If you had known...would you have gotten married? - Page 3 - Talk About Marriage
Physical & Mental Health Issues Marriage and relationships are difficult by themselves, but coping with physical or mental health problems can make things even more difficult.

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post #31 of 57 (permalink) Old 04-14-2013, 02:18 AM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

This is an interesting question. My Ex and I both started getting treatment for depression when we were dating. My mom, who I was living with and taking care of, was depressed and undiagnosed NPD/BPD (I know now), and both of his parents were alcoholics, father abusive. We both knew we were dealing with a lot, and wanted to deal with our issues before we got married and had kids.

What I didn't see, and didn't even know about then, were his own personality disordered traits. That flew under everyone's radar - counselors, psychiatrists, and certainly, my understanding, as my idea of 'normal' was pretty screwed up. I have been realizing just how much over the last 2 years in therapy triggered by him ending our marriage.

Looking back at our marriage, I can see how much of it revolved around his depression and PD. He had a breakdown in 2006, and has been on disability since then, though he got a grad degree during that time. Our lives revolved totally around him, and trying to take care of him, his increasingly abusive, narcissistic personality (including several EAs) and dramatic emotional crises made me suicidal many, many times.

It doesn't help that spouses/SOs of people with mental illnesses are given virtually no counseling of their own, or even in-depth information on what they'll be dealing with. I remember reading that the divorce rate among couples with one spouse with major depression is 9x the rate for couples without a depressed spouse. And that the non-diagnosed spouse quite often develops a 'situational' depression of their own.

I know that is true of me. Even though I didn't want to split, thought we could fix our issues with MC, etc., at the time, I've come to realize that this simply wouldn't have been possible with him. Realizing the PD aspect of things also helps to explain how he went from one therapist and psychiatrist to another without improving. And why no drug he tried ever worked.

OTOH, since I've been away, I'm down to one last A/D (when I had been taking a total of 3 plus Ambien CR for a sleep disorder), and hope to be cutting that in 1/2 at my next visit. I've been in intense individual and group therapy, gone to a weekly domestic abuse support group, and read tons and tons. I know my life is light years better now.

I'd have to say I regret ever getting involved with my Ex except for 2 things: our son, and my getting involved with him did spur me to move away from my mom, which I probably would never have done. There weren't enough good times to come near to balancing the pain during our marriage. I had to give up the idea of having more children because of him, which broke my heart. The effect it has had on my ability to trust in a future relationship cannot be underestimated, either.


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post #32 of 57 (permalink) Old 04-14-2013, 08:57 AM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

Looking back at our marriage, I can see how much of it revolved around his depression and PD. Our lives revolved totally around him, and trying to take care of him, his increasingly abusive, narcissistic personality dramatic emotional crises

Exactly the same for me, although I am emotionally much stronger than him so was able to deal with it fairly easily. He is completely undiagnosed. Refuses to admit anything is wrong despite the fact that he is a manic depressive and has NPD traits

Do I regret marrying him? Yes I do. 100%

Not saying we never had fun times, but could have done that without tying myself to him financially


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post #33 of 57 (permalink) Old 04-18-2013, 09:56 PM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

I have been lurking in the forum for a few months, and this thread is the one that finally made me register and post.

The answer to the question is absolutely, unequivocally, "NO!"

Wife has bipolar. Was fine for the first 12 years of marriage then all hell broke loose. Had a psychotic break and was hospitalized. During this hospitalization we found she was pregnant with our son.

Turns out I had been lied to. She had a psychotic break a few years before we met and was on medication. I knew about a history of seizures and she was on medication for that, and she told me of psychotic break in context of phenobarbital withdrawal. Was on an antipsychotic. Couldn't figure out why she needed that and she was completely, totally, mentally fine. I couldn't tell there were any problems. Even her parents didn't tell me there had been a previous problem that wasn't related to phenobarb as had been told to me.

The last several years have been hell for me.
When first diagnosed, she emptied our joint bank account buying useless junk. She even cashed one of those fake checks marketers send you....and the bank gave her the money, which she spent! In total, her financial misadventures cost me over $20k. After this, I cut off all access to my bank account and dole her out a strict financial allowance....
She is still paranoid even on medication and despite changes by her p-doc. She has no insight into her illness. I have to be mom and dad. Have to clean house because she won't. She's decided she doesn't want to work, and could I please pay back her student loans AND pay all our bills AND save for retirement AND save for college. Don't think so!

Right now, I am treating this the same as if she had a severe physical illness. I do love her. After all, we had 12 good years together. It's now been 7 challenging years. I take my marriage vows seriously and as much as I dream about it, I am not going anywhere yet.

But had I known this was coming, I would not have signed on at all. I just want a normal marriage with the other half actually doing half, instead of acting like a child. I feel I was defrauded, cheated, and conned!

So again, the answer to the posed question is "HELL NO".
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post #34 of 57 (permalink) Old 04-24-2013, 10:31 PM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

A few years ago, I was engaged to a man with what I thought was combat-related PTSD. At the time, We were both medical personnel in the military. We were part of a unique population with a higher than average potential to experience emotionally taxing, jarring and traumatic events making us highly susceptible to PTSD. I wouldn't want to be the "undateable blacklisted PTSD chick." So, I thought I shouldn't discount him as a dating option due to PTSD. After all, I could just as easily deploy, see some carnage, and come back scarred. So I gave him a chance. I'll call him "Huck."

I'll admit, Huck was a rebound guy with whom I entered a relationship far to hastily. Before Huck, "Ray", the only man I'd ever loved had cheated on me and his "other woman" had bore him a son whom he'd intended to hide from me perpetually. When I found out, I poured Ray out of my heart and immediately filled the empty space with Huck. I doted on him, lavished him with love and trust he'd never earned. Emotions that had been reserved for Ray alone became Huck's. It was a whirlwind romance.

Huck, was in therapy. He'd see a psychiatrist twice a week. He seemed to be doing well... We never really discussed his mental health. Less than a year into our relationship, he proposed. I was "marrying age" and still riding the wave of our whirlwind and my mother wanted grandkids. I accepted. Foolish, I know...

A month or so into the engagement, Huck disappeared...for a week... No warning, no communication just dropped off the map. Then he was back, full of apologies. He told me he had been hospitalized. Said he was "fighting demons of the things he had seen during his last tour of duty." Afterward one of his close friends, Don, who had helped him check into the hospital, told me he'd been in the psych ward. I assumed he'd voluntarily admitted himself with some sort of PTSD related thoughts of self harm.

Huck changed drastically and rapidly immediately after his hospital stay. He vacillated between being loving, caring, engaging, fun, and witty to spiteful, rude, harsh, critical, brooding, moody, obnoxious, erratic and just plain mean. We had the highest highs during the good times and the most crushing lows during the bad. Over time, our bad days began to outnumber the good. To me, an engagement is just marriage without the certificate, I had already promised him myself forever, so he had me. I stood by him. Really for no reason other than I'd promised and I was attached. Our relationship was miserable by then. He had killed my joy and was sucking the life out of me.

Our relationship got rockier and rockier over the ensuing months. I was truly unhappy; mainly due to his emotional instability and erratic behavior. One day, Huck left a bottle of potent antipsychotics on the dresser. Not mood stabilizers, actual antipsychotics prescribed to him. I didn't even know he was medicated beyond sleep aids. Apparently, he hid them in his truck which I never drove as I loved my Jeep. I pressed him further about his mental state, telling him it was important that he be honest and forthcoming with me if I were to be his wife, that open and honest communication was imperative for a marriage to survive. He threw a fit then began a silent treatment which lasted several days. During his childish tantrum, he'd had his behavioral health records printed out and mailed them to me. He actually mailed them despite the fact that we were living together... How dramatic, and just over the top obnoxious is that?!?

I read every page of the MASSIVE parcel. His records revealed that he had been diagnosed with Bipolar Personality Disorder, Narcissism, Schizophrenia, ADHD, and Borderline Personality Disorder in his youth. His diagnoses had not changed and he had omitted/outright lied about his mental health when he joined the army. They wouldn't have let him in otherwise. He'd experienced visual and auditory hallucinations since childhood. He had both suicidal and homicidal ideations. His mother had a priest come to EXORCIZE him and bless their home when he tried to kill his younger brother during their teens. The priest apparently failed and declared Huck and their home beyond hope. He's from the backwoods swamplands of Louisiana and despite being Roman Catholic, his family believes in witchcraft and voodoo and all that mess. So, they later tried a voodoo witch doctor who refused to make eye-contact with Huck and would not enter their house. Per his psychiatrist, "it's remarkable that the patient is able to function in society and maintain employment/self care." Apparently, usually people with Huck's level of psychosis are institutionalized, imprisoned or homeless. His "last tour of duty" was in South Korea manning a tiny clinic which saw American soldiers for stuff like colds and sprained ankles for less than a year in 2009!!! He did NOT have combat-related PTSD. He had never SEEN combat. HE HAD NEVER EVEN DEPLOYED!!!

I came to understand, through reading the records that, during the week Huck disappeared, he had been involuntarily admitted to the psych ward because, one night, he'd told his friend, Don, that he saw "demons who told [him] to kill people" by "skinning them alive" and that these demons whom he called by name told him "I should start tonight with you" referring to Don. Don knew about Huck's psychosis and dialed 911. Huck was delivered to the hospital with police escorts and immediately admitted. He was only let out a week later because he'd admitted to not taking his meds and he and his parents had signed documentation to make Don his legal guardian. This was not the first time he'd been involuntarily admitted. None of these things had Huck ever told me.

I finished reading the documents on a Sunday. We were supposed to wed that Monday. I thought long and hard about how horrible our relationship had been for the past few months and how miserable my life would be if I married him. We're both Roman-Catholic, so divorce would not be an option. I thought about how mental illness is often genetic and how I'd have to give up on the idea of ever being a mother to avoid being trapped loving his psychotic children unconditionally. I thought about how his "demons" might make me a target and I'd end up chopped up in his deep freezer or buried under our house. I was 23 and not ready to throw my life away; to give up on my desire for sanity, safety and happiness for some rebound guy. I kissed him goodbye that night. I didn't even pack. I called him from my car to tell him I quit. Huck still wasn't speaking to me. He was relishing in the drama and childishness of giving me the silent treatment. I left a voicemail letting him know it was over. I didn't look back.

Unfortunately, we'd had a condom break the night before our big fight and hadn't worried about it because we were getting married so soon after. I absolutely called my gynecologist in the middle of the night on a Sunday and made him promise to place an IUD first thing Monday morning since it was a few days too late for Plan-B. I slept in my car in front of my gynecologist's office and was up bright and early for my appointment. Of course, I had to relay my entire tale to him and take a pregnancy test, which I passed (I would have only been 7 days along) before he would place it. I don't regret it for one second.

Huck stalked me for a few months, making threats, begging me to come back, saying he wanted to drop of my stuff, and such. We were both still in the army so I was super easy to find. He would show up at the hospital where I worked and make a scene. I'd just lock myself in the medication room or isolation room and call security. I felt like I was living in a tacky soap opera or a bad Lifetime movie. I hate drama and have no patience for unnecessarily dramatic people. It was incredibly embarrassing to explain my situation to my boss and coworkers but they were understanding and began to watch out for him and call security before he made it to my floor. My older brother packed up his business and moved his life across country to come live with me and we never told ANYONE but immediate family where we lived. Soon, I rarely saw Huck at all. Then, a few months later, Huck got kicked out of the army and moved back in with his parents in Louisiana. He continued calling for a while. I never answered. Eventually, I gave up on the idea of him stopping his attempts to make contact and just changed my number. I haven't seen or heard from him since.

I feel uniquely blessed to have learned the true nature and scope of Huck's psychosis prior to marrying him. He had thrown up numerous red flags and I had ignored all of them. I feel that the opportunity to read his medical records was the swift kick in the pants to let me know I needed to run for the hills. If I had married him I would be depressed, dead, or divorced by 24 years old. None of those labels appeals to me. My sister tells me all the time that I "dodged a bullet." I believe I dodged Hiroshima, Chernobyl, and Auschwitz combined.

I understand that people with mental illness need love and understanding but love is truly NOT ENOUGH. Understanding is not enough. I'm not a psychiatrist, psychologist, neurologist, counselor or other mental health professional and there fore I'm not qualified to provide the help and guidance mentally ill people require. I lack the education tools and training to be of any real help. I'd just be an enabler or a victim. Some say there's strength in suffering to love someone. I think thats incredibly naive of the sufferer and selfish of the one causing the suffering. I believe there's more strength in loving oneself enough to choose not to suffer unnecessarily especially for someone who will NEVER reciprocate.

I also understand that Aspergers is very different from personality disorders and schizophrenia. I dunno how I'd handle a romantic relationship with someone on the Aspergers or autism spectrum but I have a feeling that we wouldn't even make it beyond a few dates in the first place due to the way I communicate and the way I need my partner to communicate. Most all of my emotion is conveyed via tone of voice, body language and other non verbal cues. What I say is never as important as how I say it and in what context it's said, so I don't think an Aspie and I would make it very far beyond friendship or professional cordiality.

Anyway, I was blessed to realize my marriage would suck and end quickly and bitterly before I entered it and I chose not to get married. I chose not to be a martyr; not to live some overly dramatic train wreck of a life and I feel I made the very best decision ever. The only thing I regret is the year and a half I wasted trying to make it work with him. If anyone should find themselves in the position I was in, I would suggest without fail that he/she run for the hills immediately and don't look back.

I swear to you, I feel blessed and grateful EVERDAY that I am not his wife, grateful that I am not the mother of children with his complex mental illnesses, grateful that I don't have to co-parent any child with him. I'd have to love my children; loving him was optional.

Most people with huge insurmountable issues show red flags early on. Don't be naive or ignorant. If you see blazing red flags, RUN!! Run as fast and as far as you can.
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post #35 of 57 (permalink) Old 04-25-2013, 04:00 AM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

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.......I "dodged a bullet." I believe I dodged Hiroshima, Chernobyl, and Auschwitz combined.

I understand that people with mental illness need love and understanding but love is truly NOT ENOUGH. Understanding is not enough.


....Most people with huge insurmountable issues show red flags early on. Don't be naive or ignorant. If you see blazing red flags, RUN!! Run as fast and as far as you can.
I think you dodged the repeat of the universe creating 'Big Bang' there...christ!

This is the unfortunate burden of the enabler, the stable mind that holds it all together. Whilst in the thick of it you always err, believe the reverse - that love IS enough.
Why? because you get too many times when the mental illness subsides and you live a wonderful fullfilled life with this person ........... BUT it's only short lived - there's a shelf life to the return of the demons

And 'understanding' it is also something of a fallacy - you can never really do that, you only ever really catch the fall out of it and continually try to patch up their minds. It's always in reality an ongoing 'botch' job

In reality, and you only see this at the end when the 'love' fog is lifted, they could never ever get better medication or not counseling or not because they lack the internal 'policing' of mind to judge their own behavior.

I look back on my times in this crazy relationship and realize it would have been far better for me if she was more seriously afflicted as it's then so much easier to know what you can and cannot live with yourself but when it's all buried in the murky grey world of a bunch of personality disorders and a mix thereof it's easy to mask all or any mixture of those with your own all consuming powerful 'love' that like a knight on his steed will allow you to beat off the demons and make her / him a healed and better person

One real down side to all this is that any woman I even look at now is going to get 'vetted' is going to have the 'rule of mental thumb' right in her face.

I can't imagine going there again. Just rather be on my own
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post #36 of 57 (permalink) Old 04-25-2013, 06:11 AM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

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This question really applies to both spouses in a marriage where mental issues are involved: if you had known beforehand, would you have gotten married anyway?.
NO. My ex is an alcoholic and I have been dealing with that for the past 3 years. But he is also narcissistic, self centered, arrogant and just plain mean and emotionally abusive and for over 20 years I've basically just felt like crap. Had I been as strong back then as I am today I would've left and saved myself a lot of grief. My marriage was just what I DID not need after growing up in dysfunctional household with cold, disapproving parents. Plus, I have battled anxiety and depression myself over the years and all this just made it worse.

And even if there weren't any issues involved I wouldn't have gotten married. Marriage is NOT for me and just made my mental problems worse, much worse. I don't like being trapped in any situation and if anything traps someone, it's marriage. Adding kids to the mix made it worse, although now I couldn't imagine living without them. My two children are the ONLY good things to come from my marriage but to be honest, if I could go back and live it over I just couldn't put myself through that living hell, even for them.

Now that I'm rid of my ex husband it's amazing how much better I feel, even as a single mother and having to deal with all the crap his past actions continue to dump into my lap financially I'm much able to deal with things because I don't have his sorry as$ to deal with. The minute he stopped living with me my stress level went down dramatically and I was able to deal with things much better.

I will NEVER, EVER get married again. It's not for me in any shape or form.

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post #37 of 57 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 11:42 PM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

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This is the unfortunate burden of the enabler, the stable mind that holds it all together. Whilst in the thick of it you always err, believe the reverse - that love IS enough.
Why? because you get too many times when the mental illness subsides and you live a wonderful fullfilled life with this person ........... BUT it's only short lived - there's a shelf life to the return of the demons

....

I can't imagine going there again. Just rather be on my own
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I will NEVER, EVER get married again. It's not for me in any shape or form.
Agree with both. I often wish I didn't have to deal with this. Currently dealing with dear spouse's depression. My approach is to take my son out so he (we) don't have to deal with mommy's "grumpy"ness. It is TOO true that pleasant times nowadays with her are short-lived.

I am totally miserable and I don't have anyone close in my life to share/talk about this with.
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post #38 of 57 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 10:05 PM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

I have bipolar disorder. The mania only really came out after I met my current husband. I have suffered from depression most of my life. I do everything right: I take my pills, I take vitamin D, I go to a class, I exercise, I garden, I keep busy. I have a psychiatrist. I am usually fine.

My husband has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. For those of unfamiliar with this diagnosis, it means borderline to psychosis. Most people with it suffered mental and or sexual abuse. They have severe abandonment issues. They lie to save themselves. They can be very self centered.

I love my husband very much. I don't like to be baited until I become manic, cursed at, sometimes physically hurt, never able to go anywhere alone, and I really hate that nothing is ever really his fault. Ever.

Would I marry him again? I would like to say yes. I love him. If he took his medicine (he says he doesn't need it and doesn't like the way it makes him feel), went to a counselor, and went to anger management, and just acted like he was really trying, I'd be so happy.

Every day is the same. If he's not happy, no one in the house is happy. Borderline is so hard to live with. He's been married three times before and I know it's because of the way he acts. I don't know why he doesn't think he needs help.
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post #39 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-24-2015, 09:01 PM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

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She told me she had "issues" but that's like describing the ocean as occasionally slightly damp. I do love my wife and I'll stick it out but it should be a felony for someone in her condition to enter into a marriage contract. I might as well have signed up to be an unpaid mental health-care provider.
I was going to fully write my own post, but you summed it up for me too perfectly.

My husband is diagnosed BPD. I do love my husband, always have, but if I knew then what I know now. No. I would probably have tried to stay together for a while longer, maybe be friends and help him once the therapy really started and he got the diagnosis (can you believe I was the only one who figured it out, he's a 9 out of 9 on the DSM for it!) but not marriage.

Unfortunately there were little to no signs for me to tell what I was really walking into, as the BPD monster did not rear it's ugly head until after we were married. I could probably live with a lot of what the borderline entails; the projecting, mirroring, insecurity, rages, etc, so long as he was being treated, but the lying, cheating, passive aggression, defensiveness and just plain cruelty make my life a living hell. I don't recognize the person I see now, he no longer even remotely resembles the person I married.

As unbelievable said, it should be a felony to contract yourself to an innocent person like this.
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post #40 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-24-2015, 09:36 PM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

In both of my failed marriages, the answer would most definitely not be a cursory "No!"

It would be an unfettered "HELL, NO!"

To be perfectly honest, I wouldn't wish that kind of hell, even on my worst enemy!



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post #41 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-26-2015, 05:26 AM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

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As unbelievable said, it should be a felony to contract yourself to an innocent person like this.
Pretty much this.
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post #42 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-26-2015, 09:10 AM
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If you had known...would you have gotten married?

And that's why I suggest you only marry after spending lots of tine with soon to be spouses parents and immediate family.

A lot of mental health issues are hereditary or are caused by family dynamics or both. Had I ky own that my wife's family should be on the cover of DSM IV I would definitely not have married her.
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post #43 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-30-2015, 07:51 AM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

A B S O L U T E L Y N O T

Although my wife was never a nyphomaniac I never even suspected that after two children she would basically go off sex completely.

My wife and I are not even on the same page, book or even library!
She is not interested in sex and is not interested it what my needs are. She told our MC that I would just have to accept it.

I now resent her bigtime. If we are still together when I am on my death bed (I don't intend to be) my final words to her will be something like 'Maybe now I will find an angel who will love me physically...'

Had I known then what I know now...there is no way I would have married her.

Yes I love my two children, its why I stay, for now. But had I walked away many years ago I am sure that I would have had two children with someone else who I love just as much.

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post #44 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-03-2015, 05:26 AM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

I've been pretty much been a lurker like AnonFrank has written, but this post has struck a nerve with me as well. This is an interesting question and one I had to answer. This is my second marriage and I can say unequivocally had I known my spouse had mental issues while we were dating, I would not have married him.

Since being married, I've seen and dealt with things that have brought me to brink of wanting to run for hills . The latest episode happened this past weekend when my granddaughter came for an overnight visit. I cannot and will not take any more of his accusations and mental abuse. I cannot fix him and I am confident that he doesn't want to be fixed.

Last night I took my wedding rings off and I doubt I'll be putting them back on. I am so angry and hurt. I'm done.
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post #45 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 07:03 AM
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My wife has anxiety and I'm sure something else. My answer is no. Its a tough question because we have kids and I wouldn't not want not to have them. But its been a struggle marriage wise and I deserve better. I hate to sound like that but I'm sure if I knew how it would turn out for me I would have done things differently.
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