well, that's one of the problems: you doesn't want me to leave. She says I have to stay with my kids - that's my duty...
But you're not leaving your kids, you're leaving your wife. It doesn't mean you don't love your kids or that you won't be there for them. It's your duty to put your kids first and make sure they know you love them. It's not your duty to stay in a relationship that is broken and possibly damaging.
she feels guilty for being the other woman and fears that she will leave me if we really get together, because she thinks she might not be able to take the stress. She tends to see the possilbly gloomy side of the future...
But if she leaves you, then that's your problem not hers, surely. Haha she kind of sounds like me here. I have abandonment issues too, and for the first two years of my relationship with my current boyfriend I was trying to build up the guts to break up so I didn't have to do it later on down the line. I got over this by going back into therapy and talking through some unresolved issues. Growing from that and understanding myself and taking a different perspective helped a lot, and now I am perfectly happy in our relationship, without worrying about the "what if's" later down the line.
Also taking it slowly. I wanted to keep things pretty separate because I didn't want to have to stay with Si because I had
to, which was the case with my previous long term relationship. We live together now, but we'll probably never have joint bank accounts. We often joke about who would get what if we split. Keeping it down to earth and logical.
she definatly has unsolved issues. I am trying to help her, even if we have no future. I love her - I just want her to feel good and be healthy. If that means I have to leave if she runs stable - well ...
she does not take any external help
I have no idea what's good for her, but I want to help her, no matter what!
What you have to do first and foremost, is look after yourself. It's all very well, when the relationship is new and things are exciting and there are crazy hormones, to feel like your love will overcome anything. But when the excitement dies away and you're in a relationship and back to normality, that's when the problems return. And what often happens is before long, you're the carer and it's draining and you can't cope and then there's resentment and that's when the relationship starts to break down.
It's very tough being in a relationship with someone who has mental health issues. You have to learn that sometimes you won't understand their thoughts and feelings and points of view, but you have to accept them anyway and work around them. You have to look after yourself first, because if you don't, then you'll make matters worse. We often talk on here about putting on the oxygen mask before you help others. It's vital.
Also, she must try and seek help from other places. She must
go to the doctor if she wants to overcome this properly. Bulimia is a life threatening illness. It is damaging physically as well as mentally. And you alone do not have the resources to cure her.
If she doesn't want to seek help and go to the doctor, then you can't force her to. That's the other thing about being close to someone with an eating disorder. You can't change their mind, you can't recover for them. Sometimes it's painful and you have to watch while they get worse and you're left feeling helpless because it doesn't matter that you can see what they need to do, if they don't see it, then they won't do it. It has to come from them.
So I guess what you have to ask yourself, is whether you still want a relationship, bearing all this in mind?