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Positive Stories, Surviving a long term relationship


JaneDoe0
How to leave an abusive relationshi...
How to leave an abusive relationship and why it's so hard

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As i am reading through the posts i noticed that a lot of people deal with very rough spots in their long term relationships/marriges.

 

I thought that it would be comforting if people could post their comments on their personal experiences in regards to getting through a very rough time in a relationship that turned out to make the couple stronger.

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I'll share a story.

 

This couple got married in their mid-twenties, had two kids. Wife starts acting more and more irrationally throughout her twenties and into her thirties. In her mid-thirties, is first diagnosed with depression, then bipolar disorder. Spends much of her time locked in her bedroom with the window shades drawn. Marriage is falling apart. Children are dealing with effects of having chronically mentally ill parent.

 

Gets to a point where husband gives wife an ultimatum: either you seek intensive medical care immediately, or I divorce you and take the girls.

 

Scares the daylights out of the wife. She enters inpatient psych ward for three months, leaving husband and daughters (ages 7 and 13) home. While inpatient, gets her meds straightened out. Discharged, therapy 2-3 times per week for two years, then once per week, then once per month, then once every six months.

 

Fast forward 15 years. Couple is still married, and happily at that. Both looking forward to retirement and growing old together.

 

The wife is my mother. The husband is my father.

 

One time, when my mother was still sick, I asked my father, "Dad, if you could go back in time, would you still marry Mom, knowing what you now know?" He thought for a little bit and said, "No. No, I would not." That really hurt to hear, because it felt like he was rejecting not only my mother, but also the product of their marriage (me).

 

One time, I said to my mother that sometimes I was surprised that her and Dad were still together, given everything they'd been though. "Why didn't you and Dad end up divorced?" She replied that divorce was never an option--their commitment to their marriage vows was, and always would, be stronger than whatever life would throw at them.

 

One time, after my mother was healthy again, I told my dad that he was a good father and a good husband. He smiled and said, "Thank you."

 

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Another story... back in the 50's, my grandparents lost their first-born daughter to leukemia. Even into his 70s, my grandfather would still cry when he talked about her. Even with that grief, my grandparents were very happily married until my grandmother's death... which my grandfather never really recovered from.

 

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I'm beginning to think that your approach to marriage says a lot about your character. I think marriage, like all challenges in life, shows what you're really made of.

 

Anyway, I hope those two stories from my life give you a little inspiration. There are heroes out there, defying the 50/50 odds, every single day.

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I was hoping this post would see more action than this.

 

Heres my story:

 

I met my husband when I was 17 and he was 18. He was in the military, left for months and months at a time. We married 8 months later, not really knowing eachother. Not knowing what eachother beliefs are or what we really want out of life. We were so young I dont think we really talked about adult situations. The first 8 years that we were together we spent hardly any time together. He had to go on 6 month cruises, have duty days, all the things that military life brought us. We have been through alot, we have 2 boys 10 & 4. We miscarried a baby, we have been through the cheating spouse situation. He deals with my bipolar episodes and believe me its not easy. We have now been together 15 years and are still fighting to make this last.

 

It hasnt been easy but we make due with what we have and look forward to sharing more life experiences together.

 

I still love him with all my heart, he is my hero.

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I think when my H (bf at the time) was diagnosed with depression and a twist of OCD - and his behaviour and .. almost everything about him.. changed very quickly - and we got through that together.. I think that really made us stronger. I think it made us both feel certain that the other would not let go.. even when times got really tough and feelings became obscured by cloudy thoughts. When it came to the crunch neither of us was going to let the other go. I was not going to stop being there or stop supporting him .. and he fought for us even when he was as confused as all h*** about what was happening to him.

 

That really meant something. It gives you confidence for the future and certainty in your bond.

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This particular story has forced me to believe in love regardless of how cynical I may feel at a given moment:

 

There is a couple I know. They are probably in their sixties now, and they have been married for probably at least 25 years... she suffered a mental breakdown and had to be hospitalized for awhile... they had a child die when she was barely an adult... their other child suffers from a debilitating disease that basically keeps him from being able to live without assistance. But after all of that, they are still together. You can still see how much he loves her when he looks at her or even talks about her.

 

My experience (though I'm not sure what counts as "long-term" as we've only been together about a year and a half) is about my fiance (then boyfriend) and I. I went through a serious time of depression starting when we had been dating about five months. My parents had decided they hated him, and that had really cast doubt in my mind about whether or not I should be with him. It was a very dark time in my life... and he stayed there with me. I would sometimes ask him why, and he would say, "Because even when our relationship is the hardest it's been and we are struggling the most, I'm still happier with you than I would be with any other girl." I know it was hard on him, and it was very hard on me as well. Logic would tell him to leave. Had I been a friend giving him outside advice, I would have told him to leave. But he didn't because he believed in me and in my ability to get better.

 

Maybe that's what it all boils down to... believing in each other no matter what happens.

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