The cost of living here may be higher than Adelaide though… and you know it’s just down the road from Sydney if you ever need to go back.

Anyway Marc - keep us up to date if you need to, if you ever need a chat - my mobile is 0411 682 377.

I can only comment on the Adelaide side of things. I’ve lived here my whole life. It’s very much a small town still, but not in a bad way. Good food and drinking can easily be found. A couple of the dudes I know into cycling are also into wine and food. We have a small bar scene, but it’s kinda funny… but we also have good bars. Depends what you’re into.

Riding here is really good for road and gravel and we have a pretty good CX scene as well. There’s a lot of regular road rides with normal-ish people through Treadly bike shop. You can get up into the hills within 20-30 minutes of suburban riding from the CBD. If you want long flat beach rides, that’s 30 minutes in the other direction. I can’t really comment on running, but I know there are some good walking / running trails close to the CBD as well, particularly Pinoneer Womens Trail and the Mt Lofty trail.

PM me if you want.

Hi Marc,

You’ve taken the first step which is opening up and talking. But, as friendly as this forum is, its no substitute for talking to a qualified couseller in person. As Rolly pointed out, you can get a mental health plan. I’d strongly recommend it. I had one myself about 3 years ago. I attended about 5 sessions and it was a real help. Not that they will tell you that you should stay or move, they won’t make your decisions for you, but its just that act of talking to someone in person who listens, and guides the conversation that really helps. They help you to reach better decisions.

I really wouldn’t jump straight into planning a move without thinking through how things will be different. Remember, you take yourself with you everywhere you go. If you’ve had trouble making friends in Sydney, why would that be different anywhere else? You wouldn’t want to wake up in a new city and realise that things are exactly the same.

Thanks guys, you are an awesome bunch of people and I truly appreciate it. Very much actually!

Many of the reasons she is very likely leaving me is due to my issues that I carried along for too long. Thanks for the good advice of seeing someone as I am doing that already since about 6 weeks. Its doing me very well and talking to my therapist, finding out where my problems are is one of the best things I have probably ever done. I am not sure if its already too late but I will also suggest to my wife doing it together. She has been away for a few days (in Adelaide actually) for work and is coming home later today. I kind of lost the hope already though I have to say. We have been talking a lot and we may have mistaken our deep friendship for love if you know what I mean. I am not sure. I am not feeling well just thinking about it.

I will have to move anyway if this all goes as it looks it will go. We need to move out as neither of us can afford living in this apartment on their own. Having never really truly liked Sydney or the job I am in since 7 years as well, I may even make it a complete re start.

Thanks once again, just being able to writing these things down and knowing that they be read by someone who cares, helps.

Good luck with it all Marc - I know it sounds like a bit of a cop out on my part - but try and keep things positive. Positive that your relationship can be resolved, and positive that the future (whilst it seems tough at the moment) will hold a lot more happy moments for you. Just keep a fire inside of you lit. There are good times ahead.

great news that you’re already speaking to a professional, having an objective voice to guide your thoughts & point out irrational & inconsistent logic can be incredibly helpful in my experience.

i’ve only had one significant break up, instigated by me, and in the end i got great solace knowing i’d tried as hard as i could to work it out. if your wife is conducive to couples counselling, definitely give it a go, you’ll know whether to call it if it’s not working. there’s married/divorced people here with more experience in that department than me, so i won’t delve into that much.

but like ezy said, try & stay busy with positive activities & you’ll get through this eventually.

Marc - if you need someone local to have a coffee/beer and talk PM me.

Thanks once again guys and thanks Droz, I may come back to your offer.

Hey. Glad to see the thread got some traction.

I’m hesitant to give relationship advice, beyond saying that I think it takes a lot of courage to realise that things aren’t working out for you and then to say that to your partner, knowing that it’ll be painful and life changing. Mostly I feel like people don’t break up accidentally. Sure, exploring those reasons might be worthwhile and might lead to a continuing relationship, but it might also just help to deal with things when the relationship ends.

As far as moving to a new place goes, I’ve lived in a lot of places. I’m pretty good at making friends too, but it is hard work and takes a lot of time. The best place I’ve found to easily make friends has been Melbourne. By far. Coming from Perth, you can talk to a stranger and they’ll talk back, they’ll help you, they won’t think you’re weird. People in Perth generally have their set group of friends and don’t tend to branch out much. I worry that Adelaide might be like that too, but I dunno. If you’ve got bikes and running you have ins for making friends, but to be on their social invite list might take a full year or so, anywhere you go. I wanna move to Hobart because it’s absolutely beautiful and the outdoors life is so accessible. There’s plenty of people moving there and I have friends there so ins to a social life, but I’m not sure if it would be as easy as Melbourne socially.

What about travelling a bit? Broome? Alice Springs? Cairns? It has mountains and ocean. Somewhere tiny like Melrose, SA? Derby, TAS? Kangaroo Island? Lorne/Apollo Bay? Those kinda transient touristy towns are good for making friends in, just maybe not super long term ones.

Super glad to hear you’re getting a bit of professional help on this too. I hope it all works out well for you Marc.

I think the only really thing that turns me off Hobart is that it may feel isolated. I am not able to jump in my car, drive 10hrs and am somewhere I know. Do you know what I mean? Otherwise it sounds and feels like it has everything I want.
I was thinking of these tiny towns as well, Bright comes to my mind, but find a rental there and work. Its not all about running and riding. I guess I will have to pay a visit to Hobart soonish to get a better idea.

And we are still riding together, my wife and I, thats not too bad of a sign right…

Thanks all!

Bright’s a great town/region. Lots of people going there to work so amendable to making friends easily. And it’s stunningly beautiful

All these places are great and would be lovely spots to live but…

I feel like if you focus on finding somewhere new you’ll never have the emotional time/energy to really confront what is happening in your marriage. I know I said this earlier in the thread, but I’m worried you’re running away from something it would be better to deal with face on…

Unless you’re religious (or just really like spending money on parties), isn’t the main reason to get married so that you’re a bit more committed to making things work when times get tough? I feel like the TL;DR of wedding vows is “I am committing to make this work, and if shit gets hard I’ll go out of my comfort zone to try to make it better again”.

Sorry if you guys have already done this and I’m just slow on the uptake; I just can’t imagine having anywhere near the type of closure I’d need from your summary about the situation. And if it’s your wife who’s initiating this then obviously her attitude is a massive factor too, which is hard for you to control. But yeah, I would be pretty insistent that a few sessions with a relationship counsellor is a good next step.