Almost two years ago, Lori (@ljcooney3) separated for a second time from her husband of 18 years. Their marriage wasn’t working and it wasn’t working primarily because her husband was bipolar. Choosing to end the marriage was a difficult decision for Lori because of those four words: “…for better, for worse.” Ultimately, she made the choice in the best interests of their three children, who are now aged 16, 14 and 11. Here’s Lori:
When all this happened, I kept telling myself,
“I married my husband for better or worse. Just because he has bipolar, this isn’t going to stop me.”
We did go to counseling but it got to the point where it was really affecting the children. It got to the point where he wasn’t taking his meds when he supposed to. He’d say,
“I forgot to order them. I ran out.”
That’s not an excuse to me. If this was going to be affecting our family, I felt as a wife and a mother, that he, as a father and a husband should be taking his medications as his doctor said.
There were a lot of times when he went off his medications and his behavior was very difficult to deal with and it was very disturbing seeing how it was affecting my kids. I felt like I tried everything. I read up on it, we talked, I did everything I could think of and it was getting worse. The fighting and the arguing was constant.
For the longest time, I felt that I did make vows for better or worse and we needed to live like that. We needed to get back together and deal with the ups and downs and the children going to their rooms because they didn’t want to be around the fighting and the arguing.
But I have to think about my children as well and what’s best for them. I’m realizing that nothing with my husband is going to change, no matter what his medications are and how his hormones change. At this point, after almost two years of separation, I can’t imagine him coming back into the house again, with all the yelling and screaming and some of the nonsensical things he would do, such as going through my things. I feel like I gave it my all and for the betterment of the family and moving on, this is just a decision that has to be made.
Even with my little first-hand experience dealing with my mother-in-law’s bipolar, I can totally, 100 percent understand and support Lori’s decision. I can also empathize with the dilemma she faced with her vows.
It was an issue I struggled with for a long time. It wasn’t a religious question for me but an ethical one and I think to be honest, I’m still not reconciled with it. I can come up with all sorts of reasons to justify breaking my vows but at the end of the day, I didn’t keep my word.
I got to thinking that maybe there could have a system where you could stay “married” but live apart and have separate finances. But then you wouldn’t be living as husband and wife and you would still have broken your wedding vows.
The plain simple fact is I did break my wedding vows and I guess that’s what I need to accept because I still believe it was the right decision to make. So would I make those vows again? With the right man, I would get married again but I don’t think I would use the traditional wedding vows. Next time, I’d like to write my own 🙂
In my next post in this series, Lori will be sharing how her children are thriving. You can read more about Lori’s life at her blog, Lori’s LOLz.