I second guess myself regularly. I stayed through physical and emotional abuse. I stayed through terrifying psychotic manic episodes and months of living with a zombie. I stayed because I knew that the body-snatchers might return my husband and I didn’t want to miss it. And slowly. With lots of bumps in the road. With ups and downs that would make an astronaut ill. With one medication, then another, new doses, new medications, so slowly that it was physically painful, he emerged from the darkness and like a child learning to walk, he became human again, then disappeared, then emerged, and still…he is back and he wants to share our life and raise our children and be my partner and even though it isn’t always easy and he isn’t always reachable, he keeps struggling and I keep struggling and we are more together than apart.
If I had given up early in the marriage, no one would have blamed me or found fault, but I always knew that I would rather stay and fight than give up. I would rather have him sick than someone else healthy, though having him healthy would be almost too much to even hope for. I have grown stronger and wiser, more patient and tolerant through our struggle and I am thankful for that—if only I could have gained that with less pain, but that isn’t the way it works.
I can’t say if it is worth the effort for you to stay in your relationship or if leaving would be best for you. I can only say that doing the insane thing with an insane person was right for me—so far. Twenty-five years and counting.
Author of Love Has Its Ups and Downs
Wife to Troy, BP1