More threads by shadfisher

I have been feeling like leaving my marriage for a long time but I feel like I am trapped and feel imprisoned. Briefly I unknowingly married a woman 22 years ago that was a manic depressive. I was not told. Over the years due to my extreme kindness and in the spirit of “in sickness and health until death due you part” I have experience her many manic episodes, five hospitalizations etc. and have always been painfully there for her to either take care of or get the proper care for her. I shed many tears during these episodes and am so thankful that I have not been sued etc for the things she has done. I have been limited in my career due to having to be close to home for her and the kids. We have lost many friends due to her manic behaviors and when they discovered she had this condition. And we have been limited in friendships due to her sheltered lifestyle. Not wanting to socialize, not wanting to do anything except with me only. We have three wonderful teenagers that are doing so well in school and life. Around 3 years ago, I met a woman I work with where we just seemed to have chemistry together. We spent quite a bit a time together but neither of us wanted it to be an affair of any kind, but it may have been perceived as one, because we were both married. The chemistry just grew and grew and today that chemistry is so strong between her and me but we are not able to proceed with our relationship. She recently got a divorce and now she is single with two kids. She would like to be with me, but we cannot morally due to my being married. If I do not end my current marriage I am afraid I will loose her and will regret not being with someone that I want to be with. But filing the legal paperwork is not that easy. I have been the single income provider for this whole family. I have tried to have my wife work but after a week on the job she just quits due to manic feelings of insecurity. I am afraid that I cannot support myself, her, and the soon to go to college teenagers if I leave. But I am not sure she can ever work full time and support herself and pay any kind of child support. I worry for the kids if I ever die. But I do not want to leave the new relationship either., I want to explore that further but cannot at this time due to being married, and am afraid she will not wait much longer on my indecisiveness….. I feel caught in the middle. Two women that love me and only a new woman I do love. I have lost all love for my wife, she has tried over the past year to have me say I love her but I do not and have not said it, of course she feels hurt but does not give up. I have feelings of love for the new woman and she loves me too. I have discussed leaving my wife with my wife, and the emotion on her side is deep, and she is so intrusive and never wants to me to leave of course. I have a problem not being a cold uncaring person. I am afraid that if I choose to leave she will never let go. She can be so intrusive. How do I get separated from my current wife and make the transition to the newer woman who I really love…….I want to be happy but I am afraid I will make others unhappy and they will feel abandoned. The words I say they do not want to hear – I am leaving and want to be with some one else. Is it important for me to be more selfish about my own happiness at the sacrifice of others? I continue to feel imprisoned in my current situation both emotionally and financially etc. Any guidance for me on how to handle this………

Daniel E.
Though I have no experience in this kind of matter, I agree with you about getting divorced. There is the idea that one can't live a meaningful life without hurting or conflicting with others along the way.

Your situation reminds me of a book written by a medical doctor who discusses why he could no longer live with his wife's personality disorder. He divorced her after a few years or so. Unlike you, however, he knew his wife's diagnosis when he proposed to her. (I don't remember the title of the book.)


Welcome shadfisher,
Just speaking as a forum member and from my own experience I understand the painful situation that all of you are in. I had been married for over 20 years (the last several, unhappy)and finally took the step of moving out. It took the support of an excellent therapist. Could you and your wife attend some sessions together to discuss the situation and possibly have this support available to her if or when she needs it later on. Perhaps she already has a support person helping her with her mental health issues.
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