Some years back, I fell in love with a divorced woman and her son. We planned to become a family. We lived some distance apart, so we saw each other when we could, and normally for extended periods at a time.
What I initially thought were normal relationship difficulties turned out to be due to her mental health issues. These only became worse the more we tried. The cruel irony is that my trying to stand beside her and support her seemed to aggravate her health problems.
She had similar issues in her previous marriage; there seemed to be a pattern. Some of those who knew her felt she was unable to cope with having a relationship/partner. This sounded to me like a harsh sentence to pass on anyone. However, as her health worsened, I felt I had to decide between staying and risking her life and her relationship with her son, or leaving her and hoping she would be well enough to once again cope with the basics of life.
I chose the latter course. I don’t know if I took the best route. I feel on one hand that I abandoned her when she most needed help, but on the other hand that the only help I could give her was to leave. I’ve still not come to grips with the cruel irony of the situation - how to love someone who tears herself apart when someone loves her? What is the most loving action to take? Do I just leave her to never be able to have a husband, and leave her son to never have a present male role model in his life?