In sickness and in health?After all is said and done, are the vows we make really that serious and binding? I like to think they are, Although I had to marry in a registry office both times (my first husband had been married before) I purposely changed my vows so that they were virtually identical to the ones I would have taken in church. When I made my vows I meant each and every word and as I looked into his eyes as I made them I knew I'd never love anyone the way I love him.
I'm not perfect in any way, shape or form, I came into this marriage with some pretty serious baggage of my own. Having been diagnosed Bi-polar at 22 I'm always very honest and up front about my illness and what can happen, better to lose them at the beginning than when you've fallen head over heels in love! I've been very lucky in most respects, unlike most people that have Bi-polar disorder i'm relatively symptom free and stable, In fact I have been self managing my illness since 2006 with only the occasional course of Prozac to set me back on track, so you could say that this is the reason that I've been very tolerant of what my husband did during his break-down.
Part of the condition to me allowing him to come home was that he absolutely totally and utterly HAD to go and get help! Id sat with him the whole weekend at the beginning of june 2012 and let him pour his heart out, after of course having to face his vitriol when I found out about his mistress and he tried to turn the tables on me. Having someone scream in your face that they believe the mess they have made o their life is your fault, that the fact he hadn't grieved for his father was my fault, that people had warned him not to marry me due to my bi-polar disorder (even my own friends and mother he claimed although I suspect it was more likely his own parents) and then as the final insult telling me , no scrub that! screaming in my face that he hated me, well kind of made it hard to take his apologies seriously and to have any form of sympathy for him but I knew that there was something else underneath it. I can't tell you what he told me that weekend as it isn't my place to break his confidence like that, but that, coupled with the earlier insults flung at me and the guilt of his dalliance with "the Wigan bike" triggered off a chain of events that almost resulted in our children and I losing him forever. He'd become increasingly clingy in those first few weeks after all came to light, even when he was working he would want me to be constantly available to email. On that morning he'd left for work before i woke up, we'd argued up until 2am and i was still very angry and cold towards him, throughout that morning his messages had become more and more bizarre, he'd hinted at suicide before but this time it felt different, the doctor had already diagnosed severe depression so I called our local psychiatric team, school girl error! I forgot that the area that we live in and the area he works in fall under different NHS trusts, which then only left me with one option, I had to email his boss! It wasn't a decision a took lightly, If I was wrong and it was an attention/sympathy seeking ploy I could have caused major problems and if i did nothing and I was right and something happened because i'd done nothing then i'd have to live with that on my conscience forever. Thank god I sent that email! His boss went to look for him after reading my email and caught him about to cut his own wrists with a knife, all hell broke loose then, ambulances were called, baby sitters summoned, psychiatric evaluations and then after all that he was discharged into my care on suicide watch. Sorry to sound callous but right at that moment he would probably have had better care from Harold Shipman, I was so angry with him, for all he'd said, for all he'd done and for his utter selfishness, the last thing I felt for him was sympathy and the very last thing I felt like doing was looking after him, things were still too raw for me at that time.
I can look back at that time now and feel a lot more sympathy than I ever thought was possible, he's a pain up the arse don't get me wrong, needs to be reminded to take his meds every day! I've got past asking (nagging) him to make his doctors appointments I now make them for him and tell him when they are, he's done his cognitive behavioural therapy and is now undertaking immersion therapy, I do have to admit I do get a bit of a sick perverse kick when I know they make him face his fears (tarantulas the other week)..
The joys of stress conversion disorder.There's no official diagnosis of his condition at present, they say he has a deep seated anxiety issue stretching all the way from his childhood, he definitely has issues with paranoia but the cherry on top of the cake that I wasn't expecting was the stress conversion disorder, I wont go into all the details you can look that up in your own time should you so desire. The first think I noticed was that he became very shaky and agitated, at first I just attributed this to his new medication. After a while the tremors started to develop into more definite tics, not long after that his limbs seemed to take on a life of their own and would violently fling out, he said he felt them building up most o the time but was powerless to prevent them. At first he was scared of them, scared he'd jerk whilst holding a kettle and burn one of the children, scared of holding the children in case he jerked and either threw or dropped them and scared of letting them get to close in case he jerked and hit one of them accidentally. I have been stood too close on occasion and taken a glancing blow from one of his jerks, ouch! The fact that he feels guilty afterwards makes the stress worse and he jerks even more, some nights I have literally had to sleep on my sofa due to the violence and frequency of the tics and jerks. I can laugh at them now, they don't bother me, I have learned to spot when his stress levels are building and cut them off and failing that I've learned to duck. His immersion therapist wants me to force him into situations he doesn't like and to make him stay there (crowds etc) easy for him to say, it's not his reflexes being constantly tested :)
Of course all of this behaviour was visible before his "affair" in fact in some ways he was much worse, She had to have been able to see that he wasn't well, everyone else could!
Taking advantage of someone who clearly wasn't well is one hell of an unforgivable low!
As a note he would like me to add that there are no joys to having stress conversion disorder and that it feels like a build up of static electricity...I guess I am going to have to have a little chat with him about:-
B) Reading over my shoulder.
In conclusion...I never agreed to forgive and forget infidelity, that wasn't a part of my vows and he knows me well enough to know that I am incapable of either. I did vow in sickness and in health though and in my honest opinion had he not been ill he would never have done this, others may disagree with that sentiment and that's fine as we are all entitled to our opinions but this is the reason why I didn't walk away.
When things first came to light my nan took me to one side and said "in my day divorce wasn't that easy, folk had to work at it (marriage) come what may" Too many people walk away from their marriages for petty reasons, how many of them could have made it had they just tried that bit harder? How many people have failed because they haven't realised how close they were to that breakthrough? I wont pretend it was easy because it most certainly wasn't, I wanted to divorce him for the first 7 months after I found out.
I never thought I'd ever be able to forgive such a betrayal, I walked away from my first marriage because my first husband had been an abusive drunk, I'd assumed that I'd walk away again, just goes to show that you never know how you will handle a situation until you're faced with it.