Bipolar Wife
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
Job
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Default Bipolar Wife

I apologize for the long post. This is my first time, and I just need to vent and hopefully get some advice. I am seriously considering divorcing my wife. We have been married for over 9 years and have an 8 year old daughter. My wife can be very sweet and fun to be with sometimes and other times she is incredibly mean or hyper/annoying to be around. She told me that she was ADD after we met and attributed her hyperactivity, moodiness, etc. to that. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about 6 years ago. This was right after she admitted to having an affair with a friend/co-worker of mine(we are no longer friends or co-workers) and took a bunch of Clonazapam. She was hospitalized and went through rehab because she was also drinking alot at the time. She had been arrested twice for public intoxication/disorderly conduct. The second time she had our infant daughter with her. I considered divorce at the time but felt that I should stick with her because it was her disorder causing this behavior.

About 2 years ago she left me and my daughter for her ex-boyfriend and was gone for 3 days. I was set for divorce again, but wanted her to prepare herself since she had not worked since the birth of our daughter. She did nothing but stayed calm and nice for a while. I did not take action because I was concerned about finances, child care, not hurting anyone else, etc. All dumb reasons to stay married.

A couple of days before Christmas, the mother of one of our daughter's friends called my cell phone because she wanted to stop by and drop something off for Christmas. I told her that we would call her when we got home. My wife was livid that she dialed my phone and went into a rage. This woman never answered her phone or stopped by with the gift. She also acted very stand-offish when I saw her picking up her daughter at school a week later. I have a strong feeling that she either overheard my wife's rant or that my wife outright called her to complain about her dialing my phone. This is not the first time that my wife's insecurity has caused this type of behavior. But I am upset that this time it could potentially affect my daughter's friendship with this little girl. I wish I could get to the bottom of this situation and correct it.

I am just very tired of the constant mood swings, arguing and the complete lack of respect for me. My wife uses inapprpriate language and subject matter whle speaking to our daughter. She has even told our daughter that I am a "moron" "a**hole" and not to listen to me when I try to dicipline her or tell her to do something.

My wife has been seeing a counselor for quite a while, and I started going with her about 5 months ago. My wife stormed out of the last session because she did not like what I was saying. The counselor told me that she does not think my wife will ever change. Very discouraging. I have scheduled a consultaion with an attorney that the counselor recommended if I decide to divorce. I am also considering joining a father's rights group where I can get answers/advice from attorneys.
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I guess you feel like Job. You've been through a lot, but know you aren't alone. A friend of mine deals with almost the same thing as you. His wife is bipolar and drinks heavliy. She also had a huge traumatic experience of being gang rapped when she was 14 or 15 They have a 9 year old daughter and 7 year old son.

Just to be clear she is a friend of mine as well.

Since I've known them I've watched her cycle from the incredibly great person to just a totally out of control person. And her cycles seem to get deeper each time. She has voluntarily committed herself twice in the last 18 months.

It is very sad to watch -- especially with the kids. He kicked her out last fall for a while, but she can't make it on her own. Things have been improving, but she has a lot of resentment.

My friend is a rock. And although she doesn't realize it, she is sooo lucky to have him.

You have to make a choice. And either direction you choose is tough unfortunately. Staying and hoping for change while dealing with the drama or leaving the marriage and dealing with the pain and drama of that direction.

But IMHO, you must decide one thing -- what is best for your daughter. And only you can determine that. It is wise to meet with an attorney. Given her arrests and documented behavior you should be able to get custody which I'm sure is of paramount concern to you.

Good luck.
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Old 01-20-2011, 05:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You do have a hard decision to make, but it seems to me that it boils down to doing what's best for your daughter.

The fact of the matter is that your wife has a biologically based mental illness. You don't mention it, but it sounds like she's not currently on meds, or frankly if she is, she may not be taking them consistently or they may not be the right mix for her. Counseling is an important part of treatment for bipolar disorder, but it can't be the only treatment. It's a physical deficiency in the way the neurons and synapses in the brain communicate and unless that is addressed in conjunction with the rest of what's going on, nothing is really going to change. And medically speaking, as people get older, the cycles get more and more severe, especially if they remain unmedicated, or sporadically medicated.

If she's not actively trying to control her disease now, it's probably not going to get much better. I can tell you from very personal experience that it's much more fun to live in the drama and excitement of the highs, even if it comes with the occasional low. Especially if there's someone (hint, hint) waiting in the wings to clean up any mess you make. If anything, it's kind of scary to think what a more "normal" life would even look like.

All that aside, I'm personally a huge proponent of personal responsibility, accountability, whatever you want to call it, when you're dealing with something like bipolar disorder and it magnifies when there's a child involved. I personally feel like I have to be even more cognizant of my actions because I'm first, human and considerate and second, always monitoring myself for "bipolar" behavior so I can fix it early. And when it comes to dealing with little people that suck up everything you say and do like a sponge?? I think you have to be even more aware.

It sounds that your wife isn't making very many good faith efforts even to get and stay well, even for the sake of your daughter. And for the sake of your daughter, you may need to make the break. And to be honest, your daughter deserves to grow up in a house where there's respect and peace. If you do make the decision to divorce, make sure that you are strong enough to push for as much custody as you can get and while your daughter is young at least, make sure that the time she spends with her mother is limited, safe and supervised if need be. It's a sad and hard thing for you to do, but the consequences of your wife's choices and behaviors may very well be that you use the documentation of her diagnosis, her addiction, her arrests, the counselor's notes, etc. to restrict her access to her daughter so that you can be sure that your daughter stays safe.

Good luck--
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I am in nearly the same situation, and I feel your pain. I am in the process of trying to figure out whats best for my family also. When things are going well, I think my children are mostly getting what they need, and would be far better than if we separate. However, things are not always going well. Their mother often has "episodes" where bad behaviors are displayed in front of my children.
Its a terrible position to be in, and a shame that no one really recognizes the suffering that a family/husband goes through when the spouse is not mentally well. Despite all of the crap Ive stuck through, and things Ive bailed her out of, she still has her friends convinced that Im the bad guy.
Good Luck! I wish you the best, but unfortunately, it seems there is no real good answer for either of us or our families.
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Mine has been diagnosed with bipolar, too, but she apparently functions much better than your wife. I've not had to contend with any affairs or actual suicide attempts....so far. It is a roller coaster to be sure and seems like every day is constant drama but I had studied the disorder before we got married and I can't say I didn't know what I was getting into. We don't have any minor children and that also makes my situation more bearable than your's.
I do know things could be (and probably will get) worse. I don't guess I have any great advise for you. I wouldn't criticize anyone who just didn't want to deal with a personality disorder anymore. Only you know what your spirit and sanity can take. Whatever you decide, she's not a bad person; only sick. You're not a bad person, just human. Sorry you're going through this. I wish you both peace.
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies. My wife has been on a few different drug regimens since her diagnosis. I can definitely tell the difference when she is not on her meds or on a regimen that isn't working as well. About this time last year she was constantly going into fits of rage over the most trivial things. I was on eggshells all the time. I finally called her doctor and asked him to please change up her meds because I felt I was going to loose my mind.

The fact is that I am not in love with her anymore. I care about her a great deal but not the way a man should love his wife. The lack of respect, affairs, drinking, anger, and numerous other issues have erased any intimate or romantic feelings I had for her. The basic foundation for a healthy marriage is lacking, and I don't think this is fair for either of us. It also doesn't set a good example of what marriage should be for our daughter.

My wife is usually great with our daughter, but her inability or lack of desire to control her behavior in front of our daughter is a big concern for me. She has even lost her temper at other kids my daughter was playing with. This has the potential for some serious problems for us, not to mention alientating our daughter from other children.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I am a very similar situation. My wife was diagnosed with bipolar over two years ago. We had had many marital issues with her being unfaithful and then disappeared for several days. I had her involuntarily committed for a health evaluation due to her threats of suicide - this is when she was diagnosed with bipolar. She then attempted to get help, but at the time we did not have insurance so it was limited and not good help at all. She had not taken medication since and we just relocated due to job and things just exploded and have spiraled out of control to a point where I am coming to a determination that I need to leave to keep my sanity and to protect our two girls.

She at least now sees a therapist and is on medication, but she had an allergic reactions which caused her to have to change, which has made things even worse. During the last 6 months she has continued to threaten suicide, I have to take starter fuses out of our cars due to her drinking, she cusses me and degrads me, my daughter has even had to take a knive out of her hand one night, we are constinently fighting which negatively impacts our girls.

I am just at a point I can't take it and feel I dont deserve the treatment though I know she does not deserve to have bipolar disorder either. I have an overwhelming need to protect our girls and get them out of this enviroment - though I know leaving will have a huge negative impact on them too. I hope with the right medication she may change, but I think this disorder has changed who she is and who I married. She has gotten tattoos without telling me and recently got 3 more. She constantly accuses me of having affairs, she points out all the things I do wrong, see tells me what a horrible husband I am and blames me for everything.

This disorder has isolated us from our families and friends and I feel alone with no support. I just keep feeling I need to do what I feel is right by my kids and protect them, but I do love my wife and I want her to have a better life also.
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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im in the same boat. my wife went for councelling last year and took meds but it did not last long. i know she knows she has a problem but refuses to accpet it and deal with it. in turn i am verbally abused and disresepcted infront of friends and family.

she recently asked for a seperation due to some money i lent my brother- we had seperate accounts so this was an excuse. we still see each other weekly for dinner and for the sake of my child- but we dont live together.

i wish she would get some help for the sake of my family. i do truly care about her but realize that she is ill in this regard- and i have a tough time giving up on her.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MIKE2810 View Post
im in the same boat. my wife went for councelling last year and took meds but it did not last long. i know she knows she has a problem but refuses to accpet it and deal with it. in turn i am verbally abused and disresepcted infront of friends and family.

she recently asked for a seperation due to some money i lent my brother- we had seperate accounts so this was an excuse. we still see each other weekly for dinner and for the sake of my child- but we dont live together.

i wish she would get some help for the sake of my family. i do truly care about her but realize that she is ill in this regard- and i have a tough time giving up on her.
I am the wife with an undiagnosed suspected bi-polar husband. I am at such a loss as we have a 3 year old and a 3 month old that he would fight to the death for custody. He can put on a great show to people who know him just bits and pieces, but he's hell on wheels to live with. My heart goes out to everyone living in this mess!
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:31 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thank you
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:41 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Untreated mental illness remains untreated. It does not get better. And it has a limitless capacity to consume everything and everyone in its path.
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:45 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Mine has bipolar, too. It is awful challenge at times and it's certainly no easy row to hoe. Still, I married her without knowing what ailments she might develop in our future. She didn't ask to have bipolar and she is doing her best to treat it. I could take a bullet at work tonight and come home in far worse condition. I might come back from my next combat deployment with PTSD, traumatic brain injury, missing valuable parts or with my noodles scrambled. I like to think she'd stick around and help me work through those challenges. I can't expect that of her without expecting at least as much from myself. One positive thing about bipolar is if you don't like the woman you're with at the moment, just stick around cause she'll be someone entirely different in a few days, maybe even a few hours. The horrible dark times don't last forever. I don't have small kids anymore. If I did, I would hang in there only if I could do so while guaranteeing my kids' safety. They're going to yell and say inappropriate things, but lashing out violently to one of my kids would force me to get her out of the house (at least temporarily).
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:58 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I have affective disorder (new name of bipolar). I've been under medical care for it for years. I have also suffered from extreme clinical depression including depression psychosis. I function reasonably well on a day to day basis. I guess the key is you have to want to function. You have lose your addiction to the manic phase. Affectives often stop medicating because they LOVE LOVE LOVE the mania. But in the end, mental illness is not a get out of jail card by itself. There is something one can do about it should one choose to.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:31 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I take a lot of verbal abuse and she puts me down a lot- and sais she does not respect me. She can fly off the handle over nothing. I have a 5 year old and want to stay together to ensure she is treated right at all times- but the wife is not going for it at this point in time. I talked to her about getting help on Friday night and she wants no part of it. she balmes me for all her problems- yet she got help for it last year.

i just wish there was some way i could get her to accept help as i do care about her.

when she was on meds last year- she was great for the 2 week period- but she said she didnt like taking them.

she made a crazy decission to buy a condo a few months back which forced us to sell the house and take a break.
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I am very lucky. My wife functions remarkably well, considering how bad things could obviously be. Some spouses are carrying an incredible weight. I can only hope to be that strong if things get worse.
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