Moving OutHello to all of the wonderful friends here that have given me so much support and help. As many of you know I am moving out of the sexless marriage with my mentally ill wife. I know that when anyone steps out and does what they need to do, it give courage to the ones who have yet to step out. That is at least partially why I am writing today. The step out is easy in the sense that I knew it was the only thing left to do but difficult because divorce under the best of circumstances is a nasty business.
Life is hard at times but as the quote in my profile says "Maturity is the ability to face the harsh realities of life." I have not always faced such harsh realities in my life but I am facing them now. My wife is mentally ill and that took a good while to sink in. I consider myself free to share the pain of that reality in a forurm like this because no one here knows me or my wife. Even then it took extra courage to do this because speaking ill of her in any form is considered by her to be the ultimate betrayal. Yet it is this kind of manipulative behavior that has trapped me into silence and submission for far too long.
I had to admit to myself that I have been putting up with abusive behavior for years and as such was a battered husband. I did not like to admit such a thing but wrote a story explaining it. That was difficult as well. When the story was criticized by someone I did not have to respond to the criticism for someone else did in the very next comment. It made me feel vinidcated and relieved all at the same time.
I had to face the fact the church despite my love for it and the love I have receieved and given to its members let me down at crucial times and in the end had no real forum for helping a member living with a spouse who had a severe mental illness. Marriage is still sacred but so is the dignity and respect that should come out of marriage. In my marriage I was controlled, manipulated, and verbally abused for years. Does that constitue a marriage? Would the church have allowed such abuse to happen if a man treated a woman in such a way?
I had to face the very hard truth that many people will never understand how I could end a marriage of almost 33 years. My wife due to the nature of her illness will probably never understand why I even want to leave as she does not consider her behavior abusive. It was even more difficult to realize that her behavior towards me was not only abusive but cruel.
The last but perhaps the easiest truth I have had to face is that I no longer consider myself married even though we have yet to divorce. I have looked for other women and talked to other women on the phone. I have even gone to dinner with one woman twice. For the phone calls alone my wife calls me an adulterer and reminds me at least once a week that God sees what I am doing. I will trust in God's judgement and do not need to be reminded of his presence or in his ability and right to judge me and all people. I know what the church thinks of me but I have not been married to a woman for all these years but to a child. A child who is never satisfied and who will always need more from me than anyone could even give to her or to any person. The day I decided to leave the marriage was the day she was no longer my wife. The rest was just a legal formaity. That may sound harsh but it is by far the easiest of the hard truths I have had to face.