If you had known...would you have gotten married? - 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 #1 of 57 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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If you had known...would you have gotten married?

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?

For the people who have the issues, my question is: if you knew your ultimate diagnosis then, would you have entered into a lifelong commitment? In other words, would you have asked someone to deal with problems like yours for the rest of their lives?

For the spouses of the ones with issues: if you had known that you would be struggling with their mental health problems, would you have gotten married?

For myself, I'm somewhat inclined to say I wouldn't have married anyone had I known back then about my autism, or that my depression issues would remain ongoing for decades. The thing about being an Aspie is that we don't do non-verbal communication well at all. We miss the cues, the looks, the postural changes. Most of the time we're having an entirely different conversation from the person we're talking to, because of how we communicate. Very literal-minded, very concrete, all words at face value regardless of context. It makes dealing with a non-Aspie's emotional needs very, very difficult. And it makes dealing with our emotions very difficult for the non-Aspies. Yes, we DO have the full range of emotions, we just process the communication ABOUT those emotions very differently.

Now, I am not saying that Aspies and other persons on "the spectrum" of Autism should not marry. I'm saying that in my particular case I don't know that I would have felt that it was right to ask anyone who ISN'T an Aspie to step into this particular ring for life. It's very difficult for us to deal effectively with the outside world. And it's very difficult for the world to deal with us. Which makes it that much harder for us to be the kind of relationship partners that non-Aspies need and deserve. I'm sure there are Aspies who overcome enough of their communications issues to be able to thrive in lifelong relationships. I'm also pretty sure that I'm not one of those, and won't become on in this lifetime.

For any person dealing with mental issues or cognitive differences, once you become cognizant of your particular circumstances I think it's incumbent upon you to ask yourself whether putting the burden of those issues on another person is fair. I'm not saying the answer will always be "no," but the question needs asking. I think we have a responsibility to ask it, in fact.

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post #2 of 57 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 04:52 PM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

My husband is a sex addict and I'll give you two answers to that question
1) If I had known he was a sex addict but had been in treatment and was in recovery for a while and wasn't likely to relapse, I can say with about 85% certainty that I would still have gotten together with him.
2) If I had known he was a sex addict who had NOT done anything in the way of recovery, hell no.

OK, 3 answers.
3) If I had known he was a sex addict but had been in treatment and was in recovery for a while and wasn't likely to relapse, I can say with about 85% certainty that I would still have gotten together with him. But I would probably not have married him. I would probably not marry ANYone if I had it to do over again.

People don't get a free pass to cheat just because their marriage sucks.


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post #3 of 57 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 05:04 PM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

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For the people who have the issues, my question is: if you knew your ultimate diagnosis then, would you have entered into a lifelong commitment? In other words, would you have asked someone to deal with problems like yours for the rest of their lives?
For me this is a trick question. Yes I had issues but I fixed them so they aren't for the rest of his life.

If I had it to do over I wouldn't get married until I healed myself.

Problem is I'm not sure if I could have healed myself without his support.

I NEEDED him to be the catalyst for me to change.
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post #4 of 57 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 08:59 PM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

Along the same lines as what Hope said...if I was fully aware of the mental illness and I was confident that he was 100% committed to
1) acknowledging the illness and the impact it has on me/family
2) regularly following up with his psychiatrist for medical management
3) regularly attending counseling as recommended by psychiatrist
4) being completely open to and respectful of my feedback and insight on his mental status, meaning if I told him I think he seems overly irritable lately and I'd like him to check himself about that, he would respect my feedback as an attempt to help him
...I MIGHT marry him. But having gone through what I have for the past 19 years (which is the opposite of what I just listed above), I would probably not take the risk of marrying into playing psychologist/psychiatrist/cheerleader again. I just want normal for a while.
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post #5 of 57 (permalink) Old 02-28-2013, 09:19 AM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

[QUOTE=Mavash.;1488333]For me this is a trick question.

If I had it to do over I wouldn't get married until I healed myself.

QUOTE]

Ditto here- trick question.

My problem is that we were BOTH emotionally stunted and immature but neither of us knew it. We have never been diagnosed but would put us BOTH in the BPD category due to childhood emotional trauma.

I had dealt w/ my own insecurities, envy and lack of trust issues (trust as in others are honest) before meeting my H. But was not able to emotionally trust.

I thought I was good but looking back I had a very rigid black & white thinking, didn't respect others peoples opinions, lack self confidence, glass half empty attitude and didn't think I was worthly of being loved. Oh and so many more.

At the same time, my SO did teach me to not judge others, the joy in giving to others because I wanted to (not to get something in return). And definitely changed my attitude to glass half full- I actually remember what he said to me that made the light go ding ding ding. Well over 12 yrs ago but he still hasn't noticed. The worst part about this paragraph is that H has done a complete turn around and judges others, expects payback for everything and has my old glass half empty attitude. Not sure if he's a classic Dr Jekyl Mr Hyde or if I rubbed off onto him.

If we had both stayed at the same place, we'd be good.

But I grew and he hasn't. It's a disaster.

Last edited by bailingout; 02-28-2013 at 09:24 AM.
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post #6 of 57 (permalink) Old 02-28-2013, 11:59 AM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

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If we had both stayed at the same place, we'd be good.

But I grew and he hasn't. It's a disaster.
This is a good point. In the end I ended up growing PAST my husband and yet originally I had the most problems.

I wouldn't call us a disaster but it does have it's challenges with me being ahead of him in the growth department.

He's now in therapy to catch up with me.
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post #7 of 57 (permalink) Old 02-28-2013, 12:01 PM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

People come into our lives for a reason.

They exit our lives for a better reason.

Who can say the journey has been a waste, that nothing can be gleaned from the hardships it produced? If the hardships were that hard, the lesson must have needed some serious "teaching" to ensure what was needed was learned.

That's my story an I'm sticking to it!
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post #8 of 57 (permalink) Old 02-28-2013, 12:10 PM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

Yes I would. The good outweighs the bad in my marriage. No matter how much the past year sucked I can't imagine life without her and I still look forward to seeing her every day.
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post #9 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-04-2013, 11:48 AM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

...rationally...no. Borderlines really aren't worth it.

...less rationally...our child is rather wonderful. so yes.

But, based purely on the merits of our marriage, and knowing the amount of effort and pain required...I'd run for the hills - no question.

--Argyle
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post #10 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 09:05 AM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

If I suddenly had the knowledge I have today, but 15 years ago, I would have first done a dance of joy at knowing what the next 15 years of my life looked like, then I would immediately pack my crap.. maybe even just grabbed the most important stuff like birth cert and tax info, and then sprinted like an olympic gold medalist out the front door.. I'm talking nothing but a trail of fire behind me, and I would not have stopped until I landed in another state. I would have probably got 10 speeding tickets on the way out of the state, and they would have been worth it.

Living with someone who has BPD, GAD, Depression, and martyr syndrome is worse on the better days than being tortured in the 5th circle of hell. Words cannot describe the living hell I've been through, not just with the wife, but the jobs, the impact 9-11 had on my life/finances, and everything since. There's no way to describe how much my life has sucked, and if not for my VERY positive view on life, I would have killed myself 10x over by now.

So yeah.. Would I have stayed if I knew what I was in for when I got married? No F'ing way.

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post #11 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 04:56 PM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

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Originally Posted by Anon Pink View Post
People come into our lives for a reason.

They exit our lives for a better reason.

Who can say the journey has been a waste, that nothing can be gleaned from the hardships it produced? If the hardships were that hard, the lesson must have needed some serious "teaching" to ensure what was needed was learned.
I learned alot from my H early on, but they were lessons that would help me in areas outside of an romantic relationship or marriage.

Yes the hardships were that hard, and yes, the "teachings" were definitely needed and I am grateful for what I learned but while they were learned during the marriage, he didn't help me in that regard.
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post #12 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 05:16 PM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

and I'm sticking to it.
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post #13 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 12:26 PM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

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For any person dealing with mental issues or cognitive differences, once you become cognizant of your particular circumstances I think it's incumbent upon you to ask yourself whether putting the burden of those issues on another person is fair. I'm not saying the answer will always be "no," but the question needs asking. I think we have a responsibility to ask it, in fact.
Great post and yes I have to agree 100% with you on this point especially. I believe it is incumbent to fully disclose our mental illness and let the person decide if they want to deal with it. Having said this I think that if you have a mental illness that has resisted treatment or at a point where a "normal" marriage/relationship is not possible then you should not pursue a relationship.

I feel sorry for those with depression, mental illness, hangnails, bad hair, bad childhood memories, etc. I feel sorry for the visually impaired but that doesn't mean I want a blind person flying my airplane and my compassion won't make the flight any safer.

- Unbelievable
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post #14 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 01:30 PM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

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Great post and yes I have to agree 100% with you on this point especially. I believe it is incumbent to fully disclose our mental illness and let the person decide if they want to deal with it. Having said this I think that if you have a mental illness that has resisted treatment or at a point where a "normal" marriage/relationship is not possible then you should not pursue a relationship.
That mental illness is the main reason I wouldn't get married if I could turn back the hands of time. My wife has ADHD (her sister has is bipolar and her dad is also bipolar with a learning disability).

These were hidden from me while we were dating. But it wasn't until our oldest daughter got diagnosed with ADHD that all of my wife's actions and behavior made sense. almost 8 years after getting married I find out the hard way about her mental illness and her families mental illness history.

As a result it is a MASSIVE mental strain on a marriage when your spouse has a mental illness. So you can image how much work I have to do to keep my home clean (especially since ADHD people are notorious for being sloppy and having short attention spans).

I agree tell someone upfront about your condition(s). Since both my daughters have an inherited ADHD from there mother, I will not hide that from there boyfriends when the time comes for dating. I don't want anyone suffering the way I have been for the past 9 years (going on 10). As a matter of fact, I will be even more vigilant because I know for a fact ADHD people become hyper focused (borderline obsessed) with their boyfriend/girlfriend. But once they've lost attention that's when the real problems begin. I have seen and experienced this FIRST HAND.
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post #15 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 04:10 AM
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Re: If you had known...would you have gotten married?

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For the spouses of the ones with issues: if you had known that you would be struggling with their mental health problems, would you have gotten married?

No

She was suicidal institutionalized self harming cutting anorexia bulimia when I met her.
I never realized just what I was dealing with or would be dealing with and thought 'love would conquer all'
I've had 15 years 11 yrs married of mainly borderline some bi polar some narcissm.
She's been in therapy for some on medication for 80% of the time

Through my love and support there have been great times wwo wonderful kids but now we are divorcing ( huge serial adultery over 7/8 years continual deceit in so many many even small things massive resentment from her about things she's invented in order to justify her behavior etc etc (my original thread is far too long).

Now upon reflection and as clear as day, the only reason there have been great times and any stability in the relationship is due my unending love support and care - all coming from me.

When I look at who got what from the whole time together I got very little in return for giving giving and giving more and more and more. A life of walking on eggshells.

People with strong afflictions to these disorders never heal, ever, and can ultimately never change.

And for me when the afflicted and their close friends and family can sit around and use the affliction as an excuse forever that's when it's time to get out

Personalty disorders only get the afflicted to a mental 'place' they don't make them choose the next option - that's entirely a free thinking un afflicted action and so the excuses for me anyway are just empty.

I wish I could have encountered the information about these disorders we now have 15 years ago. Had I known even 10% of what was to come I'd have been out the door in ten minutes flat
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