Very sorry to hear about
your troubles. I may sound harsh as well but there is only so long you can live like this. I appreciate your wife is ill and know how hard it is to live with someone who is severely depressed (I have been doing this for 20 years). It can often mean that you end up being the person who's self esteem and confidence are shot as you spend your time walking on eggshells and apologizing for everything when only some of the problems are your fault. You end up being as 'broken' as the other person. It is truly devastating to live like this. Mental illness is hard enough to deal with as a couple even when your significant other acknowledges there is a problem and does everything in their power to get help (meds, therapy etc) but the fact that your wife is not willing to do any of these things makes me think you are fighting a losing battle and nothing is going to change for you if things remain as they are.
I also (like some other comments below) feel very strongly (and based on my hubbie's family experience) that it is no good just 'staying together for the kids'. However hard you try they do pick things up and can sense quite small emotional issues. My hubbies mum and dad should never have got married and stayed together for 30 years which ended up in both them and the 3 kids being brought up in a totally dysfunctional and abusive family environment (partly again due to mental illness). None of them talk to each other now and I don't they will ever lead 'normal' lives or have decent relationships with their partners because of the environment and lessons learnt from their parents. Whereas, I have seen other examples of friends who have kids and got divorced, been much happier and the kids have grown up to be totally fine.
Of course you deserve happiness and your love and affection returned, but as others have said it would surely be better for you to decide whether to part from your wife than complicate things whilst you are still 'together'. I am surprised also that your therapist made the suggestion they did. Things can very quickly turn from being a friendship to something else which would make things complicated and probably your wife's behaviour
even worse. Maybe laying it on the line as to how you feel and what you think is the best route for you in the future if she is unwilling to get help may give her the wake up call she needs. If she does nothing/is not willing to try then maybe this is the impetus you need to get some closure and move on in your life.
In the meantime one thing which I am trying to develop (which is advice from my own therapist) is 'distancing' myself from my hubbies own emotional stuff in order to try and stop me getting on his daily emotional rollercoaster and feeling like c**p. It is hard to do but sometimes you really have to keep repeating to yourself that not everything is your fault and not to let your partners mood take over your mood and bring down the whole household. Hard to do I know especially if you have low self-esteem to start with.
Also I think that mental illness can make people seem very selfish, cold and manipulative. For example my hubbie can sometimes have a knack of picking up on the one out of 20 things that I have done well and pick the 1 that I have missed/forgotten about
/not even considered etc. and play on that to often convince himself in the moment that his inappropriate behaviour
and treatment of me is a natural reaction to something I have done wrong when in fact it is his own chemical mood swing happening by itself and is totally unrelated to anything I have said or done. I am slowly beginning to see this more clearly in things that have happened and overreactions he has had during our time together. None of us are perfect but surely you cannot be wrong all the time. Again, this is my experience only and not saying your wife is like this with you but depression is truly a horrible illness to suffer from and can make people act very differently than they would when they are well
Anyway, try to keep smiling.
Post Edited (Honey Bee) : 1/4/2008 9:23:45 AM (GMT-7)