Reply To: Tell me it’s ok to divorce

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April 15, 2023 at 12:17 pm #1119656

Ah it posted the last comment as Ron – this is in case it happens again

Oh boy I’ve got a lot of experience with guilt when leaving a mentally ill spouse. My ex husband’s mental health was never great and I did a lot of caretaking, research for new treatments, getting him to see counselors and doctors, etc. But when he hit his late 30s it was like a switch flipped and everything got exponentially worse, as well as developing alcoholism and symptoms of borderline personality disorder (my ex mother in law was a diagnosed BPD and the way he grew up was…not good).

I had to leave for my own physical safety and mental health. In your case she’s the one doing the leaving, but I imagine the guilt of leaving someone objectively worse off without your presence is there. Also, it sounds like she might have crossed into verbal and emotional abuse territory. Recovering from that takes time and can get tangled in with the guilt as well because you know other people aren’t going to step in to help due to the behavior. Leaving is absolutely 100% the right thing. If I can give some advice, it would be:
1. Be fair as far as splitting assets. I was a little more generous than I strictly had to be in the hopes that he’ll use the money wisely to have a better future. If he doesn’t, oh well
2. Counseling for yourself and gather some information on emotional abuse. It’s really helpful in understanding what you’re going through
3. Give it time. The guilt will be there for a while but that doesn’t mean you didn’t make the right decision.
4. Don’t get sucked into future conversations about helping/staying in her life/second chances – I know that’s easily said but you cannot keep drowning to keep her afloat. She’s got to be responsible for herself
5. You really will feel better and you’ll feel the guilt less and less. My life is better in every conceivable way and I’ve got an amazing partner who supports me too, not just the other way around