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Worried about my marriage

(12 Posts)
Targelor Thu 30-Jun-11 14:48:06

A couple of years ago my wife was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She was also diagnosed with PTSD and a severe case of Amaxophobia due to car accident she had. Of course, all these problems are linked together, and her therapist has prescribed medications to treat the bipolar disorder and psychotherapy for the PTSD and her phobia. The Divalproex she is taking seems to be working a little, but she still has episodes.
I have a problem though. With all the problems that we have had over the years, her diagnosis was like a final nail in the coffin. Since then we have grown farther apart. I try to help, I try to be supportive...I have to do most everything outside the house that is not within walking distance.
But...I am not in love with her anymore. Things have just grown to distant for me to have any real feelings. I feel like a robot going through the motions. I don't want to hurt her, but I don't think maintaining a loveless relationship is good for either one of us.
About a month ago I met someone. We seem to have a lot in common, and I have been talking to her about things I have never been able to talk to my wife about. I think I might be falling for her, but I am scared to take any steps in that direction. It tears me up inside.
The worst part is...I know if I leave, I have to take the kids with me. My wife can't take care of the kids in her condition, and her therapist said it could take years before she improves. It's not that she doesn't try to be a good mother, but I can't trust her to do what needs to be done, especially as her phobia is concerned. Even now, I often worry about what will happen while I am at work while the kids are at the house.
Any advice would be appreciated.

ImperialBlether Thu 30-Jun-11 14:58:54

What a horrible situation for you all to be in.

Do you mind if I ask a few questions?

How old are the children?
What kind of relationship do the children have with their mum?
If things were bad at home when you were at work, would your children tell you or would they feel too guilty?
How would your wife cope if you took the children away?
If they lived with you, would she do her best to see them regularly?

To be honest, I think you should leave the other woman out of it for a while. If you leave, I think you should leave with your children and move near to your wife. You and they should get used to being away from your wife before another woman is introduced to them.

PhilipJFry Thu 30-Jun-11 15:02:13

I'm sure others will be along shortly with more advice, but I would recommend that if you do anything you should find a good counsellor and go and see them. There's a lot going on in your post and they can help work through your feelings about everything you've described. Don't make any rash decisions and don't enter into an emotional or physical affair with this woman. You need to focus on yourself and everything that's happened over the last few years before you make any rash moves, and then go on from there and decide what you want to do.

You have my sympathies- being a carer for someone with severe mental illnesses can be extremely stressful and draining. You are not a bad person for having the feelings you do.

shortfathorrible Thu 30-Jun-11 15:13:28

I did not want to not give you a response to your dilemna. I too am married to
a man who is no longer -through a serious brain injury by a road traffic accident- the man I love. I felt terribly guilty finally admitting to myself how unhappy I was with him and our situation. I finally worked up the courage to tell my parents (who knew I was on my knees both physically and emotionally)
tell his parents, family and friends. I approached his outreach support about how I was feeling and they were wonderfully supportive of both of us. He now lives on his own, the children and I see him though I am the primary carer of the childern as he is unable. I would suggest that you must take care of you too. I am now in the process of divorcing him, we chat, and I am now ready to look for love again, so the very best of luck/love to you -you've earned it.

Targelor Thu 30-Jun-11 15:32:11

@ImperialBlethe

1)The kids are 4 and 6.
2)They love her.
3)I don't think they would say anything, as they really don't know what to look for.
4)She made it clear about a year ago that she would rather kill herself then get a divorce or have the kids taken form her.
5)I think she is too unpredictable to answer that.

shortfathorrible Thu 30-Jun-11 16:14:43

you could confide in someone who cares for both of you and is aware of how hard things are for you, she's not the only one with feelings though she has become, probably, used to being the one that's to be cared for. My children love their father, encouraged by me too!But I could not continue my life selflessly as I was becoming increasingly isolated by the situation at home, overwhelmed by feelings of helplessness,sadness and of course desperately lonely.
feel sad for you all

Apocalypto Thu 30-Jun-11 17:37:28

Your priorities sound like they are the children, then her, then yourself. Right now you are probably nobody's priority, and that I suggest needs to change. You're the most crucial member of your family unit right now, because without you it all falls apart, but you are being taken for granted and neglected - for reasons beyond anyone's control, but nonetheless.

The other woman who reacts to you like you're a human being and treats you like you matter is obviously going to look pretty good. Don't fuck her though, it will not be appreciated and it won't be fun explaining it to the family.

Don't really know what to say except to wonder whether you can see a way for this situation to fix itself. Will the missus ever recover and revert to whatever she usd to be like? If she does, would you want to stay? What happens over the next year, five years, ten years with this woman? If the situation is going to stay this bad - or get worse - will you tolerate it, or will you pull the plug?

If the latter, then I'd suggest the sooner the better. If you nobly hang around and serve selflessly as the carer and breadwinner for someone bipolar, you will be punished, not rewarded, for doing so, if you later go down the divorce route. You'll likely find you owe her full time care for the rest of her life.

The sooner you cut loose the better and if she's been pronounced mentally unfit you stand a chance of getting the children.

UnhappyLizzie Thu 30-Jun-11 17:47:22

Apocalypto, I agree totally with you about the OW. But 'cutting loose' and hoping to get the children is tough advice. This woman is sick and she loves her children and they love her.

Targelor Thu 30-Jun-11 17:49:26

@Apocalypto

I think you are right.
I won't cheat on her, of course.
However a divorce is for the best. The alimony would probably be horrendous, but the healthcare would be even worse. I would have to take the kids and have her declared unfit. Unfortunately, she would have to get help from MHS here in order to continue to go to therapy.

I really can't put my life or the kid's lives on hold anymore. We have to be able build something better for ourselves while their mother gets the help she needs.
I can't allow the possibility of her suicide keep me from doing this either. It will only make things worse if in the long run if we stick around.

aliceliddell Thu 30-Jun-11 18:08:27

Your wife is disabled by these problems, and as such is entitled to assistance from social services as a disabled parent. Contact www.disabledparentsnetwork.org.uk/

aliceliddell Thu 30-Jun-11 18:12:19

Posted too soon - you'll be entitled to support as her carer, also the children could get help from Young Carers

Apocalypto Thu 30-Jun-11 18:19:37

I know, it's tough and easy to day, hard to do.

What I notice about the OP there is that there seems to be no end in sight, and also that nowhere has he reflected on his own needs. He's thinking about everyone but himself, which does him credit, but isn't sustainable. Someone has to look out for him.

Alimony, well yeah, no way out of that, but you'd be housing and keeping your kids if you lived with them anyway so it's not like there's an option to go back to being childless.

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