Well, things are really looking up for me and my family!
My husband is doing a lot better. I believe that the Effexor had him in a drug-induced near psychosis all that time. He has A LOT of memory loss (convenient, isn't it?!?) and is not sleeping well, but his mood is MUCH improved since he weaned off of Effexor. He is not in that insane manic phase that had him on the verge of loosing everything. There have been a couple of tantrums, but they have not lasted long, he is remorseful and apologetic directly afterward.
I am still a bit tentative toward him, though. The kids and I are still staying with my parents. But, overall, I have seen dramatic improvements. I think in a few more weeks -- once we are sure the lithium is helping -- we can start working on our marriage. He realizes that his behavior was completely out-of-character and out of control. He has committed to the meds. He wants to get therapy. So, I am very optimistic.
I will keep you all posted! Thank you for seeing me through my darkest days. This forum is really a life-saver!