Me [30M] with my girlfriend [25F] of a year, how to handle tension concerning my wife [26F] who I am separated from.

Let me be clear, I never refer to her as my "wife" outside of legal matters. When referring to her it is usually ex-wife, or when talking to my girlfriend, I refer to her by name. I only used "wife" in this post because I knew it was going to be confusing, she's still technically my wife, and I was typing this in a rush and it's easier to leave the "ex" part out. Trust me, I would never refer to her as "wife" outside of this conversation. It feels weird to even do so here. I left that part out loooong ago.

Without knowing the situation of my "ex-wife" it's hard to explain why I still help her. I can tell you with 100% certainty she is not using me. I can't go into details as to how I know this, but that is something I am 100% certain of. The only way she is using me is in the fact that outside of myself and her mother, she has no constant people to rely on. She's a good person and she deserves that. She can't rely on her family. What few friends she had were shitty before her mental problems and didn't stick around afterwards. Yes, there are programs to help people like her, but you've heard the stories, our care of people with mental illnesses in this country sucks. You have no idea until you experience it for yourself. I possibly would have turned my back on her long ago. But after seeing the unjust and inhumane ways we treat the mentally ill, I can't.

People always say things like, "Oh I was depressed once. I lost a loved one once. It was terrible. This program helped. I'm better now." My ex isn't ever going to be "better". Her mental illness cannot be fixed. It's something she has to learn to live with. She has to learn to combat it to live a semblance of a normal life. And she is finally getting there. But in the moments that she falls, she needs to have someone she knows she can at the very least talk to. And not someone at a 1-800 number who knows nothing about her. That's is why my mother and I are there for her. And like I said, I'm there in a very very very limited degree compared to what I used to be.

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