Hi, I am new here… I was searching for a topic covering my situation and your story captured my attention because it sounds very familiar to me.
So I felt I should respond with my own story, maybe you or anyone can learn from it.
I am in my middle 30s, divorced with 2 small children. I met my ex husband over the internet (we are from different cultures and countries in Europe) and we had a long distance relationship for almost 3 years. He told me from the start about the medicamentation he takes, but never told me what illness he has. Of course I could check it out, but he reassured me as long as he is true to his treatment there is no problem. It did not bothered me at all and I was happy to bring some happiness into his life. Their parents were very much against me and our relationship as we were planning to get married. He has also a very highly dysfunctional mother and a father that seems to live into his own world but very annoying character and being a psychological pressure for my ex.
Against their will we got married, I left my studies (as I could continue with a Phd in Paris), I left my family and came to his country to be with him. We managed to build a family business and soon I got pregnant. Unfortunately he stopped taking his medicine as he felt perfectly fine and he felt that the medicine were taking him back from a normal life. He did not listen to anyone trying to convince him that he should not stop taking his medicine, not his parents, not his mother, not even me.
For a few years everything was beautiful, we had a second child. But responsibilities were pressuring him as he was not being helped by any medicine or doctor. Of course he was not seeing any doctor. Four years ago he had a crisis, I was alone with him in our apartment, having my 6 months old child into my arms and he was frighting me with a kitchen knife. He had gone… I do not want to use words “insane” or “mad”, but he was not himself. I called for help and his father managed to get him to his home and immediately call a doctor. I do not want to go into details but that night he made a lot of damages and fortunately he did not made any harm to his children.
His recovery took months, almost a year and he always said that this time he recovered quickly as I was by his side and helped him. Before he met me he had other 3 crisis and a suicidal attempt.
After he recovered he came back to work and everything was perfect again. But soon after that he started blaming me (inside him) for his crisis. He believed I was responsible for it. He stopped communicating with me, he became cold and he distance himself from me, he did not care for me as wife, work partner or mother of his children. For two years I tried to save my marriage, trying to make it work, trying to understand him, trying to make him see we have issues we need to solve. But nothing I did ever worked… All this consumed me and I came to a situation I was so depressed, crying all the time, not eating, not sleeping for a quite a while. I even started taking anti depressive pills, until I realized that my children need me strong, smiling and happy. So I decided I should not let me or anyone destroy my children’s health or childhood. I started to take care of me and not letting my husband getting to me and put me down. He did not like that and 2 months later he asked for divorce.
After the divorce his behavior towards me was even worse, he was very mischievous. A year after our divorce and a few days after he found out that there is someone new in my life, he had another crisis and now he is still in the recovering process.
This is my story and now I realize why his parents were against our relation and our marriage. They did not wanted him to have responsibilities and pressure that he cannot manage.
If I was to go back in time I would have listen to his parents, I would have seek advice elsewhere, but I did not know what I was dealing with as his parents were always trying to hide it and never told me the reasons of their behavior. I did not know what a crisis means or how he acts, what he needs and what it is after that.
One should always know and decide for himself if he can, if he has the power to deal with this illness, cause this is no game. It is a matter of life and health, not only of the person that was diagnosed but also for the caregiver. Maybe it was better for me and my ex husband if I ended our relation at the beginning when I realized we have very different characters and not stay because he had an illness and because I was afraid to hurt him. 'Cause we both hurt more now, also our children…
I am trying now to learn how it is best to deal with the situation, how to go on with my life so that no one gets hurt anymore and also how to educate my children as they will have to deal with this illness later in interaction with their father.