Bipolar Disorder · Marriage · mental health

18 Years Later Living Happily Ever After

August 1st 1998 was a sunny and beautiful day. The day I married the man of my dreams. We shared so many dreams of our future together. We were going to be actors. Me on the stage and him in the movies. We were going to conquer the world together. 10 years and 2 kids later, our dreams of conquering anything together was over. There was no more love, just tolerance. This happens to many. What do you do when your spouse still has big dreams and your dreams are gone. I think that was what got us in the end. My dream had changed to raising my kids, being a mom and his were the same as when we first married. I’m pretty sure my illness was a close 2nd. Once it came out, it parked itself right in the middle of my husband and I and never left. My illness decided to come out in full swing when I was pregnant with my first (our honeymoon baby.) I was mean, I was irritable, I was depressed and happy. I was all over the place. My husband was scared. Who was this woman he married just 3 months ago? We chalked it up to pregnancy. My beautiful baby girl was born and nothing changed. My doctor diagnosed me with postpartum depression and gave me some antidepressants. I went to therapy for a while. It got better so I quit taking the meds and therapy.  We decided to have another baby, so right before our 4th anniversary we found out we were pregnant. This pregnancy was pretty much the same as the first. My 2nd little girl was born and my doctor put me on an antidepressant right away to prevent postpartum. It didn’t work. My moods were out of control. My marriage went from ordinary to bad in a matter of months. We tried marriage counseling. We muttled through. We had good times but the bad outweighed the good. I was finally diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder in 2006, just before our 8th wedding anniversary.  Over the next few years I started to stabilize, but the damage was already done. We struggled through those years and then in September 2008, one month after our 10th anniversary we decided to divorce. The love was gone and we wanted different things. Why try anymore? In the end we probably could have fought and survived my illness. But why try when you don’t want the same outcome? In the 8 years since that 10th anniversary milestone, we divorced and remarried other people. We are happy. Now we both get what we want. His wife is similar to me. She’s beautiful, funny, and full of life. Unlike me she shares his passion. The best thing of all is she loves my children as her own and makes my ex husband the best he can be. My new husband is like my dad in many ways. They say girls marry men like their daddy’s. He has a heart of gold, makes me laugh and loves to fix things, including me. He also loves my children and truly brings out the best in me. My kids have the best situation for us. Instead of 2 unhappy parents resenting each, fighting to make it to the end of God knows what, they have 4 happy parents living their dreams, raising them to do the same.  I don’t believe in divorce and I don’t believe either my ex husband or I were happy to get one. But life happens and people change. You have to change and grow together or someone is going to be left behind. I hope my ex husband looks back on this day and remembers the happiness and the love that we once shared and the love we continue to share for our beautiful children. If this day didn’t happen, they wouldn’t have happened. We still get to live happily ever after. 

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