So this is how separation feels ........

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-06-2001
So this is how separation feels ........
Sun, 08-11-2013 - 7:00pm

 I have Yellbeen with my dh for 23 years and married 19 of them, he just turned forty and has discarded me and basically any family we had.  Things have been rough for about 8 years now, he is Bipolar 2(even tho he totally denies this fact right now) and the mood swings are just horrific to deal with. We lost our house in 08 and since then I just think he feels so much a of a failure. Anyway, things just spiraled out of control and I have tossed the idea in my hear for at least 5 years now that I just needed to be without him.  He is definatly not the man I married, but we all change.  I didnt get married to waste 19 years and get divorced.  I am no angel, but i have always tried to keep our family together(2 teenage girls), and always tried to work on it.  Even tho now I know things are past the point of no return, it is horribly hard for me to get past the fact that I am no longer his.  Its only been 3 months since he dicided to separate(on mothers day btw), and we still live together for now.  So then he turns 40 and guess what, with in 2 months announces that he hasnt loved me for years, he just kept it this way so he didnt have to move away from the kids, and he didnt say it but I would assume me cleaning the house, and cooking and doing laundry was a sweet deal too.  Anyway, so things are HARD between us right now, and he is on one of his biggest manias of all time, he is the king of the world and he can do no wrong(in his mind).  I had a neervous break down 3 weeks ago and ended up in the hosp. I am doing the best I can to get my life in order, but I feel like yesterdays trash.  I am living with my mom right now, and he called the other night to discuss arrangements with the kids and such and then told me he is *seeing someone*. WHAT? Oh yeah and I am NOT to tell the kids and he wanted to tell me about this so I wouldnt find out some other way. GREAT! And I am just having the hardest time, cuz its only been 3 weeks since my breakdown and I thought he had more respect for me than that.  So anyway, him and his girlfriend go on a 600 mile trip to sturgis( bike rally) this weekend, and the anxiety is killing me, knowing that I am here suffering, taking care of the kids, trying to get better, trying to find housing, trying to keep my job, etc.  And he is off F***ing some little sl*t, and having the time of his life.  I am sooooo hurt I cant even put it into words. So why did he have to tell me about her?  To p!ss me off?  I know he is the instigator of the separation, but it hurts more than anything that he can move on so quickly, flaunt it in front of me, etc.  I do not want him back by any means, I just feel like why couldnt he keep the affair to himself, and yes it is an affair, nothing legal has been done.  I guess it just shows me how much I dont matter to him.  But man its hard, tears are streaming down my face. I just do not understand how this person that has been my lover and best friend for 20 years, through his 3 major back surgeries, his brother dying of suicide, our kids, his Bipolar ups and downs, and just every effort that I could put forth, Can just walk away.................and leave me like this.  Again I do not want him back, but I feel like I deserve some repect.  But nothing he does is any of my bussines( his words), and I hate him right now. I am so p!ssed right now I think if I saw him I might do something not very nice. KWIM? This pain of feeling thrown away? Does anyone have advice for me other than to divert my attention, because I am already doing that, but reality is still there when the laundry is done or whatever.  I need to get past this point because I feeling llike I am going crazy, I feel like nothing.  I want to move on, but know its way too early for that.  I am moving into my own apartment in Sept. and will have the kids half time, and I do have a great support system, but they can only do so much.


Sorry I rambled, I just need to feel better, about myself and my future.

Thanks for listening, I already feel a bit better just putting it into workds, Tami


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Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Mon, 08-12-2013 - 4:55am

 it is very important to move on right away.  Your priorites are the job and find a place to live.  What he does is unimportant.  It is over so no more feeling upset or worry, that is a luxury you do not have.  Self pity has not functional place.  It is something to bury and bring out when there is time to play with it then put it back. If your self talk is that you are nothing without him then it is you that is your worst enemy.  Why care what he does, who he is with, or where he goes?  You are on your own.  That is the reality.



iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Mon, 08-12-2013 - 8:41am

If you want respect, you must first respect yourself.  Statements such as "throwing 19 years away" etc. serve no real purpose, unless he pointed a gun to your head and made you stay.  You CHOSE to married him and put up with his problems when you should have, could have, left sooner.  Why do you still want to be "his" after his trip with his GF?  (Speaking of respect) ...

September is only a few weeks away.  Hand in there, move out the minute you can, and as the PP said, focus of making a new life of yourself and stop thinking about what he does, why he does, etc.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Mon, 08-12-2013 - 9:33am

Well if your husband is bipolar and there has been so much turmoil and drama for 20 years then why would it be any different now? Bipolar people from what I know (my ex had something like this) go all kinds of manic and when they are given a free pass they do whatever they want.. The ups and downs and all of it so getting a gfriend doesnt sound all that strange to me.. Its normal because men dont stay alone for a minute when they sep. or divorce or whatever..  Your husband is just following the same path he had for the twenty years he was with you... makes no sense but in his brain he is free to do what he wants.. The relationship will most likely crash and burn just like your marriage.. I wont ask you why you married him because that is over and water under the bridge..

Tell him not to discuss anything with you unless its about the kids...

Have no contact with him whatsoever unless its about the kids.....You need to heal and move on from this and make a life for yourself.. Its easier said than done but many women have done this before you.. Lots of womena and we all survive.. My exH practically kicked me out of our marital home and made me homeless. He then got a new victim (that is what I call these women) and he supported her and paid her rent for years. I had to scramble around and find housing and things and it wasnt easy but I did it.. As for these people they are so into themselves and could care less about you.. Its all about them at this point..

Focus on you and your kids and anything that can get you through.. Counseling  support groups and friends and family.. find a hobby and go and stick with it.. Soon your focus will be on you and not them...If you believe in Karma then it will appear one day and you will be amazed at how that actually works..


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 08-12-2013 - 11:16am

My 2nd DH has bipolar 2 and luckily we were only married 5 yrs.  We didn't have any kids together (we were older when we got married) so thankfully I don't have to deal with him hardly at all now.  I can understand trying to make ti work when you have kids, but based on my experience you might find that you are going to feel so much better when you don't have to deal with him.  I used to have to deal with his crazy stuff all the time, like having a fit if someone parked in the street in front of our house (which didn't affect him at all since he parked in the driveway, it was just something to complain about, complain, complain, complain was the story of my life.  It was all walking on eggshells, worrying about how he was going to react, what kind of a mood he would be in.  It was like fresh air after he moved out--I could watch TV w/ my kids, we could have fun, they could make noise like normal kids.

I can see some resentment there too--like you put up w/ his mood and his illnesses and now he has the nerve to discard you!  I can certainly understand how you could feel like that.  But don't look at it like you wasted 19 yrs--it wasn't a waste.  You were raising your kids and you were doing the best you could at the time.  Looking back isn't going to get you anywhere.  You are on the right path--you found a place to live, you have a job, you have to make sure that your kids are going to be ok.  Honestly I do question whether it is good for your kids to spend 1/2 their time w/ a mentally ill person who is not getting treatment.  of course if they are teens, even if the court order says X, if they aren't happy w/ him, you are not going to be able to make them go, but I think a condition of him having them would be that he has to get mental health treatment & be compliant with the recommendations of a psychologist.  Some guys will go for joint custody just so they don't have to pay child support.

Don't think too much about his new "girlfriend."  You know this isn't going to go anywhere.  People who have bipoar are hypersexual so he's looking for sex & celebrating his new "freedom."  How long do you think she's going to last?  When I first met my ex I didn't know about his MI and he could be very romantic--then when he started acting out (he basically was on good behavior for a few months) it was so confusing to me because he became a different person.  Now he's going to be someone else's problem to deal with so concentrate on living your own life.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Mon, 08-12-2013 - 5:46pm

So sorry you are going through this. 

Sounds like you are already doing all of the right things.  You have a support system and know that you do not want to reconcile. 

All I can really add is to remember that we can't get out "good enough" from any one person.  I don't know what your belief system is, but this is when the rubber hits the road. 

Bi-polar can be treated.  The problem is that they struggle with the idea of having to take medication to be "normal."  I agree with the other posters that you haven't wasted anything.  It is just called life.  I am guessing your married young, and you have a second chance now to enjoy being single!  Trust us, there are definately advantages!

Hang in there and stick around.  

Serenity CL making a second marriage work

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
Tue, 08-13-2013 - 6:27am


Your No. 1 priority should be good legal advice. See an experienced divorce lawyer pronto! You need to know your rights and responsibilities and you need to know now.

Gather up copies of important documents: tax returns, loan statements, insurance policies (life, car, house), credit cards, mortgage, bank statements, and utility bills. You'll need these to show a lawyer. 

Open your own bank account in your name only. If you have a joint account with your husband, you need to take your money out of that account, stop any direct deposit going into that account, and get it into your own account. Don't close the joint account, just get your money out of any joint account.

Are your children with you or with him? If you left without your children you may be accused of abandoning them. That's another reason why you need legal advice and you need it now. Me? If my husband wanted a new life HE'D be moving out.

Get to a lawyer. Quickly.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Tue, 08-13-2013 - 9:05am

I totally agree with everything that's been said so far.  If life with him was so miserable, why in the world did you stay so long?  Staying in a miserable marriage is the worst thing you can do, especially for the kids......because they grow up thinking this is the "norm".  It's time you start putting yourself and your children in first place.......and since he's gone, he has NO place in your life or your heart.  Sure, you feel bad about the fact that he's not the Mr.Wonderful that you thought he'd be.  Sure it's too bad you "wasted" 19 years of your life.......but if you want to be honest with yourself, it wasn't ALL bad.......there were good times.  Now you have to move on to a new phase of your life, and probably a much better phase.  You are still young enough to enjoy your life, and your children will soon be independent, too. 

Have you talked to a lawyer, and if not, why not?  Why do you have to move?  Why doesn't HE move out?  In most states, the court allows the custodial parent to stay in the house with the children, and if he's as bad as you say he is, then YOU should be the custodial parent........and not shared custody.  He or both of you would continue to pay the mortgage (if there is one) and when the last child turns 18, then the house goes on the market and the proceeds are split between the two of you.  If you're not working, you need to start looking for a job immediately.

You need to stop wallowing in your pain & self pity.  He really doesn't sound like much of a loss, except maybe financially.  By allowing yourself to seethe with hatred, all you're doing is still allowing him to control you!  Instead of hating him, pity him, because he's a miserable and unhappy person, despite his having a bimbo to go to Sturgis with!!!  So what if he's got a new woman?  Now there's someone else he can make miserable, and she probably won't be around long.  The BEST revenge is to live a good and happy life!  Once you're free, you can live your life any way you want to.  You can go to school, you can join clubs, you can relax and not have to worry what kind of mood you have to deal with today.  You are now in charge of your own life.....and you have to answer to NO ONE! 

I was married for almost 20 years when I'd finally had enough pain.  My ex wasn't bi-polar, he was just a very insecure man who became an alcoholic, and needed extramarital affairs to prove to himself what a big man he was.  Yes, it hurt for a minute that I'd thrown away so many years, but freedom was wonderful, and I have loved every minute of it for years.  I never hated him, I pitied him......until the day he died of alcohol poisoning. 

You have to start loving yourself, and realizing that you're worth a LOT more than you ever got from him.  It will be better to be alone than to be waiting for the next outburst.  And, who says you'll stay alone.  There are plenty of decent men out there, looking for decent women.  Stop hating him, start loving yourself and your children.  Life is good, now start enjoying it!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-06-2001
Tue, 08-13-2013 - 2:37pm

Hi every one, I am more confused than ever, but I am starting to dig myself free of him. 

He has the kids because I had a black out from alcohol and a prescription medication, and there for it looks like I tried to kill my self even tho I only drank that night to numb the pain from him. So I dont know if that is still abandonment or not. I am living with my mom 70 miles away or I would have more custody of them.

I do not have a lawyer yet, but I have a meeting with one on Thurs.

I have secured housing for the 3 of us starting sept 15, and there is no way I could afford the town house, and I cant trust him to pay what he still has been paying.  So I have applied for emergency aid to help me afford the new appartment, and the EBT(food stamps) program. I am not proud of this, but I have to do what I have to do.

Thankfully I have short term disability,  and can use it because of my hopsitol stay and breakdown. 

Every day I am feeling better about myself and the circumstances that I am in, if I didnt have the mental breakdown, I would not have had to make all these changes.  Also the kids need to be in the town that they live in because of their own jobs and volleyball just started for them, and school soon.

ou guys are right, why do I care about what he is doing?  As long as I can keep it this way and not know what he is doing, then I can just get more positive everyday.

I am worried bout the kids tho because he has always told many lies about money or whatever to cover up his problems, (why didnt I leave 10 years ago????) but is is now completly lieing to everyone about everything.  example -My daughter(17) gave hime a ersonal check from some babysitting to cash it thru is acccount and was supposed to give her the money on friday, well he didnt, he went on his trip with the sl*t, and I am guessing used her money too(remember he in a huge bipolar mania), to pay for his trip, and now he doesnt have the money so he is lying to her and me aabout where the money is.  We are taking care of this situation, but because he twists things soooo much she may not ever see that money.  I feel like I may need to get them away from him, but at this moment I dont know if its the best idea.  Remember in the eyes of the law, I had a suicide attempt a month ago. 

So thank you all for the great responses and I will be here alot, any advice is apprecited, I just am still so confused as to how this all happened so quickly.  And what the right course of action is, I think that I am doing what I need to do except for the lawyer thing, at this time.  ARGGGGHHHHHHH, I am so dissapointed in him, anyway more later,


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Sun, 08-18-2013 - 11:48am

Why are you wasting your time and emotions hating him?  He's nothing more than the sperm donor for your children.  Hopefully your daughter has learned her lesson with him and money!  You can blame all of his behavior on being bi-polar if you want, but even bi-polar people can live like decent human beings if they seek treatment.  If you want to get custody of your children, then you have to forget about your "mistake" and move on.  Unless you have a history of drug abuse and alcoholism......that shouldn't have any affect on your getting custody, and it's not like your children are infants........they are able to take care of themselves while you work, and are able to leave if they feel you have a problem.  Last but not least, don't worry about the "slut" as you so nicely put it.  She will get what she deserves from need to pity her, not hate her.  You know the hell she'll be living in!  Stop worrying about him, about what he does or who he does it with.  You've made a break from him, and with the exception of your children, you have NO connection to him anymore.  And again, your children are basically grown, and even they can decide on how they feel about him, and how they deal with him.  Get yourself together and get on with can be good, you just don't remember it yet. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-2013
Tue, 09-10-2013 - 3:03pm
I totally relate to you! I am angry. He abandoned me and our 3 children both emotionally and financially. There are just so many sins out there. All you can tell yourself is that WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND. Wait until he is completely devoted to this NEW and "BETTER" person and then she crushes his spirit! God teaches us all lessons and your husband is not devoid of that. That is what I keep telling myself. I am young. I have my entire life ahead of me and what my husband is doing to me is horrible! He will learn his lesson some day. All you can do is take notice of YOUR character. YOU are home doing all the right things you should be doing. YOur children see the good and the bad. And can you imagine how he is going to feel one day when his children are standing up to him and telling him how wrong he was?? I can imagine that is going to be pretty painful! I have pretty much the same emotions you are having. Its normal. Obviously your husband is very selfish and self serving as many people are these days. MINe included. The reason why he told you of the affair was to have his power over you and to feel good about himself. Because deep down he knows what he is doing is wrong. So he has to justify it to himself somehow. He may feel like he is on top right now...but what goes up must come down and he will hit his rock bottom at some point. Then who is he going to turn to? YOu? Where are you going to be then? You are going to have the advantage then. You know what you do with that advantage? My advice is not to throw it in his face... Listen to him and be there for him. YOu know what that's going to do for him? That's going to make him think about how bad his actions were and he is going to feel the self loathing. Get into counseling. It helps. As long as you can find a GOOD counselor. Do you know the best person you can talk to? God. He listens and he answers and he has the power to heal. My heart goes out to you! Im in the same boat!