Trying to Keep Marriage Together
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Q:  Trying to Keep Marriage Together


I am here but I am in a bad place right now- this is a copy of a letter written seeking advice from someone else. It gives the basics of what has happened in the past year.

Copy of letter follows:

good day to you,

My name is Steven. I have been through a very dark road over the past year and would like to seek your insights. In October of 2000 my wife went through a manic episode with all of the symptoms and results- brought on by exsposure to steroids for an bad injury. A failure by her physician to collaborate with her psychiatrist. This past February, after getting out of the hospital for the third time over 2 years, she began on lithium. after about 2/12 years previous of varied medications, bad side effects, withdrawals, financial ruin, and me supporting her through it all, I myself reached MY OWN breaking point in the after math. But as she came out in February and after a month began to feel better, she began to put on an extreme amount of weight for her petite size. After so many times of side effects resulting in this or that, I found myself going into the 'here we go again' mode. I had become physically and emotionally exhausted and just had had enough. I basically turned away from her and though she tried to talk to me to find out what was wrong, I said some stupid things that at the time I did not know why I was saying them and has put us in a place where have separated after 7 years of marriage. I myself had problems with weight control (which I conquered) growing up and did not realize till lately I had a phobia towards it.

When I saw her gaining this weight it seemed to strike a deep personal nerve with me. I tried to apologize for behaving in such a way before it got too far and finally since she was so insistent, I could only say I was no longer attracted to her. Her feelings were hurt. I was numb by this time. She says she understands all that I have gone through with her but I do not think she does.

We at one point appeared to make up and start to continue our life , but over the next few days she could not release the grudge of my turning away from her after being there for her through all of it. Now, as of today, she is asking me to go away. Saying we need time apart while she pursues a goal of seeing if she can not have to be so dependant on others as she 'has' most of her life.

What she does not get is we married each other because we loved each other, not out of need.  

I would like to ask if I may what circumstances led to your divorce and how is it you got back together. I love her so dearly and feel so stupid for the things I said back then that 'broke her heart' as she describes. And as a further heartbreak to me, she has engaged in infidelity, Which I am sure will not happen again.

But what if I WERE to move out, excluding myself from this family I have fought so hard to keep together through this ordeal, what kind of things could I expect?

Excuse the length of this letter but his is what I have been holding in for over a year and as an end result I MYSELF am now seeing a counselor as a result of it.

thank you so very much,

Dear Steven -- 

Iíve gotten way behind on replies so am opting for now to be "short and sweet" (hopefully, and hopefully still useful):

Two thoughts: 1) stay in there if you can, if she doesn't throw you out, and see where it goes over time.  You made it this far, you may be able to make it through this too.  2) I believe in psychotherapy for things like this, I've seen it help a lot of people including me, and sometimes there's a long way to go.  That's why you need the time that #1 here might afford you.  Good luck. 

Dr. Phelps

Published November, 2001


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