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Grieving some one still alive


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It is 4:44 a.m. I am laying awake. My husband got diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2017. After a couple of years he started changing, which was to be expected. He grew angrier and angrier. Resentful of me and the kids. Belittled us. Actually tried to hit one of the kids with a belt but threw his back out in his fury to get the belt. He would come back to us sometimes. But the kids couldn’t understand why dad was so cruel and then nice and loving. Then so cruel again. I could handle it. But they could not. He actually left us in June of 2020. He was only gone a day or so. He came back. Of course I let him. I love him. Still do. But my children were devastated. They could not believe he could walk away from us so easily. There they were. Living with the constant roller coaster. Then he just threw them away. That’s how they saw it. I tried to help them see differently but their hearts were hurt. They had to go into counseling. And when he came back it didn’t take long for the emotional band mental abuse start again. He left again this year on June 22. The kids begged me not to let him come back. And I was done watching what his behaviors was doing to the kids. They stayed in their rooms. Never wanted to be with us. Their anxiety was through the roof. One was picking her skin. Horribly blood all over. I took her to the doctor. He put her on meds. Didn’t help much. But do you know she hasn’t picked since he left. They are always underfoot now. They are happier. They don’t want anything to do with their dad. I really hope that relationship will heal one day. But I don’t see how it can because he refuses to admit or acknowledge any wrongdoing. He blames me for turning the kids against him. I didn’t. I have tried to get them to see he can’t help it. I have been making excuses for him for a long time. I want them to love him. 
But. If it hadn’t been for my kids I would have begged him to come back. I would have tolerated his behavior for the rest of my life. I have loved him for over 25 years. I adored him. I cherished the times he was kind and sweet and loving. I dealt with the times he was cold and distant and angry. He has always went back and forth between the 2 personalities. But when he got sick it got much much worse. And it was hurting much more. Especially our kids.

So I am getting divorced from a man though far from perfect I love with all my heart and don’t want to be without in order to protect the mental and physical state of my children. And probably myself too. He never even called me a bad name during our 25 years together. Now he is telling me I am a liar. He is painting me as vindictive and manipulating. I finally had to cut off all contact with him. Now I’m on the healing path. I hope. I am staying busy. Staying positive to my girls. Don’t cry in front of them. Don’t talk about their dad unless they bring him up. I just listen and keep comments to a minimum. 
I never dreamed I would be a 50 year old single mother still in love with her husband. Thank you if you took time to read this. 


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Dear Kay,

I am so sorry for everything you have had to deal with. It's horribly difficult dealing with a spouse with mental illness.  But you did the right thing for your girls. There health and safety and well being is paramount.

It's only natural and normal to grieve the person your husband once was. I hope you'll consider counselling or family therapy or seeking out additional supports during this sad time.

Our thoughts are with you.

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I can relate to your story in many ways as I recently had to make the difficult decision to separate from my wife of 18 years who has ALS and had become emotionally abusive while I was getting no help caring for her. I have a teenage daughter and I realized that if I didn't separate, my daughter would lose both her parents while living in a toxic environment. I am starting to now grieve the loss of my marriage which I now realize wasn't what I thought it was and also grieving that I will not get that "final goodbye" moment. Anyways, I'm sorry to hear about what you are going through but it is also helpful to know that I am not alone in dealing with this type of loss. 



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