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    strawson61
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    Hi,
    My story is probably familiar in some ways but maybe different in others. I’m 61 in a few weeks. I have been married for nearly 40 years and a Carer for all of that time. My husband is bipolar. I have 3 grown up children, one lives at home because he too now has mental health issues. I worked full time as a teacher and Assistant Head until I retired 3 years ago. I have lived separately from my husband for nearly 15 years in so far as there is no relationship. Last year I met up with my best friends husband. She died when we were young mums together, she was 35. He had remarried and we lost touch. He divorced many years ago because his second wife has several affairs. We meet for coffee once a month and that’s it, and it has made me question and realise that I have settled for a loveless marriage. I can’t begin to describe what I have coped with and lived through. That sounds dramatic and selfish. I think in the early years I thought it was my duty to stay married for the sake of the children and my mother in law used to descend and support us whenever he became unwell, which was often. The last six years have been continuous hell. I had to fly out to Australia to bring home my eldest child who was a Chartered Accountant. I have worked hard to get him the help he needed to recover and he has just returned from volunteering in Africa. My other two children are successful and happy away from home. My youngest is 28 and wants me to put myself first. It should be straightforward but it’s not. My husband does not want a divorce. He is not prepared to move out. The house has always been in my name because I have always had full time work. I want to leave but I’m frightened that if I do the house will fall into a mess. I just don’t know what steps to take and which ones to do first. To sell the house I need to do some declutering and diy. I’m so very unhappy and it is making me ill. He says I should be grateful because there are many people much worse off than me. True but I have glimpsed beyond mountain and I can’t go back to my cave.

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