I’ve debated if I should or shouldn’t write about this; as its delving more into my personal life and the breakdown and end of my marriage, but I refuse to be made to feel guilty for taking care of myself and my mental health and walking away from someone who has mental health issues; but won’t accept that.
I’ve always tried to fix broken things; people, animals, but by doing so have broken myself in the process.
My (to be) ex husband; had his first breakdown in 2011, not long after i’d moved to live with him in Plymouth. The pressure of the Navy and the bullying from senior officers that ensued, triggered what I believe now to be long and deep seated issues that my ex has never dealt with, and set our relationship on the downward spiral that would see us split on NYE 2017.
My strong, proud, confident partner, turned into a sobbing, emotional wreck, who needed more support than I could offer; but the MH team on the base said he didn’t have any issues, his friends & family refused to believe it- and so we limped along and it all got brushed under the carpet; never professionally dealt with, never openly discussed. He left the Navy and I thought that would help, that was the change he needed- but now it feels like he resented me for him leaving the Navy , even though he ultimately made that decision.
My ex denies he has a MH issues; but that’s always been his way of dealing with things, but talking to friends who have MH diagnosis – they agree that the signs are there, and he will only get worse as time goes on.
In 2015 we moved to a new, bigger house- and I was determined it would be our ‘happy home’ and a fresh start from all the dramas and upsets of the past few years. That bliss lasted a few weeks, and then the downward spiral started again; except I didn’t have the support of family this time, they had their own problems going on, so I tried to deal with him on my own, and in the process lost who I was.
Nothing was ever good enough for him, he got more and more irritated and would flash up and then accuse me of being the problem; the drinking picked up, his behaviour became more and more one of a single man than one of a married man and I felt more and more like I was treading on eggshells.
It was a weight off my shoulders when my parents finally heard the side of him that I said existed; the screaming, abusive, ranting side, that came on like a switch had been flicked; he’d been calmly talking to us mere minutes before. My parents were and still are, shocked. I just felt relief; that I wasn’t imagining things, that I wasn’t provoking him.
The last time we spoke, he was due to go to see his GP to discuss his state of mind; he hadn’t slept properly for days, he wasn’t eating properly- I was confused as he’d got what he’d wanted; a single mans life again, and that was the trigger to be subjected to another verbal battering; he told me he didn’t have a problem, that i’d pre-planned all this, that I was the one with a problem; not him.
Over the last few months I’ve started to let myself breathe again; to laugh again, to be care free again. As much as I took my marriage vows seriously; I refuse to stand by and be someones verbal and mental battering post, when they refuse to seek help with whatever they have going on in their head. I would have stood by him; I didn’t turn around and flee back home when the first initial breakdown happened so I certainly wouldn’t have walked away this time, had he done as I asked and sought help then he’d still have me and the extended support network of my family and friends, but I was broken and tired of fighting something that I didn’t deserve, and I have no regrets that I gave up my marriage without a fight- i’m putting me first from now on.