Confused and lost, divorce and the bipolar husband - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-26-2010, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Confused and lost, divorce and the bipolar husband

Hello, My name is Laura. I apologize for the length of this but I am so lost. I am a proud mother of a two year old little boy who is a ball of energy. I got married to my husband on May 16th, 2008. My husband is mentally ill with bipolar disorder and he is also an alcoholic. I knew him for 8 years before we got married, only dated for 8 months, yes we kind of jumped into it. We we started dating he was clean and sober and recently diagnosed with bipolar. He was doing well, held a job, but then all that changed. One year ago in July Kevin attempted suicide a few weeks after he got fired. He was hospitalized for 3 weeks. I had it in the back of my mind that I was going to give him another year. He never got his act together. We lived off of my income which was nothing as I work only part time at the post office. We were forced to live with my mom because of our financial situation. Kevin slept all day, played video games all night, was absent in my life and in my sons life. He made the garage his home. Then he got disability which made things a little easier financially but nothing else changed. He was very rough with words in arguments and outside. He always put down my accomplishments, said I got my job handed to me on a silver platter. I allowed him to stay at home and do nothing so I could go to work and he could watch his son, sit on his butt collecting disability. That wasn't good for him either. he'd call me at work and threaten to leave me, or leave our son and the crib and take off. He'd call swearing at me, telling me to f* off, etc. It was abuse. I walked on eggshells. I turned down opportunites to work more so I wouldn't make him mad. I would wait until he was in a seemingly good mood to discuss important things. I so much to get through to him, nothing worked.

My last happy moment was on our 2nd anniversary, a week after that things went downhill and continued to get worse. July 31st was the last day we were together. I didn't have to make that decision about giving him one more year, he did it for me. We had an ongoing argument that was the same every time, pointing fingers, name calling and other cheap shots. I went to my Pastor's house with Kevin. Pastor Don is my Dad kind of, since mine passed away, they were best friends. While I was talking to Don inside, Kevin was in the driveway unbeknownst to me, "altering" my car. Kevin eventually came in and had a heated discussion with the Pastor. Kevin spit out threats and words that would make a sailor blush. Kevin took off on foot, I and my son headed home in my car but I didn't get far. I discovered while going downhill I had NO steering and then the car instantly overheated. I made it back to my pastor's house where we discovered that Kevin pulled off the serpentine belt and some sparkplugs. Don's son and friend put the belt back but didn't know the plugs were out, my brother fixed that later.

I hid out at my brother's house because I was afraid Kevin was going to come after me and hurt me. He went home, got drunk, called his parents to say his suicidal goodbyes, put a shotgun barrel through our bedroom door and shot my bedroom wall. Later he came to my brother's house. I didn't know he brought the gun at first. I agreed to talk to him. He then told me what he did at home and he said he would kill himself if I didn't come home with him. I freaked out, got away and went inside. Kevin headed to the car to get his gun. We locked the door and called 911. The police came and had a short standoff. They took Kevin into custody and brought him to a mental hospital. The police said the shotgun was loaded and the safety was off. All this happened just a room away from where my son was sleeping. Kevin only stayed in the hospital for a week and was released.

I have a restraining order because I am afraid. At first I had hopes of reconcilliation but the more and more I think about it, that is not the right thing to do. I only had the restraining order until my son's 2nd birthday, next month, but now I'm thinking I should extend that.

I made some calls about divorce and I know I can't afford it and probably can't until I get my tax return. My family is totally against ever taking Kevin back because of what he did. Why am I having second thoughts about divorce? What if this is just his illness and he can get better with the proper treatment and medication? What if he can't get better and the next time something like this happens, I lose my life or my son is hurt? I am so confused it hurts but I know I do have to extend the restraining order because I am not ready to give Kevin the option of contacting me. Fear of your husband is something that is hard to shake and I may never shake it.

This is not what I wanted. I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with my husband. The way we got together was a perfect story that I always loved telling when we were together. I never knew this marriage would end with such a nightmarish ending.

Please... no matter how harsh... I need advice. I am lost and I confused.

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-26-2010, 02:59 PM
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Re: Confused and lost, divorce and the bipolar husband

I'm not sure what advice to give, but I think you're doing the right thing by keeping him away. You need to be strong for yourself and your son. Keep that baby safe. Good luck!
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-27-2010, 10:23 AM
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Re: Confused and lost, divorce and the bipolar husband


Right now IMO you shouldn't worry or think about whether or not you have a relationship with your husband. The only thing is him getting healthy for your son.

As it happens I am witnessing this up close myself with my friends except the roles are reversed -- mother/wife is a bipolar, alcoholic with a deep seeded traumatic event in her youth. She has been committed voluntarily twice in the last 18 months. Father/husband is at his wits end.

I will share how he is coping. First off he deals with her calmly and lovingly, but with stern and strict boundaries. He told her that he loved her, wanted to be with her, but could no longer have her in the family home with her destructive behavior -- she left. Since she has spiraled out of control even worse than before. However unfortunate this is (and it breaks my heart) it is for the best. For until she realizes that she is an adult and can CHOOSE not to be this way and accepts the consequences of her actions, she won't get better.

No words from him do it -- to her he is trying to "control" her be her dad. She has been told by psychiatrists and psychologists that she is at fault and needs help -- she dismisses them. She is in the fog of addiction.

Until she or your husband hit rock bottom and realize this, there is no getting better for the long term. This is the hardest part - watching someone you love disintegrate in front of you. My friends heart is tortured by what he might have to and must do to help her -- which is to deal with the consequences of those actions as terrible as it might be. But what keeps him going is his kids. He is doing it for them so they might one day have the mother she can be.

THose are my thoughts. Your path is hard. God bless you and keep you safe.

"Don't think less of yourself, think of yourself less" ....C.S. Lewis
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-17-2010, 03:14 PM
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Re: Confused and lost, divorce and the bipolar husband

Sorry but I am astonished that you are even considering taking this man back. Perhaps in the US there is a more relaxed attitude to guns than here in the UK but even so what's next, your son killed by this nutter? Get out, get away from him, take your son, get a restraining order for ever and never let him come back into your life without an accompanying doctor. It is terribly sad that he has this affliction but you have to think of yourself, your son and your family before you end up on the wrong side of the evening news!

Forget about divorcing if you can't afford it, just put some distance between you and make sure he can't track you. Get a job in another state a long way away, or even another country if it's possible, divorce can come later and you certainly have unreasonable behaviour as a reason.

Best of luck to you, you don't deserve this and neither does your family, do what's right for your son without another moment's thought.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-17-2010, 05:42 PM
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Re: Confused and lost, divorce and the bipolar husband

Everyone here is completely right. You need to focus on you and your son, extend the restraining order and move ahead with the divorce. In the divorce arrangement you should also definitely require supervised visitations for your son and husband, at least for the near future. Your son has no barriers and no defenses against his father's moods, reactions or manipulations and needs to be protected by an outside party until he's old enough to set his own boundaries there.

It sounds like you've got a 90 day order that's expiring, if I'm calculating correctly. I'll flat out tell you that there is no way on earth that is enough time for him to become stable on medication. Even if he's totally compliant and working his butt off to get better. And it sounds like he isn't either of those things. What he's going to need to do is deal with the medical treatment of his bipolar disorder as well as therapy/treatment for his addiction both to alcohol and to a lifetime of mood swings. I'd say he'd need at least a year of working on himself before he'd possibly be ready to be involved with someone else. And again, that's assuming he's actually doing that.

So step away, take care of yourself and your son and let him do whatever he's going to do. Just take the steps you need to in order to keep you and your family safe and moving on with your lives.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 09:48 AM
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Re: Confused and lost, divorce and the bipolar husband

It's called magical thinking, we fall into daydreams of when times were good and wishing they could be that way again. You loved the guy, that was real, that was a good thing.

And then we have to go back to reality. You can never risk yourself with him, it is too dangerous, your little boy needs you. What if you weren't here and he got full custody? You can not let that happen.

The feelings of love are going to fade. You might be suffering from stockholm syndrome, google it and see if it rings a bell.

The longer you stay away from him, the easier it is going to be. You are going to start getting interested in other things. Your joy will return, hang in there!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-01-2014, 07:38 AM
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Re: Confused and lost, divorce and the bipolar husband

I too am married to a bipolar husband. Our situation is a bit different but there are similarities. First off, I am in my 50's, we have no children together and had been together almost 5 years before we married. My husband has been on his medication, but that's always a crap shoot. We now have been separated for 2 (of almost 4 years married) years. He kicked me out of our home (his before marriage) in a hypo manic state. After 1 1/2 years of counseling and with the counselor willing to renew our vows, I week prior to my moving back in with him (4 weeks ago) he called me at work and said he couldn't go through with it....but that he would always love me?!?!?. I had gave up my place and had already moved half my things back to our marital residence. Now suddenly, without warning I was homeless.....again, just like 2 years ago. He accepts no responsibility for his actions. Long story short, taking medication is very important, knowing the stressors are very important, but yes he will probably do it again. Think of your child....think of yourself. Get into counseling for you. One thing I learned from my individual counselor is that bipolar is an illness, but it does not dictate who the real person is underneath. I love my husband very much and would like nothing better than to be with him again, but it won't change, it will happen again. I need to be healthy too.
We are going to be divorcing. There are legal options for those that have financial challenges in obtaining divorce. Also there is an organization called NAMI that has family support groups......ironically enough my husband is a group facilitator. Good luck!
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-01-2014, 10:06 AM
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Re: Confused and lost, divorce and the bipolar husband

Originally Posted by lauramay View Post

I made some calls about divorce and I know I can't afford it and probably can't until I get my tax return. My family is totally against ever taking Kevin back because of what he did. Why am I having second thoughts about divorce?
I give up why are you having second thoughts? Yes part of this may be related to his illness, but it doesn't sound like he is taking medication as he is having episodes. It also does not mean that you have to subject yourself or your son to his dangerous behavior. My sister went through this for years, until she finally said enough and divorced him. She found and married a great guy, but her son was permanently scared from the events of the marriage. Let your family help you and deal with it now, before someone gets hurt.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-01-2014, 11:07 AM
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Re: Confused and lost, divorce and the bipolar husband

Not sure why there is confusion here, the man is extremely dangerous, and no way in hell should you stay with him! What a scary thing to read!

Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-01-2014, 12:31 PM
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Re: Confused and lost, divorce and the bipolar husband

There is zero question in my mind that you should get as far away as possible. This person is a black cloud and you will get rained on or even struck by lightning if you stay near him. Find someone sane who will love you.

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