Posted by: Please help | 2008/01/10

Please help

Mabe someone can relate to my situation (or problem as I experience it) and maby someone can even attempt to give me advice (or conselation) I honestly don't know what to do any more or how to react. I'm the most positive person I've met in my life, I strive to see the sunshine in every day, the good in all people and I'm spiritually living up to life. I'm forever trying to see and feel the best life has to offer and I love and live to the full.

I'm 37 and I've met a guy (45) 2 years ago. He was in 'n state of undescribable disaster after his marriage of 22years ended with his ex divorcing him. I'm no expert but from all I've read and heard in my life he defnitely has some sort of depression - be it bipolar or manic or other - and no don't even mention outside dr help coz he tend to not believe it necessary when he is in a good/jolly state and when he is in the down spiral dumps he just don't care enough to go see someone. The depression, alcholol mis-use from time to time (well ok a lot of the time) anxiety attacks, demeaning behaviour, misrable sulking negative attitude ect ect is not only related and due to the divorce but it surely contributed a lot. When he's not like that the other side of the scale is a intelligent guy filled with humor, fun, laughter and caring qualities.

I'm divorced 4 years now and my oldest son live with us while my other 2 sons live with their father. My guy has a daughter 23years, who after finishing her studies, now live with her mom in the same town than us. Something which has been bothering me for some time has (to me) become a full blown issue. When I met this guy he made it very clear that his daughter is the be and all in his life. And I really mean the alfa and omega, his beginning and end. In no uncertain terms was I told that I'm never, ever to bad mouth her or say anything negative about her. She is, was and always will be the most important thing (person) in his life and I'm to either respect, accept and deal with that or we part. I believe I have dealt with that to the best of my ability and knowlegde and I must admit it wasnt difficult coz she is indeed very sweet, dear and decent. I truly love her as I do my own children and we get along very well and I trust and know she love me as much. So what could the problem possibly be? Whenever they are together or whenever we go out it's as if I become totally invisible to him. I barely get spoken to and all forms of affection goes towards her. And if not together he constantly talks about her from morning to night. He continously call her if she's not with him and invite her for every dinner, visit, braai or get together. We just dont ever spend any time alone anymore (it used to be a bit different whilst she was studying coz she only came home weekends) now they are together almost every day. She hasn't found a job yet and now travels with him while he does his - which means while I'm busy full time working they are travelling all over, spending time together from early morning to sometimes late at night. Stopping for breakfast, lunch, dinners, visits to pubs and every where. I get home and they are still out, I phone and they are together some where. I'm starting to become resentful, angry and bitter and I dont now how to handle this any longer. I only wish the best for her and loving him as much as I do for him to, but this is seriously getting a bit much. Am I being selfish and stupid or just feeling let down coz I'm not receiving any attention, caring, love or affection from him any more as all goes to her?? What to do??

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Our expert says:
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I understand the difficulty of discovering in someone you care about, signs suggestive of a real illness which, for various reasons, they don't want to take seriously or deal with. If he has any form of depression of bipolar disorder, the alcohol will not help and will easily make it worse, as well as interfering in any treatment he might eventually have. As you say, some of the acute aspects of his problems could be due to the divorce, but equally the divorce could be due to these patterns of behaviour. <br>Proper expert assessment and treatment are needed --- one can't just say Well, he clearly has appendicitis, but we won't encourage him to see a surgeon. <br>And it does indeed sound as though he is excessively, almost unnaturally, close to his daughter which is actually not good for either of them. And it sounds as i you have been invited to work for and fac ilitate their relationship, rather than to actually enjoy one of your own. This does not sound at all like a wholesome set-up, or one within you are likely to find any lasting happiness, the way it is and how it is going. As it sounds as though he is a devout practitioner of Denial and determined to avoid looking at anything that's wrong with their lives, he's not likely to ever fix these things or allow them to be fixed. I don't see where there's any lasting role for you in his existing relationship, other than as an assistant and facilitator.<br>

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