For Better, For Worse??

I am new to this, have never joined an internet group, blog...etc.  I am apprehensive but figure I have nothing to loose.  My story is long.  I have 5 years of events swarming around in my head and heart.

  My husband and I have been married a little over 15 years and have two children.  One of the happiest days of my life was our wedding day.   There was nothing we couldn't do together- we could take on the world- we had our lives, future, accomplishments ahead of us.  I love my husband and have wept- sobbed- over the disintegration of our relationship. I am now at a point where I don't think I can be his wife anymore.  I think he is toxic to me most of the time.  I long to be happy again but don't know how to make that happen. I long for the smile to return to my once bright eyes. I want him to be happy, too.  I don't think I can be the person to make him happy- I'm not sure anyone can?

About 5 years ago, my husband was diagnosed with Cyclothymia but later diagnosed (a year and half later) as Bipolar Disorder II. He takes medication: Lamictal, Fluoxetine, Klonopin, Prozac and a testosterone gel.  He has a therapist sesssion once a week (talk therapy) and sees his psychiatrist once every 3 months- or 6, depending on things. He drinks but I wouldn't say he's an alcoholic.  I think he could be if his consumption wasn't monitored. I recently asked that he stop drining hard liquor- he was drinking a 750ml bottle of Vodka every 4 or 5 days. He spends a lot of time on the computer. He doesn't manage money well so I take care of the bills but he constantly spends money.  We live paycheck to paycheck.  He has episodes of "obvious" depression that can last as little as a few days or as long as a few months.  There aren't very many manic episodes and when they appear it is in the form of aggitation, frustration and irritability- not the "up, excited" manic form. He's been hospitalized for suicidal thoughts once- just before he was diagnosed as bipolar. He's held a steady job- which he loves- for a little over three years and does well with it. Prior to that he changed jobs every couple of years, never with benefits or decent pay. 

Four and half years ago our lives, our marriage, started on it's rollercoaster ride.  I walked into our home one evening and he expressed to me that he had feelings for someone else, that he was not as in love with me as he once was, my weight gain over the past few years made me unattractive.  I was devistated and completely in shock.  I always thought he loved me no matter what I looked like- especially after having two children.  Yes, I had gained weight and, at that time, didn't set aside time to myself.  I worked full time in management, I did most of the domestic duties, I took care of the babies most of the time.  Still do.  The very next day I joined a weight loss center thinking it was me that led to this downfall.  I found out the person he "had feelings for" was a younger girl at our children's daycare- someone who probably didn't know he existed in any other form than the kid's father.  This was a "relationship" he had built up in his head and was totally unrealistic.  Yet, the words had been spoken, the heart had been broken.  We went to our pastor for counciling who directed us to seek professional counciling which we did for 6 months. Things were tollerable but his actions were self indulgent most of the time.  He started spending more time out, more time on the computer. We were home together but not together.  About 5-6 months later, I was using his work laptop to look up information and accidentally found where he had been visiting MySpace- a lot.  I researched and found a page he set up.  I saw many comments from other women.  My heart raced as I realized what I was going to have to do- get the log in information and find out what this was about. After a little detective work I retrieved information from 3 different women he had been communicating with for several months- some 4 or 5 months, some 6-7 months. He had posted "sexy" pictures of himself on this site as well.  I read comments and messages back and forth about how he could "talk" to these women, how "hot" they were, how they had so much in common.  I also retreived his cell phone records for this time period and realized he had been calling one of these women for months.  Times were all through the day- early in the morning, late in the night and while he was at work.  Again, I was shocked but this time not devistated.  I was angry.  How could I not have known this was going on?  He was getting out of our bed early/late and calling another woman. Unlike the previous time, when I knew his "feelings" were unrealistic, this was a step further; internet and phone communications.  Of course when I confronted him with this he denied it.  When I showed him all the print outs I made of the conversations and phone bill, he shut down. It was a few days later that he went to the hospital for a few days.   Again we did the counciling.  I was so hurt and angry but loved my husband and was still "mourning" what we had lost.  I felt insignigicant, betrayed, unattractive, alone. Again, we worked through things and continued on with our lives but not the same. During this time his meds didn't seem to help much, nor did the individual counciling he was receiveing but still we trudged through. 

A year later I came across two separate situations.  First, emails from a co-worker who told him he was attractive, she wanted to get to know him.  I immediately told him this was inappropriate and to "take care of it".  He never did (this was a topic of discussion off and on for over a year) but that became less significant when I found a phone bill with several calls and text messages to a number I did not recognize.  Again I became the persistent detective fearing the outcome.  Turns out he met a woman at a social function - which I did not attend because of a sick child- and started communicating/ seeing this woman.  He admitted to only kissing her after several confrontations from me.  Can we please get through a calendar year without something happening- without him seeking the attention from another woman, without marital counciling, without drama?  Please?

Thing are hard- very hard at this point.  I have no trust, I question whether or not we should be together, I'm tired. His father dies a few months later.  He falls into a steady cycle of depression and denial.  He becomes more anxious, agitated, distant, suspicious of me.  Keep in mind, I have never strayed from our marriage- never got on the internet to "chat", never spent time with another man. He was suspicious of me because I monitored his activity.  He resented it.  Told me I was manipulative.   We started seeing a new therapist but all the sessions revolved around my husband and his bipolar disorder.  I was instructed to use my words and actions carefully so that I would not be a trigger for my husband.  Our 1 hour sessions usually meant 45 minutes with my husband alone then I got to be included for the last part.  Finally, I go for counceling- just for me. I realized at that time I had become a co-dependent person.  What?!  From a vibrant, independent, self-confident, professional woman to a co-dependent person in a co-dependent relationship?  It opened my eyes.

Most recently- in the past 6 months, the emailing co-worker situation reared it's ugly head again.  I printed off over 200 pages of personal emails back and forth between them.  I have had it.   I asked him about it and got the expected answer- it's nothing, she just needs a friend.  Whatever.  I presented him with the stack of emails and told him I was done.  Something snapped in me that day, I think.  I no longer had a desire to check emails, websites, phone records...I did not care anymore.  I asked him to leave, we needed to be a part for a while.  He refused- told me to leave.  I refused. He's back in weekly counceling with the therapist mentioned above but I will not go. I honestly don't want anymore marital has not proven to be helpful in the long term.  

I get very sad when I think of my relationship with my husband.  However, I think that we are no longer good for each other.  I'm tired of all his actions being blamed on his illness, I really don't want to be a part of it anymore.  He tells me I promised for better or for worse...and I did but to what expense?  I feel like part of me has died, dissappeared.  I'm unhappy.  Is that the expense?  I deserve to be happy.  I deserve to be respected. I feel a huge sense of guilt and worry. 

constantlyconfused constantlyconfused
4 Responses Mar 4, 2009

thank you for sharing your story. It sounds so painful. I am so sorry for you. It is strikingly similar to mine, yet different. you wish you could stop talking about your husband's illness almost like it has been a crutch. I wish we could start talking about my husband (diagnosed once with Mania and 2 x with bipolar) to end the blame game and the wild ride. <br />
At some point I have atleast started to care for myself. he did move out nearly a year ago and it has been agonizing for both of us. Yet, somehow without his "help" around the house--I removed all "expectations" of him---the house is cleaner, all three kids more relaxed, excelling more in school, I have dropped 20 pounds and feel better physically than I have in 12 years. I love him. I hate his illness. I don't think I really knew how much I loved him until I just focused on me, my health, my responsibilities, what I could do. as for the outcome of the marriage, I can only hope. I know I may never be loved but I count my blessings that I can love and know and respect a wonderful man. The more I learn about my husband's illness and upbringing, the more I respect him for surviving. i realize some people live an entire life never finding someone they can truly love. aren't I blessed that I have found that. As far as recieving love, I hope for it and for now fill that void with God's love.

You should leave. He don't seem to have any respect for you or himselfe. It don't sound to me like he will ever stop doing what he is doing. Let him go then he will kick himselfe when he finds out the grass isn't any greener on the other side of the fence. It sounds like it is way too far gone (the relationship I mean) The loss of trust, it is very hard to get trust back once someone proves they don't deserve it. Leave him before he ruins you for your next man. And resentment has to be growing that too is hard to let go of. You may not realize it but you will cary this with you into your next relationship. You are best to leave as soon as you possibly can. Believe me on this one.

I took it for ten years before something snapped- he hit me but my son was in my arms and i had decided NO MORE. Why did you take so long to react-you don't get another life or another chance at life.<br />
i did everything, tried everything but you know it is never enough in such a relationship- I would say move on- mentally at least. Whether you can stay away or not is dependent on a lot of circumstances- children, finances etc but you need to let go in your head

I think you are doing the right thing by getting away from him, he definitely has tried to suck the life out of you, and you are right, you deserve to be happy. It's going to be very difficult getting through it but it will be worth it for you once it's over. You sound like a pretty strong person, and you've taken a good first step, just don't let him drag you down, he doesn't deserve you anymore!