I've been lurking in these message boards for sometime now, and I just came to the point where I need to get some perspective from others who may be going through a similar situation.
As with everyone's story, mine's long and detailed, but here are the basics: In May, my wife's first major mania began to appear. At the beginning of June, my wife left me to go live in NYC. Even before she moved, she'd started an affair with a colleague. After she moved, she carried on the affair--I know they had multiple trysts. She says that whenever anything happened between her and this guy, she was drunk and high. And she says her memory of the entire month of June is spotty. Today she says the person who had the affair wasn't her--it was a sort of alter-ego who cared about
nothing, and thought she was invincible. By now, the affair is ended, although not because I had a problem with it. It seems to have ended because my wife's mania fizzled out. Now that the mania is over, my wife is pouring affection on me. She's trying to reverse everything that's occurred. After months of pushing me away, betraying me, now she wants to get close to me.
The affair is a big deal to me. I don't know how spouses can just "take it" and move on. I feel shattered, like I've lost the person I counted on most. And angry. I feel like my own fidelity has been invalidated--I mean, have I been faithful for these 7 years of marriage just to be betrayed? I know that the illness has a lot to do with her behavior, but what does that mean for me?
Since my wife is no longer living with me, I'm having to move out of my house and rent a room in Philadelphia. We'll be living in different cities, but easily within visiting distance. If I were some sort of god, I'd feel up to getting over my hurt and helping her get well, and perhaps re-building our marriage. Maybe, in that case, we could live together again--once I feel that the illness is under control. But I'm just a regular guy, and I feel heartbroken; I feel my loyalty has been dragged through the mire, and I don't want to give the gift of my loyalty to someone who would do these things to me. At the same time, I love my wife. We have shared a deep connection for many years. And she's been good to me in many respects, although I think in the last couple of years bipolar has sapped her joy and her ability to love me like she did earlier on.
Does anyone have any words of wisdom? At the very least, words of experience/empathy? Thanks.
Post Edited (Bloom) : 8/19/2009 2:14:07 PM (GMT-6)