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recently seperated

Published on December 17, 2012 by nbella3

Hi,my husband and I have been married 14 yrs,3children.My husband is bipolar and we have had so many ups and downs,he says stuff that hurts me and always has excuses why he can't go out as a family .He relys on me so much,I have lost who I in the 14 yrs.Friends and family noticw how depressed I get betweeen him and the kids I think I had enough so I told my husband I was hurt and out of love,so we are seperating so I can find out who I am again,and to get stronger.I am not doing this to find someone else because I do truly love the man he used to be...Well he is going to schooll an dbecame friends with a girl,and as soon as I told him to move out he called her and confided in her ,he says its nothing but I have seen the emails and she is faling for him,its killing me evryday because we still live to gether unitll next month..Sorry I am rambling on,I just cant figure out if Iam jealouse or want to make it work,i am doing the right thing but he is taking to someone else ..what do I do?

ANSWERS

No matter how much you love someone, living with a person who is mentally ill is never easy, and sometimes it IS simply more than you can bear. Given what you described (and assuming medication and phychiatric therapy didn't improve him enough to be bearable [if he hasn't been getting help, try that before giving up on him - it can be like night and day]) than staying with him longer would destroy you.

You ARE jealous and you probably still DO want to make it work, but if you were having no success, it's time to let things go.

Has HE taken initiative to get well? Is he on meds and getting professional help? Does he admit that he has a mental illness? Having gone through a separation for similar reasons, all I can tell you is that time apart will be your real answer. If he is committed to making things work, he will put the effort into it. If he is not, he simply won't. Regardless, you have your own work to do, finding yourself, healing, figuring out how to live healthy again, and how to provide emotional stability for the three children. Focus your energy on THAT, not on him. Its completely normal to feel jealous, to feel angry, and to wonder what will happen. Separations are like that, even among healthy people! Just remember that there is nothing you can do "for" him, he must start doing for himself. Otherwise, there is no marriage; just one adult babysitting another.

I think both contributors here had great advice. I think that this separation could be a good thing for both of you. Not only has he become dependent on you but you are dependent on him. You look to him to define who you are (what you said about having lost yourself). It's understandable that you are feeling jealous. Any woman would. What I also think you should understand is that he's emotional connection to this woman is taking a real blow to your self-esteem. Because you have defined yourself for years through this relationship that has taken so much of your energy, time, heart and soul, it's natural that you would see his new friendship as a reflection of your worth. You may feel that he has rejected you and chosen her. You may not only feel rejected and filled with self-doubt, you may also be incredibly angry. After all, you have sacrificed so much for this man and even though you know he is sick, there is probably a part of you that doesn't understand how he can be so unaccountable and self-centered. If these feelings exist, they are natural. We can not rationalize with our feelings. Feelings are young and trying to explain them away with logic ("He's sick, that's why he did this" or "I left him, that's why he found her") only take us so far. Sometimes we just have to feel these things let them pass through us, no matter how childish the feelings seem to be. This is a time to be very kind with yourself and patient with yourself. It's time to take a lot of deep breaths and realize that things may get hard for a while, but that you will get through it. Tell your kids often that you love them and things will get better. There is nothing you can do right now that is better than surrender. Surrender to your feelings and to this situation. Only time will tell if you two can build a healthy relationship once you grow as individuals. Do, however, go to a couples therapist if he is willing. I know right now that you feel like the only way to find yourself is to remove yourself completely from him, but you can still do work on yourself at the same time that you do work within your relationship. It's not all or nothing.

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